My patio furniture will probably make it about one more year. Unfortunately, I didn’t spend a great deal of money or time shopping around, and after only a few years, it’s beginning to show it. I’ve learned a few things about the quality of outdoor furniture and knowing a little more would have prevented me from having to purchase it again so soon.
Before you go shopping, do your homework. See if your retailer offers a variety of manufacturers for outdoor seating groups, lounge chairs and tables in materials such as wood, wrought iron, cast aluminum, casual aluminum and rattan wicker.
Woods For Outdoor Furniture
- Teak or Ipe wood are the best and most durable woods for outdoor furniture use. It weathers extremely well and looks great over time. Teak wood is a very dense wood and ipe wood is a darker wood (known as iron wood), which is stronger and denser than teak.
Metals For Outdoor Furniture
- Wrought iron is known for its strength and durability, but be sure you like the style, because you will probably keep this one for a lifetime. It is a very heavy iron and will rust a little over time. A little spot sanding and touch up paint will keep it looking great for years.
- Cast aluminum will never rust and requires very little maintenance. It can be very ornate in design, since it is poured into decorative castings and then welded together.
- Casual aluminum has a simpler design. It uses less aluminum, which makes it lighter than the cast aluminum version and tends to be less expensive.
- Rattan wicker is an outdoor wicker, made from resin. This all-weather material looks very realistic and holds up in the most extreme weather. Many of the better manufacturers provide aluminum framing underneath that will not rust. Beware of those manufacturers that take wicker furniture and add an outdoor coating. These do not last very long and will start peeling and chipping over time.
With all outdoor furniture, ask your professional about poolside placement and yearlong care instructions. One of the best fabric manufacturers is Sunbrella, which is known for its durability and fade resistant colors. If you see that your cushions, pillows and umbrellas are made from this material, you are getting great outdoor quality.
The outdoor furniture styles are endless and to add to it, you can order different fabrics, umbrellas, fire side tables and accessories. The outside of your home can be just as beautiful and comfortable as the inside of your home. With a little homework, and yes, a little more expense, you can have a long lasting outdoor entertaining area that you will be proud of for many years to come. Don’t be like myself and many others, going back just after a few years, doing it all over again!