Introduction: How to Move a Couch Through a Tight Door: AKA How to Dissassemble a Couch.

I am working on a basment renovation and am nearing completion.   It was about time to furnish the area so I went out an bought a couch.   I was aware that the doorway it would have to come through was pretty tight, so i bought one with the lowest back, thinking it would fit sideways.
I was wrong.   I could have returned the couch, but if this one wouldn't fit, I imagined no couch would fit.   My alternatives would be a love seat or a futon of some kind, but they really don't appeal as much to me.    I figured since this was new, and wouldnt have any disgusting crumbs or critters inside to surprise me, i would disassemble it, cut the frame and then re-assemble it.

You will need
Pliers
Flat screwdriver  (these will help you pulling out staples)
Staple gun/ Hammer Tacker
Carpet Tacks
Hammer
Saw ( electric or handheld)

Time:   It's taking quite a long time.  At the time of writing this I am 60% done with about 12 hours in!     The dis-assemble itself took a full 8 hours.   It probably could be reduced if you had a staple puller, rather than using the screwdriver and pliers method.   I would estimate that another 4 hours should allow me to complete the project.   

Step 1: Remove Staples


I need a pic for this...but

Flip the couch upside down, there is a dust cover that covers up the bottom.
There will be about 200 staples holding it in.   
Take that off.

Step 2: Remove the Back

The back piece is tacked on with a strip of metal with spikes in it.   This gets wrapped one time in fabric and nailed into the frame.   This hides the staples that hold the sides on.

Step 3: Keep Pulling Staples Out

Keep pulling out staples, anywhere you see them.    The actual frame of this couch is stapled together using large staples.   Leave the large ones alone.    Just the small ones that secure the fabric.
After removing the staples, you can take the back off.

Step 4: Remove Sides

The sides also have a metal spike strip to hide the seam along the front.   Be careful...they are sharp!

Step 5: Lift Up the Skirting and Pull Out Staples

This skirting hides another seam.   Pull out the visible staples.    The cardboard strip comes off, and so does the skirting.   Underneath there is another row of staples holding on the bottom cusions.   Pull those out too.

Step 6: Remove Lower Cusions

After the staples are out securing the front of the lower cusions ( make sure the rear ones are also already removed)  You can just pull it out.  The three cusions are sewn together, so it comes out as one piece.

Step 7: Remove Thick Foam

This foam is not connected with staples, it just sits in there.

Step 8: Remove Recycled Fabric Over Springs

There is a recycled fabric mat that covers the springs.   This is stapled at the front of the couch frame.   Remove the staples and pull it out.  Now you are down to bare wood (mostly)

Step 9: Choose a Cut Line

You could continue to dismantle the couch until its nothing but a pile of sticks, but i chose to cut it at this point.   Always take the proper precautions when using power tools.
I chose to cut in between the 3rd and 4th spring.
Be CAREFUL!

I learned that these springs are actually under some pretty decent tension.   Therefore when you cut them, you are releasing the tension!     Also note there is a tie wire that ties all the springs together lengthwise.   You will need to cut this also.   I used a pair of bolt cutters to do this.

Step 10: Bring It Inside

Bring your two halves in through the door.   (Hopefully they fit now!)

Step 11: Make It Structurally Stable

I used scrap wood as braces and screwed both sides to the brace.   In all there were 6 boards i had to cut, so i used 6 pieces of scrap to re-connect them.     Some clamps and racheting straps helped me re-tension the springs.    I used plenty of screws, because i dont want it to fall apart when someone sits on it.

Step 12: Replace the Cut Tie Wire

I used a piece of 14 gauge copper wire as my tie wire, to replace the one I cut.   I figured if i left this gap it would feel really strange if you sat on that spot....like you were falling in!
I got it nice and tight with rachet straps and coiled the wire on itself.

Step 13: Replace the Lower Cushions

Place the lower cushions back on top.  Tuck the back and side flaps in under the frame and re-staple them to the place they were before.  

Step 14: Tack Down the Front, and Replace Skirting

The pieces of wood that the lower cushions attaches to is made of Oak, while the rest is pine.   Im guessing this is deliberate as oak is much harder, but also more expensive.   They used oak for the parts that need to be strong, and pine for the rest to keep the cost down.   Anyway, the Hammer Tacker i was using didnt work well on the harder wood.   And the staple gun i had seemed to do even worse, no matter how hard i held it down.   

Here's where the carpet tacks come in.   I used #6 carpet tacks, which seemed to be about the shortest i could find at the home store.  I used the clamps again to hold the stuffing in while i tacked it back down.

Step 15: Replace Upper Pillows

I just put the pillows in place, didnt tack them down yet.   It is time for bed.   I will continue tomorrow.  

Comments

author
MarcioWilges made it!(author)2015-01-05

I really just have to say this, but after the removal of all those staples and taking the sofa apart, it looks like you're moving pieces rather than the sofa man. How did you even get it INTO the room to begin with?

author
legamin made it!(author)2014-03-18

most lazy boy furniture is built so that it breaks down easily to fit through tight spaces. If you know you have this challenge, research your brands. My lazy boy chair fit through my narrow basement stairs, cornered hallway and narrow door easily in two pieces that slid apart and weighed a very manageable light weight. Also....my warranty for life is still intact...

author
lbossington made it!(author)2010-09-30

I agree with you that it doesn't seem worth it. It took a really long time, but I didn't have any other way to do it. It's nice now to be able to sit on the couch, and Ive certainly spent much more time sitting on it than it took getting it in there. One note after getting the matching love seat in the room (without needing to take it apart) The love seat is much firmer, whereas the couch you sink right into. I think i needed to get the seat cushions way tighter than i did when re-assembling. If i knew someone who actually would do this for me, yes i would have paid them also.

author
sway made it!(author)2010-07-26

I appreciate the detail you put into this instructable but, it just doesn't seem worth it to me. There has to be an easier way. Otherwise I would just pay someone to do it.

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