If you are not a DIY-er or you are – but have a project that is just a little over your skillset or toolbox, you can always contract out the work to a professional upholsterer. Furniture upholstery is something that lives with you for a long time, so you want to make sure that it is done right – not just aesthetically, but technically, so that the craftsmanship endures throughout the years.
Although we are confident that most advertised upholsterers are competent, since we work with many of them, some may be simply better qualified for your particular project.
Here are a few pointers on how to hire the best upholsterer.
Professional Operation: If you search online, and not just popping into your local neighborhood upholsterer’s storefront you may have driven by millions of times, you should look into their business before showing up at their door. Check their website and then give them a call with any additional questions. Below is a good guideline of what to look for in your decision process.
Years in Business: The longer an upholsterer has been in business means that they have more experience behind them and are obviously doing a good job and with a loyal clientele sustaining them. And as with anything, the more experience someone has, the better results you will most likely get.
Prior Work (portfolio of samples): There is nothing more telling than to see the actual work that has been done in the past. It lets you assess quality, technique, and finishing practices. It also gives you a good idea of what type of projects they have done.
Upholstery Specialization: Some may specialize in one type of upholstering or have carved out a specific niche for themselves; for example, marine upholstery or automotive work may be the bulk of the clientele. In which case, this may not be the upholsterer to give a turn of the century vintage, tufted, chaise lounge to. There are upholsterers that actually specialize in restoration work, working only with period pieces.
Custom Fabric Options: Upholsterers will work with certain fabric mills and suppliers and have fabric options to provide or recommend for your project. You can also bring your own fabric, which they should be more than willing to work with. If you are not sure if a certain fabric is appropriate for your particular job, consult with them first. You don’t want them to say they can’t work with fabric already bought.
Communication Style: With any large, custom project that is personal, communication is key. Make sure you are getting the answers you want, the advice you want and didn’t know you needed, and most importantly a great can-do attitude. If you feel like you are a bother – don’t bother. Keep looking.
Competitive / Comparative Pricing: Make sure that they give you a ballpark of your project cost before handing over your project. You don’t want to give someone a blank cheque, so to speak, to be surprised later. You can also shop around for the best price if it is not in your range.
Guarantee / Warranty: If an upholsterer is good at what they do, they will offer some form of guarantee or promise of work delivered in some form of warranty. Professionalism should be part of the rating.