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Dr. Sofa

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Dr. Sofa
(Shlomi Eini)
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With foreclosures rising across the country, many people are moving into smaller homes. And sometimes people find they no longer have room for their favorite furniture. That's a particularly acute problem in New York City, where steep stairs and narrow entrances can make it literally impossible to move your stuff in. But reporter Sally Herships reports that there is a solution these tight situations, if you've got the stomach for it.

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It's moving day and there are a few problems. John Howard is shuttling his family and all their worldly possessions from one Brooklyn apartment to another. The movers are here. There are cardboard boxes and tape everywhere. There's just one thing stopping them: The sofa the John is sitting on is too big to get out the door. In fact, he was squished deep down into the cushions when he had the epiphany. "Wow, the sofa does not fit in the apartment."

Since John Howard's family brought in the sofa, they've remodeled the apartment. In New York City real estate prices are big, but apartments are small.

While John Howard struggles to move out, over in Queens, Eileen Gratziano is trying to get her couch in. She just arrived from Manhattan and realized her couch wouldn't make it up her stairs. "I was not happy," she says.

You should know these are normal size couches we're talking about. You know, big enough to seat a family, and maybe a dog. It's the old brownstones and subdivided apartments of New York City that have small doorways and steep staircases. They're not exactly couch friendly.

At first John Howard figured they'd just sell their old couch to the new tenants. But people, like John's wife, love their furniture. It seems that sofas can pack a lot of sentiment between the cushions.

"My wife quickly reminded me that this sofa has a lot of sentimental value for us," he explains, "Which then of course I remembered."

Meredith, Howard's wife, says the sofa was the first post-college purchase for the couple. "We got it five years ago when we first moved in," she explains, "and it was the first element to start to define our interior decor."

For Eileen Gratziano her sofa was a symbol of independence. "This was the first purchase I made after I got divorced so it was like, mine," she says. "And I was really upset that they couldn't get it upstairs. I really was. I was a little heartbroken."

Luckily there's a savior who can help during these dark times. It's Dr. Sofa, AKA Greg Gomez and Mario Quito, to the rescue. And that means it's time for sofa surgery. Mario pulls out a saw and Greg gets ready to operate.

"You feel nice when you cut the sofa… I like to cut," says Greg.

In order to save these sofas, Dr. Sofa is going to have to cut them to pieces. And the sofa-owners are going to pay about $300 for the privilege. First Greg and Mario take out staples and remove the fabric. Next out comes whatever's holding the furniture together, like screws and rivets. Finally it's time for the back or the arms to come off. To do that, you need the big guns.

As Meredith Howard watches the final stages of her furniture's procedure she gets a little emotional. "This is a little alarming because seriously -- that's our arm!" she says.

Now the Howard's sofa has been completely taken apart. John wasn't bothered until the power tools came into play. It's sort of like watching an autopsy. "It's a fairly benign experience," he says, "until they pull out the bone saw."

The movers pack up the Howard's sofa. Well, the pieces. It'll get put back together later inside their new place. Back in Queens, Eileen Gratziano is pleasantly surprised. Her sofa which was once ripped apart now looks as good as new. She and her husband applaud Greg and Mario. "Now I'm complete," she says, "because that's what was supposed to be."

Comments

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  • By Kimberly Jenkins

    From NY, 07/11/2011

    Dr.Sofa has been a part of my life since I first moved to New York.I came from the suburbs with roomy houses and moved to a nice city apartment with small hallways.That surburbian furniture was not able to fit in.I was going to buy a new set when I heard about Dr.Sofa.I gave them a call they came the same day and got my living room set in.They did an amazing job

    By Des Silv

    From New York, NY, 02/18/2011

    Dr. Sofa,
    I just wanted to thank you all for a great job. I bought a sofa from Room & Board. The sofa did not fit through the doorway of my apartment and Dr. Sofa came in very handy. They took apart the sofa and reassembled it in about one hour. Everyone was very professional and very friendly. I HIGHLY recommend that anyone use your services. I will definitely spread the word about your services and continue to use Dr. Sofa in the future.
    Thanks Again

    By keyla morel

    From perth amboy, NJ, 02/27/2009

    hello i live in perth amboy nj and i have my bedroom set is really good but im thinking to buy a new one cause the furniture have some scrash in the head bord,foot board, and the chest plus a just trouw a beautiful chair that the seat have some stain and the color is blue i need some help please and my question is how much can you help me please.

    By Mickey Finn

    From The Bronx, NY, 01/12/2009

    I recently had my oversized couch disassembled, moved to my new apartment and reassembled by one of the Dr. Sofa teams. They were just great, professional and very courteous. Of course, my wife was so worried that there would be some damage to the sofa. When the team was done she could not find a hint of the sofa ever being disassembled. If you were to ask why I chose Dr Sofa over the miriad of competitors: they came very highly recommended, they gave us a guaranteed price with a guaranteed to fit. But most importantly, I had no liability worries since they and their employees are fully insured and provided my new building with all requested insurance certificates. Moving is hard enough, Dr. Sofa provided peace of mind.

    By Michelle Ceraolo

    From Bronx, NY, 01/12/2009

    Dr. Sofa emergency services saved us. With a moments notice Dr. Sofa disassemble our sofa. The fee was good and the guys did a perfect job. I also found out that Dr. Sofa offers other services like upholster, wood refinishing and furniture repair. There website is nice too. I rate them 4 star. If your sofa is sick, call Dr. Sofa.

    By Lisa Geertsen

    From Seattle, WA, 01/10/2009

    I just wanted to say that as we were listening to weekend america we heard that there would be a bit about moving difficult sofas. At that moment, my husband and I were in the process of removing our sofa. This was a sofa we had to move in through a window. And then the windows were replaced. So while listening to your show, we demolished our old sofa. Shortly we are on our way to get the new one. Hopefully it will fit in the door...

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