Is it expensive to have a sofa recovered?

Updated February 21, 2017

The term "recovering" is often used interchangeably with the term "reupholstering" but actually refers to different sofa rejuvenation techniques. Recovering involves replacing the fabric of a sofa, but reupholstering involves more extensive repairs such as new fabric as well as refilling or remaking cushions or internal springs. Reupholstering is more labour intensive and typically is more expensive. There are many factors involved in determining the expense of recovering a sofa.

Size and Style of Sofa

The size of your sofa will be a factor in the overall cost of recovering. Very large, overstuffed, or long sofas require more fabric; more supplies, such as staples and adhesives; and more billable labour hours. The style of the sofa contributes to cost increases as well. Tufted sofas (sofas with multiple rows of buttons on the back rest of the sofa and/or the top of the seat cushions) require much more labour to cover and replace. Missing buttons will have to be replaced as well. Zippered cushion covers also involve more labour and will typically increase the cost of the recovering project. To save expenses, inquire about having formerly zippered cushion covers converted to non-zippered covers if you don't need to wash your covers often. Individual recovering services charge varying rates for different sizes and styles of sofas.

Fabric Choice

The fabric you choose for the sofa recovering is an integral part of the recovering expense. Fabric is typically priced per yard. The finer the quality of the fabric, the higher the price. Designer upholstery fabric often includes stain guards and lint guards that contribute to the lifespan and beauty of a finished sofa, but also add considerable expense to the recovering project. Inexpensive fabric can be used to cover a sofa and still look nice if the recovering is done well. The expense of recovering a sofa can go up or down depending on the fabric used. Fabric will be used to recover the sofa frame, cushions and any matching throw pillows. Sofa styles featuring skirts involve a lot of fabric yardage, especially on full, gathered skirts. You may be able to save money by slightly altering the fullness of the sofa skirt, thus decreasing the amount of fabric used.

Refurbishing Cushions or Frame

When your sofa requires cushions to be refilled or recut from new foam to match existing cushions, or if your frame or internal springs need to be repaired, your sofa recovering project has crossed into the reupholstering territory and will be considerably more expensive than simply recovering the fabric of the sofa. Some professional services may add a small amount of new cushion filler as a courtesy to make the sofa cushion covers fit better, but extensive refilling is a billable addition to the overall project bill.

Professional Services Utilized

Professional recovering and reupholstering services charge for fabric, supplies, repairs or desired changes made, and labour. There may also be charges for pickup and delivery of the sofa. Before choosing a recovering service, compare prices of other establishments. Sometimes recovering a sofa will cost more than a new sofa, but sometimes recovering a durable, well-made sofa is much more cost effective than purchasing another sofa. Consider all of the factors involved and make sure you get your estimated or definite quote in writing from the recovering service to avoid any hidden costs, fees, expenses or taxes.

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About the Author

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.