Garden furniture, for some reason, doesn’t seem to get the same care and attention that other furniture gets. People will spend hours looking at various pieces of furniture for the inside of their house. Often spending a lot of money in the process. But when it comes to furniture for outside the home, it’s much rarer for people to spend the same kind of care and attention in deciding what they’re going to buy.
This is kind of a shame, because if anything, you should probably put a little more care into choosing your garden furniture than any other kind. You’ll want your garden furniture to look nice and be comfortable, just like any other piece of furniture that you might be buying, but you also have the additional considerations that come with having furniture that is going to be exposed to the elements.
There are at least five things that you’re going to want to consider when you’re looking at buying furniture for outdoors:
Use – Simply put, not everyone uses their outdoor furniture the same way. If, for instance, you like to fire up the grill and have people over to enjoy the food, you’re going to need different furniture than a retired couple who just want to be able to watch the sunset.
So the first thing you should look at is what you’re going to be doing with the furniture. It’s probably a good idea to buy more than you need, if you think you might want to use your garden furniture for more than what you’re currently picturing.Simply put, not everyone uses their outdoor furniture the same way. If, for instance, you like to fire up the grill and have people over to enjoy the food, you’re going to need different furniture than a retired couple who just want to be able to watch the sunset.
So the first thing you should look at is what you’re going to be doing with the furniture. It’s probably a good idea to buy more than you need, if you think you might want to use your garden furniture for more than what you’re currently picturing.
Weather – Garden furniture also needs to be appropriate for the kind of weather you’re likely to get. This doesn’t really matter as much for use, although you do want get something that will be able to hold up under the demands you’re putting on it.
If you get freezing weather, you need to pick furniture that will stand up to it. On the other hand, if you get cold and damp for most of the year, cast iron furniture is probably a bad idea, unless you’re particularly fond of rust.
Style – Of course, you want something that looks good, and what looks good is going to depend entirely on what you like. That said, you’ll probably be happiest if you try to match the style of garden furniture to the style of your house and your lawn. It might not be a bad idea to take pictures of the various pieces of furniture you’re considering and then look at it again while looking at your home so that you get a real feel for how it will look.
Material – There are three basic materials that most garden furniture is going to be constructed out of: wood, plastic and metal.
Plastic or resin is probably the most common, because it’s cheap and light. The quality can range from terrible, as in those cheap outdoor chairs that cost next to nothing, to excellent, for some of the high products that are difficult to tell from actual wood.
Wood tends to look better, but it’s considerably more expensive and, if not properly treated can be a lot less durable than the artificial materials. This kind of furniture tends to be the nicest to look at but it can be pricey.
Metal. The most common kind of metal garden furniture is cast iron, which has the advantage of being more or less indestructible, but is expensive, heavy and not to everyone’s taste.
What materials you’ll want is going to be related to the other considerations. Basically, you need to look at use, weather and style and see what kind of furniture is going to give you what you want based on what is most important to you.
Price – Like materials, this is going to depend on what you’re looking for overall. If you don’t have unlimited money, and this is most of us, the best idea is to start with price and then decide where everything else fits within that framework. This will save you a lot of frustration down the line and make the whole buying experience a lot more pleasant.