The average price of furniture repair is $150. Although it doesn’t make sense to spend $250 to extend the life of your $400 couch for three years, with very high quality furniture, the couple hundred bucks it costs to extend the life of the piece for decades is a far cry from what it will cost to replace it. If you are considering replacing your existing furniture, here are a few telltale signs that repair is just as good—if not better—an investment.
1. It has been around forever
If a piece of furniture has survived in previous homes, there’s a good chance it’s worth fixing. Even if the piece is less than attractive in its current condition, furniture that has already gone the distance is likely to do it again if properly repaired.
2. It is made of quality materials
Tables and chairs made of solid wood can last for generations. Furniture upholstered in leather can actually grow more appealing with age. On the other hand, furniture covered in cheap fabric or constructed from man-made board rather than solid wood can age quickly. It can be difficult to distinguish between a quality material and sub-par if you don’t know what you are doing (especially since some materials that might be considered “low-quality” can end up being used very successfully in some very high quality pieces). If in doubt, there’s no shame in asking the opinion of someone in the know.
3. You paid plenty for it
The old adage of “You get what you pay for” certainly applies to furniture. Though it is certainly possible to pay thousands of dollars for a worthless table, the likelihood a shop dealing in high prices also dealing in low quality is slim. Reputable shops can’t stay reputable for long if they are selling shoddy furniture, so buying from these places is a good way to ensure that what you are purchasing is top quality.
Note: Purchasing an expensive piece that goes out of style before it wears out is a far more likely scenario, but remember: distinctive pieces that are out of style can easily end up being highly prized pieces for vintage shops and collectors a few years down the road.
4. It was purchased fully assembled
As a general rule, furniture that is purchased as a complete piece is often of higher quality than “flat-packed” furniture assembled at home. Though not a completely infallible indicator, this rule is hardly something to dismiss, either. Furniture makers that focus on quality do not want that quality to be diminished by a homeowner putting a piece together improperly. While you can get some flat-pack furniture that will last quite a while, in general, purchasing furniture that is fully assembled is more likely to bring you a high quality piece.
5. It was custom built
Custom-built furniture is not as popular as it once was. Sadly, today’s craftsmen have fewer venues to “show their stuff” as the market becomes flooded by mass-produced pieces of inferior quality. If you are planning to purchase a new piece of furniture and want the highest quality possible and to help design the piece, custom furniture makers can still be found. The national average cost of building custom furniture is $2,000. While this figure might seem high to some, it is an investment that pays off in a very real way.
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