Reassemblers Are A Broker’s Best Friend

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

For more than a decade, New York Couch Doctor has enabled residents and businesses in the New York area to enjoy their sofas, armoires, dining tables, billiards tables and other pieces through the disassembling and reassembling skills of an expert team of carpenters and tradesmen. Our job is to overcome such New York City-centric challenges as petite doorways in prewar properties, winding staircases in loft buildings, postwar- era doorways that open into tiny foyers, side walls and turn-of-the-century-sized freight elevators. The real skill is to make furniture look and function the exact same way as it did in the showroom.

We work regularly with a wide array of furniture manufacturers, designers and retailers. But we also have a core client base comprised of real estate agents and brokers because we are often the solution to their buyers’ and renters’ angst about size limitations and locations. Although we can’t extend the size of a room, we can ensure a cherished sofa or family heirloom fits through a door and is correctly positioned in the space.

We also work with interior designers. Recently, we were able to deliver a happy ending for an interior designer tasked with creating a perfect second home in Palm Beach, Florida, for their client. The center of the conflict was a $12,000, custom-designed sectional from Restoration Hardware. None of the pieces would fit through the doorways, which were smaller than indicated in the floorplans. The homeowner could have sent the sofa back. But that company charges a 40% to 50% restocking fee, and the homeowner would have had to order a new custom piece that could take months to complete. The designer flew two of us to Palm Beach. Within a day, the sectional had been disassembled, reassembled and placed inside his client’s new home. In addition to alleviating the anxiety of a return and new order, the cost of the overall procedure was dramatically less expensive than the alternative.

One such example occurred when we were contacted by a German businessman who was relocating to New York and moving into in a loft in Soho. He elected to ship most of his furniture to his new home; among the pieces was a massive, Boa-style sofa, which did not fit into the elevator and could not be moved up the winding, industrial staircase to his sixth floor loft. It was my first encounter with this very contemporary style of sofa, which was composed entirely of intertwining foam rubber pieces covered in fabric. And, of course, there was no frame to disassemble. For this project, the solution was to subcontract a hoist and rigger with whom we had previously worked. His team was able to skillfully raise the sofa up the six stories until it was level with the window, from which my team was able to pull it through without a scratch or tear. It was a complicated endeavor with a great outcome.

The interesting thing is that the average time for the disassembly and reassembly of a couch runs between two to four hours. Our clients often call us on a Friday morning, and by the time they arrive for the weekend, their sectionals, sofas and sofa beds are reassembled and in place in time for weekend company.

We can take apart and put together nearly every piece of furniture created, but in most cases, custom-made furnishings require greater skill and a steadier hand. That is because these pieces are often hand-stitched on the fabric seam, which must be perfectly replicated. Most store-bought pieces, whether high-end or midrange, tend to be sturdy and well-designed and, most likely, staple-stitched. It requires a much faster process to disassemble and reassemble.

But it is also the real estate brokers and agents marketing condominiums, cooperatives, brownstones, single- family homes and mansions who expect dependable advice and service to help their clients make the right decisions. We always enjoy consulting with these experts and appreciate their professionalism.

Sal Giangrande

New York Couch Doctor

81 Durham Road

New Hyde Park 11040


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