Five Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Outdoor Dining Furniture

Congratulations! You're ready to replace your outdoor dining furniture or buy your first set. But before you look at the options, here are some tips to help you make the right choice and avoid costly mistakes.

1. Get the Right Size and Shape

Buying an outdoor dining set only to realize it doesn't fit the space you have available is a big mistake. Before hitting the stores, take measurements of your deck or patio and sketch out the area where you'd like to place your furniture. That way, you'll know whether a round set or square set would work best for your space.

You may not think shapes important. You might assume that if you like the look of a round table, it'll be perfect for your 10x10 deck. After all, the shape doesn't affect function, right?

Wrong! For outdoor entertaining furniture, the shape is almost as important as size. A round table might look great in your head, but when you realize it takes up nearly half your deck space because of how far away from the railings you need it to be to seat everyone, the beauty of the design fades quickly.

Also, choosing a set that's too small might seem economical at first. However, you'll have to replace it sooner, as people quickly outgrow the size. Buying a second set could work if you have the space; but the best option is to purchase a set that has at least two extra seats outside your immediate family members. With this pre-planning, you'll always have room for another couple to join you for dinner.

2. Don't Sacrifice Comfort for Style

Just because you bought an outdoor dining set with stylish modern lines doesn't mean that it's comfortable. Check the cushions, the back support, and seat depth before buying outdoor furniture. You should be able to sit in the chairs or at the table comfortably without hunching over to eat your meal.

If you're not comfortable, your guests won't be. This problem can affect how much they enjoy their time with you and might even cause some to leave early. Also, you need to consider that the cushions can lose their firmness over time as they dry out from exposure to rain and sun.

Even if your chairs appeared to be in good condition when you first bought them, they will show signs of wear and tear in time. This situation will make you wish you had taken the extra time to check out their comfort factor before buying.

3. Pay Attention to Quality

You will find outdoor dining sets in all kinds of finishes, but you want the finish to stand up to the elements for at least a season or longer without cracking, chipping, or flaking. Cheaply made sets may be made from metal that corrodes and flakes or may be finished with paint that fades within a couple of months, or in wood that doesn't stand up to heat and humidity well.

The best material for outdoor dining sets is cast aluminum . It's rust, heat, and corrosion-resistant, so it lasts for years in any weather. And if the finish scratches or chips, you can use a bit of automotive wax to get it to look like new again.

That makes it ideal for all climates, including the harshest ones. However, just because your new patio furniture can survive the winter unscathed, doesn't mean you should leave them exposed to the elements all year round. Invest in covers instead to keep them in great shape.

Spending a little extra on quality will pay off in the long run. The metal won't rust, fade, or chip. The finish on the wood will come up smiling through rain, sun, and storms, and you won't have to worry about it falling apart because of poor quality.

4. Matching Your Style

You're not going to be happy with your outdoor dining set unless you love the way it looks. Dull colors, tacky designs, and cheap materials can make outdoor dining furniture sets look cheap, not chic. Also, you want the set to match your home.

The best way to avoid this problem is by matching the style and color of the outdoor dining set with the rest of your home. If you're updating your home's style, choose outdoor dining furniture that complements the new look. If you're not sure what coordinates with your decor, visit a home store to help you decide what color will look best.

5.  Not Considering Maintenance

Besides the patio chairs, you also need to purchase cushions for them so that guests can be comfortable. The cushions will need occasional treatment to protect them from weather and stains.

For example, the color fades on some of our cushions after leaving them in the sun. Another time, some soak up rainwater and never dry out because we didn't put them under the roof overhang. The bottom line is that you need to take care of your outdoor dining set, just as you do with your indoor furniture.

When you buy outdoor furniture, check the cushions, and learn how to take care of them, to ensure that they will  last a long time. Also, know how to clean your set, so it stays as good as new, even after rain and exposure to the sun.

People often forget to consider the maintenance required when buying outdoor furniture, which can damage or ruin the look of your patio. Don't make this costly mistake.

Also, spend a little extra on cushions that can handle the weather and other elements. Protect your furniture from damage by using covers when it's not in use.

When buying outdoor furniture sets, it's important to consider maintenance and upkeep. It can be tempting to buy the cheapest option because we don’t always think about how much time and money is required to maintain your new purchase. Outdoor dining set covers will help you keep your furniture looking fresh in all seasons, but they need regular cleaning too. The bottom line: when buying outdoor furniture, remember that it needs care, just as any other piece of indoor decor does — so don't skimp on quality materials. Rather go for better quality options with lower upkeep requirements.


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