How a sofa comes apart is dependent on two things — how it was put together in the first place and why it is being disassembled. Sofas that will be reassembled should be carefully taken apart. Disassembly should generally follow the building of the sofa, but in reverse. Traditional sofa building requires the frame to be padded before upholstery is put into place. More contemporary sofas may be modular in nature with upholstery created as a unit that snaps into place. Sofas trapped in a room and needing to be removed may simply require the removal of the legs or arms.
Remove any loose cushions and set them aside.
Turn over the sofa if needed and assess how it was put together. For metal-framed or modular sofas, make an educated guess about what the last piece to be attached was and begin by removing that piece. Slipcovers are easily removed and may reveal original upholstery underneath.
Remove upholstery, padding, strings and any burlap covering that might have been used during the upholstery process. Use a sharp box or mat knife. Pry off zig-zag springs. Upholstery fabric that will be reused for another project can be removed carefully using a seam-ripping tool to break the stitching.
Look the sofa over once the frame is bare and easily viewable. Note what type of connector was used to put the frame together and locate the tool(s) needed to disassemble them. Sofa frames are typically put together using nuts, bolts, screws and large staple or nail guns.