timePeople get justifiably nervous when they’ve got a moving day approaching. You could probably poll 1000 randomly selected adults and not find one who has experienced an easy, pleasant move! The emotional side of the business is tough enough – and then logistics go wrong. One of the worst stumbling blocks is moving big furnishings into a city apartment. An example: you’re preparing to shift to a new place, and you’re pretty organized. You’ve measured the rooms and doors in your new home, including the front door of the building. You’ve measured your sofa, likely to be your most massive piece. You know the doorways are wider than your sofa from front to back, you know the room is big enough.

Feeling reasonably confident, you entrust your couch to the moving crew…and they get hopelessly stuck at the turn of the stairs. The front door was okay, but it’s too long for the stairwell radius. Or they try putting it onto the elevator, and it gets jammed. You don’t want to think about what’s happening to the upholstery, or the paint on the stairwell wall, plus the movers’ time racking up. So before relying on measurements, and especially if your sofa is sizeable, consider planning for sofa disassembly and re-assembly.

Many furniture repair and reupholstery companies serving urban areas have become experts at this type of service. The jammed-sofa scene described above is common, especially since the average size of a new couch has increased in recent years — but the width of city doorways hasn’t! Furniture specialists use furniture assembly and disassembly know-how to rescue people in these situations – and can help you avoid them in the first place.

The underlying frame of most sofas is a straightforward, robust construction. So taking a sofa apart is not time-consuming for professionals. Arms and legs can be removed in fairly short order. If the degree of needed break-down calls for it, the furniture disassembly company will expose the frame by removing some or all of the upholstery and padding, and pack everything carefully for transport. Some moves make it necessary for the frame to be cut in two. That sounds extreme, but a qualified repair service will do it quickly and neatly, re-assemble and reupholster everything seamlessly once it’s arrived in its new home. Remember that these technicians are trained upholsterers as well as being repair experts!

One New York specialist says he tells customers “not to look” while dismantling is going on, but that they’re always pleased when everything is together again. Reputable companies guarantee their workmanship to ensure that your sofa will look just as it did before the move. You will find that the rates charged for these services are definitely reasonable.

There are also cases where disassembly techniques are advisable for small couches – if access is extremely restricted and the sofa is highly valued, unusually shaped, antique, etc. Whatever your situation, this approach to moving problematic pieces is a smart option, potentially a big saving for your budget and your nerves.