Is it worth it to restore your chair, sofa, table, bed frame, or dresser, or would it be most cost efficient to replace the item entirely? A number of customers come in and ask us this exact question. We are unable to give you a definitive answer, but we can help you weigh the cost of restoration against measurements of the antique furniture’s value. From the price tag at a furniture store to the memories a piece holds, value is in the eye of the beholder. Consider these four values to determine if restoration is worth the investment or not.
Retail Price: What A Customer Pays for Furniture at a Store
How much will you have to pay for a new piece of furniture? Retail price is the easiest of values to figure out. Price tags can be reviewed by visiting a local furniture store or online via their website. Furniture retail prices depend on the cost of production, from what type of wood the piece uses to how much labor is required to make said product. In addition, where you are buying the furniture at will factor into the price. For example, brand name furniture will cost more than Overstock or Walmart because it is probably made with higher quality wood, stain, padding and/or fabric.
Replacement Cost: The Amount of Money Spent to Use or Replace a Piece of Furniture
The question to ask yourself is how long do you expect the furniture to serve you? In the current market, brand new furniture pieces tend to fail in less than five years due to the manufacturing process. We address this matter in more detail in our previous blog post, called “Shopping for Secondhand Furniture? Here’s How to Tell It’s a Quality Piece“.
However, most older, restored furniture that we see is over 50 years old and still being used to this day. We can restore a quality piece with a strong, stable frame over and over again, making it last for decades compared to the mass-produced new furniture in stores today. To determine replacement value of an antique furniture piece, calculate what it will cost you to repair a piece you’ve had for 50 years versus buying a new one every five years. We can give you an estimate on how much it will cost to repair, reupholster or refinish your piece. Contact us with a brief description of the work you’d like performed along with pictures of the piece and we will get back to you with a rough estimate.
Resale Value: The Price Furniture Can Achieve When Sold in the Future
Resale values differentiate between collectable antiques, restored or flipped furniture, and used pieces. Antique furniture’s resale value is determined at the whim of the market price. Furniture must be collectable for some reason, whether it’s the style, time period, or brand name, in order to be considered valuable and make a profit from the resell. With that said, furniture that is over 100 years old doesn’t mean it has collectable value.
Used furniture has very little resale value when compared to cars or real estate. In fact, a barely used, less than a year-old piece of furniture may be resold at 50% of the retail price if you’re lucky. Most often, the resale price is much less, below 40%.
Does Antique Furniture Restoration Affect Resale Value?
In short, yes, it does. If antique furniture is in poor condition and considered a collectible, the resale value will be low. If you purchase a used piece and restore or flip it, the resale value will be higher than the amount you paid, but not as high as the retail price. Overall, furniture restoration is a viable option for achieving an increase in resale value, but you may or may not gain a profit from it.
Sentimental Value: Priceless
Most of the antique furniture we see are family heirlooms that have been passed down through the generations. The furniture usually holds a memory of the owner’s father, grandmother, aunt or other loved one. Some customers want their family heirloom to be restored as they remembered it. Others are looking for functionality. Sentimental value is dependent on what the piece means to you. What memories does it bring up when you use the family heirloom?
The best compliment we received was from a customer that had kept his parent’s dining room suite. A couple years after we restored it, the customer told us that his father came for a visit and was very happy to see the restored set. He commented, “It looked better than when it was originally purchased.”
How Much Value Do You Put into Your Antique Furniture?
The value of your antique furniture depends on how you’re planning to use it. Are you thinking about selling it as a collectible or wishing to save it as a family heirloom to be passed to your children and your children’s children? However, you define value in your piece, our restoration service strives to give the furniture a longer, fuller life, no matter if it’s to be resold or kept in the family.