If you're outfitting an outdoor living area this season […]
If you're outfitting an outdoor living area this season, finding comfy, long-lasting furniture may mean the difference between hanging out on the patio for a while to enjoy the fresh air and heading indoors after a few cramped, uncomfortable minutes parked on a cheap patio chair.
Your best bet when deciding on the right materials for your outdoor furnishings is to evaluate how you plan on using your furniture and how much time you want to spend maintaining it.
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 -- It's pretty amazing how well natural materials like wicker look and last 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.