8 questions you should ask before buying your new sofa

Buying your new sofa is a big decision and you want make sure that you make the right one. Here’s a list of 8 important questions to ask before you buy;

Are the cushions upholstered back and front?

This is an important question for the longevity of the material on your sofa. Many manufacturers will only finish the seat and back cushion covers on one side, this can be for a number of reasons; it allows for cost cutting on cheaper models. Some cushion interiors can only be used on one side so it makes sense to reduce costs on the material and some cushions may only sit correctly one way due to their shape. When the material covers both sides it means you can turn your cushions enabling you to share the wear and tear and increase the longevity of the material.

What system is used for the springs/suspension?

There are several types of seat suspension (sprung, elastic webbing, etc), and with some of them the seats of the sofa collapse after time. This will not happen with Fama’s system.

Not so long ago the coil spring was one of the best options of seat suspension, but it also presented two main problems: they became noisy with time, and in some cases they damaged the materials covering them (fabric and foam).

Our Ashley Manor sofas make the most of a Zig Zag spring system which are known in the industry as as “no sag” springs.

However, the most common system nowadays is elastic webbing. This provides the sofa with a great comfort initially, but with time it loses elasticity and collapses.

Our Fama sofas use the NEA system in their seats. It is a new system of seat suspension made out of high quality materials that offer an unlimited durability.

This means that Fama can guarantee their seat suspensions for 10 years, because they are so sure that they will not collapse.

Fama webbing

Fama webbing

How do you clean the sofa?

There will normally be cleaning instructions with your sofa when it is delivered with cleaning symbols that will indicate if it can be washed by hand, in the washing machine, if it needs dry cleaning, if it can be ironed, etc…

Regardless of these symbols, we would always recommend dry cleaning. Compared to clothes, upholstery should be treated like a suit or a coat, not like a shirt or jeans.

If you insist on washing them at home yourself we recommend you wash just one cover before you wash the rest to test the effects.

If you wash the covers in the washing machine, we recommend you to turn them inside out first. This way you will avoid the zips and Velcro damaging the right side of the fabric.

If the cover has Velcro on it, we recommend you to cover it before washing the cover in the washing machine to avoid damaging the fabric.

But if you are at all unsure you should always consult with the retailer who sold you the sofa first.

What customizations are available?

It can be a bit daunting asking a sales person for help especially the over-eager ones, but sofas these days come with so many options that you really should ask what customizations are available before ruling a range out. Our Ashley Manor sofas are all available in different sizes, different fabrics and often with a choice of pillow back or standard back. Our Fama sofas offer even more flexibility, with hundreds of fabrics and leathers, modular choices to create the right shape for your room (see our blog what is a sectional sofa?), optional recliners (on some models), different arm widths, different leg heights even some with blue tooth speakers incorporated. It really is worth speaking to a member of staff to check what’s available.

What happens if things go wrong, does the sofa have a warranty?

It’s always a good idea to ask about warranty, a confident manufacturer will usually have a good warranty in place. For example Fama offer a lifetime frame guarantee and Ashley Manor offer 10 years. Fama are one of the few suppliers to also offer a high seat suspension guarantee of 10 years and then the warranty for fabrics are usually about 2 years. Each manufacturer will be different though so do check before buying.

Do you deliver and assemble?

All retailers will have their own delivery and assembly policy, so ask the question before you buy. As a family business based in Nantwich, Cheshire we offer free delivery and assembly within 50 miles of our store. Any further than this and we usually have to charge a fee for this service. You can see the different options on our delivery zones map

How long will it take to arrive?

Every manufacturer has different challenges to overcome in building and delivering your furniture that impacty the delivery times. For bespoke, made to order items our delivery times usually vary between 4 – 12 weeks. Your retailer will be able to give you an approximate time for delivery. We can’t normally make delivery times any faster as it is in the hands of the manufacturer but once the furniture is with us we can normally be flexible about holding on to your furniture for a few weeks if you’re not quite ready.

Why should I buy from you?

It’s a good question, are you purely price focused, are you looking for the best quality or the best service or a bit of each? Do you trust the retailer and are you confident they will look after you if there is a problem with your order?

We’ve been in business in Nantwich for 20 years now and have a great relationship with our customers. We’re not the perfect fit for everyone, no-one is, but this is why we think we could be right for you;

  • We’re a family business.
  • When you want to talk to someone in the store, online or over the phone at Mia Stanza you will always speak to a member of our family either Dad Eric, Mum June, Daughter and interior designer Louise or Son Nick, one of those 4 smiling in the picture.
  • There’s NO pushy salesman, we’re not on commission.
  • You’ll get expert advice and service, we know our products inside out, everything you see has been carefully selected and planned out by one of the 4 of us.
  • Eric has been in the industry for over 40 years, there’s nothing he doesn’t know.
  • If you have a complaint with your purchase you can speak to the family member who sold it to you. But we’ll do everything in our power to make sure you don’t have any problems because we don’t like complaints!
  • We want you to love the furniture you buy from us, we want you to come back when you want more furniture or accessories and we want you to be so happy with your new purchases that you tell your family and friends all about us.