Choice of furniture has a huge impact in determining the final look of your house. Be it ready-made/off-the-shelf or custom made, the furniture needs to be perfect. Some of you might prefer ready-made furniture while others might prefer custom-made. Whatever your preference is, it is important to know how the cost of your furniture is determined and what factors affect it the most.
At times, custom-made furniture is expensive, while at times it is cheaper when compared to the ready-made one. Why does this happen? How is the cost influenced? Is it possible to save on furniture cost... if yes then how? We are sure you have this and a lot more queries in mind when it comes to how to ensure you are paying the right price for the right kind of furniture.
In the previous post we talked about how the cost of your overall interior designing project is determined (you can refer it here). We shall talk about a single component, perhaps the most important one - furniture.
What Influences the Cost of Your Furniture?
A single factor can never determine the cost. There are a number of factors at work which ultimately influence the cost of your furniture. And, here are the components influencing the cost of furniture...
Oh, BTW, you can even download our Visual Guide, we've shared the end of this. It is pretty cool and extremely handy :)
1. The Materials used:
Perhaps you knew this one already, as it is quite obvious. You must be aware of the fact that the quality of fabric, wood, etc. being used for making the furniture influences the cost directly. The higher the material cost is, the more expensive will the furniture be. But again, there are reasons why these cost differently and it is not always simply the quality or durability of these materials at play.
For instance, opting for a solid wood furniture will be expensive than a furniture which uses Medium Density Fibreboard - MDF, since MDF is not as durable as solid wood. Also, there are different types of woods like mango, salwood, teak which all have different prices. For example, mango and salwood would come at INR 300-1500 per cubic feet while teak goes for INR 6,000. Again, plywood has different types as well, which have different costs - Marine ply is expensive when compared to commercial ply and so on.
One important factor, however, is the procurement cost of the material - also known as the cost of obtaining the material, which affects the cost of furniture. For example, the material which is reclaimed/recycled such as timber is often expensive. This is because of the procurement and refinement process it has to go through, and it adds to the overall cost of getting the wood ready for use.
So to get an idea of the cost of furniture, ask about the kind of wood that is used, and make the correct decision as to what wood you require. Like - marine ply is a good choice for bathroom and kitchen cabinets where chances of moisture are high. Whereas, for a TV unit, commercial plywood of a decent quality would work. So understand your requirement, go through the prices and make a smart, cost-effective decision.
Just like wood, the fabric that you use also has a direct influence on cost. The thicker and softer (by softer we don’t necessarily mean smoother - but which is comforting to the user) the fabric, the higher is the cost.
2. Build Quality:
Apart from the material used, what influences the cost of furniture is the build quality. Opting for a good quality wood based furniture won't guarantee the overall product's quality. The durability and sturdiness of the furniture also matters. Compared to off-the-shelf ones, custom-made furniture will be better in terms of durability and sturdiness. There is no point in opting for a piece of furniture that would hardly only for months, you must keep in mind that the more durable the furniture is, the lesser would be the need to change it after a small period of time.
Hence, opt for well-built furniture over simply a furniture built by using ‘good-quality- materials. Good quality materials are of no use if the joints come off, or it starts to squeak in a short time!
3. Mass production:
If a piece of furniture is produced in bulk, such as chairs, beds, tables, etc. - the price would be lower. The furniture which needs to be customised will cost more, relatively more - although not necessarily a fortune!
Moreover, mass produced furniture is low cost because of their optimized production processes which uses heavy machinery and minimal hand labor. And they use mass-produced raw materials as pre-laminated MDF's which eventually reduces the procurement cost.
For Example: Suppose you require a dining table, that can accommodate upto 10 people. Such requirement isn't standard as most dining tables are for 6 people, in this case, the custom dining table would cost more - but also due to its custom nature, you will more than likely be satisfied by the end result, as it is made-for-you. Do ensure to get the right people to make it for you :)
However, mass produced furniture is not always a good fit for your home - often it doesn’t utilize the space well and is many a time too generic, devoid of your own personality, not to mention the ‘standard materials’ being used. Here again, opting for custom made furniture, is a better choice and is eventually cost-effective, considering the advantages.
4. Design Sophistication:
Each furniture is designed in a specific way, the better and innovative the design is, the higher would be the cost. Also, the polish and finishing of the piece would influence the cost.
Also, a complex design would be more expensive when compared to a simple one. There are more labour efforts required in carvings and intricate designs which also increases the cost of furniture.
Moreover, if the furniture is more functional in nature - such as a coffee table with make-shift chairs underneath or a storage option, bed with multiple storage options, etc., it would cost more as compared to a simple straightforward one.
5. Labour Costs:
Once you have finalized design and material, the cost is also influenced by labor costs. Every contractor/vendor has their own team with their unique expertise, the level of skills, material proficiency, etc.
Hence, the more expensive your labor force is, the higher would be the furniture cost. Again, this would also intertwine with the design sophistication expected from the furniture.
How Can You SAVE When Buying Furniture?
So, now to the most important question - Where money can be saved while buying furniture?
One of the most popular ways of saving money is, of course, haggling with the carpenter in the case of custom made furniture and asking the salesperson for discounts in case of off-the-shelf ones. However, haggling isn’t always fruitful. There are chances that the person you’re trying to haggle with doesn’t entertain haggling at all, or they would simply replace the better quality material with inferior quality to fit your price. Or you yourself might try to reduce cost by opting for low-quality material. Either way, that isn’t the best way.
Effective cost saving must in no way compromise with the quality of the output. So, what can be done in such scenario?
Well, the answer is simple...
1. The Clichéd ‘Quality, Not Quantity’ Mantra:
While buying furniture, always opt for better quality products rather than trying to get more quantity. It is okay if your dining table doesn’t have those extra chairs for the guests, but don’t go for a lower quality wood or cheaper varnish, simply because you want those extra chairs. Opt for a better-finished product.
2. Understand your requirements:
If you are not clear about what you need, a lot of time and effort can be wasted. Do you need a king-sized bed or a queen bed would be just fine? Do you need the dressing table or the wardrobe with the mirror would work? Similarly the kind of sofa, the seats, the centre table, etc. just be clear on what all you would need.
Be sure of what you want so that there isn’t any wastage of time and money.
3. Opt for Custom Made furniture:
Custom made furniture would not only give you what you want but will also be in tune with your requirements. There are times when the factory standards do not match your requirement. For example - you need a smaller sofa but the factory standards have bigger ones. In such case, you have no option but to buy the bigger sofa which would cost more than the size that you require. Or an off-the-shelf 4 seater sofa comes with storage option, which you need but just for a 3 seater one.
Hence, in a way, you’re paying more than you need to and the cost of filling up more space in your home, risking a cluttered feeling as well. Custom made furniture solves this problem as well.
Moreover, you enjoy more price transparency in custom made furniture as you can pick each of the components you need and clarify the details of pricing.
If you are looking for some custom made furniture, we strongly recommend you to opt for the custom made furniture by Hipcouch.
We offer faster deliveries, best finishes, truly transparent pricing, worry-free furniture to best suit your needs.
Here's a Quick Visual Recap of everything you need to understand when thinking of buying furniture...