Top tips for choosing and caring for garden furniture

garden furniture

Photo Credit: dearlinks Flickr via Compfight cc

It can be tempting to be guided by the lowest priced furniture you see when choosing something for your garden, but it doesn’t always pay to focus on price alone if you want to get the best performance and true value for money from your investment.

When you think that your outdoor furniture will be asked to withstand wind, rain, sun and anything else the skies want to deliver, it makes a lot of sense to choose with care and look after it afterward.

Here are some tips and insights on how to choose the right garden furniture. This includes an overview of what factors to consider, why quality matters just as much as price, and what you need to know about maintenance.

Looking good

A classic mistake that many people tend to make when they are choosing garden furniture is to be immediately drawn to something that has plenty of style and is pleasing on the eye, but does it have the substance to go with the style?

It can often be a mistake that you later regret if you buy garden furniture on looks alone or price for that matter.

The ideal combination is furniture that looks great, is well made, and is available at a fair price.

If you buy garden furniture that looks good but isn’t necessarily that well made or durable, those good looks are barely going to last one season let alone see you through several summers of enjoyment.

Don’t buy on impulse

When you start to look around at sites like Bridgman and the range of garden furniture they have to offer, it is easy to get carried away and place an order once you have found what you like and confirmed it ticks all the right boxes in terms of quality as well as price.

Before you are tempted to make any sort of purchase, it pays to measure your available outdoor space and work out what sort of configuration you can comfortably fit in the area that you have to work with.

Nothing spoils the look and also your enjoyment of your outdoor furniture more than trying to squeeze too much furniture into the available space or not having enough to cater for everyone comfortably.

You can be a bit savvy with your choice of furniture to make the best of your patio area. For example, something like a rattan cube set that tucks away neatly when not in use will give you options when you are entertaining, but keep things looking neat when it is just the two of you.

The main thing to remember is that it is often better to buy the furniture to fit your space rather than trying to do it the other way around.

Storage options

If you have a decent garage space or shed available to store your furniture in the winter months, that can help when you are deciding what type and size of garden furniture to buy.

If the furniture is going to have to stay where it is throughout the year, this should be an influential factor. You can get covers that protect your furniture from the elements, so make sure you can get suitable covers for the furniture and you include the cost of these in your budget.

Check the quality

Quality is such an important factor when it comes to garden furniture and it should be your aim to get the best you can buy with the budget that you have available.

If you want wooden garden furniture, go for teak if you can as it is tough and durable. Cast aluminium is often a better choice than steel, plus it is easier to maintain than iron.

One tip that is also worth taking on board is that if you are interested in buying rattan or wicker furniture, it is actually better to choose a high-quality synthetic version rather than the real thing.

You have to think about the normal weather conditions your furniture is going to be exposed to in your area, which is why a good quality synthetic rattan or wicker garden set can be better equipped to deliver long service through the wind and rain, as well as the sun.

Prepare for maintenance

Always keep maintenance in mind when you are choosing your garden furniture.

If you don’t want to be staining your wooden furniture to keep it in top condition, there are low-maintenance alternatives. All furniture needs a certain amount of looking after and even plastic needs to be washed with a cleaning solution to prevent mildew.

You will want to get years of enjoyment out of your garden furniture, so make sure you consider all the factors beforehand and choose according to what suits your lifestyle and space rather than just being driven by price.

Eleanor Newton writes about garden design; how to make the most of a small space, how to care for your lawn, how to do a complete garden makeover and more.

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