Questions and Answers:

 

What products do you recommend for taking care of our furniture?

Thorough and regular cleaning is paramount to maintaining your furniture . Good cleaning habits with a a professional cleaning and conditioning once or twice a year will keep your investment in the best possible shape.

Guardsman products in my humble opinion have the best products on the market to maintain and care for your furniture in a natural state. You can purchase some of their products from us of the truck or online at www.guardsman.com.  Regardless of the products you choose to use please, please, please avoid the current trends of using vegetable  or coconut oils and silicon based products. Everything you read on the internet is not always as helpful as it sounds and can have catastrophic results on your fine fabrics.
 
Do I need to have an inspection prior to a repair?

In a great deal of situations we are able to inspect via a photograph alone. The pictures that we ask you take for us need to be large enough to view and manipulate, contain an overall picture of the entire piece and then close ups of each damage you are requesting to be repaired. Including a dollar bill or a quarter really helps to understand the scope and size of the repair so we can get you an estimate that is as accurate as possible.  Even with all your assistance it is not always possible to do an accurate inspection from a photograph and in that case we may need to come out in person. All in person inspections have a minimum trip charge of $50.00. This charge covers any amount of inspections that we can be executed within a 30 minute period at your home or business. If you need a longer inspection such as is needed with an insurance or household inspection we charge a flat rate of $150.00. We will then right up our report and let you know within 24-48 hours our cost to repair if we deem the item repairable.

 If I need service in an area that you do not serve, do you have any recommendations for a good technician?

First, don’t count us out. We travel quite a bit across the nation for some larger commercial jobs. It’s possible we may be able to fit you in. While we cannot guarantee your service experience there are two firms that we personally would use and submit for your recommendation. Those firms are Tri County Furniture Services and Guardsman In-Home Care & Repair, both are highly respected and readily found on the internet. We accept no responsibility for your experience however.

Am I responsible to find parts for my repair?

We do carry some generic and standard parts that we will cost into the price of your repair if they can be of service. For those parts that need to be specific you will need to contact your manufacturer directly. Many will send or sell you parts for your furniture pieces. You will need to get your model number from the tag underneath your furniture to assist you in the ordering process. If you cannot lift the piece to do so we can assist you during the inspection process.

In cases where we can assist in ordering the parts they can often take 2-8 weeks to receive. Should we order these parts on your behalf you will be liable to pay for them still should you fail to execute the repair.

Can the technician leave me a copy of his tech report and photographs?

If you have hired us directly we will email you a copy of our report and photographs within 24-48 hours of our visit to your home. If we have been hired by a third party to service your furniture you will need to work directly with them as the report and photographs are their property and not ours to give you.

If I miss my appointment will I still be charged for a trip fee?


Appointments need to be rescheduled at least 24 hours in advance as our book fills up weeks in advance and in many cases we are driving hours to accommodate your schedule. While we attempt to be flexible the minimum $50 trip fee will still be charged if you cancel with less than 24 hours notice or are a no show for your appointment.

Do you have flexible scheduling?

We travel to certain areas of our zone on specific days and our our hours are 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to allow for our employees to spend valuable time with their families. We understand though that sometimes special considerations need to be made and depending upon where you are located may be able to offer a weekend or evening appointment.  We can also meet anyone at your home (like a friend or relative) to execute the repair provided the individual is over the age of 18 and has written instructions from the responsible party.

 What can I expect when doing service with Mike’s Furniture Repair?

Many repair firms are out to maximize their earnings from your repair. This goes against everything we believe in at Mike’s Furniture Repair. We are after driving value and establishing a partnership of trust for many years to come.

One of the ways that we try to maximize your value is in providing photographic inspections. We encourage you to send us multiple photos for our review, to include an overall photo of the piece and its placement in your room, pictures of the damage using a dollar bill or quarter to help determine scope and photos of any tags you can find beneath the furniture. It is also very important that you be as transparent as possible with the cause of the damage. It is not our job to judge, but the facts certainly increase our success of a quality repair.

If we believe that your furniture issue should be covered under warranty we will charge only our inspection fee and refer you to your manufacturer. Again we are looking to make you a lifelong consumer not a quick paycheck.

While we do our best to provide you with a repair plan an estimate from your photos we cannot guarantee that the estimate will not change once we see the damage in person. There are many factors that can influence the repairability of your piece and we stake our reputation on a quality job. We would rather tell you the truth that force a repair that may not meet our standards,

If we are unable to determine the correct course of action from the photos we will do an onsite inspection. Our fee is $50 for one hour or less on a standard inspection. This investment will be credited to you should you go forward with the actual repair.

We also attempt to be transparent with our fees but cannot guarantee an exact cost in all occasions.
When we are unable to give you a firm cost we will give you a range to expect and we pride ourselves in not overrunning our quotes. If you are not comfortable with the the new cost we will respect your wishes and leave with only the trip visit/inspection fee being charged.

Parts – we attempt to carry basic parts to save you time, but in the case of unique or custom parts we may help you do the research to self-order or order on your behalf. Should we order we do require you pay for them in advance of the repair. Does leather crack and peel over time?


Is it normal for my leather to crack and peel?


Nope, your leather should not crack or peel over time with normal use. What can happen though is your leather may fade, become soiled or color finishes that have been applied my show wear and tear. Most of these can be repaired although recommend regular maintenance to avoid the situation at all.

I am often asked to repair small lines or blemishes on the surface of leather, many times these are just natural characteristics of genuine leather such as scars, wrinkles, veining and insect bites. They should be looked at as not flaws but as a way to prove that you do indeed have quality leather. If you are looking for perfectly uniform without any uniqueness, you would be better served with faux leather or a vinyl.

 Clients are always curious about what makes one leather grade more expensive than another?

The main determining factor is how and where the raw hide initiated and how it was processed. Hides originate all over the world and are usually sorted at processing time by the amount of natural characteristics seen and by which location of the hide they are found.  Hides with minimal characteristics are rare finds. These hides require less processing and are always the most expensive, most of your high quality manufacturers will turn them into leather that is destined for the high end furniture markets.


 What is the difference between natural and finished or protected leathers?

  • Natural Leather = are unfinished and reflect more natural characteristics  and shading differences. These are my favorites personally as they showcase the natural and unique qualities of leather.

  • Finished Leathers = your colored leathers, less natural characteristics or uniqueness. These usually have a uniform look across the piece.


Leather Terminology:

  • Split Hide: all leather hides have to be split because a hide is too thick to upholster or use in any type of manufacturing. The hide is processed via a machine that slices the hide into two hides. Some manufacturers repeat this process over and over until left with very thin pieces of the original hide.  

  • Top Grain:  This is the “top” piece of leather remaining in the split process. This is generally the strongest piece of leather as it was exposed to the elements when it was still in use by its host.

  • Full Grain: My personal favorite is top grain leather that uses the natural grain of the hide. No corrections are generally made to its presentation at the factories.

  • Corrected Grain: This is top grain leather that has been sanded down to reduce some of the visual natural characteristics, for example scars are sanded flat and then “repaired” to match the grain patterns.

  • Embossed Grain: a consistent grain pattern is “pressed” into the leather using rollers.

  • Pull-up: aniline– dyed leather that has been waxed or oiled. When the leather is pulled, the oil/wax separates, causing the color to lighten.


How can I care for my leather upholstery?

Keep your leather out of direct sunlight with can cause UV fading. Remember that leather is a natural material that can change appearance as it ages. Take care also to keep hair and body oils off of your furniture. These seep deep into the leather and can cause irreparable damage and lessen the beauty of your piece.

We really recommend using Guardsman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner to extend the life of your furniture pieces on a monthly basis. Simply dusting the sofa, and cleaning up spots when they occur, should help keep your sofa looking good for its expected life.

For residential users with normal wear and tear, we recommend at least twice a year you should have us come and do a thorough cleaning and conditioning. In commercial settings with high volume use we recommend quarterly cleanings and conditionings. For extreme use such as those wonderful theater chairs at your local movie theater, we recommend monthly professional cleanings to keep your investment healthy for many years.