Thursday, December 27, 2007

New life for old chairs...


So, my new friend Seth at Queen Anne Upholstery gave me estimates today on a few possible projects:

For a wingback chair, he estimated:
$400 - $500 for labor
Any fixing of springs or re-tying would add about $150
This doesn't include fabric

For a big ol' old school sofa like this one, he estimates:
$700 - $900 labor
not including fabric.

Are these estimates pretty standard? Not having done this, I just want to be sure.

This decor business ain't cheap, huh?

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

SO true. And I hate when design magazines make it look so easy. Like, we dug this diamond in the rough chair out of the dumpster, covered it in a shower curtain and ta-da! Weekend project my ass.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

The estimates sound very reasonable. If his work is good, treasure him.

Jackie Von Tobel said...

Not to be a busy body but is this guy the king of all upholstery? He seems very expensive. All repairs including new springs, tying, inner batting and fill and cushions should be included in the price. I usually pay about 250 to 300 per fully upholstered chair and 450 to 600 for a sofa. Most upholsterers will quote you a per yard or per foot charge. I would get several estimates and then bargain with whomever you want to do the job. Just a suggestion - As you can tell I am a very cheap bitch!

decorno.blogspot.com said...

I suppose I should shop around. I am not opposed to paying more for quality work, but Jackie it sounds like it's worth getting other bids.

Thanks HOBAC & Jackie!

Anonymous said...

Jackie: Are you getting a trade discount though?

Lyndsey said...

That price seems reasonable for the couch. Not knocking Jackie, but I've shopped around for prices and $450-600 for a couch is unheard of in my area. I agree with Jackie in that I think estimates typically include new springs, tying, batting, fill, etc. You don't want your final price to soar because of "add-ons." The quote should be fairly firm.

The chair seems like an okay estimate; not terrible. It may be that wingback chairs are more pricey to upholster--that one I would check into a bit more.

Anonymous said...

They sounded way low to me too. Sofas in my area are more in the $1,500-$2,000 range, depending on the fabric.

(Jackie: Do your figures include fabric?)

jane said...

anon---hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!
(Excuse me a moment while I catch my breath...)

decorno---quote to reupholster and repair springs, etc., on my 1940's sofa: $1800. And that was about three years ago. For now it's a slipcover from LNT.

suzygirl said...

I've gotten quotes in the 400-600 range for a sofa here in Los Angeles (without material), but it's usually in the areas of town that have material shops...nothing glamorous. You have to look through the rolled bolts.

suzygirl said...

and please, I hope this doesn't sound racist, but it's usually in the hispanic parts of town that you can find more inexpensive upholstery work as well as a seamstress.

laurie said...

That estimate sounds very reasonable for the Seattle area. and I've heard good reviews for Queen Anne Upholstery. I'll be starting a DIY reupholstery project soon; my first effort. The wide striped pictured is exactly what I planned for the couch I'm reupholstering. I'm reasonally confident about the project. Then again, I could get to the "What the hell was I thinking?!" stage and find myself gladly paying someone twice what you were quoted just to take the project out of my hands.

Cote de Texas said...

suzygirl is right - if you go outside of your neighborhood - you can find someone who can reupholster very very cheaply. It's just finding that person who can do it with the flourishes you want that they may never even have heard of like - 1/4" flange trim on the cushion - or down cushions for that matter, or even down wrapped. The prices you got were very reasonable as long as he can do something fashionable and up to date. Everytime I've had a client that made me use "their" upholsterer from the other side of the tracks, they're clueless as to my specs and what I want - it's never worth it imo.

Jackie Von Tobel said...

Sorry, I always think in "to the trade" numbers. Yes those prices are trade pricing and I always try to low ball my suppliers - I am brutally cheap. In my experience though, some of my best upholsterers have been trained south of the border and operate out of crappy warehouse space on the other side of the railroad tracks! They have low overhead and pass the discount on to you. I've also found out the hard way that many of the "stylish" boutique upholstery shops are farming out your work to those same low end shops and up charging you to cover their boutique costs! Just a thought.

suzygirl said...

Since everyone here is a designer, maybe someone can help me!!

My dining room is brazilian rosewood (midcentury) with cream leather seat covers.

I need to recover my living room couch, which can be seen from the dining room. I like clean lines, but I like it mixed with comfort. I almost bought a Milo Baughman sofa, but thought it looked too 'hard'. I have a high backed slipper chair for the living roomed (done in an off white microsuede), but my rug is a turkish rug in deep reds, the drapes are a red paisley (although I haven't hung them) and pillows are silks of golden colors as well as deep red and greens.

Any advice on what to recover the couch in? I had it done in a off white simple cotton type weave, but that proved disasterous in terms of keeping clean regardless of my love of it.

Any thoughts out there since we're discussing re-upholstery?

suzygirl said...

and some of the slipcovers just look sloppy to me.

Anonymous said...

suzygirl:
Can you post pictures on Flickr.com or some photo-sharing site like that?

suzygirl said...

ok, here are pieces from where I live...home office, living room, dining room. I'm redoing a lot so everything is helter skelter. In other words, forgive my dust and mess. But I could use suggestions!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/82816047@N00/

katiedid said...

Those prices seem pretty much in lineto me too, but it is always good to get estimates from more than one source, I agree. Keeps people honest.

Regarding suzygirl, I looked at your photos and you have a great start! I would add some color to your walls, maybe a feature wall of red behind a red sofa. Red on red will neutralize the color, then add cream colored pillows to freshen and tie in with your Dining Room chairs. The red could be a muted rusty red perhaps. Just some musings! Good luck!

katiedid said...

P.S.
I love your irreverence and look forward to many many visits in 2008! Have the Happiest of New Years!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Decorno - this seems about right to me. I just had my kitchen sofa reupholstered (have I mentioned my adorable boxer, Rosie?) and it was @ 700. And - I pass work along to this guy so it was my "trade" price. It is really important to have a good relationship with your upholsterer - I worked with a guy for a while who was medium good, but very inexpensive and FAST. Unfortunatly, when he put some very expensive Scalamandre fabric on a wing chair upside down, he did not stand behind his work. It ended up costing me a bundle. Sometimes, you get what you pay for. Also, make sure the upholsterer knows you want your remnants back - sometimes they "forget."

suzygirl said...

Thank you Katie for your suggestion.

The wall behind the couch angles to almost 22ft ~ can I use a red on such a large expanse? As you can tell, it is a favorite color.

I have a lot of Blue Royal Copenhagen Danish plates for the dining room wall. That might clash with the red. Is that a good idea?

I already have the cream colored pillows that match the slipper chair ~ things are semi-packed away as I finish floors and painting.

thanks for your thoughts.

JJ said...

I have heard that QA Upholstery is one of the most expensive places in Seattle. Did you forget about my contact Raina? Let's go visit her this week.

Things That Inspire said...

Great post, and great responses. I am having two French armchairs reupholstered here in Atlanta, and most of my quotes have been in the $250-$325 range, but these are chairs that have less upholstery work than a wing chair.

Be the change..... said...

those quotes sound about right - the labor is what always kills it. But i took a class and found that it's actually relatively easy to do! Get a good upholstery book and do it yourself! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!!!

Alkemie said...

I recently had a tufted wingback chair done and the price was $425-$50 or so? But it included everything (retying of springs,tufting and etc.) These are not to the trade prices. Fabric is always separate.

I also had a sofa redone for about $900 because it had a tufted back and all the springs and inner workings were totally shot and had to be replaced.

For fabric, unless there is a specific designer fabric that you want to order, I have found you can save a lot of money on fabrics by shopping wholesale discount stores for upholstery fabrics. I've saved more than 50% for really nice velvet upholstry fabric this way.

Looking forward to seeing the outcome of your chair and sofa!

Anonymous said...

I used to use QUA for all my upholstery work until they became the absolute most expensive place in town. Seriously. And he probably didn't mention that they add 12% to your final bill for "shop supplies" right? That drove me crazy and I had to break up with them in August after 5 good years. I have a great upholstery shop that I use instead now, if you're still looking for a recomendation let me know. QAU is great at what they do, but not worth the $$. Or the $60 delivery fee (each way)!

snobertson said...

Decorno, I'm a year late to this post, but being a Seattle girl, we use Mannings on 55th right behind U-Village. He's does a fantastic job and seeing as how the women in my family used to schlep all furniture to our "guy" in Eugene, OR., we're a hard crowd to please. Maybe Queen Anne Upholstery ended up being reasonable, but it's worth checking out Mannings for the service and the deal before your next project. Good luck.