(Note: I had a friend critique our How to Buy Bad Church Chairs and he suggested that it didn’t sound as good as the positive approach. So our former page was supposed to be somewhat humorous but in case the humour did not show through, now we have the POSITIVE approach 🙂 Which do you like better?)
How to Buy Good Church Chairs
- Buy for quality, not price. Quality will last at least until the next generation takes over.
- Keep it simple! Yes you do not want chairs to clash with everything else, but how much time do you need to spend on patterns and colours? How much time are you spending on finding out how well constructed the chairs are?
- Don’t take my word for the quality, check out what others are saying. One of the largest dealers of church chairs in North America recommends Comfortek chairs. (Church Furniture Partner)
- Ask HOW they are made, not where they are made. Great products are made in China like Apple products. Every country has some junk and some high quality products.
- What IS a chair? It’s a cushion for your seat and a cushion for your back, most of which cannot be seen when in use. You want it to keep you awake and keep your sore back from aching. 🙂
- Research what to buy months or weeks in advance. Some churches start one year ahead and get a general cost of purchasing let us say 300 chairs. Then during that year they study up on chairs to figure out what they want. They put aside money. They ask for some colour swatches. They get a demo chair and try it out! I have one church in Winnipeg that is buying 100 chairs each summer as they can afford them. This coming summer, 2016 they will probably be ordering the last 100!
- Yes you want to get a good price. It IS good stewardship. But when you spend more time researching prices than you do the quality of the chair, something is missing! 🙂
- At a certain point you need to stop researching and evaluate which chairs are going to be the best for years to come and prepare to purchase. We think for a moderate price that our CFC, CTS chairs are the best for the money. But you will have to make up your own mind. Our chairs are already discounted. But sometimes for larger quantities we can reduce the price in some small way.
How are Your Optics?
We have all heard of optical illusions and sometimes been tricked by them. When buying chairs, you might ALSO be tricked into buying a chair that appears to be cheaper or just as good for less money than the chairs we sell.
A Sad Church Chair Story
Sadly I know two local churches on whose beautiful-looking chairs I have had occasion to sit.
After about 30 – 40 minutes, I had to get up and go out in the hall to rest my aching seat and back! Why was there a problem? They looked great!
No one can see the foam upon which you sit. It is covered with beautiful fabric! But the foam makes or breaks a comfortable chair!!!
There are various grades of foam and if the cheapest soft or single density foam is used, in due time the foam will be compressed enough that your seat bottoms out so to speak after so many minutes. That’s what happened in the seats referred to above.
If the church had compared chairs, obtained a demo chair from us and any competitor and tried both out they would have noticed quite a difference. CTS chairs and BRCF chairs use dual-density foams which at first might even seem too hard but if you remain sitting for a minute or two more it gradually takes the shape of the sitter’s posterior and feels, oh so comfortable!!!
How much did either of those churches save? Maybe $5 per chair?
How long do you expect to keep your chairs? Do you expect to replace them every 5, 10 or 15 years?
Or would you expect them to last until the next generation takes over the running of the church? (Usually considered to be about 25 years.)
Our family had the same experience with a beautiful hunter green couch with beautiful wood showing on the arms, quilted so beautifully, we fell in love with it.
But after about 5 years, I had to put a board underneath the seat cushions just to keep from sagging too far down. In talking with an upholstery shop he told me what I have just told you about various qualities of foam. At the time, now many years ago he said that for $200 he would put in the right foam.
But wouldn’t it be better just to put in the RIGHT foam to start with??? We were fooled by the beautiful fabric. The expression “beauty is only fabric deep” might apply for the types of furniture experienced above.
The chairs we sell have frames that should last 25 years and beyond, foam and fabric that should last at least 10 years in great condition. 15+ years, if cold-cured foam is used costing less than $4 per chair!
In other words, for $4 more per chair, would it be worth having the seat last at least another 5 years?
But do that ONLY if you have lots of time because any change from a stock chair is considered customized and custom chairs take 12-16 weeks to arrive after initial ordering. Remember even the dual density foam we use is much better than any average chair that you have had the opportunity to sit on.
Now unless our chairs get very hard use, they should last a lot longer than the warranty of 25 years on the frame, and 10 years each on the fabric and foam.
The factors below should be used to compare various chairs before purchase to make sure you have the best quality for the lowest price possible.
- Storage Space Required
PLEASE! Do your homework! You want the chairs to last at least until the next generation takes over the church!
CFC offers a demo program where you can pay 1/2 the cost of shipping by Fedex and get a chair usually in the colour you are considering to try for comfort and comparison purposes. The chair is free. You just pay half the cost of shipping.
If you really want to compare two of our chairs you pay the full cost of shipping for the second chair, but still no charge for the chair.
As of December 2015 our cost for a Demo chair is $40 plus tax and for a second chair, Demo 2, $80. I would call that cheap insurance!
Construction Factors – Download sheet by clicking the link Chair-Construction-Comparison.