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Thread: Help newbie! Power reclining sofa purchase

  1. #1
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    Feb 2019
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    Default Help newbie! Power reclining sofa purchase

    Hello, Thanks for everyone posting in this forum, very helpful!

    I have never been too concerned about furniture quaility untill we recently decided to replace our old sofa. We buy a lot at Costco and given the return policy it seemed a good idea to buy the sofa There (online), ended up deciding for a sofa and chair combination dor some $3.5k really wanted to like it but wasnít comfortable. Replaced it with sofa and loveseat, different model, quite comfortable and really like the style but then realized that the sides and back are vinyl so itís also going back becouse weíre concerned Iíll look loke crap in a few years. The problem is now we have done quite a bit of reasearch on quality and so on weíre totally lost as far as what manufacturers to look into, we woild like to stick with power reclining (sofa and either loveseat or chair) in a contemporary style. Although we donít mind spending a bit more, donít want to spend a fortune. We have two little boys and a small dog and move relativelly frquently(in case this takes a toll in durability...). At this point wondering whether itís worth it to make the investmwnt or just spend $3k assuming itíll ned to be replaced in a few years.

    The set we currently have (we really like the style) is the prospera home campania.

    Any thoughts and in special any manufacturers/ price ranges we should be looking at are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in afvance...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help newbie! Power reclining sofa purchase

    I've been a Costco member back when they were still Price Club, so I've been shopping there for well over thirty years now. I like Costco - but some of the things they put out are absolute junk - and one of those things is their furniture. It will be a very short trip from store to landfill on most all that product they have in that category. I've seen it, I"ve looked hard at it, and I won't even buy it for my kids fresh out of college.

    There is no rocket science in making furniture or sofas, etc. Everyone knows how to build it the right way, however consumer pressure on price makes manufacturers cut things out of the build to get to a price point. There are only two variables for that manufacturer to reduce costs 1) Materials 2) Labor. The industry is so competitive that margins are low for all the makers, it's a tough business.

    So let's say I'm a manufacturer and building a dual recliner sofa:

    If I'm a company such as Hancock and Moore, where the philosophy is to make the best in the industry regardless of the cost, I am using only premium components and construction, with the highest trained labor force in the USA. We're going to build it out of leather because that lasts four times longer than any textile cover and will age at the same rate as the frame. This dual recliner sofa is going to retail for $ 6K to $ 7K as an average. It has the best frame (Solid Maple), the best mechanisms (Leggett and Platt Heavy Duty Series), the most costly cushion cores, the strongest warranty, and the best tailoring. There are consumers who won't be in this price range....but H&M realizes that and is willing to let them walk rather than compromise build standards.

    Next come companies like Bradington-Young, Classic Leather, American Leather, etc, who are targeting that customer that wants H&M but isn't willing to pay the price. So they target at $ 1,300 to $ 1,700 under for a price point and that brings their units in around $ 4,500 to $ 5,700 or so. Still made in the USA, but the labor force is not quite as highly paid (or as skilled), they ditch the solid maple frame for plywood and have the frames outsourced, don't do any custom work, drop a level on the mechanisms to standard duty, skip some upholstery detailing that 90% of all consumer can't see unless pointed out to them, are not as generous on warranty coverage and their designs are not as crisp and original. Still, a very nice unit that will give great service for many years and it's better then much of the product out there. Still leather - because of the friction wear on fabrics doesn't bode well on motion pieces.

    After that, you run into a whole lot of makers a notch below that. Brands such as Flexsteel, Bernhardt, Palliser. Now we're still USA, but boy - we are cutting corners now. Mechanisms are imported, workmanship is done for speed - not quality, frames are plywood using more staples than joints for being assembled and foam quality is a notch down. If leather, you start getting into vinyl or bonded leather secondary surfaces, legs that screw on into a socket, large gaps in joints and the like. In the mid-$ 3K range.

    Now we go to the bottom of the barrel next. Faux leathers, thin flexing frames, light duty mechanisms, cheap cores, cardboard over the armcaps, Ashley, Natuzzi, La-Z-Boy, etc. $ 2K to $ 3K.

    And bringing up the rear are the imports. These can vary from terrible (Costco) to pretty decent (Hooker, Randall Allen). The labor is where they make it up, Chinese workers are cheap, around $ 2 an hour. Some imports are really poorly made, others are not so bad.

    Like most things, you get what you pay for. You have to find your comfort level in spending. Myself, I would not buy a dual recliner sofa under that second tier group of makers. And I would not buy one in any fabric whatsoever due to the high cost of reupholstery and the quick wear in motion pieces of textiles - leather only - and REAL leather, has to be top grain. There are many posts in the forum about how to treat your mechanisms for longevity. Don't abuse the units and you should be able to get 20 years out of a quality unit, or more.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help newbie! Power reclining sofa purchase

    Thanks for taking the time to provide a thorough answer.

    I assume it make a difference if we go with a stationary. How much should we anticipate paying on a H&M sofa+chair or sofa+loveseat (contemporary style)?

    Would the Hooker recliner sofa/chair set provide reasonable durability? they seem to be in a similar $3,5k range.

    Just can't get around the thought of paying >$10k for a set that my 5 year old may use for scissor cutting practice...

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help newbie! Power reclining sofa purchase

    Stationary is stronger, because you have no moving parts to speak of - however there is not a large cost savings because the suspension deck - when done correctly - is very time and labor intensive That deck is 8-way hand-tied springs with steel band reinforcement done over a drum-tight webbing. When you build them that way, they don't fail but they take quite a bit of time vs a recliner mechanism which just bolts to the frame. H&M doesn't like me to quote selling prices in the forum, so I respect that and you would have to ask for a quote using a specific model and cover. here in the QUOTES AND ORDERS section. The Hancock and Moore Just in Time program (its scanned in here on the forum under LEATHER) is the most aggressively priced one they offer. It will be well under $ 10K however.

    I can't speak to the durability of Hooker over time, as for almost 30 years I resisted imports coming into my store - but have recently started flooring them - again - customer are asking for less expensive product. It looks good to me - I like what I see for the price and the warranty on them is strong, plus they stock parts for them in the USA (try getting a part for a Costco sofa). So I am trying them out but it will be quite a few years before I get feedback from customers on longevity of the units.

    My wife and I raised both my kids on high-end premium leather furniture. We still have all of it and use it every day some twenty + years later. My kids are now 28 and 25 and long out of the house, they didn't tear it up at all - we did set limits in our house, however. A lot of the longevity and durability comes down to lifestyle and how you tend to treat the pieces. If they are abused, they won't last .... like most things. I believe in buying the best possible furniture for the most used areas of the home, because the best made product stands up to everyday rigors. Put the cheaper stuff in the bedrooms / living room that is rarely sat on.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help newbie! Power reclining sofa purchase

    Thanks again for the responses.

    I think we have a better understanding now of our needs and options and been thinking that probably a non reclaining sofa with an ottoman and one or two reclaining chairs would be a good compromise.

    We like the H&M City, any thoughts about options for ottoman and chair(s)? Any current promotions that would bring the price down or shoukd we wait? Any other models you would suggest we look into?

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help newbie! Power reclining sofa purchase

    The # 9840 City Sofa is on promotion in JUST IN TIME, you can see that promo here in the LEATHER forum. That's an on-going promotion.

    Outside of that promotion (and the Town and Country one) there is currently a 5% off sale period this month on H&M for models and leathers NOT already on promotion. I post any specials in the VENDOR SPECIALS section of the forum.

    The City series has its own matching chair/ottoman/loveseat. For a recliner, I usually use the H&M Founder's lounger to match up into that series.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help newbie! Power reclining sofa purchase

    I think the stationary couch + ottoman + recliner is a good combination and is what we have in our living room (plus a love seat). I would like a reclining sofa, but like you I am not settled in a 20 year house, I move often and I have read here that those reclining sofas weigh a ton and it is not practical to move them. Plus the cost factor. One day...

    I think you will be impressed with the H&M sofa, even the cheapest ones in the Just in Time program will be a huge step up from Costco. For the recliner, to save a bit of money Bradington Young makes ones well priced for what you get, with the slight decrease in quality that Duane outlined above. I suggest you compare the price on an H&M one you like from the promotion and a BY one that is similar and decide.

    For the ottoman, I really like having a comfortable ottoman instead of a coffee table, but you might be surprised by the prices. Depending on your budget this might be an area that you can go cheap or used for now and once you live with one for a year you'll know what you like and don't like and buy a nicer one in a size and style you'll know works for you.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help newbie! Power reclining sofa purchase

    Thanks for the input!

    Today we were at a local store and we had the opportunity to look at the City with one of the Kip leathers. We were really impressed by the quality, you could tell if felt different than other sofas in the store, but after seating on it we realized it was nit for us, were’re not tall, I’m 5-11 and wife 5-7 but it felt as if we needed something deeper.

    So now we’re convinced we want a H&M stationary, have done more research and have narrowed it down to the Ricky with maybe arrington and smooth as alternatives, we’re looking at the just in time program (since the different models have different colors in the just in time program). We really like the more modern lines on these models. Regardinbf the chair we liked the Ghent. Unfortunatelly although there are a few dealers around us we couldn’t find any of these on display. Could anyone provide some further input regarding:

    -Any thoughts regarding differences between the three sofas as far as seating/ comfort or other?
    -Can we request no nailheads for the Arrington within the just in time program?
    - How substantial are the just in time program savings compared to regular in case we want a different color in the same family?
    -Is the just in time married and if so how good is the quality?
    -Also been lloking at the ottomans, like the relic (square and rectangular) and the Cole, I’m assuming can be ordered to match the sofa, correct?
    -How long will a certain leather, for instance juno dove be available? We’re thinking that we may want to add matching furniture in the future or order the aofa and think about ottoman and/or chair as Dawn99 suggests.
    -We’re in California, will shipping costs make it prohibitibe...?


    Thanks again for the help!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help newbie! Power reclining sofa purchase

    The 9840 City sofa is a bit on the compact side, however they make a larger model - the 9844 which would probably work well. However the 9844 is not in the program leathers/builds. Also the 9503 Kodiak is like a City sofa on steroids, larger everywhere!

    The Ricki sofa is currently my personal top pick for Price / Style / Roominess / Footprint / Comfort. Especially Price. I think it's unbeatable and the program leathers are excellent. It's a winner.

    Yes, you can get a nail delete on the Arrington, however it has what we call a "picture frame" back on it and the nail trim enhances that profile. Up to you.

    JiT savings are significant, most people are stunned at how much over buying in the mainline handles. It can easily add $ 1,000 to move out out of the program to the price of the piece in a mainline leather.

    Yes, its a married cover in that program, that's how you get the savings. Chinese labor to cut and sew the cover vs USA labor. You cannot tell any difference, even I can't tell...and I know what to look for.

    Yes, you can get any ottoman in the same leathers as the program ones, with the exceptions of Viking and Alberta leathers - those come in as pre-cut and sewn only.

    Can't say on leather availability. Right now there is a trade war with China and a 3% Federal Tariff on most those program leathers. If the trade war continues, and the tariffs go to 20 to 25% - which they may - then you will see a mass exodus on all those Chinese tannery hides and Hancock & Moore (along with every other maker) will be changing their lineups and moving to program leathers not from China. That will be the single largest determining factor.

    I have close to 1,200 customers from California on Hancock & Moore, so I doubt that the landed prices are higher than buying locally in your area, otherwise I would not have them as customers! Do the the cost of transport however, it'0s smarter to buy everything in one batch as shipping is weight based on top of a destination charge. To split and order up will cost a couple hundred more overall.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help newbie! Power reclining sofa purchase

    Hello all, thanks again for taking the time to help us (in special to Duane).

    We're almost sold on the H&M Ricki (June Dove), and will be following up with quote requests. Should have started here but as way of background:

    -We're a family of 4 (with a 5 and 7 yr old boys). We don't have a lot of space, our family room is 15' long (2' and a whole side lost to a fish tank that will eventually go but no other place to put it yet...) and 14' wide, that's the carpeted area separated from the kitchen/ dining. I have attached some pictures below. I understand it's a mess but it's currently practical for our needs...
    -The primary (and almost only) current use for the family room and the sofa(s) is to watch TV and the primary users are our children (other than maybe one hour a day myself or my wife watching TV or reading). Although it's nice to have the opportunity to sit the four of us together to watch a movie sadly with a hectic lifestyle it rarely happens and when it has happened we have found ourselves all in one sofa. We really liked the sofas we currently have (in the pictures attached), really comfortable, don't take much space and we get 4 recliners, the problem is we just paid $3.5k for these costco sofas and only now found out the sides and back are vinyl once they were here, so it's a lot of money to spend on something may only last a couple of years... they be going back unless we can't find a viable solution.
    -As mentioned before our initial thought was to buy recliner sofa(s) but have decided to go with stationary due to durability, value as a long term furniture and price, we haven't actually been able to find anything we like in quality furniture that would justify making the investment (maybe we're missing something?). Plus we're renting and move relatively regularly due to work so don't want to condition a quality furniture purchase just on our current layout (as long as what we get somewhat works in the family room is fine).
    -With all the above, a large ottoman seems like a must to have a closer experience to recliner sofa.

    Any input to help us decide and narrow down the quote request would be greatly appreciated, some more questions/ request for input:

    +Any thoughts regarding furniture configuration and layout...?
    +Thinking about getting the sofa now and depending on cost, a matching ottoman and maybe either a loveseat or chair (recliner or not, been looking at the Ghent or other matching chair to Ricky). Any thoughts/ considerations?
    +In light of some comments received about probably being shocked by the ottoman price, and considering we may not buy all the furniture at the same time thus start with sofa only (with possible future difference in die tones) we're a little concerned about how difficult it may be to match or to find colors for good contrast with the grey tone of the Juno Dove (I'm as good as colorblind with that but my wife will be more conscious). Dawn 99 suggested to start with a used unexpensive ottoman to figure out what we like and I thought that was a pretty good idea but the boss (wife) won't let me unless the colors work... Any ideas/ comments?
    +Any ideas regarding what ottoman to get if we go with matching Juno leather or contrast alternatives? We don't have a lot of space and are trying to avoid making the space cramped.
    +Blinds will be closed almost permanently when there's direct sunlight but there may be some direct light getting though, should we be concerned about damages to the leather (I understand Juno is protected) due to sunlight?
    +If gray color finally doesn't work (being too difficult to combine) we would consider the Arrington in Kip Pyramid. Would it increase much the sofa(s) price?

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    Apologies for the long post and thanks again...

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