I made a fatal mistake last week when I told my wife that I had been researching dining sets for my BBQ website. First of all she wanted to know exactly what I meant my a dining set and once I’d explained that I was referring to tables and chairs it was at that point that the tirade of questions such as “why don’t we get some new furniture” started. For those of you men that have read “When Mars And Venus Collide” by Dr John Gray you will know how to interpret this inquisition in a manner that does not describe it as nagging, but at the end of the day we all know that it’s going to end in a new set of dining furniture and a dent in the credit card!
So if you end up in the position that I find myself in then you are going to have to start the research to ensure that you buy the right set for you and to that end I thought that I would share some of my findings and save you some bother.
What Do I Need To Think About When Buying New Furniture?
If you are anything like me then the last thing you want to be doing is spending time looking after the furniture once it is outside or bringing it inside every time it rains. To be honest I could not do the latter anyway because I would not have the space so when it comes down to it, the single most important factor to consider is the construction material and relate that to the climate in which you live.
1. Construction Materials
This area can be broken down into three main materials, metal, wood and wicker. In the metal category there is Aluminum – Lightweight, doesn’t rust and is pretty much indestructible, an all year round choice provided you don’t live in an area susceptible to wind! Aluminum can also be cleaned by most household cleaning materials. The other metal option is Wrought Iron – Again an all year round choice. It’s heavier in weight and also rust proof provided that the powder coating isn’t chipped. Very robust and easily cleaned with soapy water, but do not use abrasives as this will scratch the powder coating.
When it comes to wood then it’s really a choice of the type of wood. The best regarded are Pine, Cedar or Teak with teak coming out tops. This is the wood used for decks on yachts so you know it’s going to be pretty hard wearing. The reason that you are looking at these particular woods is to ensure that your furniture does not warp as a result of being exposed to the sun and the rain. Wood is weather proof if treated properly so it does need regular treatment but maybe only once a year.
Wicker is the final option and this is supremely comfy but it’s not as weather resistant as metal and todays wicker is really a plastic coated onto an aluminum frame. If it is comfort that you are after then go this route but you may have to accept renewing your patio dining set a little more often.
You want the size to be in keeping with the amount of space you have available. If you’re blessed with lots of space then maybe this is not such a big deal but if you are space constricted then you might want to consider a bistro style patio set.
Consider how you are going to use your furniture. Do you entertain regularly or is this patio dining set just for the family barbecue? Most sets come as five pieces (table plus four chairs) which is OK for the family but if you want the option to spread out then consider conversion sets because these will give you greater flexibility.
Mosaic table tops really do look great but these surfaces do need special care and attention. The grout around the tiles can crack in extremes of temperature so this type of furniture really does need to be housed indoors if you are expecting freezing temperatures.
Anyway, I have now take everything into consideration and if you’ll excuse me I will now get on line and keep my wife happy with a new set of patio furniture and then I will light the BBQ!