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A cheap solution for a shitty couch

August 16th, 2011

When I moved into my friend’s house in April there were three couches, a console TV and a dining room table in my new room. I decided to keep one of the couches in there, and we moved the rest of that stuff downstairs.

My initial plan was just to sleep on the couch, but the springs were removed and replaced with a couple of motors from a massage chair to make the couch vibrate, as well as to scare any squirrels living in the roof or wake up anyone who may be sleeping anywhere in the house. When you sat down, you just sunk into the back of it, almost as if you were a quarter about to get lost in the cushions. So I built a loft bed with a foam mattress to sleep on. I’ll publish the design some day.

As I was reading and sinking into the cushions and getting irritated, I looked up at the slatted support structure I used for my bed, and I got an idea. I went into the basement where I knew there were some scrap 1×3 furring strips and I experimented with fitting them on top of the couch frame.

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After sticking some temporary supports under a few cushions and feeling it out for about a week or so, I eyeballed what seemed to be a good placement interval for the 28″ slats.

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To make it secure, I ran two 5′ 4″ furring strips underneath the slats and used 1 1/4″ gold screws. The corners each got two screws diagonal from one another to keep the boards at right angles.

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It’s a much more stable couch now. It feels a lot firmer obviously, but it’s comfortable. And the supports slide out all in one piece with a little work. Still a junky looking couch, but who am I trying to impress?

I could’ve gone to a thrift store and bought a different couch with everything in tact. The estimated cost would be at least $40, plus the hassle of borrowing a truck and moving it, plus the hassle of throwing away the old one. (Also, I designed my bed so that the couch fits perfectly underneath it, with a long shelf running along the back.  I’d be losing design points.)

I also could’ve tried to figure out how to respring it. Uh-uh, no way.

Instead, I spent about $8 to rig up wooden supports — $4 on wood and $4 on screws. Nothing was wasted. When I get a spring mattress someday, I’m going to cut up the one I’m using now and use the foam to re-stuff the couch cushions.