#1….Aluminum is aluminum? all the same?……Not so!
Cutting costs is important to manufacturing but it often means less quality. The differences in aluminum are not readily apparent to the consumer so some knowledge and research is required. Many outdoor furniture pieces look aluminum but are simply painted steel which is much cheaper and will rust. If it is aluminum the quality of the aluminum will have a direct effect on the life of the product.
Here are the three main items to look and ask for:
- Feel the weight of the product….pick up the chair to get a feel for what you’re buying.
Thinner, lighter aluminum is going to bend over time and give you a shorter life.
- The heavier aluminum also has internal aluminum webbing for added strength.
- Pureness of the aluminum. Fillers are often added to bring the cost down but then the cheaper material will start to break down over time.
#2…Fabric and wicker choices.
The science behind fabrics and wicker allows manufactures to vary their costs by changing the ingredients. Some products have UV stabilizers which are an expensive ingredient and will have a direct effect on the years of use. When choosing wicker look for high density polyethelyne or all-weather Abaco XF wicker. The initial look will be the same on cheaper products but the difference will be very evident with every passing summer season. This sling fabric below on the left has been outside for 10 summers……exposed to rain , pool chlorine and sun!
The fabric beside it is brand new…..there is very little sign of aging. You can easily see why spending a little more is less cost per year!
#3….Marine leather is becoming a very popular fabric.
The marine yacht industry requires very durable furniture products. Salty sea water can wreak havoc on most fabrics. With salt and chlorine in swimming pools your backyard furniture could use the same reliability. This synthetic outdoor leather is now available for your patio furniture. Marina plus leather is offered for outdoor living sets in three different colours……cream, grey and white. No more cushions to haul in and out and wiping off the morning dew is so easy.