How Much Does It Cost To Reupholster Seats
More than just how to recover boat seats, most boaters ask how much the repair will cost. Well, that depends on whether you want to get it done professionally, or if you decide to tackle the job on your own. For a DIY reupholster and repair job, here’s what you might expect to pay:
- Vinyl – starts at around $18 per yard, depending on the color and thickness
- Foam – prices vary widely, but average roughly $40 or a 74″ x 24″ x 2″ piece
- Staple gun – between $30 to $40, but you can get them cheaper if you’re buying second hand or for absolutely free if you have a friend who will let you borrow
- Industrial sewing machine – roughly $800, but you won’t really need one if you plan to finish the job without the need to sew
Another thing that can affect the amount of money you use for your DIY boat seat reupholstering job is the number of boat seats on your vessel. The size of each individual boat seat will also make a difference in the final cost.
According to posts from boaters in boating forums, a DIY reupholster job would cost around $300 on average. Of course, that also entails that you know how to reupholster boat seats, and that you have enough patience and time for the process.
Cut Vinyl And Foam Using Your Measurements
Using your measurements, cut the necessary amount of vinyl and foam.
When cutting the vinyl, you may place the old vinyl cover on top of the new sheet and make a trace around it with your marking pencil. Then, cut a vinyl piece of required size and shape.
With foam, you may cut a little bit more to impart the seat a cushier feel. But do not overdo it if you take too much foam, you may struggle with stuffing it into the seat.
If your foam is very thick, scissors may not be able to cut it. Use an electric knife instead.
Get The Precise Measurements
If you have the correct measurements, it will make it easier to get the boat seats back to their normal appearance. When trying to create a baseboard for your seating, you want to ensure that the measurements are precise.
The phrase Measure twice, cut once applies in this scenario. I prefer Measure three times, cut once, honestly. Reupholstery professionals turn the base to sketch out the dimensions. This ensures that they have a perfect fit, and the boat seats will be in good condition.
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Shade Choice And Color Tone
Heres a fun fact, most boating seats come in lighter colors, and for a good reason, they dont become hot when you sit down on them!
Dark colors tend to absorb the heat, so try to use lighter colors as the main shade and keep the darks as a secondary tone for panels and strips.
Seams raised patterns and grooves.
We suggest avoiding using deep grooves on your boats vinyl seats. If you can, reinforce the seams to help prevent the tearing. With deeper pleats and grooves, youll find it harder to keep the dirt, mildew, and mold out. Thus, making cleaning more of a difficult process.
Weather and UV resistance
If youre planning on buying marine vinyl or new seats, always try to get one with UV resistant material. UV resistant seats will stand up better to the sun and wont crack or fade over time. You can use Scotch Guard UV Sun Shield on newer seats because it will help keep water out.
Cleaning Out New Seats
To prevent your seats from getting in the mess as they were before, we recommend regular boat upholstery cleaning. Youll be able to save the cushions and seats before starting a reupholstering project.
Mail Order Custom Boat Seat Covers
So there is another option to taking all your boat seats to a professional upholstery shop, or doing the DYI thing. It is removing your old boat seat vinyl and mailing it out to a shop like CopyCat Upholstery so they can make exact replicas.
If you want to mix things up a bit, you can discuss a new design for your boats interior. So you could give very specific design instructions, or tell them a theme idea and let them design based on your theme idea.
First thing you want to do is to take good photos of each section of your boats interior. You want to be sure you are getting multiple views, so the upholstery shop can get a good perspective of how each piece matches up to the next. You also want these for yourself so you can reassemble everything correctly when you get your new vinyl covers back.
Basically, you would dismantle your boat interior, and remove the vinyl covers off each piece. You would mark each piece to indicate its location in the boat. The best way to do this is to number each piece on a picture of the boat interior. Then mark each vinyl cover with its corresponding number to the picture.
You can get a quote right on their website. Simply fill out the form and add a picture of each piece you want done. You will need a rough measurement of each piece as well. Here is their short video explaining what to expect from their process from beginning to end.
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How To Clean Boat Upholstery In 5 Minutes
Most often we see that out boat seat upholstery gets dirty over time when we are using the boat to go around. It is very important to keep your boat upholstery clean and well maintained in order to make it last longer. You can follow the steps given below to clean your boat upholstery using just some common household cleaning agents.
You will have clean and mold free boat upholstery by following these steps. You can furthermore use any Vinyl protectant of your choice to keep your boat upholstery protected from any damage by water and sunlight and improve the lifespan of your boat upholstery.
Don’t Skimp On Vinyl And Foam Quality
A lot of times, owners are most concerned with the cost of replacing seat covers. But buying the cheapest stuff on the market could work against you. Look for marine-grade vinyl for your seat covers and don’t be afraid to extend your budget to buy premium fabrics and foams. This can keep you from having to replace your cover too often.
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Having Some Ideas On The Cost Of Reupholstering Boat Seats
There are various seating patterns among different types of vessels. Hence, the best example of this is the pontoon boat seat upholstery. Aside from the helm seat, you may need to place some benches.
The smallest seat has the cheapest cost, around $200 to $300, while $500 will allow you to complete a helm seat. Benches and L-shaped may need a budget of $1,500.
Application Of Vinyl Protectant
After you accomplished stapling the cover, you can now see new seats! However, youll need to do a little task to wrap things up. It applies vinyl protectants to counter damaging UV rays, premature aging, and cracks. Also, it instills a long-lasting shine on the cover.
There are a lot of vinyl protectants offered in the market, but so far, 303 Marine UV Protectant Spray for Vinyl, Star Brite Ultimate Vinyl Guard Protectant, and Better Boat New Waterproofing Spray have proven their worth to most boaters.
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Hire A Professional Upholstery Shop
If you have a really nice boat and want the seats to look just as nice as your boat, then you ultimately are going to want a professional upholstery shop to do the work. I have reupholstered several boat seats in the past. These were for boats with a value under approximately $8,000.
When it comes to really nice boats, I would rather pay a professional that does upholstery every day, so I know the seats will be perfect. Not only is their expertise in upholstery better than mine, their equipment for doing the job is much better as well.
As an example, I just took 7 boat seats and a 5 x 5 sun deck up to Custom Home Style Upholstery in Bayview Wisconsin. This is after shopping around several upholstery shops. Some were far more expensive, and some were not qualified to do the level of work I wanted done.
As a side note, I was not provided any discount for owning BeginBoating.com. None of the shops I approached gave any discount to their quotes and were not made aware of my website ownership. After contracting Custom Home Style Upholstery to do the work, I then told them about it. I am not receiving any compensation for the mention of their business. I mention them because they are fair priced and good at what they do, which provides value to my readers.
In the below video, youll see the exact scope of work that was done for a total price of $1,140.00 .
Secure Your Cushions And Vinyl To The Seat Base
With your vinyl sheet and your cushions measured, cut, and ready, you can get to replacing the upholstery. Line up the foam with the boat seat base and spray some all-purpose adhesive to keep it in place. Then lay the vinyl sheet over the foam and flip the whole thing over.
Now you can fold the vinyl’s overlap and secure it to the bottom of the base. Use your staple gun to get the job done. Some boaters prefer placing one or two staples on each border to keep the vinyl in place, and then going back over each side to get the whole sheet perfectly wrapped around the seat.
In some cases, you might find the need to secure the vinyl straight to the base without any foam in between the two. This happens when you want to create patterns or designs with two different colors or sheets of vinyl. If this happens, you might want to add a line of tac strip to the underside of the vinyl sheet to make the repair more durable and to prevent the staples from showing through the sheet.
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Diy Boat Seat Upholstery
Again, on boats of lesser value , you can do pretty nice work as a DIY home upholstery project. If youre not looking to do multiple upholstery projects, you may not want to spring for a commercial grade sewing machine. If you have a sewing machine, try it first.
You can get used commercial grade sewing machines on Ebay for as little as a couple hundred dollars. I have done several boat upholstery projects and so far I have just used my mothers sewing machine.
She likes quilting and keeps it set up in her basement. It has had no problems at all sewing marine vinyl. I even get her to do some of the sewing . I have dug through all my files to find pictures of a few particular boats that I had reupholstered the seats on. Sadly, I didnt know I would ever need them again and they are deleted or lost.
Be sure you have a good, clean work space before taking on an upholstery project. You need a solid work table and good lighting to lay out your new vinyl and for reassembly. If you have to make new seat bottoms, use marine grade plywood, Starboard, green treat plywood, or painted plywood.
One of the boats was a 22 Mirage bowrider that had not been cared for properly and needed interior work. I reupholstered the seats, which had pull downs, and I actually did a really nice job. None of the cushions were bigger than a few feet long. It was a beautiful boat when I was done.
Measuring The Foam And Vinyl
Without the right measurement, you wont be able to obtain a successful result. So dont throw the previous vinyl and cover as you need them for correct sizing. This means carefully removing them, and you have to take out staples that are found under the seats.
While removing the cover, you can study how you can fix it on the seat. First-timers should be especially observant with this part. After getting the old vinyl, let it spread flatly as a basis for measurement. Do the same thing with the foam if it needs to be replaced.
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Is It Cheaper To Reupholster Your Boat Seats Or Just Buy New
I asked the question above on a pontoon boat forum, to find out what peoples real-life experiences were when either buying new seats or having them reupholstered and how the prices compared. For example, was one way cheaper than another.
Here is a selection of the best comments from what other people say.
I spent just over $3,000 on new boats seats and cushions from Veada on a 30-foot Party Hut, and that wasnt including the back-sun deck. It would have been an extra $450 dollars on top if I had used my local upholstery shop. The seats were great quality and you can pick your colors with just a 3-week lead time.
When I was looking for replacement seats it was about the same price and not really much cheaper than paying for reupholstering. Our new ones are great because they come with new bases and foam. If you decide to reupholster the old ones you still have to resolve the old foam and old wooden bases.
I believe you will always be much happier with new seats. I just got done restoring my own by buying a complete new set. I did contemplate a full reupholster as sometimes you can get a better quality if you use a professional restorer. Its worth learning how to recover boat seats for sure!
We almost always recommend new seats, unless bought direct from an actual pontoon manufacturer as they tend to of a lower quality material and more importantly the stitching isnt always that great.
Upholstery With No Stitching
If stitching is just too scary, you may attempt doing a design that enables for under stapling. This normally works greatest on the boats facet panels as a result of they dont usually have very thick foam to go over. Whenever you dont need to sew a seam to your cushion corners, youll should put folds in your vinyl on the corners.
This may be accomplished and it really doesnt look too dangerous. Im good with this for facet panels, however on boat seat cushions, it does have a problem in addition to the plain decrease high quality look. In case your seat foam is 4 thick, you have got two separate items of vinyl sitting towards one another down that 4 crease.
Because you dont be a part of two totally different vinyls with a seam on the highest of the seat, there may be nothing stopping meals and grime from happening within the seat between the 2 vinyls when solely stapled on the backside.
Ill make a video displaying this system and place it right here, however for now Im placing in one other video to present you a tough concept of this staple methodology. That is only a brief video, however this particular person has different movies displaying greater panels the place he cuts the unique vinyl for elimination.
One thing to think about with utilizing a No Sew methodology of upholstery, is that your seats wont have that outlined edge to the cushion. The cushions may have extra of a domed form to them. It really works, but it surely isnt fairly.
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How Much Does It Cost To Replace Repair Or Reupholster Boat Seats
One thing you may be wondering about is how much reupholstering boat seats costs. Moreover, how does reupholstering compare to repair or purchasing completely new seats?
Well, your final choice cost-wise will depend on these factors:
- The condition of your seats. If your seats are not severely damaged, then you could get away with repairing them yourself. Otherwise, you may want to think about replacing the cover or just buying new seats.
- Your budget. If your budget is really limited, then replacing the seats probably isnt a good option.
- Supply availability and pricing. Can you purchase quality vinyl fabric in your area for a good price? Or can you purchase a decent seat for not too much money? Or maybe having a professional fix your seats would be cheaper? Youll have to look around your area to find out.
Now, lets have a look at how much repairing, reupholstering, or replacing boat vinyl seats would cost.
Are There Additional Reupholster Boat Seats Cost
Per square yard, a quality marine fabric costs between $40-$60. But then, youll also find higher-priced materials should you want to. Typically, more expensive boat materials are more durable than cheaper ones are.
When planning to upholster the entire boat, you might also want to replace or install new speakers and stereo to make them more accessible. Thus, you should anticipate the additional cost for installing a brand new one.
To save money, do research, particularly on fabric suppliers. The experts reveal that there is only a slight difference in price for marine fabric per supplier, contrary to what upholsterers say. To save further, you might want to employ the services of a family-owned local upholsterer that accepts custom work and that obviously offers cheaper prices than commercial upholsterers.
Obtain different reupholster boat seats price estimates as you can to have an idea on the price range to consider based on your budget.
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