In the course of owning a home, it is practically guaranteed that your furniture will, at some point, need repair. What is the cost of repairing furniture?The average cost to expect is $107 and $253, with larger repairs like re-upholstery of a couch costing considerably more. Here are some factors to consider in furniture repair.
What Piece of Furniture Is It?
While there are many different pieces of furniture that may need repair, the most common furniture repairs involve dining tables, sofas, and recliners.
In many homes, the dining table is a catch-all surface for grocery boxes and bags, school books for the kids, and everything else that comes into your home and needs a spot to rest. Using your dining table in this way can lead to scratches and dents in its surface.
If the scratches are not too deep, a simple scratch repair kit from your local home improvement store may do the trick. Scratch repair kits can usually be purchased for $5 to $20, and they contain easy-to-follow directions to help you along.
The other common repair for a dining table includes repairing or replacing a table leg. Over the course of time, many table legs become wobbly or split, making it unsafe to put weight on the table. If your table legs are wobbly, you can try to tighten them yourself first.
If your table legs have very small splits or cracks, it is sometimes possible to repair them with wood putty or glue, which usually costs less than $5.
However, often the problem is that your table leg has become structurally unsound because of a large crack or break. If this happens, you will need to replace the table leg entirely, and possibly repair the bracketing that secures the leg to the table. The cost of table leg replacement depends on several different factors, including:
Type of wood needed
Difficulty of matching the style of the table leg
Difficulty of matching the finish of the table leg
For popular table leg styles, you may be able to find pre-made matching table legs. The costs for this vary widely. If your table is older or is a style that is uncommon, you may need to find a woodworker to fashion a replacement leg for you. Many woodworkers charge an hourly rate of $25 to $30. Additional costs will include the cost of the wood itself and the cost of any refinishing that needs to be done to match your other table legs.
The procedures and costs of repairing or replacing sofa legs are much the same as the ones outlined above for repairing or replacing table legs. Broken frames usually require replacement of the sofa. Methods of repairing upholstery vary depending on how extensive the damage is, where the damage is, and what type of material covers your sofa.
Small tears and splits in fabric upholstery can often be repaired with a small curved needle and matching thread. If your sofa cushion cover can be removed for repair, the process is often a simple sewing job that can be done with supplies costing a few dollars.
If the sofa cover is split, you may be able to repair it with an iron-on fabric that can be adhered to the back of your cushion cover at a cost of $2 to $5 per yard.
If your upholstery has a large tear or split, or if your cushion covers are not removable, you will likely need to hire an upholsterer for a proper repair.
A typical sofa has about 15 yards of material. Good quality fabric costs $25 to $30 per yard, though some fabrics cost up to $70.
Labor costs for re-upholstering your sofa can be $40 to $55 per yard of material, making re-upholstering one of the more costly repairs that can be done to your sofa.
If your sofa has a broken spring, it is possible to repair it yourself if you have access to replacement springs and access to the broken spring without having to remove any upholstery. On the other hand, if you must remove a section of the upholstery to get to the broken spring, your upholsterer will charge according to the costs as stated above.
For padding and upholstery problems, the same standard rates listed for sofas apply also to recliners. For bent reclining mechanisms and broken springs, costs can range from $200 to $350, making it often more cost-effective to replace than repair.
There is a big difference between the costs of repairing something that simply looks bad or repairing structural damage to furniture. For instance, repairing a scratch on the surface of your table will cost considerably less than replacing a broken table leg.
When thinking about a repair, determine whether the repair is structural or cosmetic. Here are some common examples of each:
Cosmetic repairs include things like:
Minor dents and scratches
Small frays, tears, and splits in upholstery
Minor cracks in wood, stains, and spots
Structural repairs include things like:
Large splits, cracks and breaks in wood
Bent frames on sofas, chairs, and recliners
In general, cosmetic repairs cost substantially less than structural ones, with the possible exception of re-upholstery of a large piece of furniture, which is technically a cosmetic repair, but costs more than some structural repairs.
Does the Repair Involve Upholstery or Re-Upholstery?
You may need to re-upholster your furniture if the upholstery is seriously damaged or if the furniture requires structural repair that would necessitate removal of existing upholstery. The average cost of reupholstering furniture is $660, with small chairs costing as little as $150 and large pieces like sofas costing as much as $1500 or more, depending on fabric choice.
When trying to decide whether to replace or repair a specific piece of furniture, you must consider several factors. You must gauge the value of the furniture, not only in monetary terms, but according to sentimental value as well. For instance, Grandma’s rocking chair may not be all that expensive monetarily to replace, but it may have extraordinary value to you if Grandma used it to rock generations of your family to sleep over the years.
If you have no sentimental attachment to the piece, and are only comparing the cost of repair with the cost of replacement, the question becomes much simpler. Keeping in mind the costs of common repairs as listed above, here are some average costs for replacement.
Sofa: $650 to $2500
Recliner: $200 to $1800
Large dining table: $1000 to $3000
Nightstand: $150 to $600
Of course, these costs vary greatly according to the quality of the piece. For instance, though the repairs for an older piece of furniture may cost more than a replacement, it is important to remember the intrinsic value of the piece. Older furniture may have been handcrafted, whereas much of the furniture on the market today has been mass-produced and may be of inferior quality.
When considering a repair, you must calculate additional costs as well, including possible re-upholstery or refinishing, and also determine whether the repair is largely cosmetic or structurally necessary. Taking all of these considerations into account will help you make wise decisions regarding furniture repair.