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How do I know I am getting a good upholstery job?

From CostHelper.com….. 

How much does it cost to reupholster a car interior? 

For car owners interested in a complete makeover, car owners can buy vehicle reupholstering kits for about $800, plus an additional $750 for a professional to install, Zalewski says. A custom upholstery for an entire car can cost about $2,500. There are also options for carpet repair. 

How much does it cost to reupholster seats? 

car seat frame

Having the car seats professionally reupholstered (not just adding slip covers, but completely replacing the old material with a chosen fabric, adding foam or batting where needed, and repairing springs if needed) typically costs $200-$750 per seat, or about $500-$2,000 for two bucket seats and a back bench seat. 

From Paulina at Rayco Upholstery… 

Plan ahead. Finding an upholstery shop early on, in the process, will ensure you get a better cost estimation, along with an experienced interior craftsman, who can provide pointers on making sure body fabrication or paint work will match up with the interior work. 

Use Quality Materials. Our #1 advice – DO NOT think you can save money on the materials that you bring to the shop on your own. More often than not, it will end up costing you more than you thought. Nobody will know better, on what kind of covering materials your car will need to make it look and work best, than the upholstery experts at the shop. If you decide to go with your own materials and something goes wrong, you’re on your own. 

From Ron at Goodguys Upholstery.. 

SHOPPING FOR A SHOP… Finding the right shop to do your interior work is important. “Experience is king,” Ron told us. “Look at the shop. Is it clean and organized with well-kept machinery? Also check out some of their previous work but pay close attention to the details and the final pieces that really stand out and make a difference. Get your agreement in writing. A firm price might not be possible but a “firm range” is always possible. 

If you belong to a car club and know some members who have had their cars worked on, they can be your best bet to get the initial information that you need. If there is someone in the club familiar with the process, and you are a beginner, then ask if he would go along with you. 

Choosing the material can be fun and a bit overwhelming. After looking through the 10th sample book your eyes might glaze over. You might get as much information as you can from the shop, then go home and study a bit. If you are reupholstering in leather, many times, there are sales where you can buy the three or four hides that you need for your project. Ask the shop for the hide dealer if you want to ask more questions. 

If it is cloth you are using, and you want to use the same as what came original to your car, then find the very best sample from your vehicle. 

Remember to ask for the left-overs. You have already paid for them. They can be valuable years later in making small repairs. 

What to watch for while your car is being worked on….Look for straight seams, and smooth lines on cushions, not puffy/uneven work. Don’t utilize an upholsterer who smokes unless you like the smell of smoke in your car….forever. 

Take photos of the pre-upholstery. It can help the upholsterer immensely while sending the message that you are a ‘detail person’. If you plan to do some of the dismantling, it is important the upholsterer sees your car beforehand, even if that means an extra trailer trip to his shop. Save all material that you take from your car so the shop has examples of stitch types and stich designs. 

And lastly……The shop has your car as collateral and will also most likely ask for an advance. All OK. But, be sure you have a fairly good sized “hold back”. It is surprising the misunderstandings that can happen during a project like this. 


6 responses to “How do I know I am getting a good upholstery job?”

  1. I like that you state that finding a good shop to do the work for you is important. My wife and I are moving into a new house and we want to revisit our design and decor style. I will send her this information so we can start looking for a good place to get custom upholstery.

  2. For the last few months, I have wanted to upgrade my car. It drives really well, but the interior is pretty dated. Thank you so much for your advice that a well-kept shop is often a nice shop, and you should ask to see some of their finished products to see if they meet your standards. I will have to keep your tips in mind as I look for auto seat repair services in my area.

  3. Juliis Carter

    I own a 2001 excursion i need both front seats done tan leather what will it cost to do both seats.

  4. Leonard

    Do you know of any upholstery shop in the Detroit area that I can visit. I have a 93 Chevy Silverado. I like done in Red .Please help, thanks

  5. Leonard

    I Like to get my Truck done, 93 Chevy Silverado. In Red . Do any one know a good shop in the Detroit area. Looking for help

  6. Frances Kidd

    Hello, I have a used 2001 S Type Jaguar. The cloth on the roof is starting to fall in the rear by window and also on the bars next to windshield; both sides. What do you recommend that I replace. The clap board (?) underneath, seems to be showing powder. I know a male friend who is into old cars and said he knows how to replace whatever in needed. Tomorrow, he will talk to me about this and give me an estimate. Can you give me advice as much as possible. Thank you, Frances

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