The Market

NY Couch Doctor: 911 for furniture that won't fit through your door

By Joann Jovinelly  | November 27, 2012 - 2:09PM

New York City is a town of movers, and many of us move every few years. But there are lots of details to think about every you pack up.

For example, what if you’ve found a great place, signed the lease, but failed to notice how narrow the left turn is out of the elevator? People rarely measure all the twists and turns that movers will have to navigate once moving day arrives.

NY Couch Doctor -- the latest subject of our Real.Est.List Spotlight series -- is exactly what it sounds like: An on-call contractor that literally takes apart your furnishings in order to move them from one location to another. 

According to NYCD, most clients call while their furniture is in storage, because it just couldn’t fit in the elevator, or worse, it’s still sitting in the street out front after trying to get inside. Others have their furniture delivered straight from the store to NY Couch Doctor for disassembly and final delivery.

How it works

For a fixed price that starts at $250 (custom pieces typically cost more), a contractor or a crew of contractors will come over, carefully disassemble your loft bed, priceless antique armoire, that gorgeous sofa that you bought from ABC Carpet & Home, or even last week’s steal from Craigslist.

Then, after transporting the disassembled item to its new location, they will re-assemble it, often making it stronger and more stable than before and giving customers a 100 percent lifetime guarantee that the item will remain in one piece without any structural problems, ever.  

Average response time is anywhere from 45 minutes (if crews are already in or near your neighborhood) to 1.5 hours. (Fun fact: They've got slew of celebrity clients including Julianne Moore, Phil Collins, Ethan Hawke, Alec Baldwin, and Whoopi Goldberg.   

We interviewed Sal, who gave BrickUnderground readers some specific tips to keep in mind when moving and dissasembling furniture.

  • Have measurements handy—that is, be aware of what the exact measurements are of the narrowest points that the furniture will have to pass. According to Sal, the bottleneck point is often a small elevator or a sharp turn in a hallway or up a stairwell: “There’s almost always a turn involved.”
  • The hardest pieces to disassemble/reassemble are older, hand-carved items, especially when the wood is a designed piece that features outer detailing. 
  • Understand well the rules and regulations of moving into your new dwelling. For instance, many condos and co-ops have detailed rules in place regarding the times when moving is allowed as well as when it is not.
  • Obviously, NY Couch Doctor is busiest during the first and last weeks of each month. If you know in advance that you have a problem, an even quicker response time may be had mid-month.
  • Be aware in advance of the exact and best transportation routes between apartments, including one-way streets, no parking or unloading zones.
  • Emergency service is normal. In fact, after the initial contact by phone is made, clients may text message with specific details in most cases. Tipping for great service is appreciated, but not expected. 

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