Designer life outdoors

Years ago, the choice of outdoor furniture was very limited, now however, there are a lot of designs on the market and outdoor furniture has become fashionable.

With that have come price tags to match. Also, the materials the furniture is made of have gone high tech.

This is good news when you are trying to combat the weather, but not good news for your wallet!

The problem with outdoor furniture can be summed up in one word the weather!

The weather can play havoc with your outdoor furniture, especially, if you have a property on the beach or close to the sea. In these locations wind and rain can batter your home for days on end at certain times of the year and salt from the sea will eventually destroy pretty much anything that stands in its way.

If you have a property in the tropics the scorching sun will also have an affect over time as well as the humidity.

Ideally, you are looking for outdoor furniture for all seasons and not have to bother putting it under cover every time you are not using it.

Despite the claims of some manufacturers some outdoor furniture does not weather well if left out or not covered when not in use. Even if you find outdoor furniture that weathers well it will probably need some minor maintenance now and again.

The weather in South East Asia is particular bad for outdoor furniture because of the humidity, which is why you need to choose carefully.

In countries such as Thailand and the Philippines, most people choose local outdoor furniture made of hardwood because it is cheap. This is okay except for two things:

1. It will be very heavy and therefore difficult to move around even with wheels, so if you are chasing the sun for a maximum tan and need to move your sun loungers all the time, then look for aluminium framed furniture, it will be so much lighter and easier on your muscles.

2. Local hardwood may look the business, but it will deteriorate over time, especially if the wood is of poor quality, which it so often is if it has been purchased locally. Even top quality wooden outdoor furniture that has come from countries such as New Zealand will deteriorate if not oiled or varnished every year.

If you can put up with all of this then wood is for you. If not, then you can have weather proof covers made for your outdoor furniture and cover them whenever they are not in use. Or, if you have the storage space, put them away when you are not in residence.

Alternatively, you could choose to buy plastic rattan, aluminium or galvanised sun loungers and have waterproof cushions made for them.

Sun umbrellas will suffer the same fate if left out and not covered. The umbrella part will, over time, become dirty and marked, but this can be removed and washed. If the marks do not come off then they will need specialist cleaning.

Always buy the best that you can afford and don’t forget that quality outdoor furniture will last a lot longer.

If you are purchasing a new property overseas then most developers will provide you with a furniture package, which includes outdoor furniture. However, it is unlikely that you will get quality outdoor furniture in a developer’s furniture package, unless of course, you are paying a million dollars for your property!