In this article, we will talk read the Best Guide to Garden Furniture and how you can choose the different types (chairs, sofas, folding, grill, sinks…) of garden furniture to get a beautiful outdoor garden, outdoor patio, or your outdoor backyard.
Buying garden furniture can be very challenging. Unlike indoor furniture, it must not only look beautiful and provide a high level of comfort but it also must withstand the outdoor extremes ranging from rapid temperature changes to intense ultraviolet light, rain, wind, and various creatures that live or visit the garden. In order to make sure that the chosen garden furniture will look as beautiful and comfortable as new for many seasons to come, you are therefore recommended to pay attention to two factors when buying new outdoor furniture – quality of material from which it is made and quality and workmanship.
Theoretically, all pieces of garden furniture are suitable for outdoor use but in reality, many are unable to withstand the outdoor elements. Whether the chosen furniture will provide you with an aesthetically appealing and comfortable place to sit for years or will it require replacement after a couple of seasons primarily depends on the material from which it is made. There are a few materials which are 100% outdoor proof and are not vulnerable to the effects of the weather, insects, and other outdoor elements. Examples include natural stone, stainless steel, and teak. The latter is particularly sought after because it blends perfectly with the natural surroundings and above all because it does not need any protective coatings like other types of wood. However, not every teak garden furniture is as outdoor proof as it should be. The tropical hardwood is available in three quality grades of which only grade A is truly resistant to the outdoor conditions. Grades B and C, on the other hand, contain little or no teak natural oils which play a key role in its resistance to the outdoor elements and durability.
Quality of workmanship is just as important as the quality of the material from which the furniture is made. Well-made furniture does not only look more aesthetically appealing but it is also more resistant to wear and tear. It usually is not difficult to determine if the furniture is well made or not by taking a closer look at it which, however, is not possible if you are buying garden furniture online. In order to get the best value for your money, you are therefore recommended to buy from established garden furniture suppliers or directly from recognized brands, or at least buy from an online store that allows you to return the product if you are not satisfied with it. The shipping costs usually are not covered but it is good to know that you will get your money back for the furniture in case you will not like it.
Lastly, it is a good idea to pay attention to guarantee especially if you are considering buying new garden furniture online because brands which are certain in the quality of their products always offer a guarantee. Be sure, however, that the furniture is delivered already assembled or that it includes white-glove assembly because you can void the guarantee if you assembly it yourself.
Proper Garden Furniture Care Extends Its Durability
In comparison to indoor furniture, garden furniture requires considerably more care to keep it beautiful. Proper garden furniture care, however, also helps extend its durability and “protect” your investment. The amount and type of care garden furniture require depends on several factors but above all, on the material from which it is made as some materials require considerably more care than the others.
In order to enjoy the beauty and comfort of your garden furniture for many years to come, you are highly recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care. If you did not store the original instructions or cannot find them, you are highly recommended to contact the manufacturer for new ones. It is always possible to browse the web but it is important to be aware that many garden furniture materials come in different quality grades and the care required can vary as much as between two completely different types of material. What is more, “too much” care can actually cause more damage than good in some cases? Let’s take teak for example. The tropical hardwood is renowned for being naturally resistant to the outdoor elements and for not requiring any protective treatments whatsoever. However, the timber comes in three different quality grades of which only grade A is 100% outdoor proof. The other two grades, on the other hand, need periodic treatment with teak oil to make them suitable for outdoor use. If garden furniture which is made from grade B or C teak would be left outdoors untreated, it would deteriorate within a season or two. Treating grade A teak furniture with treatments for grade B and C timber, on the other hand, could seriously affect its durability. It might be hard to believe but the highest quality teak furniture lasts longer if you leave it the way it is.
No matter from which type of material your garden furniture is made, you will not be able to avoid occasional cleaning. Unfortunately, no material is resistant to dirt which can mean only one thing. Most types of furniture are easily cleaned with ordinary soapy water and do not need any special cleaning agents unless you have a problem with stains or moss for instance. But instead of using the outdoor furniture DIY tips that can be found online, you are recommended to look the manufacturer’s instructions or contact the manufacturer for advice to avoid a small stain from turning into a big nightmare. Also, be sure to repair minor structural problems as soon as possible. But if you are not absolutely sure what you need to do, you are recommended to leave the job over to the professionals. If you own a fine piece of furniture, be sure to check your guarantee first because the highest quality garden furniture typically comes with a structural guarantee which can be valid as long as the entire decade.
Lastly, it is a good idea to protect your furniture from dirt during the winter. If you own outdoor-proof garden furniture which is safe to leave outdoors all year round, the harsh winter conditions will not affect its durability in any way but you will make spring cleaning a lesser hassle if you protect it with waterproof (but breathable) furniture cover.
Garden Furniture – Finding the Right Balance Between Style and Comfort
Obviously, the garden furniture should look aesthetically appealing and enhance the beauty of the garden but it should also offer a high level of comfort to enable you to truly enjoy your outdoor living area. Finding a perfect blend of style and comfort is not an easy task because the most beautiful pieces of furniture often offer only a satisfactory level of comfort, while the coziest ones typically lack aesthetic appeal. This, however, does not necessarily mean that you need to decide between style and comfort nor you should. You will not enjoy your garden furniture if it does not offer you comfort no matter how beautiful it is, while cozy yet unappealing furniture will not make you feel good either. Ideally, the chosen garden furniture should offer both a perfect look and the highest level of comfort possible. In order to find the right balance between style and comfort, you are recommended to pay attention to:
Your very own specific needs. In showrooms and online photo galleries, just about all pieces of garden furniture look perfect. However, keep in mind that they are presented from the best angle possible and that they may not look as great in your garden as well. If you want the chosen garden furniture to look good and feel good, you should take into account the space available, the overall style of your garden, etc. Also, do not let anyone try to convince you what is best for you and what you need. You know best what you need, so stick to your requirements. If you are not sure about a particular piece of furniture, take a day or two to think it over.
Quality of material and workmanship. Believe it or not but both qualities of material and workmanship play a key role in both the aesthetic appeal and comfort of the furniture. A piece of furniture that is made from high-quality material according to the highest quality workmanship standards will give your garden a touch of prestige and class, and provide you with the highest level of comfort at the same time because the leading garden furniture brands pay a great deal of attention to both style and comfort. Quality garden furniture will therefore remain just as beautiful and cozy as new for many years to come not just the first couple of seasons like the cheap versions.
Return policy. You are highly recommended to make sure that you are allowed to return the furniture if you are not satisfied with it, especially if you consider ordering it online. As already mentioned earlier, it is very difficult to tell how a particular piece of furniture will look and feel in your garden. As a result, it is not unusual to get excited about particular furniture only to discover that it is not exactly the best choice for your garden. For that reason, it is more than a good idea to buy it from a store or retailer that allows you to return the product if you are not satisfied with it.
A Comparison of Garden Furniture Materials
The material from which garden furniture is made plays a key role in its aesthetic appeal and comfort as well as in its durability. When new, just about all pieces of outdoor furniture look beautiful but that picture changes dramatically after the furniture is actually exposed to outdoor conditions. And the quality of the material from which it is made is the main reason for the difference in performance between different pieces of garden furniture. For that reason, it is highly important to know how different materials perform when exposed to the outdoor extremes.
Plastic is a very popular choice because it is inexpensive and because it does not need to be protected from the outdoor elements. Theoretically, it is ideal for outdoor use because it is resistant to water, mold, rapid temperature changes, etc. However, it often does not perform as well as it should. It is vulnerable to direct sunlight and it is more prone to wear and tear than the majority of other garden furniture materials. In addition, many homeowners have also discovered that it is not as stain-proof as it supposed to be. Although the quality of plastic garden furniture varies greatly, most pieces need to be replaced relatively soon.
Wood is another popular material for outdoor furniture because it makes the outdoor living area an extension rather than an addition to the home as it blends perfectly with the natural setting. Unfortunately, most types of wood are vulnerable to moisture, mold, and wood-eating insects and as a result, they need periodic protective treatments. There are a few, however, such as teak which is naturally resistant to extreme outdoor conditions and does not need any protective treatments whatsoever to be made suitable for outdoor use nor to extend its durability. Even if it is left outdoor all year round without protection, quality teak furniture can last a lifetime. For a comparison, oak garden furniture lasts about two to three decades if it is properly protected against the outdoor elements.
Wrought iron and stainless steel are also common materials for garden furniture because they are durable, strong, and literally maintenance-free. Wrought iron is vulnerable to rust if exposed to moisture but as long as it is coated with paint, it is fully outdoor proof and extremely durable. Stainless steel, on the other hand, does not need any kind of protection against corrosion.
Natural stone is a less popular choice because it is heavy and relatively expensive in comparison to other types of material, while many people do not decide on stone because they mistakenly believe that it is a cold place to sit on and uncomfortable. However, stone gets pleasantly warm during the hot summer days, while a few cushions make it just as cozy as any other type of garden furniture. Natural stone, especially marble, granite, and other rare and prestigious types of stone are very expensive but the stone is probably the most cost-efficient of all materials because it virtually lasts forever.
Garden Furniture Sales – Getting More for Less
Quality garden furniture is not inexpensive, while the cheap versions typically turn out to be even more expensive in the long term because they are often made from inferior quality materials that need to be replaced relatively soon. This, however, does not mean that you have to choose between quality yet expensive and inexpensive but cheaply made garden furniture. It is possible to save a great deal of money with some shopping around, while garden furniture sales offer you even greater savings as the prices are often lower for as much as 50 percent or more.
Garden furniture trends change relatively soon and in order to make room for new pieces, retailers typically offer the remaining ones on a sale because it is more expensive for them to hold them in stock. In addition, the longer they cannot sell particular pieces of furniture the lower the chance that they will be able to sell them at all. This is due to the fact that most people will choose the most recent designs, especially if they cost just as much as the older models. For that reason the retailers offer them for minimal or no profit at all, giving you an excellent opportunity to get more for less.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to predict the timing of garden furniture sales which poses a risk of your dream garden furniture being sold out before you find out about the sale. Most garden furniture sales take place at the end of “garden season” which means that you probably will not be able to enjoy your new furniture until the next season although some stores also offer discounts at the beginning of the garden season. These discounts, however, usually are not as generous as those at the end of the season.
If you cannot or do not want to wait until the end of the season to buy fine garden furniture at a sales price, you should consider checking out the online offer. Best online garden furniture sales take place in late summer or early autumn as well but specialized stores and suppliers who sell exclusively garden furniture typically have a few pieces on sale all year round, enabling you to get fine furniture in the midst of the season as well.
Since most pieces of garden furniture eventually make it to the sales, many people decide to wait for their dream furniture to be offered at a discount. It is not a bad idea, however, it is important to be aware that there is no guarantee that the very same piece you would like to buy will actually be offered on a sale. Some pieces are actually stored away until the next season, while the others are sold out before the sales even begin. For that reason, you are highly recommended to keep this possibility in mind when you are deciding between buying and waiting for sales.