Once your new patio is up, all that’s left to do is move the furniture in, take a seat with a long drink and enjoy your new surrounds. Outdoor furniture can easily last ten years when it’s stored under a patio, so you want to make the right choices.
What you Use your Patio For
Knowing what you want to do in your outdoor area, determines the type of furniture you need. If you like to relax with drinks or have morning tea rather than meals, then a lounge might be a better option than table and chairs.
If you have young children, you may want to keep some space free of furniture. With an area of the patio available, you can send the kids out each day to play under cover in their sandpit or water table, write on their blackboard or ride their bikes around.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Look at how easy it will be to remove stains from the lounge. If you hate stains and the lounge is hard to keep clean, you won’t want it for long. Before buying, ask about the type of fabric and how best to clean it. Will it take you more than 10 minutes to wipe down the table and chairs when friends are due to arrive? Intricate and open designs can harbour more cobwebs and dust than clean lines. If you don’t want to oil your furniture each year, steer away from some wooden furniture that will take more maintenance.
More than One Purpose
If space is at a premium, try to choose items that have more than one purpose. Built-in seating can double as storage for cushions or the kids' outdoor toys and sports gear. A table without a lip can be a workbench and outdoor kitchen table.
Know the Dimensions of your Space
Before you go shopping for your outdoor furniture, know how much space you have available for filling with furniture. You don’t want your new patio feeling cluttered or too sparse with spindly furniture.
Give it the seat test to make sure it’s comfortable for sitting on for a few hours at a time. Check the height and slope of the backrest, the armrests and width of the chair and make sure it is comfortable.
When deciding on your furniture, consider how hard it will be to keep clean. Will you be able to quickly wipe down the chairs before guests are due to arrive in 10 minutes?
If you are keeping your furniture under your patio and out of the weather you don’t need to worry too much, but if it’s outside, the sun will cause it to fade and break down much sooner. Rain and moisture can cause mildew and rot. Furniture lasts longer when it isn't exposed to the elements.
Not all furniture is built the same. It's easy to think of outdoor furnishings as somewhat less important than your indoor furniture but if you want it to last the distance, it still needs to be reasonable quality. Check for sloppy welds, poor paint finishes and weak materials. Ask if any of the furniture has a weight rating as some plastic furniture may not be able to hold the weight of a 100 kg frame person.
Price is often a good indicator of quality. Shop around to find furniture that appeals and will look good in your patio for many years to come.