I just returned from a seminar where I was able to observe a sofa being built from start to finish. It was incredible to actually see what mystery lies beneath the shroud of upholstery fabric.
Since most sofas sold today have a price higher than my first car, it is imperative that you know what you are getting before you invest blindly. The following are some guidelines that were gleaned from the seminar on what a dollar will buy in terms of upholstered furnishings.
We have all had our head turned by the “too good to be true” offer the leather sectional for $999. Common sense should dictate that this will not be a piece of furniture that endures the beating that a family can dish out.
Typically sofas around $1,000 will be equipped with foam cushions and constructed with no-sag springs stapled to the frame that could be made of wood similar to wood used for shipping pallets. The arms can be unsteady and the fabric is in the range of $5 per yard. It might last a year or two with constant use but it is not a candidate for recovering.
Leather will most certainly be bonded leather. This is a thin layer of a leather type material attached to foam. One scratch and it is over for a sofa covered with this.
When you move into the range of $1,500.00 to $3,500.00 there will be a mix of low and high construction. This is where you need to ask questions of the sales person. This is where you need to examine the warranty.
Some of these frames will be hardwood while some are a mix with engineered wood and hardwood. Some will be totally engineered wood.
In the higher end of this range you should expect eight-way hand tied springs, quality cushions and stable arms and legs. Fabrics typically range between $10 and $50 per yard.
The sofa that is offered in the range of $3,500 to $10,000 should be constructed with the hand-tied coils. These are much like mattress coils. Down cushions are often standard in this price range as is kiln-dried hardwood that has been glued, doweled and screwed.
A sofa in this price range will last a minimum of 10 years and will have an extended life when recovered.
One thing to consider when purchasing a custom sofa is to order a second set of cushion covers when the order is originally placed. The cording on the cushions is usually the first part to give out so, if these are switched out every couple of months, the life of your sofa could be extended for three to four years.