Take a look at these nine expert tips before you purchase outdoor furniture to ensure you get the most from your purchase.
1. Stacking outdoor chairs are a sensible option as it’s easier to store these through the worst of the winter months when they are not in use.
2. While some furniture pieces like covered daybeds are highly seductive you must be realistic about how much use they will get for their high cost. Remember to bring in curtains and mattresses.
3. With any type of timber furniture cleaning and re-oiling will be required at least every six months to prevent the timber turning grey. Irrespective of the original colour of the wood a silvery grey will be the result as all colour is leached out by sun and rain.
4. In high wind areas such as apartment building balconies light weight furniture is in danger of being blown away in high wind gusts. If this is the case look into heavier furniture. Many otherwise light weight plastic table and stool designs have a reservoir that can be weighed down with sand or water.
5. Black is the most UV resistant colour for plastics. Red and yellow are particularly prone to fading but other strong colours are also effected. White is always lovely but shows dirt and air and rain borne pollution very readily.
6. Check how easy the furniture is to clean – there is nothing worse than sitting on mouldy chairs or eating at tables covered in bird droppings. All outdoor furniture should be able to be hosed down.
Pictured Elitis ‘Hera’ washable velvet
7. If leaving cushions outside for any length of time ensure that they are made with waterproof outdoor foam otherwise they develop mould or under intense sunlight go hard and crumbly.
8. Be aware that powder coated furniture is easy to scratch on flagstones and other abrasive surfaces. This will potentially allow corrosion to start and shorten the life of the furniture. Lift metal powder coated metal furniture – don’t drag.
9. Furniture that uses outdoor fabric, like many deck chairs, or upholstered sofas, need to be properly maintained. Wash and dry the fabric parts then bring them under cover on a regular basis. While these fabrics will happily take some sun and rain they are not impregnable to the rigours of weather.