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QUESTION: Hi - I just moved and realize that I have a narrow doorway. Looking to purchase sofa but having great pains trying to find one that fits through door. Want to get the largest I can get with the following dimensions

My doorway clearance is (aprox - 28"0. Opening is about 30" but the door edge itself when opened creates about 2" of blockage).

Height clearance of doorway is about 81"

There is no hallway leading to doorway but there is a wall that is the next unit at the right side of doorway with prob 6 inches of clearance. The left of the doorway is open space.

Inside the unit...the door opens up next to closet (which is on the same side of the outside wall (as you might image, my closet would line up with neighbors closet) so no additional clearance inside for about 5 feet. Except, on the opposite side of the wall, for about 5 feet here is about an additional 3 inches of room once you clear the door frame.
Thanks for your advise

ANSWER: Hello Cynthia,

I am not quite sure if I understand the layout of your doorway set up compared to the apt. next to you. It sounds like the sofa will have a straight path to be carried with no turns. On that being said, I will give you the dimensions of a sofa that will have a straight carry. Please let me know if there are turns involved or if the sofa will need to be stood on end. With a straight carry, the sofa can have a length of just about anything. A 28" doorway will need to have a sofa depth of 38" or less. The height will need to be LOWER than 31" based on a "standard" style sofa where the back is higher than the arms. The arm height (weather with legs or without)needs to have a height measurement LOWER than 27". You can have a higher back height as long as removing cushions or legs will bring it LOWER than 31" (the lower the better).

There are a couple of "ready to assemble" sofa sites that are of excellent quality. I will list them here:

Let me know if I can help you further.



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sketch of doorway
sketch of doorway  
QUESTION: Thanks for the info-. I attached the layout in sketch form. (I am a horrible sketch artist as you can see :-)

I'm not sue what you meant when you said "stood on end". I'm expecting to get a sofa that is more than 81", the height of the doorway.

My though process was that I needed to have at least the debt or height (most likely height) be narrower than the width of the door way so that if I have a 28" doorway and I flip the sofa where the seats are horizontal to the ground, then I would need that height to be less than 28" to get through. but this is why I obviously need your expert opinion. Don't know if the attached will shed any more light. Thanks so much

Hello Cynthia,

Thank you for the diagram, I think I have the gist of it. When I said the term "stood on end", I meant if the sofa will need to be stood vertically at any point. If the sofa can be carried horizontally "ALL THE WAY", this is a good thing! I don't know what the width of "C" is  but I am assuming it is pretty wide from the way you are describing the area. With all this said and the sofa being able to be maneuvered horizontally, the above dimensions of a sofa I recommend should work fine. On most "standard" style sofas, you can have a back height that is about 3" higher (after whatever can be removed) than the door width and still angle it through without major difficulties. Is that door removable to give you the extra 2"?  

Does this help with your question or do you need me to clarify my description? You can always send me pictures of the area you are describing or a link to any sofa that you like. You are correct in the way to carry a sofa through horizontaly with the sofa front facing the floor but should be angled at a 45 degree tilt going through the doorway.

Let me know,


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Harry Lipsky


Moving your furniture. I would like to answer all questions dealing with the proper techniques of how to move ANY type of furniture, including difficult doorways and stairways. Also, all questions dealing with the proper packing of breakables including antiques. All general questions concerning the moving and storage industry will be answered. I cannot recommend a particular mover in a person`s neighborhood but i can explain how to obtain a company in good standing with the community. I have been in the moving and storage industry for almost four decades! I am located in Massachusetts.


I have almost four decades of experience in the moving & storage industry. When I was a small boy my father introduced me into the moving business and I have been hooked ever since. At first I started out as a young laborer untill I was old enough to drive a furniture van. As time went on I drove 18-wheelers around the country moving small shipments as well as large corporate relocations. I was taught the old school methods by men that were craftsman in their field. I learned how to pack the most delicate of breakables as well as museum pieces. It was common practice to do estimates and even the actual ratings on interstate jobs. Doing commercial moves were a big part of my moving career over the years. Some of the big names that I delt with were "GE","MICROSOFT","FIDELITY INVESTMENTS" AND "AMERICAN EXPRESS". As the years went by my family retired and sold the business (not my choice). I went on to establish my own moving company which ran for 12 years before I phased out the physical moving itself. Today I have developed a consulting service where I advise future furniture buyers as well as people moving for the first time on what to expect from their upcoming adventure. Furniture buyers are advised on what size furniture will fit through their narrow doorways and tight hallways. By choosing furniture with the right dimensions will narrow down the probability of the furniture being returned back to the store. That is not a scenario people want after waiting 8-12 weeks for their new furniture. I can also help people to understand the proper procedures of a first time move in their lives. I tell them what is to be expected,how they can save money,how to choose a good mover and what is involved with getting the packing done.

I have a FACEBOOK page for PRE-MOVE STRATEGIES. Please become a fan! I would like to have all people that I have helped to leave their comments on the FACEBOOK page.

I have a high school diploma from Swampscott High School............Swampscott, MA. Immediately after high school I entered the family business where I stayed for 20 years before moving on to my own business endeavors.

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