Outdoor Chairs: Metal, Plastic, or Wood?

From on April 14, 2009 in Landscaping

wicker-chairs.jpgPhoto Credit: ellievanhoutte

What’s the best type of outdoor furniture? Some believe wood and metal are in. Still, others prefer the lightweight ease of plastic. When comparing the different varieties of outdoor furniture, it’s important to know the strengths and weaknesses of each before your invest your time and money.

Plastic is the least expensive and most easily maintained outdoor furniture available. This type of outdoor furniture is a perfect fit for the poolside and can be ideal for large backyard gatherings.

The PVC plastics used in your home plumbing is the same type of plastic used for outdoor furniture. It’s water resistant, durable, and inexpensive. Longevity, though, may be a problem. Plastic furniture is a good investment for the short haul, but it doesn’t stand the test of time. Five years is about all you should expect; the furniture will become sun damaged and your tastes may change. Plastics can also be a hazard. Who hasn’t been burned pretty good by a hot plastic chair?

Wood furniture could be the answer. Of course, this type of outdoor furniture is more expensive and requires some pampering. But in the long run, wood is very stylish. It’s amazingly durable and provides wonderful comfort. This type of outdoor furnishing is great for patios, decks, and gazebos. The best types of woods to use for the outdoors are cedar and teak. Teak is a native hardwood from the South Pacific. It’s moisture resistant and is filled with natural oils that help preserve it in the elements. Did I mention expensive? You can easily spend $3,500 dollars for a complete outdoor set.

Cedar is also a good choice for the backyard. This type of wood has a natural scent that repels insects and it stands up well to wind, rain, and snow. Other woods can make for great outdoor furniture, but you’ve got to protect it from the elements.

metal-chair.jpgPhoto Credit: benandbarnet

Metal outdoor furniture is by far the best investment in terms of sturdiness. You can leave it out through the winter and it will continue to function just like the day you bought it. Wrought iron is a very popular choice of outdoor furniture. It’s great for the patio and deck, but it seems to be most at home on the lush green grass of the lawn. This classic design is adaptable to backyard barbecues or special events like weddings or cocktail parties. Wrought iron is heavier to lift and less maneuverable. But this classic outdoor design will pay you back in compliments and longevity.