When you have an antique furniture piece, it’s important to maintain it in pristine condition so that it can hold its value. If your furniture is broken, you can search for “furniture repair near me” and hire professionals to fix them for you. Let’s check out what loss of furniture is and what are the factors that cause it.
- An undervalued market – Before learning about the loss of value caused by damage, it’s important to have some perspective on the antique furniture market. Unfortunately, the antique furniture market is getting undervalued every year. For instance, there can be a gorgeous chest of drawers with shiny bronze handles that have been polished for centuries by previous generations. It’s a family heirloom, a legacy, a priceless possession that the next generation would fight over.
Unfortunately, that reasoning is preserved just for the previous generation. While an antique chest of drawers used to be a sign of wealth, in the present time it is a piece of furniture that most Millennials won’t use. That kind of gorgeous drawer with a rich history would fetch around $500 at best. That seems absurd. Just think about the work that was put into it and the wars, revolutions, and history the drawer has witnessed. It has been proudly changing hands from one generation to the next and in the present times, it fetches just as much as a production line furniture from Ikea.
Since the market is already so undervalued due to changing tastes and preferences, you need to hold dear your possessions and make sure that they don’t get damaged. As your old furniture gets damaged and doesn’t get the proper repair, it may not fetch even a fraction of the price you expect. You’ll be lucky if you meet a collector who’s prepared to pay a fair price.
- 20th-century furniture – Fortunately, not all antique furniture is on the decline. Furniture pieces from the 20th century are seeing an upward trend since they are easy to fit in modern interiors, don’t require delicate use, and don’t need you to spend an exorbitant amount of money to restore those pieces.
That has made 20th-century furniture a tangible asset that people invest in. Even furniture from the late 20th century is on the path to becoming collectibles and those who see art as an investment instrument are willing to pay good money for it. With that out of the way, let’s figure out what’s loss of value in furniture.
- Loss of value – Loss of value or diminished value is the fallen market of an item after it has been damaged and repaired. You’ll often face this issue when you’re trying to claim insurance for your vehicle that has been damaged pretty badly in an accident. However, the same holds true for furniture pieces.
Technically, if a chair falls from the 10th floor and shatters into pieces it is worthless. However, if the same chair has a chipped or scraped leg, then it hasn’t lost its entire value. In this case, the chair or the piece of antique furniture loses a small percentage of its value. Antique furniture is the focus here since modern production line furniture is cheap and often isn’t worth the restoration unless they have an attached sentimental value.
Loss of value isn’t just caused by damage. It can also happen due to normal use. For instance, if you have an antique chair in the living room and it is used on a regular basis, it will collect skin oils, dust, and debris. It will also need to be cleaned regularly. That means over time the natural signs of wear and tear would start popping up.
Maybe the upholstery starts cracking, the arm has a few splinters, or the feet are distressed. Either way, every piece of furniture has a life expectancy, and if you want to preserve its value and sell it off someday, it’s best to not use it and treat it as a collectible item.
- Determining loss of value – As mentioned above, even after wood furniture has been restored after damage, it loses a few percentages of its value. To determine the loss in value, you need to see it through an objective lens. Ask yourself if the function of the furniture piece has been altered due to the damage and repair.
Does the furniture look different after it has been repaired? Has the repair been able to completely restore the structural integrity of the furniture piece? Has the craftsman removed or added any part to the furniture for the restoration work? All these factors determine the loss of value. While you get an objective view and a rough estimation of loss of value, you need the help of a certified and licensed appraiser to evaluate the item both before the restoration and after it.
Formally trained appraisers get trained at the Appraisal Studies programs or different Universities or attend the training program of the Appraisal Association of America or the American Society of Appraisals. Even if the appraiser got informal training under an independent appraiser, they should have certification from the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
- Preserving the value of your furniture – To preserve the value of your wooden furniture, you should use it as little as possible and protect it from harmful elements like direct sunlight, heat, and moisture. Keep it in a dry, cool, and artificially lit room. Make sure that you use a 100 percent cotton flannel cloth to dust the furniture instead of using regular rags or feather dusters. You’ll also need to polish the furniture piece from time to time to protect it from damage.
An antique furniture piece can be a treasure if you can preserve it under the right conditions. If it gets damaged and there are major repairs that completely change the furniture piece, then it may lose a substantial fraction of its value. To get your furniture repaired, you can search for “furniture repair near me” and hire pros for the job.