Placing furniture on a patio or deck is almost like adding another room to one's home. It provides an extra area for family activities, relaxing, or entertaining, while allowing everyone to enjoy the fresh air and warm weather. Fortunately, outdoor furniture no longer consists of redwood picnic tables and folding chaise lounges. We're living in a time where outdoor furniture is in vogue and styles are available to suit all tastes and lifestyles.

Outdoor Furniture Options

Depending on your family's budget, you can purchase pieces made from:

  • Plastic resin
  • Wicker
  • Aluminum
  • Wood such as teak or cedar
  • Wrought iron.

Years ago, aluminum and plastic outdoor furniture wasn't exactly built for comfort. Nowadays, one can lounge and relax for hours on end without having to worry about uncomfortable plastic weaving or metal parts located in inconvenient places.

Comfortable decorative cushions are available for couches, chairs, and chaise lounges, making one averse to the idea of having to go back inside the house. Tables with umbrellas make dining and entertaining a breeze.

Purchasing Outdoor Furniture

When choosing outdoor furniture, you will want to consider several factors. The first, of course, is budget. When it comes to deck and patio furniture, you truly do get what you pay for. On the lower end of the spectrum are plastic and aluminum pieces, as pieces made of heavier woods and metals can cost much more. While a decorative wrought iron or wicker set might be more expensive to purchase, consider whether it will be more important in the long run to have pieces that will last through many seasons.

You will also want to choose pieces that will still look good in a few years. For instance:

  • Woods such as cedar turn gray after years of withstanding weather
  • Aluminum can rust
  • Plastic resin can become scratched and dull looking.

Take into account whether or not ornamental pieces will still be in style several years from now as well.

Finally, consider maintenance. Most of us like to give our outdoor furniture a once or twice yearly hose down. If upkeep takes more time than that, you may find yourself resenting your purchase.

Outdoor furniture doesn't only need to look good, it should also be functional. Consider your family's lifestyle and budget before making your purchase, and research the different brands. Conducting a little preliminary research can make all the difference when it comes to purchasing furniture that will last for years to come.