choosing patio furniture

choosing patio furnitureOnce the weather starts to warm, most Atlantic Canadians are ready to start preparing backyard activities. By putting the proper patio furniture in place, you can improve upon your outdoor décor while ensuring comfort all season long. But before you step foot into a store, there are some key factors you should take into consideration when deciding on your new patio furniture.

Decide what furniture you need based on your lifestyle. Will your patio be used for hosting parties, family meals, or quiet afternoons spent in solitude reading a good book? Depending on your needs, possible options range from seven piece sets which can accommodate large dining parties to intimate discussions at a small bistro set.

Because there are almost as many furniture types offered for your patio as there are for your living room, deciding on what furniture you need can be anything but straightforward. Chairs and tables are available in a wide selection of sizes, materials, styles and colours. Some tables even feature tops constructed from unique materials such as glass or tile. More formal extra seating is found in loveseats and benches, while hammocks and swings are the laidback alternative. Additional support for food and drinks can be found in coffee and end tables. And, many ottomans do double duty by opening up for convenient storage and giving guests somewhere to put their feet up for even greater comfort.

After the purpose has been determined, think about the ideal furniture size. Pieces that are too small will look insignificant on a supersized patio, and pieces which are too big may not fit into the storage area come winter. If storage space is a concern, consider purchasing chairs that stack or fold, as well as a collapsible table.

Next, decide on how durable of furniture you need. Those who spend plenty of time on the patio or regularly entertain will need sturdier furniture. For those busy homes, the extra expense of more resilient furniture may be well worth the cost. Also, if the furniture is likely to sit uncovered exposed to the elements, it is best to select a material which is better suited for more extreme conditions.

Another consideration is the furniture material. If you will move the furniture frequently, a lightweight material like aluminum may be the best choice. If portability isn’t important, you can go with heavier materials like wood or wrought iron. For a complete list of material advantages and disadvantages, consult the chart below.

Types of Materials

Aluminum

choosing patio furniture

Pros: Cons: Maintenance:
  • Lightweight.
  • Low Maintenance.
  • Durable.
  • Doesn’t rust or fade.
  • Needs to be tied down in windy conditions.
  • Wash with soapy water then rinse off.
  • Rub mineral oil or car wax to protect the surface.

 

Wrought Iron

patio furniture wrought iron

Pros: Cons: Maintenance:
  • Solid and sturdy.
  • Lasts for years.
  • Very heavy and difficult to move.
  • May need to be mounted on wheels due to its weight
  • May rust.
  • Must be stored during the winter.
  • Expensive.
  • Touch up cracks with paint.
  • Needs rust protection.
  • Apply a coat of liquid wax.
  • Wash with soapy water and then rinse off.

 

Wood

patio furniture wood

Pros: Cons: Maintenance:
  • Classic beauty.
  • Solid and sturdy.
  • If well maintained, it can last a long time.
  • More maintenance required than other options.
  • Expensive.
  • Should be stored during the winter.
  • Needs paint that protects against UV.
  • Wash with soapy water and then rinse off.
  • Oils and brighteners can give the original appearance.

 

Resin Wicker

patio furniture resin wicker

Pros: Cons: Maintenance:
  • Lightweight.
  • Flexible.
  • Durable.
  • Holds up well to the elements.
  • Needs to be tied down in windy conditions.
  • Wash with soapy water and then rinse off.
  • Requires dusting.

 

Plastic

plastic patio furniture

Pros: Cons: Maintenance:
  • Lightweight.
  • Usually stackable, so easy to store.
  • Some are made from recycled materials.
  • Affordable.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Needs to be tied down in windy conditions.
  • Colour fades over time.
  • Must be stored during the winter.
  • Not as sturdy as other options.
  • Rinse with water.
  • Use cleaners that prevent mildew.

 

Polyvinylchloride (PVC)

pvc patio furniture

Pros: Cons: Maintenance:
  • Lightweight.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Durable.
  • Must be stored during the winter.
  • Not foldable or stackable.
  • Good quality can be expensive.
  • Wash with soapy water and then rinse off.

Last but not least, it is important to take your surroundings into account. Your patio furniture should complement and enhance your outdoor space through its style, material, colour, and function.

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360 Home Renovations
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