Enjoy your outdoor furniture

With modern materials and manufacturing, outdoor furniture can last as long, and in some cases much longer than your living room furniture!

So many manufacturers are now taking full advantage of the major advances in frame materials, fabrics and the finishes used to protect them. Your outdoor furniture can really be that “for outdoors”. But before buying your outdoor patio furniture, there are several things you should consider.

Perhaps the first thing you should think about is the weather and climate where you live. Do you live in a hot dry climate or a cool damp one, for instance do you live in southern California or south London?

What about décor? There really is a wide selection of materials and designs to choose from with outdoor furniture, and your personal taste is important. But, do you have any existing outdoor furniture? Does a grade A teak dining chair really fit with a white plastic table.

Outdoor Furniture choose from Timber, Plastic, Iron, Aluminum, Wicker or Rattan

The structure of your outdoor furniture is very important and frame materials come in metals, wood, wicker and rattan, resin and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). For instance, a quality wicker chair shouldn’t be too light and should have a hardwood frame for stability. Aluminum tubes shouldn’t be too flimsy; if they are they’ll break. The old adage is true: you get what you pay for.

Coverings and cushions for your outdoor furniture come in heavy grade cotton, acrylics, vinyl-coated polyesters and olefins, as well as blends of these and some other materials. The availability is tremendous, usually with the higher range sets of outdoor furniture you have the possibility of choosing the cushion covers you want; white, stripped, floral, etc.

Aluminium is by far the largest seller in frame materials, according to the industry trade magazine, Casual Living. Aluminum doesn’t rust, but you might want to look for powder coated, painted or anodized finishes to prevent discoloration. You’ll also find a growing number of cast-aluminum styles, which are heavy in weight but offer highly detailed and intricate designs. Like cast aluminum, wrought iron also offers intricate detailing. But along with steel, it can rust. Powder coatings on steel and rust retardants on steel and wrought iron can retard rusting. You’ll want to check the finishes as you shop and make your selections.

Non-metal materials used for outdoor furniture include wood, which ranges from teak at the high end to a wide range of other species, including oak and pine as well as other recycled woods. Resin and PVC are man-made materials that are resistant to sunlight, don’t rust and have integral colour throughout.