What to Look for When Shopping for Patio Furniture

Patio furniture is a type of furniture specifically designed for outdoor use. It is typically made of weather-resistant materials. In fact, we see examples of garden furniture dating all the way back to the days of ancient Pompeii. Examples of this would be furniture such as chairs, tables, settees, or loungers, all of which are suited for use on a patio. Shopping for patio furniture is easy if you keep in mind what kind you are looking for and the style, price, and maintenance. All of these outdoor furniture pieces help make your outside entertaining more enjoyable.

Types

There are several different types of outdoor furniture, and each serves their own purpose. Here are the different types of patio furniture and what they are used for.

Patio Chair- A patio chair is used to sit outside on a patio or deck. It is usually made out of plastic, metal or wood. Many times a chair cushion is used on the chair to make it more comfortable.

Patio Table- A patio table is used to offer a place to gather around with the patio chairs and enjoy a meal or play a game with family and friends. Many times an umbrella is used over the table to provide shade.

Patio settees- A settee makes a cozy little seating area on your patio. A settee resembles a bench, usually seating for two. Many times it is accompanied by a chair and small table that resembles a coffee table. It is a great setting for a small outside get together.

Lounger- A patio lounger is a long chair to rest your feet upon and lay down on. The back of the lounger usually can be adjusted for reclining back or sitting up. Many times these can be used for sunbathing or just relaxing on a nice day.

Now that you know the different types of patio furniture, choosing what you need will be easier. Next you need to choose a style.

Style

Choosing the style of patio furniture you want starts with the material it is made from. All outdoor furniture can be made from plastic, wood, or metal. If choosing a wood piece, the color will depend on the type of wood it is made from. Types of wood used are maple, oak, cherry, pine, teak, and cedar. There are also different types of metal that patio furniture is made out of, such as aluminum and wrought iron.

Once you have chosen the kind of material you want your furniture to be made out of, there are other small details that will add to the decor of your patio furniture, including chair cushions and also umbrellas. These can be changed with the seasons and when you desire a change.

Price

The price you pay for a piece of patio furniture will depend on the quality of the furniture. The higher the price you pay, the better the quality will be. The patio furniture will be more durable and will last longer than a cheaply made piece. Shopping different stores and comparing prices will help you save money. Many times stores and websites will have sales and markdown the price of the furniture either due to overstock or end of season bargains.

Maintenance

It is also very important to know how to care for your outdoor furniture. Keeping your furniture clean will help you retain the life of your furniture longer. It is important to store your patio furniture in a dry place such as a garage or shed in the late fall and winter months. It is also important to buy furniture covers to keep your furniture in good condition when not in use.

Garden and Patio Furniture – What to Look For

Garden and patio furniture can really add a lot of appeal to your patio but it is important to choose your outdoor furniture carefully to ensure you get the best looking and longest lasting furniture.  This applies to furnishing a new patio or redecorating an established one.

When choosing your patio furniture you should consider several important points.  These are:

  • 1. Durability
  • 2. What the furniture is made of
  • 3. Color
  • 4. Size
  • 5. Does it complement your patio and home?

Outdoor furniture can be made from many different materials such as plastic, wood, wicker and metal and comes in many different styles.  Before you choose your patio furniture decide what sort of look you want your patio to have and how much room there is for furniture.  This last point, how much room, is very important as you do not want all of the room on your patio to be taken up by furniture nor do you want a tiny setting in a huge space.

The most economical way of buying furniture for your deck is to buy outdoor patio furniture sets.  That way the pieces of furniture match each other and, because you are buying the furniture as a set then quite often the price is cheaper than if the components were bought separately.

Durability is very important.  The furniture is most likely going to stay outdoors.  That means it will be subject to a variety of weather conditions like rain, dust, wind, sun etc.  Even if your patio is covered the furniture will still be subject to weather conditions.  If you buy cheap plastic or PVC patio furniture you will most likely have to replace it within a short space of time, maybe in 2 – 3 years.  This type of furniture can deteriorate rapidly if left out in the weather.

Metal patio furniture is very durable but may need some periodic attention such as painting and rust removal but can look great in the right setting.  

Wooden patio furniture is the most popular.  Many varieties of wood are used for making outdoor furniture and some are more durable than others.  This means that outdoor furniture made from the less durable varieties will need regular attention like painting, staining or oiling.  With some woods, e.g. pine, this maintenance may be as regular as every year.  The more durable timbers are jarrah and teak and usually a quick oil or stain every 2 to 3 years is ample.  Sometimes, wicker furniture is painted.  However, it does not need a great deal of attention.

The color of your patio furniture is very important as it needs to harmonize with your patio.  Most wooden patio furniture is stained or oiled and so retains the natural grains of the timber and, because of its natural look, often blends in to most patio styles.  Metal or iron furniture will only come painted for durability reasons.  However, the right metal furniture can look good in many styles of patio.  For that tropical feel, wicker garden furniture can look great.  Wicker furniture is usually left in its natural state and can add an earthy relaxed feel to you patio.

The size you choose is very important.  When deciding on size, you need to leave room on the patio for people to move around.  This is most important if you entertain regularly.  Your guests should be able to freely mingle.  A good idea is to make a diagram of your deck to scale and then cut out some pieces of paper to represent your furniture.  By placing these cut-outs in various positions on the patio drawing you will be able to see if you have sufficient room.  Choose furniture that will not clutter the area.  If room is limited then choices like extendable tables and fold up chairs can be the answer.  Excess chairs can be folded and stored until needed.  Tables can be extended when necessary.

Your final choice in patio furniture should look good in its final place and complement your patio.  For example, wood outdoor furniture looks great in natural settings with lots of plants.  Wicker garden furniture looks great in those lush tropical areas.  It is a good idea to note the style of your house and then find patio furniture that will suit that style.  There are so many styles and varieties in garden and patio furniture now available, that anyone’s taste can be satisfied.

Winterizing Your Patio Furniture

When the warm summer months are coming to a close and you start to see the leaves turn and drift to the ground, it is time to start preparing your patio furniture for winter storage. While it is always difficult to close up that umbrella and acknowledge that it is your last dinner on the patio for the season, a little planning can make sure you will be able to enjoy your patio furniture set for many years to come.

Most patio furniture is designed to withstand years of exposure to heat, rain, a little wind, and the sun. However, the harsh ice, snow, and wind that generally arrive during the winter months can dramatically shorten the life of your patio furniture. The following tips involve a little elbow grease and possibly some minimal purchases that will effectively minimize the wear and tear on your patio furniture during the winter months.

Preparing Your Patio Furniture for Storage

The type of furniture that you have on your patio can determine the process you should use for winterizing preparations. A variety of Patio Furniture Sets are available on the market, with materials ranging from aluminum to wicker. For the purpose of this article, the most common patio furniture types have been included in the tips in order to get you started.

If any of your patio furniture pieces or accessories are in need of replacing, autumn is the time to find great deals! You can add to your current set or consider new cushions, pillows, or other complimentary items.

Cleaning

Ensuring that your furniture set is clean before it is stored can help prevent staining and corrosion while making it possible to pull out your furniture to enjoy those first warm days once spring arrives.

Cleaning Wicker Sets: Wicker sets can be made of true rattan or synthetic rattan. Often, the wicker is sealed with some sort of finish to protect the material. Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that need repair or repainting while the set is clean and dry.

Cleaning Metal Sets: Most metal sets are sealed with a powder coat finish to ensure a longer life.Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that need repair or repainting while the set is clean and dry.

Cleaning Wood Sets: Wood sets can vary, from a classic picnic table to a set of Adirondack Chairs. Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that require sanding, painting, or staining. If the wood has a natural finish, consider rubbing a furniture oil or mineral oil into the surface to keep the wood from splitting or becoming brittle during dry winter months.

Cleaning Cushions & Umbrellas: Many Deep Seating Patio Furniture Sets include substantial cushioning, while other sets are accented with optional cushions or pillows.Brush off any debris on cushions and umbrellas. If cushions and pillows have removable covers, wash and dry them according to manufacturer instructions. If cushion covers cannot be removed, use mild soapy water and a sponge to wipe off any dirt on cushions. The same technique can be used on the umbrella. Let the cushions, pillows, and umbrella dry completely before storing.

Covering/Wrapping Your Patio Furniture

There are a number of options available for the covering or wrapping of your patio furniture sets. Ideally, it would be nice to move your furniture into a garage, shed, or basement where it is dry and sheltered. However, there are very few people that have the extra space available to store bulky items like patio furniture. If this is the case for you, there are still great methods for protecting your furniture if it must stay outdoors during the winter months.

Once you have cleaned and dried your furniture and accessories, try to consolidate the pieces to minimize the space that will be required for storing everything. Stack chairs, remove cushions, and dismantle any components that might be susceptible to damage. Select a storage location that is as sheltered from the elements as possible. If feasible, bring your fabric items inside for the winter, or consider putting them in a sealed tote or plastic bag for dry storage. There are a number of commercial patio furniture covers available on the market for a variety of patio furniture types. These covers are usually made from heavy duty canvas that is sealed to keep out moisture and protect from damage. Other options could include having your set professionally wrapped in plastic film or simply using a large tarp that can be secured with rope or bungee cords.

Successful Storage Throughout the Winter

If you have followed the cleaning and covering steps outlined previously, you can probably feel comfortable knowing that your patio furniture will be safely cocooned for the winter months to come. On occasion, it can be helpful to brush any accumulated ice or snow from your furniture coverings to prevent any leaking or shifting that could allow moisture to infiltrate and damage the furniture. It might also be a good idea to check every once in a while for any critters that might have decided that your securely covered furniture set would be a perfect home for the winter.

While it may be time to trade your flip flops and sunscreen for wool socks and hot cocoa, you can look forward to a successful transition into summer next year with patio furniture that has been carefully stored.