Having your furniture re-upholstered can cost more than replacing the piece with a new one - but at the cost of losing a well loved piece, and sometimes re-upholstery is the way to go!
Any good upholsterer will offer a free quote and won't charge a call out fee. Also, it has become increasingly common for customers to take a photograph of the piece in question and e-mail it to the upholsterer along with the dimensions of the piece. This cuts the effort of getting quotes (no appointments) and the costs of quoting for the business.
You will be charged per job rather than per hour or day. Prices vary between jobs dramatically - to give you an idea, the price of recovering an armchair (replacing only the fabric) ranges from $400 to $1 200, depending on the fabric.
A more labour-intensive job, such as a three piece suite reupholster (replacing the fabric, filling and springs) will set you back from $1 200 to $4 000.
The most expensive elements of the job are fabric and labour. The fabric prices should remain constant across the industry, but labour costs may vary. It is possible for you to provide your own fabric, but you can probably expect to pay a premium rate for the pleasure. Also, the upholsterer won't be responsible for any problems that come up about colour or durability.
The price of renovating a piece of furniture varies a great deal from job to job and depends on the condition of the piece and the quality of the materials used. New coverings might be enough to give dining chairs a facelift, but a saggy settee, whose stuffing has sprung a leak, will require a more complex operation. You might initially want just a recover and then be advised that the structure is in bad shape.