Your patio or deck is an extension of your home, so you want to make sure the furniture is attractive, durable, and comfortable. The following guide can help you select furniture that is made to last while also fitting into your design needs.
Tip #1: Buy for the Seasons
Only you know for sure what kind of conditions your furniture will be regularly subjected to. If your seating area is exposed to wet or moist conditions, opt for mildew-resistant furniture like metal. A nice wrought-iron or aluminum set that is fitted with mildew-resistant and waterproof cushions is a better choice than wood, since some types of wood can suffer from rot if it isn't sanded and repainted often.
In bright, sunny areas, skip plastic furniture since sunlight can cause it to degrade. Metal is an option, although it may become uncomfortably hot. Wood works well in sunny locations as long as you use a UV-resistant sealer to protect the paint from sun damage.
Tip #2: Know Your Materials
Not all woods or metals are the same. For example, most metal outdoor furniture is made of either iron or aluminum. Iron furniture can last forever, although rusting will occur if it isn't painted. Aluminum furniture doesn't rust, but it is lightweight so it may blow over and become damaged during high winds. If you don't want to be repainting the metal and winds aren't a concern, then aluminum might be the most durable option for you.
Wood offers similar choices. Soft woods like pine are prone to rot and damage, while a hard wood like mahogany can withstand more weathering. Both will need occasional sanding and refinishing to stay in top condition and to guard against eventual rot. If you need an extremely durable wood that can withstand sun, moisture, and weather damage, then teak is the best option. Although you can refinish it, there is usually no need.
Tip #3: Check the Construction
Finally, make sure the furniture is constructed well. If there are screws or bolts, verify that these are stainless or galvanized metals to ensure that they don't rust. Make sure all joints are secure and skip pieces that are held together with flimsy dowels, staples or glue. Metal furniture should be smooth, with no rough or jagged edges that can rub and damage cushions or skin, while wood furniture should be well-sanded and sealed.
Don't be afraid to turn a piece upside down or to remove the cushions so you can really examine the construction. Sit down on chairs and bounce a little, and try to shake the tables. These items will serve your home for many years, so make sure they can stand up to the rigors of everyday use.
For more information, contact Casual Living & Patio Center or a similar location.