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Habitat ReStores are independently owned reuse stores operated by local Habitat for Humanity organizations. ReStores accept donations and sell a constantly changing inventory of diverse, high-quality merchandise to the public at a fraction of the retail price, while diverting reusable household items and building materials from area landfills. Sales of donated items help Habitat for Humanity partner with local families to build, rehabilitate and repair safe and affordable homes in your community and around the world — a good deal for you, your community and the environment. Together, we can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build a better future while creating stronger neighborhoods. Donate goods to Habitat for Humanity ReStore to clear clutter and make a difference. Find your local Habitat ReStore to make a donation today.

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Nobody buys a house without researching the neighborhood and inspecting the foundation, plumbing, and electrical. Yet many people drop serious money on a sofa without understanding what goes into a well-made piece of upholstered furniture. The quality of the frame, suspension, cushioning, and upholstery are what separate a sofa that will last 10 to 20 years from one that will start to wobble or look dingy after only a few. Everything begins with the frame. Slower-growing, denser hardwoods like alder, poplar, maple, teak, and walnut are more expensive, but are generally considered more suitable for durable furniture, and will typically outlast faster-growing and economical softwoods like pine and Douglas fir, doing a better job of holding staples, nails, glue, and ery in place.

Jay Novak, co-owner and president of Modernica, implores buyers to avoid any furniture constructed with MDF medium-density fiberboard. The strongest and most expensive frames are constructed using the labor-intensive and traditional technique of mortise-and-tenon ery, connecting pieces of wood with precisely routed tabs tenons that fit into holes mortises.

Even skilled salespeople may not know the type of staples used in a particular sofa, though, and manufacturers may not reveal these specifics.

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Sinuous springs are the most common suspension system in mid-tier sofas. Horizontal metal tie rods reinforce the coils, inhibiting shifting and sagging, and are secured to the frame using padded clips and fasteners. They hit the sweet spot within the Venn diagram of comfort, affordability, and lasting durability. Traditionalists extol the virtues of eight-way hand-tied springs.

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When installed properly the hourglass springs supposedly ward off sagging and squeaking. If eight-way hand-tied spring suspension is the equivalent of a finely prepared eight-course meal, drop-in and pocket-coil spring suspensions would both rate as microwave dinners: quick, cheap, and ultimately inferior.

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Drop-in coils install as a single self-contained grid of springs, and they tend to squeak due to the metal-on-metal configuration. When inspecting a spring-based sofa, listen for squeaks and creaks while sitting and shifting on the outside edges and corners of the sofa.

Anything audible may indicate an improperly installed or loose spring. Some mid-tier sofas use supports of polypropylene webbing, similar to outdoor gear straps. These are then attached to the frame to make a platform for the cushions. Make sure the webbing is attached to the frame using clips, not staples. Webbing may work fine across a dining chair or armchair, but stretched across the expanse of a sofa frame, the straps may not be as durable as a sinuous-coil setup. Beyond aesthetics, the subjective nature of cushions invites the widest and most passionate range of opinions when it comes to sofas.

Some people love sinking into the upholstered embrace of a cushy-soft couch, others prefer a sofa with a firm feel and resilient shape.

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Identifying your preference will determine which of the following four cushion options you should consider:. Poly-wrapped foam: The majority of sofas manufactured today feature seat and back cushioning filled with layers of high-resiliency foam, a high-response material characterized by an open-cell structure, resulting in a supportive feel that dependably retains its shape over time in contrast, a slow-response material like memory foam contours and deforms with use.

A polyester wrap and a tight-weave down-proof ticking surround the foam center, resulting in a low-maintenance cushion that does not require fluffing.

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Just like a down bed pillow, percent down will deform faster and require more fluffing. A blend will likely be a little firmer and more affordable.

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Anyone allergic to feathers should avoid this option completely. Individually pocketed coils wrapped in a layer of foam give this style of cushion more bounce to the ounce in comparison with any of the other options. Be sure to listen for any immediate audible squeaks while seated; feel for any uncomfortable pressure points where the springs are misaligned.

Memory foam: The high density of memory foam ensures durability, but not everyone will like its form-fitting properties. Lastly, in regard to foam used within sofa cushioning, Joshua Siegel of BSC Furniture mentioned that customers often mistakenly associate firmer with longer-lasting cushioning. But the density of the foam does correlate to the quality and longevity of a product.

Never judge a book by its cover, and never pick a sofa solely by its fabric.

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If maintained with care, certain high-performance fabrics can last for over a decade. Both natural fibers and synthetics offer varying degrees of durability, with natural fibers generally revealing a richer depth of color, and synthetics exhibiting a smoother feel.

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Furniture manufacturers in the US tend to use the Wyzenbeek scorewhile European manufacturers tend to use the Martindale score. Both synthetic and natural fabrics can pill, but higher-quality textiles with longer filaments and tighter weaves will pill less. Manmade fibers will show pilling longer and more evidently, but neither is considered abnormal or a defect. Fabric mills test for pilling, using a five-grade scale.

If you do see pilling, you can use a pill shaver or even a sharp manual razor gently to remove excess fibers to smooth out worries about upholstery. Years ago I made the mistake of purchasing a sofa outfitted with low, metal hairpin legs.

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They looked great in the showroom, which had impervious sealed cement floors. I was eventually forced to purchase carpet tiles to prevent further damage.

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Check for uniformity in height and if the stain finish matches between feet and frame, and inspect each piece to confirm that it is securely fastened by getting down to the ground and giving each piece a pull, wiggle, and twist.

Also ask if there are any uninstalled feet available for closer inspection.

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Instead, look for legs and feet attached using thick threaded hanger bolts secured with T-nutswhich you can easily adjust or replace. The frame.