How long should a couch last? And a CS vent.

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Posted 5/18/2011 by ratqueen in NSBR Board

I drank the whole fairy.

PeaNut 233,449
November 2005
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Posted: 5/18/2011 10:52:18 AM
We purchased a very nice recliner couch and chair a little under five years ago. We went through a major furniture store chain and chose what seemed like very good quality furniture. We did not purchase the store's extended warranty, as the recliner mechanisms have a lifetime warranty.

In the last year we have had four service calls and need a fifth (the tech was out here one week ago today fixing it again) for the recliner mechanisms. Last week when I spoke to the rep at the store to set up the service call he told me that he would begin to investigate replacing the couch since we've had so many issues with it.

The tech came out last week and fixed it again, and I received a call about ten minutes later asking how the service went. I told them the tech was, as usual, quick, clean and friendly. However, I mentioned the issues with the mechanism breaking repeatedly and that I was unhappy that furniture we'd paid so much for was breaking with such regularity. They said they'd investigate and get back to me.

So two nights ago another piece of the mechanism began to break. Today the furniture store called me and told me they had looked into the case, and because the couch didn't break in the first three years of ownership, they would be happy to keep repairing it but would not replace it. I asked her why the rep last week told me they'd do that, and she hedged but couldn't answer.

I thanked her for the call and for letting me know that they wouldn't stand by what I'd been promised already, since now I know to never buy furniture from them again, and then I hung up on her (yes, I know, it was childish. But I'm pissed. We laid out more than $3K less than five years ago for this furniture as a major investment).

So my question: How long would you expect a couch to last? Is five years really all I should expect out of it? Because I feel like that is nowhere near long enough to keep furniture for. At the same time, I don't want to call them once a month to come out and fix my POS couch.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 471,001
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Posted: 5/18/2011 10:56:31 AM
We bought a couch and a love seat at a discount furniture store for less than $1000. We had planned to spend a lot more - but I couldn't find a fabric pattern that I liked as well at any of the more expensive stores!

We have had that furniture for ten years and it still looks new (I steam clean it once a week) and is comfortable.

oooh, what you said!

PeaNut 27,933
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Posted: 5/18/2011 10:58:06 AM
I paid $600 for my couch. I'm actually pretty happy it's lasted five years and I expect to only get another year or two out of it. The back cushions desperately need to be re-stuffed and the fabric is faded.

for $3k I'd expect to get at least 20 years. it should be the couch that your kids tease you about because it's so old and out of date but you won't get rid of it because it's still in good shape.


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PeaNut 407,137
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Posted: 5/18/2011 11:12:16 AM

We have had that furniture for ten years and it still looks new (I steam clean it once a week) and is comfortable.

What kind of steam cleaner do you use on your couch? We've had our couches for about 16 years and they're still in good shape. I wash the cushion covers every few months but I'd like to clean the rest of them.

They're from Broyhill. We'll probably start looking to replace them in the next few years but they've held up very well.



PeaNut 40,147
June 2002
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Posted: 5/18/2011 11:40:07 AM
I paid about $1500 for my couch and after 7 years it still looks great. I'm ready for something new, but just because I want a change.


Barefoot Sister

PeaNut 264,756
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Posted: 5/18/2011 11:51:10 AM
I have a lazy boy couch that I got over 14 years ago, (it was discontinued, so I got it for around $500), and it is still in relatively good shape. I can see it being around for another 5 years, no problem.

On the other hand, I have a nice leather couch I got for $1100, which was half off, and it's showing wear at 4 years old. It's a double relciner, and the recliner parts are working just fine, but I'm a little surprised at how quickly it's showing some wear. We used it pretty well for about a year, and then it got moved to a room where it's hardly ever used.

I would think your recliner should have been good for at least 10 years. I do not think you are asking too much.


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PeaNut 198,489
March 2005
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Posted: 5/18/2011 11:51:48 AM
I've been shopping for the past few months for living room furniture. The lack of quality product is ridiculous.

We looked everywhere from Rooms to Go, Ashely, American Signature to Ethan Allen and Robb and Stucky.

I would hope that a couch would last at least 5-7 years but that would depend on use. Anything that's mechanical has a higher chance of malfunctioning. Is this a set that's used daily or infrequently? Do your kids jump on it?

It stinks that they won't replace it but since you didn't buy the warranty I don't think you have a leg to stand on.


PeaNut 254,107
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Posted: 5/18/2011 11:55:54 AM
I wonder if you have the same couches my mom does...they bought them about three years ago and have had someone out to repair the reclining mechanisms twice now. The last time they said that was the last warranty call they would make, anything else my mom would have to pay for. The couches were NOT cheap...and she is not happy. I don't think couches should fail with normal use in 5 years or less. My mom has no kids in the house and doesn't even sit on them every day...some days she gets home from work late and just goes straight to bed!

We bought some couches about 7 years ago (no mechanical stuff in them though, just couches) and while they are still comfortable the microfiber cloth is very very worn looking. Not dirty, but worn just from being sat on. I'm disappointed with the way the fabric has held up.

It seems like they just don't make anything that lasts anymore.

I drank the whole fairy.

PeaNut 233,449
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Posted: 5/18/2011 12:03:34 PM

Is this a set that's used daily or infrequently? Do your kids jump on it?

The set is used daily, but only by two adults never any kids. Unless you count my dogs, but they're both smallish. We treat the couch well, neither of us throws ourselves down onto it or anything.


PeaNut 59,708
December 2002
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Posted: 5/18/2011 12:16:50 PM
We spent $1500 on a couch and two chairs 8 years ago. I know that they were not great quality and I wasn't looking for great quality with 3 little kids. Fast forward 8 years ... the couches are falling apart and I just restuffed the seats and the back to get a couple more years out of them because the little kids are now teeenagers and hard on furniture.

I would be mad if I had paid big bucks for furniture and it didn't last especially considering you are not hard on them. I would call the store back and talk to the manager again and tell them how disappointed you are. I would also put all this in writing to someone in the head office.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 9,321
January 2001
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Posted: 5/18/2011 12:47:14 PM
We spent $700 on a couch (which was a LOT for us) and it broke (the wood inside actually snapped) after maybe 4 or 5 years. The fabric had gotten all ratty, too. We were really disappointed, but the store people said it was because DH is overweight. He was on it a lot.

We've had our current couch and loveseat ($1100) for about 6 years and the structure of it is holding up well, but the piping began to come out and it all got saggy pretty much right away.

We've never had a recliner type.

I think things just aren't made like they used to be.

We buy from local dealers, too, so that doesn't seem to help (vs. chain).

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PeaNut 59,094
December 2002
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Posted: 5/18/2011 12:49:51 PM
That's terrible. We've had our couch for 10 years and it looks and feels great. In fact, it's the most comfortable place in the house to catch a nap! And I have 3 kids who have been using it regularly (and not always so clean or gently).

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PeaNut 136,677
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Posted: 5/18/2011 12:52:53 PM
We purchased a recliner from Jeromes and it only lasted about 5 years and wouldn't recline anymore. So we decided to pay a little more and purchase a La Z Boy because always heard great things about them and they guerantee the mechanisms.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 428,374
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Posted: 5/18/2011 1:09:12 PM
We bought a 3-seater, 2 seater and armchair, all with recliner mechanisms, in leather almost 6 years ago for only £700. I thought I would get maybe 2 years out of them but they still look like new and we have never had anyone out to the mechanisms, despite my having 2 very boisterous boys one of whom is the size of an average man.They jump all over and fight on the settees.I almost lived on the recliner chair after each of my 3 surgeries. I would NOT be happy with what you have experienced with your set. Do you have any sort of trading standards you can contact? Certainly I would be going to the highest person in this retail company to look into this.

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PeaNut 162,553
August 2004
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Posted: 5/18/2011 1:19:39 PM
well the couch and recliner that I have was bought by my parents in 1992 after I moved out(initially there were 2 of the rocker recliners but one got sold prior to a move).. They were given to me about, 3-4 years ago and are still in GREAT shape the brand is England Corsair.

The only problem we have,and its very very recent is that one of the arm sections on the rocker recliner is starting to sag,its like something on the inside is broken or has loosened or something, I have been meaning to flip it to see if I can see better from the bottom what is going on with it---and hoping its something easily fixed..Im sure this is from my 13 year old sitting in it sideways,and twisting around in it while pushing against the arm and the side though, so not a fault on the manufacturer,and for now its not unusable and not sure anyone woudl even notice if they werent looking for it,but *I* know it LOL..

I have joked that this couch will not be moved with me when/if we ever move,or that it'll have to go out in pieces..Its so tall and I guess its wide too but it would NOT fit through the doorway of the house, we even took the screen door and the main door OFF the hinges and this couch would NOT fit through no matter how you turned it, you can measure the couch and there is NO measurements on it smaller than the doorframe LOL.. gotta love older houses with smaller doors we had to take the glass out of the big picture window and pass it through the window to get it in !!!!.. so we joke its a part of the house now,but I hate the thought of ever moving and not taking it because its such a great couch(the rocker recliner went through the doorframe just fine on its side)

so anyway.. my couch/rocker recliner is 19 years old and still in great shape(except for the 13 year old messing up the arm on the recliner) I have no clue what my parents paid for it.

oh and I have to say we are not gentle with this furniture.. it gets bounced on, the couch gets stood on by my teen boys when a light bulb goes out of the tall lamp,and sometimes to turn off that same lamp(just depends on who turns it off LOL),its been spilled on etc.. its been slept on many many many times(I slept in here on it 2 weeks in the winter of 2010 because of super cold temps and my room being unheated).. our furniture gets lived on and used daily, and it still looks great.


i am not borg

PeaNut 60,578
January 2003
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Posted: 5/18/2011 1:25:44 PM
I bought a sectional couch from a big furniture store and paid about $2400 for it six years ago. It was looking slouchy by year 2. We sold it last year to some frat boys who liked the color (it was red). It didn't last nearly as long as we were led to believe it would and I was really unhappy with it.

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Kerry in CT

PeaNut 23,966
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Posted: 5/18/2011 1:31:51 PM
My Lazy Boy furniture still looked great after about 15 years, but I was sick of the plaid. The replacement furniture I got 3 yrs ago at Raymour & Flanigan is holding up just OK. The fabric has a couple of snags from my cat, and the cushions are starting to get squashy in shape, even tho I flip them regularly. Don't believe them when they tell you that the seat cushions with just foam and no springs will hold up well.

Kerry in CT

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 75,924
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Posted: 5/18/2011 8:39:16 PM
I paid less than $600 for a couch from a major store's outlet 10 yrs ago and it still looks new despite kids and dogs sitting on it. I fully expect it to last at least another 5-10 yrs and I'll probably get rid of it because I'm sick of the style or pattern. I'm about to give away a 17 yr old sofa bed we paid about $600 for that is still in good condition (but I'm ready to have something different). I'd be annoyed if expensive furniture only lasted 5 years. I tend to keep things a long time.

Nicole in TX
The Peas did what we do and went insane over it

PeaNut 16,696
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Posted: 5/18/2011 8:47:21 PM
Our couches are going on 10 years old and still look great.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 29,331
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Posted: 5/18/2011 8:54:57 PM
I don't think I have ever kept a sofa more than 8-10 years at the most. I tire of them, pass them on and buy new. But I don't buy uber expensive sofas because I know I am not going to keep them. I would expect if I paid as much as you and didn't have kids using it that it would last longer than 5 years.

Good luck.

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FLA SummerBaby

PeaNut 290,599
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Posted: 5/18/2011 9:03:51 PM
Well my last couch was a LaZBoy and it lasted 17 years and was just starting to get a spring that was sagging at the end of that time. I replaced it with another LaZBoy set 3 years ago and 1 of the mechanisms broke within the 2 year mark. Not too happy with the quality of the replacement set.

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PeaNut 319,638
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Posted: 5/18/2011 9:13:01 PM
We had the same problem with my Dads current Lazyboy recliner. Which is a very high end model of a recliner. It was about $450 on a sale. The leg piece kept falling off, the arms had issues and once the whole back just fell off. They got so sick of seeing us they just replaced the whole chair after about 5 service calls. I think every now and then they just have a dud.
Sorry they are being punks about just replacing yours, it'd save them money and time to just give you a new one. and prolly a customer as well.

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PeaNut 59,094
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Posted: 5/18/2011 9:54:26 PM
I also forgot to mention that my couch that has lasted 10 years and is still in great shape also has two recliners as part of it. No problems.

Sounds like you got a real lemon and I'd go further up with my complaint. In writing.

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Peaing under the Radar

PeaNut 61,691
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Posted: 5/18/2011 10:43:09 PM
I still have the sleeper sofa I bought for about $400 when I graduated from law school 27 years ago. It doesn't have a recliner mechanism, but the foldout mechanism has never given me a minute's trouble. We also have two recliners and two recliner sofas that we bought from LazyBoy about 10 years ago. They were pretty pricey because they're leather, but there has never been a problem with the mechanism on any of them, and they are used and abused by 3 rough kids and their friends day in and day out.


PeaNut 216,512
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Posted: 5/18/2011 10:52:39 PM
We bought a Lazy Boy recliner sectional in 2004. After 6 months the back cushions looked like crap. It needs to be replace as neither of the recliner ends work. The one end piece has basically fallen apart, the frame part. Only reason I haven't replaced it is the quality I've seen to replace with is crappy and the fact I have 4 boys under age 10 that basically destroy anything.


PeaNut 82,273
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Posted: 5/19/2011 12:02:19 AM
My MIL still has the couch they bought when my SIL was born. SIL is 43!
It's been reupholsterd once since I was married and still looks fabulous. It's been well used every day for years and years. Personally I'm sick of the colour, but MIL still loves the "Trendy" Blue and Mauve floral pattern it's currently wearing. LOL

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PeaNut 430,131
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Posted: 5/19/2011 12:37:47 AM
Well..the simple answer to your question is that a good couch is supposed to last you for almost ten years. Or when you purchased the couch what did the warranty say exactly? I would look into seeing what course of action you can take regarding these couches because to me, it just doesn't sound normal for a couch company to only warranty these for only 3 years.

Maybe its a cop-out on their part, maybe its legit what they are doing. You can decide once you look into details of your warranty yourself.

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