The cost of having a sofa professionally reupholstered can vary quite substantially based on the size and style of the sofa frame, complexity of the fabric pattern, specialty fabric selections, and amount of labor involved in the process. Prices typically range anywhere from $500 on the low end for a basic single cushion love seat, up to $3000 or more for a large sectional sofa redone in intricate designer upholstery fabrics. Understanding the key factors that impact reupholster costs helps to set realistic expectations.
Key Cost Factors to Consider
Some of the main considerations that can affect the total costs to reupholster an existing sofa frame include:
- Size of the sofa – The labor time and yardage of fabric needed to reupholster a very large sectional sofa with multiple pieces is far greater than what is required for a compact love seat or two-seater sofa. The scale and dimensions play a significant role in material requirements and time involved.
- Pattern matching – If the new upholstery fabric that has been selected has a large repeating pattern, extensively pattern matching the print motifs precisely across the various sofa sections and seams takes much more skill, effort and time which adds to the cost. A plain solid fabric is the most simple and affordable upholstery job.
- Fabric selection – Opting to use a very high-end designer upholstery fabric like an exquisite brocade, embroidered silk, or luxe velvet fabric rather than more casual cottons or linens can substantially increase the material costs for the project. Unique fabrics cost more per yard.
- Labor intensity – Heavily tufted, antique style sofas with lots of button details take much more time and expertise to reupholster properly than more smoothly upholstered contemporary sofas. Intricate shapes and edges drive up the cost.
- Arm shape – Rounded rolled arms typical of traditional sofa styles require far greater effort and attention to detail to smoothly upholster compared to linear straight arms. Curve work adds cost.
- Cushion fills – Upgrading the foam density and down feather content of the loose back cushions improves comfort but also increases the price over standard fills.
Typical Price Ranges
The average cost ranges to expect for reupholstering some standard sized sofas are:
- Basic single cushion love seat – $500 to $1000
- Classic 2 to 3 cushion living room sofa – $1000 to $2000
- Large L-shaped or U-shaped sectional sofa – $2000 to $3000+
Using pricier ultra high-end designer fabrics or making major structural modifications to the existing sofa frame can raise costs substantially beyond these averages.
Tips for Reducing Reupholster Costs
Some ways to potentially lower the costs for a sofa reupholster project include:
- Choosing durable, high-quality mid-grade upholstery fabrics rather than selecting from the most lavish, luxury designer textiles on the upper end of the pricing scale.
- Reusing the sofa’s original resilient foam and Dacron or down cushions if they are still in good structural condition. Only replace badly deteriorated foam and batting components.
- Selecting a versatile solid color fabric as opposed to a bold multicolor patterned upholstery fabric that requires meticulous pattern matching and alignment work.
- For sectional sofas, only reupholstering the more visible exterior section surfaces that are most noticeable and keeping the existing upholstery on the backsides to save costs.
- Providing your own high-quality discounted upholstery fabric purchased at an outlet if available rather than buying through the upholstery shop’s wholesale vendors.
- Comparing quotes for the job from at least 3 reputable upholstery shops and negotiating rates if certain estimates seem disproportionately high.
With some smart advanced planning and cost-cutting measures taken, it is very possible to refresh an existing high-quality sofa frame with brand-new custom upholstery for a reasonable price that is far less than the cost of brand-new sofa replacement. Reupholstering also allows fully personalizing the fabric to your own eclectic tastes.