Even though summer is nearly over, now is a great time to score a major deal on seasonal essentials such as grills, pool accessories - and my favorite - patio furniture. While usually a major purchase, upgrading your outdoor dining game at the end of the season is actually a great way to save big bucks, with many manufacturers slashing prices to make room for other inventory. So if you’re tired wicker or wood outdoor set is in dire need of an upgrade, here are some of the options available that will last a lot longer with much less maintenance than traditional materials.
Metal gives a beautiful, polished look and it doesn’t rust or fade. Because aluminum is such a lightweight metal, it’s easy to rearrange furniture and move it around to different outdoor areas. Many aluminum frame furniture sets are powder coated which gives a homeowner lots of options when it comes to finish and color. Also, it’s affordable and durable so you won’t spend too much and your set should last a long time. On the negative side, aluminum gets very hot in the sun and many times the hardware is made from a different kind of metal which can rust. Make note - without a good solid cushion, aluminum is not going to be the most comfortable to sit on for long periods of time.
My Pick: The Navan Outdoor 4 piece Aluminum Conversation Set on Overstock.com
Regular Price: $737.99
Sale Price: $573.73
Plastic patio furniture is the most inexpensive and lightest option going with tons of different styles and colors to choose from. Many people like plastic or polymer furniture because it’s stackable, making it easy to store when not in use. Technology and 3D printing have made plastic options much more durable and less flimsy than the stackable green or white chairs you’re probably picturing, but unless you invest in good quality, high-density polyethylene, it’s likely that plastic isn’t going to last for years to come. Additionally, porous materials will attract mildew, so make sure you wash any plastic down with mold resistant cleaner before storing it away for the winter.
My Pick: POLYWOOD® Long Island Recycled Plastic Adirondack Chairs from Hayneedle
Regular Price: $386.00
Sale Price: $269.00
If you like the look of wicker, resin is a fantastic option for outdoor furniture. Similar to polymer and plastic, resin is made from synthetic materials such as PVC which are manufactured to stand up to the elements much better than traditional wicker. Resin is also your best bet if you choose to leave your furniture outdoors most of the year as it’s less likely to crack or split and will never rust. I also like resin because even though it can take a beating, it remains comfortable to sit on and is softer than traditional wicker.
My Pick: Belleze Rattan Resin Wicker Folding Table & Chair Bistro Set
Regular Price: $142.94
Sale Price: $99.99
Plenty of us love the look of wood, especially on a stone patio or around a beautiful fire pit. So if this is your style, my pick is teak for its density and natural resistance to being damaged by the elements. Because teak has such a generous amount of natural oil, it repels water much better than other woods, making it a smarter choice for furniture that’s used outside. With any wood, teak will fade from its natural honey brown color to a wintery gray. The wood can be kept up with a teak sealant, which should be applied when it comes out for the summer and before it goes away for the winter. Also, it’s worth noting that real wood can be expensive, so keep that in mind if you’re going the teak route.
My Pick: Frontgate Teak Dining Sets
Regular Price: Varies
Sale Price: Now 25% off all sets
Bob O’Donnell is the owner of O’Donnell Bros. Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Ask the Pro.” All questions may be considered for publication. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O’Donnell Bros. Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit http://www.odonnellbros.com. Advice is for guidance only.