Last updated: 7th Jun 2019
At some point or another, most homeowners and renters are faced with the decision of whether to reupholster their furniture or just buy new. Whether you’ve spotted the perfect antique with stained cushions or have a favourite armchair that you’re not ready to let go, reupholstery can be the perfect option to extend the lifetime of furniture. It can be a costly exercise however, so there’s a number of factors to consider before you tear apart your sofa.
Is it worth the cost?
Sometimes reupholstering can be more expensive than buying a new piece of furniture. We recommend considering the following factors before deciding to upholster your furniture:
- Age – If the furniture is high quality, sturdy and already lasted longer than 10 years, chances are it’s worth the investment to extend its lifetime.
- Sentimental value – Is the piece a family heirloom or expensive antique? Is it a unique style that you couldn’t find anywhere else? These days, people are opting for low-cost, flat pack furniture which doesn’t have the lifetime or aesthetic appeal of antique goods.
- Material – Is the frame of the furniture hardwood? Lower quality, cheaper furniture usually uses staples to hold the joints together and won’t have the same longevity.
- Filling – If you’re couch or chair has foam padding, this makes the cost of reupholstering less worthwhile. Keep in mind, however, that if the down filling requires replacing this can be quite expensive.
Note: If you are unsure about the quality or potential lifetime of your piece, furniture repair companies are a reliable source of advice.
What should you expect to pay?
Costs can vary depending on:
The type and quantity of fabric
Fabric is by far the greatest predictor of price when it comes to upholstery. Costs start at around $50 per yard, and can reach as high as $250 per yard for designer, high-quality fabrics.
Re-stuffing will increase the price of the job, particularly if it’s a down filling. However, if you want the piece to be comfortable as well as aesthetically pleasing, re-stuffing is highly recommended.
Spring or frame repair
After stripping back the fabric and cushions, it’s not uncommon to come across some frame damage. Many upholsterers offer a frame / spring repair service with their upholstery. Reinforcing these elements can significantly extend the life of the piece of furniture. Hourly rates range from $60 to $80.
List of typical reupholstery costs:
|Single cushion re-stuffed and reupholstered||$200 to $250|
|Full couch reupholstery, re-stuffing and repairs to spring and backboards||$1000 to $2000|
|Antique rocking chair reupholstered and repaired||$800 to $1200|
|Dining chair reupholstered||$50 to $100|
As a point of comparison, we’ve also listed the typical cost that you can expect to pay for new pieces of furniture:
DIY or Hire a Professional?
If you are strapped for cash, and want to attempt DIY, it’s possible to add new fabric to a dining room chair, or make small fabric changes to existing pieces. However, be warned that it will be a long process and will require purchases tools such as a staple gun, upholstery tacks and pins and a webbing stretcher. If it is a piece of furniture you truly care about, and want a quality, long-lasting finish, we highly recommend hiring a professional. If you are going to the effort and expense upholstering, you may as well get an expert pair of hands. Post your job on ServiceSeeking.com.au to receive competitive quotes and get a proper estimate of the costs involved. Include as much details as possible (measurements, photos, fabric types etc.) to ensure your quotes are as accurate as possible.
Pricing information correct as at November 2017.
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