5 Types Of Outdoor Furniture That Lasts

As spring turns into summer, one of the first things you’ll do is get the patio furniture out of storage, grab the cushions, and get ready for some R&R. But what if you grab that furniture and hmmm…it doesn’t look nearly as nice as it once did. Well, you’re in luck because today there are dozens of choices for new outdoor patio furniture that will have your outdoor living spaces looking and feeling cozy and welcoming for both you and your guests.

Your choice in outdoor furniture is important, as you probably spend a lot of time on it during the summer months. It makes sense, then, to choose comfortable styles and fabrics, while still keeping in mind the care and maintenance needs of furniture. The first thing you should do is think about how you use your outdoor areas. Do you hold big parties for many people, or do you have more small, intimate cookouts? Do you do most of your cooking outdoors during the summer? These are important questions to ask when you’re considering new furniture purchases.

Below we have categorized a few of the most attractive choices for patio furniture, both by aesthetics and by their ease-of-maintenance. Use this as your guide when you go shopping.

1. Wrought Iron Furniture

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Wrought iron is classic, sturdy, and timeless-looking. If you live in an area of high winds, you won’t have to worry about your patio furniture blowing away. There are so many styles, colors, and designs with wrought iron that it is sure to fit your style, no matter what that might be. But don’t plan to use this type of outdoor furniture if you’ll be moving pieces around a lot. They are hefty and will leave marks if dragged across the deck.

Because the paint on wrought iron can chip, see if there is a touch-up paint in the same color available to purchase when you buy your set of furniture. You’ll be able to use the touch up anytime you find scratches or chips, and it’ll keep your furniture looking like brand new. To clean, just wipe down with a damp cloth. If deeper cleaning is necessary, wipe down with a solution of dishwashing detergent and warm water, and then rinse with your garden hose.

2. Aluminum Furniture

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Aluminum patio furniture is great if you want an easy-care solution that you can effortlessly move around. Aluminum won’t rust, and it’s super lightweight. Choose cushions that you can easily replace, as the aluminum frame will probably significantly outlast your cushions. When you’re shopping, make sure that the hardware on your furniture is rust-proof, and choose a powder-coated, UV-resistant finish. Check the welds to make sure they are seamless, and look sturdy.

To clean aluminum furniture, just wipe it down with a damp cloth. If you see scuff marks, you can very gently use a bit of Soft Scrub on a soft, damp cloth, but be careful – you don’t want to scratch the finish, especially if it’s shiny. And never use abrasive cleaners on aluminum. Rinse off with your garden hose.

3. Polymer and Plastic Furniture

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If easy care and maintenance are what you’re looking for, synthetics are where it’s at. Plastic patio furniture created from recycled plastics are fantastic if you live in a saltwater environment. This furniture can’t ever rust and is designed to last in difficult environments. Marine-grade polymers can also be used. They’re heavy, sturdy, and have been designed to look just like painted wood. You can leave this furniture out all year round without any ill effects, and cleaning is easy with a simple dish soap and water solution and a damp cloth. Rinse with your garden hose.

4. Real Wood Furniture

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The type of wood your furniture is made of is crucial if you want to avoid things like splitting, rotting, and bugs. You want dense wood such as teak or eucalyptus, or a hardy wood such as cedar. Teak and Eucalyptus are easier to maintain because they don’t need to be sealed on a yearly basis, but cedar is naturally moisture- and bug-resistant.

Clean your wood furniture with a soft brush and a solution of water and Murphy’s Oil Soap. Hose down well and dry with shop towels.

Use a soft scrub brush dampened with water and mild, oil-based soap, such as Murphy Oil Soap. Rinse by hosing down.

5. Cushion Fabrics

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Choosing new cushions is a great way to make older furniture look new again. They can also be the most pricey part of your patio set, so make sure you choose wisely!

If price is no object, look for fabric designed for outdoor use that is UV-resistant, as well as resistant to moisture, mold, and stains. And bring your cushions indoors when you’re not using them – you’ll get much more life out of your investment.

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Don’t Fall In Love With A House Before You Are Ready To Fully Commit

Finding the house of your dreams might seem pretty easy.

You know what you want and like. You feel like you will know the perfect house when you see it. The minute you find “the one”, it will be love at first sight. It will just feel right like it was meant to be.

Kind of like the notion of finding your soulmate.

Back in the day, finding your ideal house or soulmate was a lot trickier. Until…the Internet.

Nowadays, there are tons of websites for people to find the love of their life…and just as many to help people find the home of their dream.

The Internet has made it easier to find “the one”…in love, and housing.

But just because it is easier for you to find your soulmate or your “soul-house”, doesn’t mean you are in any position to do something about it.

Fate can only take you so far. Reality has to be dealt with…

Your “relationship” status in terms of housing has to be considered.

Are you “married”?

Let’s say you are married…

All of a sudden, you stumble into your someone who you feel is your soulmate somewhere. Could be at work, online, at a bar, at the gym. Doesn’t really matter.

Let’s put all debate about “right” or “wrong” aside… You decide to ditch your significant other, and follow the passionate path, and marry this new man or woman.

You’re going to have to deal with your marriage. You can’t ignore it. It is an issue. You can’t still be married, and actually, marry your newly found soulmate. You could fool around. You could have an affair. But you aren’t getting married without ending the marriage you already have.

It’s kind of the same thing if you find the house of your dreams…

If you already own a house, it’s like being married. Most people don’t have the ability to buy another house, without selling the house they already own.

So, what do you do?

Should you sell the house you already own first, and just hope your dream house appears once your house is sold?

Or do you keep your eyes open for your dream house, find it, fall in love, and then scurry to get your house sold as quickly as possible before your dream home gets scooped up by someone else?

There is no easy solution to this.

Are you seriously “dating”?

There is a lot more to ending a marriage than there is when you are simply dating someone.

So, if you are dating someone, and you fall head over heels for someone else, you can end things a little more quickly and easily. But, of course, there will most likely be some headaches and heartaches to deal with.

Renting is like dating.

If you are renting a house or an apartment, and you come across the house of your dreams, you are probably not going to find it is the perfect timing. Maybe you will have to try and end your lease early. Or maybe you will have to continue paying your rent until the lease ends.

But these are not huge issues in the grand scheme of things. You are in a better position to go after the house of your dreams, than someone who is married to a house they already own.

Are you “single”?

A lot of people look at being single as undesirable. Even more so if you are living at home still with your parents.

Let’s face it, if you’re looking for your soulmate, you probably don’t want to fess up to living in your childhood bedroom, or your parent’s basement. It doesn’t sound all that impressive or intriguing.

(Whatever…if someone is truly a soulmate, they should be totally cool with you being a cellar dweller!)

Not owning a home, or even renting your own place is like being single.

As unimpressive as this scenario sounds to some people, this is the best scenario to be able to act upon finding your dream home. You have nothing to sell, and no lease to worry about. This is as good and easy as it gets.

Did you get “divorced”?

Things happen in life. Life throws curveballs. People grow apart. People make mistakes. People split up. People hurt each other. And people who go through a breakup often have “emotional baggage”.

Plenty of people end up getting “divorced” from their own home…

Having a short sale, or a foreclosure in your past is like having gotten divorced.

This doesn’t mean you are unworthy of finding and getting your dream home. But it might affect you being able to get it. It depends on a lot of factors.

Get some pre-“marriage” counseling.

Most people do not really consider their current housing “relationship” when they start looking for their dream home.

It usually starts off as some wishful thinking. Maybe browsing a few websites…just seeing what’s out there. Then it progresses to flirting with possibilities, perhaps.

Before you know it, there you are…in love with the house of your dreams. So, you call a real estate agent who “introduces” you to the house in-person.

Sure enough, it’s “the one”!

Maybe you’re in a position to jump on the chance to follow your heart…

But, unless you’re “single”, most likely you are not. And it is absolutely heartbreaking. You aren’t ready for the new relationship. You need to deal with the one you already have.

The best way to avoid any heartache is to put yourself in the best possible position to grab your dream home when you find it.

This doesn’t mean you need to be absolutely “single” before you start looking for your dream home. But you do need to have a plan in place as to how you will transition from your current housing relationship, into one with the home of your dreams.

There is no one solution or even an easy solution.

The best solution is to call a real estate agent before you start your search.

Let your agent put on his or her “marriage counseling” hat, and advise you on the best way to plan for and make the transition from your current housing relationship to one of your dreams.