Patio Furniture

Published July 19, 2012

Are you in the market for new patio furniture? Perhaps the old set just isn’t looking as good as it used to and may need to be replaced.

While you are waiting for the sun to come out it’s a good idea to shop around and compare the types of patio furniture that are in retail outlets this season. There are many different materials used for outdoor furniture these days. Some materials are specially designed to be left outdoors all year while others are best to be covered up or stored in a cool, dry place during the winter months.

Aluminum, steel, plastic, wood and wicker are probably the most common materials used for outdoor furniture. There are many other variations of these materials on the market as well so it’s best to take a few days to visit a few retail outlets and find exactly what you are looking for.

Aluminum is one of the most popular choices due to its ability to not rust or fade over time. This is especially true if it has been powder-coated. Consumers often choose aluminum over steel, for example, because it is very light to move around and much lower maintenance than the steel alternative.

Negatives can be that this type of furniture can be expensive. It’s a great long-term investment if you follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning and care over the years.

Another nice choice is wicker. If you choose to go this route it’s best to choose weather-resistant wicker. This can be hosed off and cleaned with a mild soap when needed. Wicker is lightweight and quite durable. Cons are that it can unravel over time with normal wear-and-tear and these pieces tend to take up a fair amount of space on your patio or deck. So it’s best to plan accordingly.

Don’t forget to check out some of the beautiful wood options as well. Although wood can fade over time, it will not hold the sun’s heat like the metal choices will.  Not only does it look fantastic on most decks, but also its weight allows it to stay put during windy days and is still light enough to be portable when required.

Plastic patio furniture is often the least pricey option but in all likelihood will not outlast its wood, aluminum and wicker competitors. It is wonderfully light and portable and can be stacked for easy storage. Environmentalists will love the fact that many of the newer versions are made from recycled materials.

Before you make your investment in a new set of patio furniture, be sure to talk to the experts in the store and make sure to let them know the details of how much usage your set will get, where it will be stored during the winter months and your budget.  All these factors will help your salesperson and you decide upon the best option for your home.