Thousands of people just like you will be researching quality garden furniture this summer. The hunt for the perfect patio set can be really daunting for some of us. Many customers have reported that their old garden furniture didn’t last too long and are really apprehensive about spending hard earned cash on a new set. Its easy to understand why people feel this way about a big purchase. Years ago quality issues were not much of a problem. It seemed rational to expect decent products and garden furniture in general was good quality.
Why is it so important to check for quality garden furniture today?
Retailers are having a tough time making the profits of yesteryear and are putting manufacturers under pressure to make products that can be sold for a decent profit. Rising costs of products from overseas, the living wage and the introductions of pensions into the wider work place are having its toll and many retailers are going broke. What has this got to do with researching for my patio furniture you might ask?
How do manufacturers cut corners?
Garden furniture can be made from all sorts of materials such as steel, aluminium, cast iron. Different types of wood and plastic. These can also make up the frames. Ratten, nylon (textolene), cotton, polyesters and water proof materials only to mention a few that would make up the seating and surrounds…the list of materials is almost endless as each year some manufacturer will bring out another way to use something. A good example of innovation is the use recycled products such as plastics, wood, metal objects. Somewhere in the mix is good quality materials.
Its more than the quality of the materials that make up a quality garden furniture set. The build quality is normally the main topic that gets overlooked by shoppers. Many people just cant see the poor quality for the price. Pricing of a product can be the real driver for some shoppers and more than ever in 2018.
Here is how the manufacturers save costs for retailers.
When you see a patio set that has a really low price attached to it there is normally a few good reasons.
- Steel is used instead of the more expensive aluminium, the problem with steel is rusting. It is possible that the rust can leave orange stains on your garden furniture.
- The thickness of frame and whether it has enough legs to support under loading.
- The quality of welding plays a big part, some poor quality frames can come apart if the welding is not done properly.
- The seat backs on many cheap sets are lower compared to good quality sets
- To save a lot of money many sets are KD which means knocked down and supplied as put it altogether your self. Often this type of furniture doesn’t fit to well together and is very time consuming to build.
- With kD garden furniture it takes a lot less expense to get it to the retail store or garden centre.
- Using cheaper materials such ratten and cloths will reduce the price too but also reduce the longevity and start to look poor a lot earlier than expected.
- The quality of the weaving in ratten furniture maybe done quickly to reduce cost but in reality the ratten weave will be baggier than a quality made set.
Here are our top tips on how to research your new garden furniture and what questions to ask.
- Your research should really start by visiting a bricks and motar place. This is the only place you can actually see the products and ask questions from somebody who knows the products.
- Always ask what are the frames made of aluminium is best. Turn over the furniture and compare the build quality to what you have seen already.
- Sit on the furniture and give it a good bounce to see its reaction. You need your new set to be firm under load.
- Check and make sure the back is high enough to ensure comfortable reclining. Some cheaper sets may have the back cushion above the height of the back, which can cause your cushion to collapse and be uncomfortable for your back.
- To check whether a set is KD all you need do is either ask the shop assistant how it goes together. ( not all retailers supply quality sets ) look under to see if its all bolted together, some bolts can be very difficult to tighten as they are so close to the ratten. Another way to check if it is KD is look down the edges of every piece of furniture if you see a gap or a weave that is not continual it would normally mean it KD.
- Using your finger and thumb pinch any weaved material such as ratten and see if it is taught. A good quality weave should be tightly woven.
Check out the manufacturer.
- Make sure that the manufacturer is long established. A company established for many years is a safer bet as you will need a warranty. Ideally you want a minimum of 12 months warranty. Some quality manufacturers offer 3, 5 or even 10 years warranty. A long warranty is very useful especially when buying quality garden furniture. It also proves that the manufacturer has confidence in their own products and that invested in quality materials. Remember you will pay more for quality garden furniture.