Planning for New Patio Furniture
There are several factors to think about when you are purchasing patio furniture. You first have to answer this question: 'Are you buying something that to get you through the season or are you buying something that will last you for years to come?' There are always relatively inexpensive options at the local home improvement or big box store, but when you get them home it seems like they will blow off your patio with the next gust of wind, and only seem to last one, if you’re lucky, two seasons before the cushions are deteriorated and the patterns faded from the sun. If you are looking for a short term solution the home improvement store option may be the one for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for the patio furniture you want to complete your outdoor oasis, you’re most likely looking for furniture that is durable, comfortable, and made to last for many years to come.
When you start shopping for higher quality patio furniture that is going to last for years, it’s very clear that prices can seem to be pretty high relative to the home improvement store patio furniture; even to the furniture you purchased for your living room. That being said, ask yourself this, 'Would you ever consider putting the couch you purchased for your living room outside on your patio? How long would your living room furniture last outside?' Most likely your answer would be absolutely not, it wouldn’t last a week out in the elements. Good patio furniture is made to withstand the outdoor environment for years.
One of the things to look for in good patio furniture is durable frame material. Whether that be metal, wicker or plastic, you are looking for something that will stand up to power washing at the beginning of each season to knock off the dust and dirt that has accumulated, something that has enough weight to it that you aren’t concerned about it blowing away during the first spring thunderstorm, and something that will not deteriorate with the UV of the sun.
Another thing to look for is quality cushions. There really is no better outdoor fabric than Sunbrella. It comes in an endless variety of colors and patterns, and is UV resistant so fading isn’t a problem. When it comes to the cushion itself you want to look for something that is firm enough to hold its shape over time (nobody likes a pancake for a cushion), and something that has the ability to drain and dry. Since we are talking about patio furniture there is a strong possibility that at some point it will rain, and the worst thing is going outside two days after a rain shower when it’s sunny and beautiful to enjoy your relaxing outdoor oasis and finding yourself with a soggy bottom.
When looking at dinning sets there are few things to consider as well. The first being the table-we talked about the weight of furniture earlier, but it is very crucial in the table. Solid top lightweight tables have a tendency to become dangerous sails in high wind situations, which are generally common occurrences in Oklahoma. One suggestion is to look for a heavier weight table that isn’t solid, like a cast iron table with a weave pattern or cut outs. Just make sure they can pass the “wine glass test.” Crimson Casual for example, makes tables with cutouts and they are so level that no matter where you set your glass of wine, it will not tip over! (Very important for patio enjoyment!)
The other thing to consider in dinning sets is the style of chairs. Many sets are shown with two swivel rocker chairs at the head of the table and standard stationary chars around the table. Most patio settings are casual. Most likely your dinning set will be a multi-function area for eating as well as socializing and relaxing. A recommendation to consider is to upgrade all of your chairs to swivel rockers so there is no fighting over the head chairs and everyone can enjoy. There are also different heights of chairs. There is chat height, dinning height and bar height. Make sure you are aware of the height of the table you are looking at when you look for chairs to make sure you get the appropriate height.
As you can see we expect a lot out of our patio furniture. If done right patio furniture can provide years of enjoyment and comfort. There is definitely more upfront cost for quality furniture, but it is, without a doubt, worth it!