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5 Tips for Purchasing Durable, Weather-Resistant Patio Furniture

Look for Sturdy Framing and High-Quality Materials

© 2012 by Sarah Harris; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

An outdoor patio and fireplace; photo courtesy Sarah Harris

This article was updated on 09/18/18

Most people are constantly on the lookout for ways to utilize the available space in their home and increase their square footage any way they can.

And many have found that they can turn their backyard, however small, into an additional living space through adding landscaping that screens the yard, installing a cooking area (even if it’s only a grill). Before getting started, look into putting in or improving residential fencing. This will offer additional privacy and security for your belongings.

There are also plenty of lighting options, and of course, populating the area with outdoor furnishings that make the space comfortable and inviting.

These furnishings might include a dining table and chairs, a seating area with a couch, chairs, and a coffee table, or both, depending on the space you have available.

Remember, to protect your investment you must certainly be able to secure it prior to hurricanes or any other weather conditions that feature high winds or flooding. So be sure to take weight and storage space into consideration.

But whatever you choose to use, you’ll almost certainly want to purchase patio furniture that is durable and weather-resistant so that it will last for many years to come. Here are just a few things you’ll want to consider in the process.

  1. Framing Materials.

    When it comes to the framing of your outdoor furniture there are a couple of things to consider.

    Do you want something sturdy or is it more important that it be lightweight? Can you have both in one piece? Further, you probably want something that’s not going to flake, rust, or fall apart over the course of a single year or two of exposure to the elements.

    Luckily, there are a few materials that meet these requirements. Both aluminum and recycled plastic furnishings can offer you strength, durability, and a lightweight frame that is easy to move around. Consider teak. While this is not the least expensive wood on the market it is incredibly weather-resistant. There is a reason why boats are outfitted with it.

    In addition, none of these is prone to rust. However, aluminum may offer a high-end look but will at some point benefit from a powder-coating refinishing while recycled plastic appeals to eco-sensibilities. So there are benefits with all three.

  2. Covering materials.

    Whether you prefer frames covered in wicker, woven plastic, or padded cushions, you should be aware of the fact that the coverings on your furniture are likely to degrade more quickly than the frames.

    With this in mind you should either select coverings that are the most durable or at least easy to replace from a manufacturer that has been around for some time. Cushions probably have the shortest life span, so if you want them, look for treated materials and try to avoid odd sizes and shapes.

    This will make them cheaper and easier to replace down the line. Also, think about treating them annually and bringing them indoors during the off season to increase longevity.

  3. Slipcovers.

    Although slipcovers won’t necessarily make your furnishings more durable, they could help to preserve the furniture’s usable life.

    This is an especially good idea if you live in a place that suffers from harsh winter weather or intense sunlight that attacks with UV rays. All you have to do is remove them in the spring to find your furniture in the same condition you left it in at the end of last summer.

  4. Cost Versus Quality.

    High cost doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting more durable furnishings. In some cases it just means you’re paying for designer style.

    Believe it or not, you can find high-quality patio furniture from a number of discount retailers. As long as you know what materials are bound to last the longest you can get durable and weather-resistant outdoor furniture for a lot less than you might expect.

  5. Asking for Help.

    The key to getting the long-lasting outdoor furniture you’re seeking is to ask for some help.

    You should be able to tell if the retail associate is just trying to get you to buy the most expensive pieces (in which case you should shop elsewhere). Anybody who has shopped for and purchased a used car knows the signs.

    But if you ask the right questions about which materials are more likely to hold up to inclement weather and stand the test of time, a good salesman will help you to select some durable outdoor furnishings that will last for years to come.

The bottom line is that patio furniture is an investment in your lifestyle, especially if you and your family are prone to taking staycations rather than taking it on the road. Although spring may be the best time for home improvement projects, fall, with its cooling temperatures is also a prime candidate.

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