How to Measure Your Home for a Sofa
This is not an uncommon scenario and often when buying an emotive (and often quite expensive) purchase like a sofa one’s heart can rule the head which often as not leads to a great deal of heartache when the delivery guys turn up and they can’t get that beautiful new sofa through the door or up the stairs and you have to send it back after a very stressful day of trying to fit a camel through the eye of a needle.
But you need worry not, if you carefully read this step by step guide and temper the emotions of the heart with just a little thoughtful planning you can be certain that you’ll get that new sofa into your home.
How to measure your sofa
If you can’t get a good understanding of the dimensions from the retailer you should get your tape measure out and measure the sofa yourself.
Begin by removing the back cushions from your sofa if these are detachable and then measure the height (H), depth (D), length (L) and diagonal width (DW) as detailed in the diagram below.
If you have fixed back cushions then you need to modify the measurements for the height (H) and diagonal width (DW) so that they include the back cushions.
If you have a corner sofa
1. Two piece corner sofas
2. Single piece/Integrated corner sofas
How to measure your obstructions
- The front door and subsequent doors
- A narrow or tight hallway
- The stairs
- A lift
1. The front door and subsequent doors
Measure the height (L) by measuring from the ground level to the lowest point of the top of the door jam, points A to B in the diagram below.
Measure the width (D) by measuring from inner most point of the door when it is fully open to the inner most point of the opposing door jam, points X to Y in the diagram on the right.
2. The hallway
Measure the height (L) by measuring from the ground level to the ceiling in the hallway, as indicated in the diagram below.
Measure the width (D) by measuring from the inner wall or staircase to the outer wall, as indicated in the diagram on the right.
3. The stairs
For an individual flight of stairs measure the height (L) by measuring from one of the steps to the ceiling above the stairs at the lowest point, as indicated in the diagram below and measure the width (D) by measuring from the opposite wall to the inside of the stairs remembering to measure from the outside of a handrail if there is one, as indicated in the diagram below left.
With the stairwell you need to measure the height (L), width (D) and depth (H) as shown in the stairwell diagram below right.
Flight of stairs
4. The lift
For the lift door measure its height (L) and width (D) as indicated in the diagram below.
For the interior of the lift measure the height (L), width (D) and depth (H) as indicated in the diagram below.
Perhaps most importantly for a lift you need to make sure that when you are riding up in the lift the combined weight of the sofa and the lift occupants do not exceed the maximum rated weight of the elevator, if you are in doubt as to the weight of your sofa you should consult the sofa retailer.
Compare the measurements
As long as the largest measurement that you’ve taken at each of the obstructions that you’ve encountered is greater than the corresponding measurement for your sofa or corner sofa then it will fit.
If one of the measurements for the sofa is greater then you need to consider the diagonal width and diagonal height measurements that you took, and compare them with the corresponding L, D and H measurements for the obstructions above, it may be that you can get your sofa to fit by using these measurements instead, this will involve manhandling the sofa through the obstructions at an angle.
Measuring up your room
- Space for you and your other furniture
- Will you be blocking any plug sockets, radiators, windows or shelving
- Skirting boards
1. Space for you and your other furniture
2. Blocking any plug sockets, radiators windows or shelving
If you are blocking any plug sockets you need to consider whether or not you will need these plug sockets or whether a small purchase like an extension cable that could be put in place before you move in your new sofa will do the trick, re-routing a plug socket can be expensive and will damage your home decoration.
If you are planning on backing your new sofa up against a radiator you need to think carefully for two reasons, firstly it may make your room colder if the radiator is blocked and not able to function correctly and secondly there may be safety considerations if the sofa is right up against a radiator, if this is the case you should talk carefully with the sofa retailer and any safety information that they can provide before positioning the sofa.
The boxes that you used at step 1 above should give you a good feel about whether your new sofa might block any windows or shelves.