The Real.Est List
Why (sofa) size doesn't matter
It’s a notorious problem in New York City: Buxom sofas blocked from their intended homes by elevators, hallways and doorways designed for sylphs.
But like so many access issues, this one can be solved financially—in this case, with a few hundred dollars paid to professional furniture deconstructors.
“Buy what you want,” says Max Bar-Nahum of Dr. Sofa. “We’ll make sure it fits.”
The Bronx-based company dissects about 1,500 sofas a year, usually in the lobby, and reanimates them in their rightful residence. The cost ranges from $300 to $700 depending on the intricacy of the project. (Leather is more complicated, for example, particularly when studded with nailheads.) Jobs usually take about two hours.
Dr. Sofa will even “remanufacture” your sofa into two pieces if, for example, your living room wall turns out to be too short. (That takes 2 to 3 weeks, costs around $500 - $1,000, and doesn’t work with sleeper sofas.)
It’s a good idea to call a few days ahead—especially in the first and last weeks of the month, which are the busiest—but about half of Dr. Sofa’s customers reach out on an emergency basis. If the company can’t do the job that day, it can usually pick up and store your furniture overnight and return the next day.
Dr. Sofa also Humpty Dumpties chairs, armoires, entertainment units and Murphy beds, though much of this work is done in the shop. (Armoires cost about $350-550.) The company carries full liability insurance and can provide a certificate of insurance if required by your building.
Worried about the structural integrity of your piece?
“When we’re done the sofa is better than new—we put it back the way it was and we add special brackets to support the area we dissembled,” says Bar-Nahum.
Time saving tip: For an extra $80, you can have your new furniture delivered directly to Dr. Sofa and disassembled there, eliminating one day of house arrest.