- What are Your Needs?
- Know Your Outdoor Space
- What are Your Local Climate Conditions?
- Have a Realistic Budget
- Keep an Eye out for Quality
- Maintenance and Upkeep
- Pay Attention to the Fabrics
- What are you Willing to Sacrifice for Comfort?
- Explore Your Storage Options
- General Tips on How to Choose Outdoor Furniture
- Some of our Outdoor Furniture Recommendations
Outdoor furniture is an investment that should last for years to come. But with so many options out there, it can be hard to know what kind of outdoor furniture will actually stand the test of time and weather. But how to choose quality outdoor furniture that will last? With a little research, you’ll be able to find the perfect pieces for your space in no time! Let us help you make a well-thought-out decision.
What are Your Needs?
Patio and garden furniture comes in a wide range of available materials and styles that are designed to provide exceptional levels of comfort, flexibility, and functionality to your open seating areas. However, to aid your search for the perfect and long-lasting outdoor furniture. It would be a good idea to put some thought into the frequency of their usage, the types of furniture pieces you will need, and their purpose.
If you love entertaining guests on your patio or deck, then an expandable dining set, plus individual cushioned armchairs, will provide enough room and comfort. An oversized soft fabric couch plus a deep lounge seat is perfect for hanging out with friends and family. At the same time, a cane rocker or chaise lounge is ideal for those solitary moments on your porch.
Know Your Outdoor Space
Every outdoor area is different with its particular characteristics, which define the size, type, and volume of outdoor furniture you need to buy. You must perform a pre-purchase evaluation of your outdoor space to know the correct furnishings and the special features required. For example, you need tables fitted with self-leveling legs for uneven floors and synthetic fabrics for poolside sofas.
What are Your Local Climate Conditions?
Your local weather plays a massive role in determining the lifespan of your outdoor furniture. Assess your local climate to identify your prevalent weather conditions by asking the following questions.
Do you get more rain than sunshine? Does your area experience a lot of direct sunlight? How cold does it get during winter? If you experience high winds, your patio or garden furniture must be heavy to prevent damage from being toppled. Your outdoor furniture choices should have features that can enable them to withstand your local weather conditions.
Here are some good tips to will help you decide which outdoor furniture to choose!
Outdoor furniture tips for hot climates
- Go for neutral colors and textures which are more fade resistant than deeper shades.
- Plastic and laminate materials can degrade when exposed to sunlight.
- Wood, especially teak outdoor furniture, offers the best performance in hot climates.
Outdoor furniture tips for coastal areas
- Avoid metals except for stainless steel, which has exceptional anti-corrosive properties.
- If you want outdoor metal furniture and can’t afford stainless steel, buy powder-coated steel.
- Teak is your best wood option because it doesn’t hold moisture, and it is rot resistant.
- Synthetic wicker is another excellent option. It is waterproof and can be pressure washed to remove accumulated salt and sand.
Outdoor furniture tips for wet and cold climates
- Plastic, synthetic fabrics, and fast-drying foams are your ideal options.
- Avoid wood materials unless you are prepared to spend time and money on annual treatments to prevent warping.
- We also recommend synthetic wicker for its exceptional performance in wet climates.
- Wooden outdoor furniture is not suitable for wet weather conditions.
Outdoor furniture tips for windy climates
- Wrought iron and cast aluminum are suitable investments if you consider buying outdoor furniture in a windy climate.
- Teak patio tables and chairs are incredibly durable and can withstand strong winds.
Have a Realistic Budget
The truth is, you are more likely to buy longer-lasting and durable outdoor furniture pieces if you are sticking to budget compared to when you are not. Unfortunately, most people believe that working with a budget means consigning yourself to the low-end offerings in Lowes and Home Depot outdoor furniture section.
However, this is not the reality. Drawing up a budget allows you to allocate your (limited) resources efficiently and prevent splurging on unnecessary items. A realistic budget can help you focus on selecting practical and well-made outdoor furniture pieces instead of expensive-looking but low-quality patio furniture.
Keep an Eye out for Quality
You must pay close attention to the quality and finish of outdoor furniture pieces. Outdoor furniture is – well designed for use outdoors, and the quality must be on-par with indoor furniture quality if not above.
When asking how to choose quality outdoor furniture, here are some tips to help you out:
- Steer clear from furniture pieces with stapled or glued joints.
- Tenon, dovetailed, and mortise joints perform better under outdoor conditions.
- Check for quality fasteners such as stainless steel and brass screws, pegs, and dowels with a longer lifespan than ordinary screws and rivets.
- Cast iron furniture lasts longer under outdoor conditions because they have no moving joints that wear out.
- Sit on the furniture (if you can) to check for wriggles.
- Ensure that all metal screws have an anti-corrosion treatment.
- Read consumer reviews of each outdoor furniture piece when shopping online to have an idea of the quality.
- Research the various material options.
The materials used in constructing your outdoor furniture can deteriorate and change their appearance over time when exposed to various weather conditions. And having a good understanding of each material’s unique strengths and shortcomings for your climate can help you make better choices when choosing a patio or garden furniture for your home.
Materials used for outdoor furniture include the following;
- Natural grass.
- Plastic and PVC.
- Vinyl and composite materials.
- Natural and synthetic fabrics.
The comparison table below illustrates the lifespan and performance of the various outdoor furniture materials under different environmental conditions.
Maintenance and Upkeep
Your outdoor furniture will require periodic upkeep if you want them to last long. Searching for low-maintenance outdoor furniture can help reduce the time you spend caring for the furniture, allowing you to focus on enjoying your time outdoors.
Also, the amount of maintenance required to keep your patio and garden furniture in good shape depends on the type of materials you choose. Metal outdoor furniture is the easiest to maintain, requiring only a good hosing down once a twice a year. Other materials such as wood can be less forgiving.
You can keep accessories, like patio cushions and pillow covers, clean by putting them in the washer. You can clean synthetic surfaces with water and detergent solutions.
Pay Attention to the Fabrics
It makes sense to invest in synthetic covers for your patio pillows and cushions to prevent moisture damage, mildew, and premature fading. All-weather synthetic fabrics like acrylic are designed for outdoor use. They have a porous structure, which means they drain water faster than natural fibers. Also, marine-grade vinyl and PVC mesh covers are highly durable and offer fade-resistant capabilities, including U.V protection against sun damage.
What are you Willing to Sacrifice for Comfort?
Plush and attractive patio cushions and fluffy lounge chair pillows bring out the aesthetics of your steel, wood, or wicker outdoor furniture arrangement. They also allow you to relax comfortably on solid frames.
The temptation to use your indoor deep-cushioned materials on your patio furniture may be overwhelming. While it may allow you to maximize your comfort, such items are not designed for outdoor use.
Investing in quick-drying and vented cushions made from polyester filler or reticulated foam prevents moisture build-up on your patio furniture, which can corrode metal frames or lead to wood rot. Lightweight weather-resistant cushions provide you with long-lasting service, which includes mold and mildew resistance and UV protection.
Explore Your Storage Options
Let’s admit there will be days when the great outdoors will lose its allure. And since sunshine and perfect skies aren’t always guaranteed, that moment will come when your patio furniture will be stored away for safekeeping to await better days. Keeping outdoor furniture in storage increases its useful lifespan and prevents extreme weathering due to frigid conditions.
Choosing outdoor furniture that is optimized for cold weather storage is a good idea. Foldable or stackable chairs and tables that can be taken are excellent apart, last twice as long, and require less maintenance than solid or single cast outdoor furniture that is left outdoors all year long.
General Tips on How to Choose Outdoor Furniture
- Here are a few tips to help you identify quality outdoor furniture pieces when shopping.
- Large furniture pieces with spring cushions will retain their shape for a more extended period.
- Outdoor furniture assembled with stainless steel screws is less likely to corrode around its joints and fastenings.
- Invest in chairs and tables with legs encased in rubber or plastic that won’t scratch your patio or deck surface.
- Test metal outdoor furniture with a magnet to distinguish between steel which is magnetic and corrosive, and aluminum which isn’t.
- Invest in durable patio furniture pieces designed to withstand human-inflicted damage such as cigarette burns, soda or wine spills, food stains, and random acts of vandalism.
Some of our Outdoor Furniture Recommendations
To conclude this article, we’d like to show you some of our recommendations for great outdoor furniture that will last for the long run!
Looking for another great addition to your outdoor space? Building an outdoor kitchen is always a great idea!
Also, if you don’t really want to invest in quality outdoor furniture, you can always buy a backyard hammock to relax in!