Pond Side: Outdoor Furniture Tips And Advice

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Written By Mark Washburn

Mark has 20 years of experience as a professional pond management consultant.

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Although it’s sometimes an after-thought, many pond owners love to spend time around their ponds and relax once in awhile.  With that in mind we wanted to cover a few tips that might help you select the best outdoor furniture for making this precious time as comfortable as can be and we wanted to insure that you’ll get great value for the dollars you might spend on chairs, tables, or other furniture around your pond.

Choose Your Outdoor Furniture Wisely

The problem a lot of people have when it comes to any furniture that’s used outdoors is that they go strictly for a “look” and don’t take into consideration the maintenance, quality, or versatility of the furniture itself.  When you avoid considering different materials that best suit your environment you may end up with furniture that does not keep up with the wear and tear, fading, etc. that comes to your patio furniture.

There are so many “looks” that can be found within each kind of material of outdoor furniture that you should first consider your needs, the material that will fit your needs, and then find the “look” within those materials. Have you thought about which kind of patio furniture will hold up best on grass?  Which material will hold up best when getting splashed on by you pond or pool? What will last longer when constantly exposed to sun?  Which kind will take most of your time to maintain?  Popular outdoor furniture materials include wicker, wooden, aluminum, and wrought iron.  Getting to know these kinds of materials may help you in your decision when it comes to choosing the best outdoor furniture for you.

Wicker Furniture

We often assume that wicker furniture is made from wooden or natural fibers, but these days you can find wicker furniture in synthetic materials.  Wicker actually refers to the style in which a material is woven.

If you are going to have your wicker furniture exposed to sun and other elements you will want to think about a plastic wicker.  A natural fiber wicker will last longer if it is in a covered area so it won’t be exposed to elements that will swell the materials or fade it.

With the synthetic wicker you will find a lot of options.  You can have any color you can imagine.  All wicker is light weight and doesn’t scuff up as easily like other outdoor furniture.  It does trap dust easily, but can be taken care of with a simple wipe down with a rag.  Wicker furniture typically sits best on a hard surfaces but can be enjoyed on a grass surface as well.

Wooden Garden Furniture

A look we all of have gotten used to is wooden garden furniture.  You should be especially aware of the elements your outdoor furniture is going to be exposed to as that can be your main guide to what kind of wood you invest in.  Cedar is a good wood because it is insect and decay resistant.  Other popular woods include cypress, pine, and teak.

Wood is definitely a high maintenance material.  Making sure it has a proper finish on it initially is important.  Then, cleaning it with warm water and a mild soap on a regular basis will help to keep it clean and looking good.  Make sure you dry the furniture completely as to prevent build up or mold.  When it comes to extreme weather it is going to benefit you to put the wooden garden furniture away to keep it from being exposed, especially from snow.  Even teak (which will pretty much withstand anything) will have a much longer lasting life if you take these same precautions.

Aluminum Outdoor Furniture

Aluminum outdoor furniture has become one of the hottest, most popular trends today.  The reason being: durability, versatility, and reasonable cost.  You can find most any style that you are looking for with an aluminum frame.  There are cushioned chairs, sling chairs, hard back chairs, tables and more. Aluminum is rust free, which makes it a great option to have next to your pond or other water source in your yard.  There is no limit to the style if size of the pieces of furniture either.  People love having options, and you get options with aluminum outdoor furniture.

Durability is always something to look for when you are seeking outdoor furniture.  Aluminum outdoor furniture is manufactured in two different ways.  Hollow or frame, and casted.  The framed aluminum furniture is very popular.  Though it is hollow in the middle, it doesn’t lack in its quality.  It is very sturdy and will last for years. It is light weight furniture and may be blown around in harsh weather if left out in the elements.  The finish on aluminum outdoor furniture is sprayed on by the manufacturer, and then baked on to make sure it adheres to the aluminum.  This method results in furniture that can withstand a lot of use, with out worry about chipping or scuffing.  Framed aluminum outdoor furniture should easily last you ten years or more if you have taken the time to maintain it.

Casted aluminum has all the same great qualities of framed aluminum except that it’s most likely that you will only have to go shopping for casted aluminum outdoor furniture once in your life.  Though all casted aluminum furniture will last much longer, if you get a set that is put together by a craftsman, rather than a mass manufactured set, you will pay more but the quality of the product and overall attention to detail will be much greater.

Maintenance for aluminum is quite simple whether casted or frame, usually requiring a wipe or spray down a couple of times a year.  Some people go further to put wax finishes on their furniture to help maintain its finish, but following the manufactures suggestions will be the best bet there.  It is always a good idea to take your furniture out of extreme weather.  However durable your furniture is, it’s going to last longer if it is exposed to less.

Wrought Iron Outdoor Furniture

Wrought Iron outdoor furniture is a classic, sturdy, and long lasting choice.  There are also many different styles and option with wrought iron.  It is easy to update and keep trendy by simply changing out the outdoor cushions, which usually accompany your wrought iron furniture.  If you are looking for an elaborate style with your outdoor furniture, nothing beats the classic look that wrought iron can bring.  Wrought iron outdoor furniture is often paired with tiles, glass, or granite which you cannot achieve with many other materials often used for patio or outdoor furniture.

Wrought iron outdoor furniture is, however, very heavy.  If you are going to be pulling chairs towards or away from a table often, wrought iron may not be the material you would like to use.  It also can rust; therefore you will need to keep up on maintenance, like applying a sealant on a yearly basis.

Make a choice

There are a lot of options out there.  You should be able to find what you are looking for!  Have no fear!  Now that you know the details of your options, you can make a choice that will be best for you, for your level of use, and the environment that your outdoor furniture will be in.

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