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What to do with your old Sofa? Recover, Reupholster or Replace!

How do you decide?

On the one hand there are some tempting credit deals out there to replace your furniture.

On the other hand you might not want to throw a perfectly good suite away, and anyway how would you do it. Who is going to physically remove your sofa from your house?

If you just hate your sofa or it doesn't fit in your home then the best option is probably to try and dispose of it in an environmentally responsible way and buy new.

If you already have a well made piece of furniture that is comfy and fits in your home then the best option is probably to cover or reupholster, as your sofa will look like new for half the cost of a new one. With landfill sites filling up fast this is also a good choice for the environment.

Recover:

Pros

    • If the sofa is looking tired, and it's time for an update, then loose covers are the least expensive option. Probably about a quarter of the cost of a new suite.
    • From an environmental point of view, loose covers are also a great choice as you are effectively recycling your sofa or suite.
    • Washability is also a big plus point. Being able to remove wash and refit loose covers is perfect for any household where stains pose a threat.
    • Massive choice of fabrics. You can probably choose from hundreds of options.

Cons

    • Fit is bit of a pro and a con. Loose covers do move and are not fixed to the furniture.
    • For many people they simply wouldn't know it as traditionally made cotton loose covers fit so colsely to the furniture that is almost like reupholstery. There are however some of us who simply prefer the sofa covering to be fixed
    • An extension of the fit argument is detail. Covers do not always respect every single detail of a piece of furniture no matter how well made. A good example is furniture with exposed show wood.

Reupholster:

Pros

    • Price wise a reupholstered suite will be around half the cost of buying new but this is a more expensive choice than loose covers.
    • Another good choice for the environment - you are keeping your furniture out of landfill
    • Comfort and sentimental attachment are not affected. You are making the furniture you already have quite literally look like new.
    • Fit and attention to details are better than for covers.
    • Again a vast choice of fabric.
    • Finally reupholstery is a traditional craft. By choosing this option you are helping to support traditional British workmanship by genuine local craftsmen and women.
    • Usually come with replacement seat cushions
    • Service is a big plus as with this type of craftsman product the service is typically excellent.

Cons

    • The big downside is having to do with out your furniture for 2-3 weeks while the work is done.
    • Not exactly a con but reputation is important. Whoever you choose to do the work has to be trustworthy. You need to be sure that you are getting a hight standard of workmanship.
    • Not cheap although certainly less than buying a new suite
    • You can't see the finished article before you buy - i.e. your own suite reupholstered.

Replace:

Pros

    • New furniture is untouched, unstained has never been sat on and it's exciting to have brand new
    • You can see and sit on lots of different styles before you buy
    • There are some fabulous credit deals to be had

Cons

    • The hassle of moving and disposing of your existing furniture.
    • There is an environmental price to pay in throwing away your old furniture. Typically it will end up in landfill unless a charity shop or similar will take it. Occasionally for very good furniture you may be able to sell it.
    • Interest free credit is not free, but is built into the price. Furniture is already the most expensive of the three and credit just makes it more expensive.
    • Quality is a big issue as there is such a wide range. By buying quality recognised brands such as parker knoll multiyork, wesley barrell or bridgecraft you can be sure that you are investing in quality furniture. However there has to be concern over cheaper furniture which is imported. If you remove the VAT delivery cost, shipping cost from overseas and the sellers margin or cut then there often is little left. This raises a question mark over durability and quality

If you are tired of looking at the furniture in your front room or you just fancy a change then you can recover, reupholster, replace or do nothing. Think about price, comfort and the environment and the way forward should become clear.

Good luck

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