When you design an outdoor area for your home you want it to be a place you can use for many things, from relaxing on your days off to entertaining family and friends. It can be a great place for kids birthday parties too, saving a great deal of wear and tear in the home. However, when purchasing outdoor furniture it’s important to consider what material it should be made from to ensure it suits your lifestyle and budget, while still looking good and lasting.
As with most things, the cheapest is not necessarily the best choice. Even if your budget is low, paying more initially for top quality alfresco furniture can pay off because it will last a lot longer. However when it comes to the materials such furniture is made from, there are many choices.
Here is a list to help you decide: –
- Stone – while expensive and heavy, stone is something that will last a lifetime. However, it is hard and can be cold to sit on. You will need comfy cushions and even a rug or two.
- Hardwood – hardwood furniture will last a long time because the timber is – as its name suggests – much harder and more durable than pine. It is also heavier, so you won’t want to lift it around too much. You can paint or oil it for different looks. Boat wood furniture rates a special mention as a hardwood because it is recycled from old boats which makes it look very attractive – and it certainly withstands a wet environment.
- Softwood – such as pine needs to be treated to prevent rotting in the wet weather. Even painting it is not always successful. It is better used under cover.
- Aluminium – very lightweight, aluminium furniture tends to last a long time, but it is likely to blow over in windy areas, or during a storm. It may also dent or twist if left out in a storm.
- Rattan or wicker – made from thin strands of cane or sometimes paper woven together and covered, the result is strong, light and comfortable with many different designs and colours that are pleasing. However, it may not be the best kind for an outdoor area with no protection from the elements. On a veranda it looks amazing.
- Plastic and PVC are two materials that many things are made from these days, including outdoor furniture. These do last a long time, but can be hot to sit on if they are in the sun for any length of time
- Wrought iron is another popular material for outdoor chairs and tables. It is durable and strong, but tends to rust if it is not kept painted. The chairs are not always comfortable.
- Stainless steel is also used for outdoor settings, however, it can be very hot to sit on in the summer.