Sofas are among the biggest cost when it comes to furnishing your house. Little wonder then, in these times of austerity, that we are loathed to throw one out simply because it’s sagging. We all like a bit of give in our seating, but if you are finding yourself closer and closer to the floor, it’s time to take action. Here, we look at what you can do to remedy a drooping settee.
Disclaimer: Please note this guide applies to traditional sofas – not to Nabru sofas.
Before you start, it goes without saying that you should take safety precautions – for yourself (e.g. wearing goggles when cutting wood and work gloves) and also for the rest of the room – spreading out sheets where you are working and opening a window if you are sawing or painting.
Check the Base
First you will need to take a look at the make-up of your sofa. To do this you will need to take all the cushions off the sofa (making sure you collect all the inevitable loose change you’re bound to find down there!). Turn the sofa over and check the frame for any sign of rotting wood or tears in the materials.
If the wood needs replacing, if for instance it is rotten, use a jigsaw appliance to remove them and then replace them with boards. If the wood is good, but broken, you can simply add boards to it to stabilise it. You can use plywood for this job. Alternatively there may be one piece of wood covering the entire base. If this needs replacing, measure up carefully and cut the required amount of wood. Sand the edges so that they don’t rub against nearby fabric and then nail the plywood board to the base, securing it firmly.
If the material is worn or torn, this should also be replaced. If you have a piece of material that is suitable, staple this into place. Otherwise photograph the material in a good light and take it along to a fabric shop to find an appropriate match. Staple this onto the stabilised wood boards.
Check the Cushions
Turn the sofa right side up again and check cushions themselves. Are they the cause of the problem? If they’ve lost their oomph, you can easily replace their filling with some foam that will instantly firm up the rest of the sofa. It could be a case of adding extra foam, but you may need to replace it all if it has totally lost its firmness. Ensure you get the firmest foam possible (2.5 density or more) for longevity. You can wrap it in cotton batting to soften the edges, to avoid that ‘square’ look if desired. You will need some sewing skill to achieve this, but it is a simple task.
Check the Platform
Looking back at the sofa itself, inspect the platform underneath where the cushions go. If this is broken, this could be the reason for the sagging. To replace this, carefully measure the width and depth of the area it covers. Again, you can use plywood for this task as it is very cost effective and does the job well. Make sure you sand the edges of the plywood, so as not to allow them to rub on any fabric which may be near it. Lay the wood in the base of the sofa and replace the cushions on top.
Check the Springs
The most likely cause of your dropping disaster is the springs. You may locate them through the base of the sofa or through the top underneath the cushions. Here, you are looking for broken or twisted springs. These are usually easily manipulated back into shape, simply by using a pair of pliers. Try to mirror the shape of the other coils for an even base.
If any of the springs are completely broken, or are bent out of shape and too thick to twist, they will need to be replaced. They are relatively cheap to buy and come in different lengths, so be sure to measure up what you will need. They fix into brackets, one at each end, so you will need to purchase enough for the new springs, if they won’t fit into the existing ones or if these too are broken.
These are some simple measures that you can try at home yourself to help revive a sagging sofa. Of course, there are upholsterers and furniture restorers who can assist with the really tricky bits. They will also probably be happy to give you a few insider tips if you ask very nicely. So don’t throw the droopy settee out, give it a new lease of life and get even more use out of it. After all, in today’s economy few of us can afford to waste money.