5 Questions To Ask When Deciding To Refurbish Or Replace Furniture


Refurbish or Replace? That Is The Question.

As you sort through your things before a move, you might wonder whether or not it’s worth it to refurbish older pieces. The answer depends on the age of the piece, its sentimental and economic value, and its current condition. However, deciding if furniture is worth keeping might seem harder than it looks, especially if it has a lot of sentimental value. Here are five questions to ask yourself when deciding to refurbish or replace a piece of furniture. SEE ALSO: 5 Red Flags That Indicate A Moving Scam

1. Is It Sturdy?

Is the table you’re considering keeping leaning a weird way? Is the armchair you want to keep wobbly and about to break? If your furniture isn’t in optimal condition, then you’ll need to refurbish it in some way. This can include anything from adding a few more nails to reupholstering, so you’ll also have to evaluate how much effort it’ll take to fix it.

2. Is It Fixable?

An unnatural creak in a rocking chair is a small problem. A significant break in the foundation of the frame of a sofa is a whole different ballgame. Different problems will take different lengths of time and different amounts of money to fix. If you simply need to repaint a bookcase, it’s probably worth it. Anything that will take more than a day’s worth of work, or will require hiring other people to help, should be reconsidered.

3. How Much Does It Mean To You?

Sentimental value can often eclipse the cash value of an item. With items where sentimental cost is greater than the actual value, you’ll want to get an opinion from someone you trust—like a friend or family member. Before deciding to keep or discard it, weigh the pros and cons of each, and make an informed decision. You don’t want to realize too late that the sofa your grandmother gave you meant more to you than you initially thought.

4. How Much Will It Cost To Get A New One?

Did you know that reupholstering an arm chair can cost anywhere from $200 to $500? Considering the cost of buying an armchair at a regular furniture store, you might want to reconsider investing that much in mom’s old recliner. A simple way to see if refurbishing is a better option than buying new is to take the total cost of the refurbish and compare it to the cost to buy a new piece of furniture of a similar quality. For example, if it will cost $300 to refurbish a chair your mother gave you and $250 to buy something comparable, you might want to buy a new chair.

5. Can You Donate/Sell It?

If you decide not to keep your furniture, don’t put it on the curb just yet. Donating or selling your furniture can give you a tax deduction or a little extra cash in your pocket. Where you donate or sell your item also matters, because some places yield bigger returns. For example, if you donate a sofa to Goodwill, you might not get very much out of it. However, if you sell it, you might be able to recoup about one third of the retail value. SEE ALSO: What You Need To Know About Tax Deductions For Moving You may also be able to sell your furniture for parts, especially if it is metal. Leave the piece intact if you plan on doing this, though. It might be harder to sell for parts if you have taken it apart. Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of before a move can be an emotionally and physically trying process. However, with some knowledge and the right attitude, you can sort through your furniture like a master.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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