Patio furniture advice?
April 5, 2009 7:01 AM   Subscribe

Please give me advice before I go out and buy patio furniture.

I am buying patio furniture and really do not know anything about it. What are some issues that I would consider before buying patio furniture? What kind of materials have you had good or bad luck with? Is there anything that you regret about the patio furniture that you have? Is there anything that you especially love about your patio set-up? Any other ideas for making the patio experience FANTASTIC?

Just some info about my individual situation: I have a room (10x10) sized patio which is enclosed with screen and has a roof...lots of mosquitoes around here. I want to be able to not only eat outside but also to relax while reading or maybe take a nap or two. I'm living on a teacher's budget, so I'm not a zillionaire, not that I'm not willing to put a little more money into something that really will make my experience the best possible, but if it is possible to get the quality with less coin, the better. I don't have time to clean the furniture every single time I want to sit in it...rain and dust still gets in our screened in porch. And I think I would hate a cold uncomfortable metal frame. Thanks all. ( patio furniture )
posted by boots77 to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Remember that plastic furniture automatically re-locates itself in a neighbour's garden on a windy day. Wooden stuff looks fab but gets a bit slimey if you live in a wet climate (although a good power-wash every now and again works wonders). Metal frames with loose covers are great, as long as you are quick enough to move them indoors when the skies open.

Old fashioned beach type deckchairs are very classy but can exhaust you trying to get them up.

I employed a chainsaw sculptor when I had a large beech tree cut down and he cut it into a giant wooden sofa which is a great talking point with visitors.

Cost-Co in Edinburgh has a great range of garden furniture that I think it is all probably shipped over from the US so head to your local depot.
posted by cameronfromedinburgh at 7:14 AM on April 5, 2009

We have some resin wicker pieces that we love...we even bring them inside for winter use.
posted by lobstah at 7:37 AM on April 5, 2009

You have a roof and thus so many options. Less expensive wood will work great as it will get minimal exposure to the elements, unless you live in a really wet environment like Seattle or the rain forests to the east of them. Metal furniture with cushions can be a pain because you always have to take the cushions off, except you won't. Don't scrimp too much on cheap metal furniture as it is almost all aluminum these days and aluminum is difficult to coat well. Sometimes the paint comes off of the cheaper stuff. A five year warranty from someplace that will be around in five years is nice if you can find it. Matte finishes seem to be more of a problem so I would stick with glossy powder coat finishes. Plastic (now marketed as resin) furniture is cheap but you may very well come to hate it over time an long for something nicer. If you go with plastic, get the higher end stuff so you don't find yourself buying furniture twice.
posted by caddis at 8:04 AM on April 5, 2009

My dad has metal patio furniture with waterproof cushiony things that are alright, but my main beef with that is the sreechy sound it makes when you move the chair a milimeter.
posted by Xany at 8:04 AM on April 5, 2009

My brother has a metal set with cushions, table plus four chairs, and all the chairs recline, deck chair style. There is nothing finer than sitting around on a summer night and reclining back to look at the stars.

The metal chairs that swivel also squeak. My brother's chairs have four sturdy legs with reclinable backs. They've held up well. He bought it as kind of an impulse buy at Sears a few years ago.

I have a covered porch and have wooden chairs with cushions and a hammock, the mayan kind., also very comfy.
posted by readery at 8:58 AM on April 5, 2009

One of the best things I ever did was to get a futon for my screened porch. In the winters, I put the mattress into storage, and wrap the frame with furniture cling wrap, but it is nice to have a couch/bed out there.
posted by kellyblah at 9:44 AM on April 5, 2009

kellyblah, the futon idea sounds interesting, but because of the dew outside and maybe occasional horizontal rain, etc...did your futon mattress ever soak up water or get moldy?
posted by boots77 at 3:43 PM on April 5, 2009

If anyone has a link or two that would help out as well. Thanks for the advice so far everyone.
posted by boots77 at 3:45 PM on April 5, 2009

I don't have much in the way of patio design tips, but I can say that I absolutely love these chairs we got last summer. They're really deep, so they're surprisingly comfortable, they look and feel high-quality, and they have removable washable slipcovers.

Strathwood (which I think is an Amazon brand) makes them, and they have other decent outdoor furniture and accessories that are worth taking a look at.
posted by TG_Plackenfatz at 8:17 PM on April 5, 2009

We got a "weather resistant" or a marine cover, and we were ok with that. We likely won't be bringing it out much before June, and take it back in sometime in October. Area is Long Island, so fairly temperate.
posted by kellyblah at 5:19 PM on April 7, 2009

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