Would you purchase a new car without learning something about the warranty of the vehicle? Would you buy a new appliance such as a stove or refrigerator without first determining if a warranty was offered? Probably not. But many people purchase furniture without any type of guarantee that their item will be repaired if something should go wrong.
What is a warranty and do you really need one on your furniture? The answer to the first part of that question is that a warranty is a written guarantee that your furniture will be replaced or repaired, under certain pre-determined circumstances, if your product is defective. It is important that you read each warranty so you understand your responsibilities, exactly what is covered and what is excluded.
Do you need a Warranty for Furniture?
The answer to that question can be determined by several things:
- Price: If you paid a great deal of money for your furniture you should expect it to be free of any defects. However, if something should occur such as a broken spring, frame defects or problems with the fabric you will want to be assured that these issues will be taken care of by the dealer, manufacturer etc. If the item was inexpensive and a “short term” piece in your plans, a warranty may not be worth any additional cost or effort.
- Quality: You can check the spring system on furniture and you can learn about the type of wood used and the way the chair was manufactured. But it is difficult to determine the quality of fabric, for example. It may look OK when, in fact, it is an inferior product. This is especially true of leather. Leather is expensive and can crack, peel or transfer dye to clothing etc. A furniture warranty that includes fabric can protect you from these problems and insure that your expensive upholstered chair or couch will last for many years, as it should. This protection can also provide peace of mind and may be worth an additional fee.
- Furniture style: If your furniture has “works” that could break, a warranty is probably a good idea. This would include a recliner, drawer glides, table leaves, sleeper sofa mechanisms etc. You will want to make sure they are protected under the manufacturer’s warranty and also find out if additional coverage is available for purchase. You do not want to find yourself with a comfortable chair that refuses to recline or a beautiful dining room table that cannot be expanded due to defective mechanisms.
Most manufacturers offer some sort of limited warranty on their furniture. This means that they will repair or replace defective items only under certain circumstances. For example, fabric is protected against fraying, dye transfer and splitting under “normal wear and tear” for usually one year from date of purchase. Cushions and foam are guaranteed not to sag or break apart for one year from date of purchase. The springs and wood frame are often guaranteed not to break or come apart for five years from date of purchase, again under “normal wear and tear”.
Occasionally a manufacturer will offer a lifetime warranty. This is usually on high end, quality furniture. Remember, this is on the “life” of the furniture, not your lifetime. There will be exclusions and disclaimers in the text of the warranty that identify abnormal wear and tear, excessive abuse, improper cleaning methods etc. as actions that void the warranty. Be sure to take the time to read it carefully and completely so you understand what is covered and what is excluded.
If you follow all cleaning and care instructions provided by the manufacturer you will not only maintain the good looks and comfort of your furniture, but you will keep the warranty intact in the event a problem arises down the road.
Your furniture purchase plan might be to buy affordable furniture for the short term or you may be looking for a quality piece that will last for years. And you may think that, because your furniture was not expensive, there is no need for a warranty. But a defective item that is not guaranteed is simply a waste of money, regardless of how much it costs. Before you lay down your hard earned dollars, talk to your dealer and find out what type of protection is available, both included in the price and for a separate fee. This will allow you to relax and enjoy your beautiful new furniture knowing that you are protected should a problem occur.