As a pool owner myself, I found out a lot about buying furniture for the deck. Here are some tips that will help you shorten your learning curve and avoid some common mistakes.
1. Comfort Plus Durability = Value
Get the right cushions that are both comfortable and water resistant. If cushions are not comfortable, no one will use them.
- Most textiles designed for outdoor use are made from all-weather materials that repel water or encourage moisture to evaporate quickly by remaining porous.
- Fabrics designed for use outdoors are usually UV protected. They’ll look good and feel soft and comfortable for at least a couple of seasons.
- When you’re comparing fabrics for outdoor furniture, check cushion seams for heavy duty thread and consistent, even stitches.
- Choose cushions with vents that encourage air flow and quick drying. Invest in furniture with cushions that can be unzipped and taken apart for periodic airing, repair or replacement.
- It’s also a good idea to buy outdoor furniture outfitted with cushions you can turn and flip. This will help them retain their shape, dry more quickly and fade evenly.
- Acrylics, polyester, treated canvas and cotton duck are all comfortable, durable fabrics used in the construction of outdoor furnishings.
2. Details Matter
A patio set can look attractive but have glaring flaws that can lead to problems after a few months.
- On large furniture, choose cushions with springs. They’ll hold their shape longer.
- When inspecting metal furniture, use a magnet. Aluminum is not magnetic, but steel usually is. Although it doesn’t work with all types of steel, you can sometimes tell aluminum from steel by testing them with a magnet. Remember, steel will rust while aluminum and stainless steel won’t.
- Check chairs to make sure the legs are solid and sturdy. Sit in the chair to see if it shifts or flexes as it takes your weight. Award extra points to chairs that include cross bracing pieces.
- Look for furniture that uses stainless steel screws.
- Run your hands along wood pieces to make sure they’re sanded smooth.
- Check to make sure chair and table legs have rubber or plastic feet that won’t scratch your deck or patio.
3. Quality Counts
What you buy to use around your pool has to stand up to sun exposure, wind, rain and probably some roughhousing, too. Inspect every piece for flaws, especially if the deal sounds too good to be true. This is one case where a higher price is often a good sign of better quality.
4. Stay Cool
If you have a shade tree, great. If not, consider a Hut or Umbrella to keep you cool on those sizzling days outside.
5. Use Good Taste
Match you furniture to your home’s style and colors. You want some consistency here. Avoid furniture that “clashes” with your home’s appearance
6. Types of Material
- Aluminum, plastic and PVC – These construction materials are rustproof, lightweight, relatively inexpensive and require very little weather treating. You can also wash them easily with a little soap and water.
- Steel and wrought iron – Both are heavy duty and sturdy but will rust if not weatherproofed or painted periodically.
- Rattan, wicker and natural grasses – all hold up remarkably well outdoors, especially when they are treated with a resin finish. They may require additional weatherproofing every couple of years, though.
- Wood — Natural wood looks very attractive in outdoor furnishings. It makes sturdy furniture that can be as comfortable as anything you use indoors. It does require regular treatment with a preservative and may also require UV protection. Choose weather-resistant woods like teak, redwood, cypress and cedar.