Preserving History: Start a Furniture Restoration Business

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Furniture Restoration Business Business Overview:

If you like working with your hands and appreciate the value that a piece of furniture can have, you should start a furniture restoration business. That value may be monetary in the form of an investment such as an antique Chippendale chair. Or the value may be sentimental in the form of an heirloom rocking chair used to rock several generations of babies to sleep. Being able to keep a piece of furniture in its original condition ensures years of use and/or preservation and the ability of the owners to pass it down throughout the years. If you are a talented woodworker or seamstress, operating a furniture refinishing or re-upholstering business is something you could successfully do from your home. Business ideas like this one are great part-time ventures that let you do what you love while earning a secondary income. The only thing you’ll need, other than excellent repair skills and a few tools, is a large area in which to store items while you work on them. Furniture items can be quite large (think chests of drawers and chairs) so you’ll need a storage area which can be in your home or garage. If you already operate a home repair business, adding furniture restoration to your list of services would bring in more customers and keep your part-time business busy. This is also a good business opportunity for a partnership in which one person does the wood repairs and the other handles the upholstery repairs. You could choose to specialize in certain types of furniture – antiques, contemporary pieces or just chairs. You need to be familiar with how to properly estimate a job since most customers will request estimates before letting you do the job. If you run into a problem along the way, call the client to discuss the higher costs before proceeding. If your estimate was firm but you realize while you’re working it will cost quite a bit more, sometimes it’s wise to just absorb the costs in the interest of customer service. Be sure to take before and after photos and post them on your website, or if you don’t have a website, put them in a portfolio to show to prospective clients. Market your business around town by putting fliers in local antique stores and resale shops. Consider buying items to refinish and sell. You could do this by placing ads online or selling on your website. There are many options available to an entrepreneur with excellent woodworking skills looking to put a little time and care into a furniture restoration business.

A Day in the Life of a Furniture Restoration Business Owner:

This article brought to you by Business Ideas! If you enjoyed this article, make sure to subscribe to the Business Ideas Newsletter to get ideas sent straight to your email inbox.If you have items needing work, you will continue to work on them. You will take calls from potential customers and will offer estimates to individuals who bring items by for you to assess. If you choose to buy items to fix up and sell, you will spend some time looking for pieces in garage sales or at auctions.

About Your Customers:

Your customers will be individuals needing expert furniture restoration services.

What You Need to Start:

  • Woodworking and/or upholstery skills
  • Space to store furniture items
  • Marketing materials
  • Portfolio with before/after photos
  • Website (optional)
  • Computer with finance software

The Good:

  • Start-up investment is low.
  • Return on your investment can be quite high.
  • It’s rewarding to restore an old piece of furniture to its original condition.
  • You can easily run this business part time and from your home.
  • You can choose to buy items, repair them and sell them.

The Bad:

  • You must know what you’re doing in order not to damage furniture.
  • It can take some time to build up your client list.

Resources:




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