Kids, dogs and furniture… oh my!


Group Of Children Jumping On SofaI hear this frequently: I have kids and or pets so I don’t want to spend much on a sofa.

When you see the ad for sofas that retail for the amazing price of $999, you can be confident that you are purchasing some of the most expensive cardboard, particleboard, glue, staples and low-grade foam ever, and that is the exact reason not to be frugal when it comes to this investment.

When covered with the right fabric, a quality sofa will look good for many years while a cheap version can look sorry after as little as six months of use by an active family.  There are better places to cut costs that won’t be nearly as obvious.

The internal workings of lower priced furnishings typically feature a drop-in machine-tied system. This is a pre-assembled, machine-made coil system designed to simulate the hand-tied predecessor. The machine-made system drops into the frame and is fastened at the corners.

This type of coil system attempts to mimic the traditional method of eight-way hand-tied coils, but is generally considered inferior in the support and comfort it has to offer. One of the problems is that when one of the coils fails under the catapults of a 4-year-old, the comfort and structure cannot be retrieved

Solid wood frames ensure that your sofa is not going to fall apart throughout time. While engineered wood can provide a decent quality piece, solid hardwood frames are the gold standard in most quality upholstered furnishings and are the best defense against the gymnastic moves delivered by 7-year-olds.

Corner blocks are used to provide solid support for the sofa frame. A piece of wood is wedged between one side of the sofa and the other and then secured in place. This construction method offers reinforcement for the joints and results in a stronger frame.

Glue and stapling corner blocks on a frame is the easiest, least costly way of manufacturing a sofa frame but it carries with it the poorest reputation for strength and is destined to fail under the stress of teenage plopping on furniture.

Arm yourself with knowledge and questions before making the investment. If the salesperson does not know how their product is made, quality is probably not of importance and the wise consumer will hold on to their checkbook.

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