Not all furniture for your outdoor living space are made the same. They don’t differ only on how they look but also on what they’re made of. While it may be tempting to base your choice on aesthetics alone, there is more to patio furniture than meets the eye. Each material has its pros and cons; and when making a choice, it would be to your advantage to know these especially when you’re thinking about making a major LifestyleRemodel.
Lifestyle choices for outdoor furniture
In addition to design and appearance, there are a lot of factors to consider like durability, comfort, storage, weather conditions in your area, and of course, cost.
Metal patio furnishings are usually made of steel, iron and aluminum. The advantages of these materials is that they are durable and easy to maintain. Wrought iron is the most common; and since this kind easily gets rusty, it needs more maintenance. Aluminum is becoming more popular because it’s lightweight but still durable. Among the three, steel is the strongest but also the most expensive. If you opt for steel, choose galvanized or stainless since these are least prone to corrosion when exposed to the elements.
If you live in a windy environment, the best choice would be steel or wrought iron because they are heavier. In rainy areas, aluminum would be a better choice because of the metal’s resistance to rust. In sunny parts of the country though, metal would be uncomfortable because they can get very hot under the sun. However, this can be remedied by putting in layers of cushions.
Another advantage of metal furniture is that you can keep them out in the open all year round. Thus, you don’t have to reserve a space in your garage for storing them during the colder seasons. But to prolong their life, a good suggestion would be to coat them with protective finish to prevent rusting. If they do rust, they can be sandblasted and repainted.
Teak, pine and cedar are the most common tree species crafted into furniture for the outdoors. Teak is ideal because it contains oil that makes it more resistant to insect infestation and dry rot. Cedar and pine are lighter in color and usually needs a sealant to prevent discoloration. Wood doesn’t absorb heat so it is durable and long-lasting. Outdoor furniture that’s made of wood is also more cosy than metal ones. With or without cushions, you can sit and lounge in them with comfort.
Although wooden furniture can withstand windy conditions, they are not a good choice for humid climates because of their susceptibility to rotting, mold and mildew. Lots of sunshine is also not good since this will cause wood to fade. Also, you will need to store them in winter when natural conditions are harsher. To keep the beauty and strength of wood for years, regular treatment, sealing and repainting is required.
More homeowners these days and opting for plastic patio furniture; and who can blame them? Aside from being very affordable, there is a wide variety of designs and colors to choose from.
Because plastic doesn’t get damaged by moisture, patio furniture made of this material can be a good choice if your home is situated somewhere predominantly rainy. But when the sun is at its brightest, remember that plastic absorbs heat and can get too hot to use.
Plastic furniture is the easiest to store since they are stackable and not heavy to move around. However, they are not as durable as metal and may need to be replaced more often.
With synthetic resin patio furniture sets, you get the comfort, lightweight and low maintenance advantages of plastic plus added durability. They look great, too, since most modern designs feature the woven wicker styles on aluminum frames. With added resilience against the elements, they naturally cost more than plastic but less than wicker.
Nothing makes a patio feel more welcoming than wicker sofas and lounging chairs. Strictly speaking, wicker is not a type of material but a style of weaving. It is probably the most traditional of all outdoor furniture designs, having been used for hundreds of years before. Wicker sofas and chairs are made of natural materials like grasses, bamboo, cane and straw that are woven together to create the distinctive pattern.
The one main selling point of wicker furniture is comfort but it is not known for durability. If you expose a wicker chair out in the sun for too long, it’s going to fade. Leave it out in the rain, you get mold and mildew issues. So if you plan to use natural wicker furniture outdoors, do so temporarily. No amount of sun or waterproofing will save it if exposed to the elements for too long. If you really like the look of wicker for your garden or patio, opt for synthetic resin instead.
Sit back and enjoy your garden and patio
There is no one style that’s better than the others. Looks shouldn’t be the sole basis of your selection because you also have to think about how you want to use your patio furniture, your design preferences, how much time you want to spend cleaning and maintaining, and how much you’re willing to spend. The bottom line is this: choose the one that’s most suitable to your lifestyle so you can enjoy your outdoor space the most.