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Before You Buy Outdoor Furniture

Last Updated Feb 16, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

To really enjoy your great outdoors, you need great outdoor furniture.  Unfortunately there’s so much out there that it can be tempting to just buy the first thing that looks like it fits the bill and hope that it does the job!  Don’t take this ad hoc approach to buying outdoor furniture though.  Here’s what you should do before you even go shopping to make sure you have the right choice!  For more tips about buying outdoor furniture, have a chat with your local outdoor furniture retailer.

Does it Need to Be Assembled?

It may seem like an insignificant question but if you’re the kind of person that gets frustrated by putting together flatpack furniture, you’re not going to want outdoor furniture that you have to assemble yourself!  Before buying, ask if the furniture comes pre-assembled or if you have to do it yourself.  Having to put together your outdoor furniture also takes time and this can be a factor if you need the furniture ready for immediate use.

What is Your Budget?

Don’t forget to set your budget before you go looking for outdoor furniture.  When setting your budget think about the types of materials you want and how many pieces you’re likely to need.  If your heart is set on an expensive material such as wrought iron, make sure you account for this before you go looking, or look to see if there’s an alternative lookalike material such as wrought aluminium.

What Care Requirements Does It Have?

When you are researching your outdoor furniture, have a look at what is required in terms of maintenance and care.  That is, does it need to be re-oiled or re-stained regularly?  How often does it need cleaning?  Should you keep it in a sheltered area and put it away when it is not in use? Some outdoor furniture is higher in maintenance and this is something you need to keep in mind.

How Heavy is the Outdoor Furniture?

You may not think it’s an important consideration but you really should look at the weight of the outdoor furniture you are choosing.  Why?  Well, it’s highly likely that you’re going to want to move it at some point and if it’s too heavy and cumbersome, you won’t be able to move it easily, and this can be a deal breaker for some people especially if you need to bring out more chairs for guests, move tables for a barbecue and so on.

What Pieces of Outdoor Furniture Do You Need?

Of course, you need to think about what pieces of outdoor furniture you actually need!  Keep in mind your day to day needs but don’t forget to take visitors into account.  After all, there’s nothing worse than yourselves or guests having to stand up because you simply don’t have enough chairs. Also keep the amount of space you have in mind.  You may be tempted to buy more than you actually need but if your space ends up looking cluttered, you’ll have lost the effect that you are looking for.

What Style Are You Looking For?

Finally, think about what style of furniture you want and only look for pieces of outdoor furniture that fit this style.  For example, if you’re going for modern luxury, rattan or wicker outdoor lounges with padded seats are perfect.  For a tropical look, teak furniture is hard to beat.  For versatile yet affordable style, aluminium outdoor furniture may just fit the bill, or you could even go for upmarket resin.
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