4 Material strengths (this is a big one)
To ensure you get great use out of your outdoor furniture you need to pay close attention to what it’s made from.
You may well select outdoor furniture along similar lines to your interior pieces – but there is an all-important difference. Your outdoor choices have to contend with rain and moisture, mould and rot, rust and corrosion, warping, fading, cracking, even holding on to too much heat. That’s a lot to deal with.
In terms of wood, teak is a great option, although it will silver over time. Many other woods will have to be protected, perhaps regularly, to keep the elements at bay. Avoid soft woods, such as pine – however, hardwoods, treated properly, will last and last.
Regarding metals and alloys, aluminium and marine grade stainless steels are both dependably durable and rust resistant no matter the weather.
Wrought iron is also popular but buyer beware, while many such settings are touted as rain or weather resistant that does not mean rust proof. Powder-coated metals combat rust to reasonable degree, but scratches in the surface or poor metal joins will let oxidation and unsightliness commence.
Weight is another consideration when choosing the right materials, too. Aluminium is light, meaning it is easy to lift – but that means by a gust of wind too.
Lastly, resins and plastics are becoming more and more popular as new manufacturing techniques allow for more varied design options. Plus, because colour is inherent in their chemical make-up, they are fade resistant too.
The last point holds true for furniture fabrics and upholstery too. And as well as hold their colour under the harsh New Zealand sun, acrylic fabrics are also quick-drying and easy to maintain.