THE TOP 9 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SHOPPING FOR ALL-WEATHER OUTDOOR WICKER FURNITURE
Shopping for all-weather wicker outdoor furniture is not as easy as it sounds! We’ve worked closely with hundreds of clients since we founded our company and have heard every shopping story imaginable. Our list of the 9 things you should consider before pulling the trigger are a summary of all the experiences we’ve encountered in the past five years of business.
Like many buying decisions, it all starts here. How much are you looking to spend? How much are you comfortable spending? Creating a budget for yourself immediately helps narrow down your choices. Is $6,000 for a lounge set too much? (We think so). Is $1,000 enough (practically never). The balance is normally some where in between.
There is all-weather wicker furniture for every budget from $1,000 – $10,000, figuring out where you are on the spectrum is a great place to start.
This is the next thing to consider after budget, and is equally as important. The quality and quantity you get for your dollar are sometimes forgotten during the shopping process.
You found a set online for $1000? Great, how big is it? Does is look comfortable? Will it fill your space? These factors are almost always ignored when shoppers see what they think is a great “deal.”
The same goes for higher-priced sets seen in stores. What exactly are you paying for? Is the set worth the $5,800 price tag or are you just having a tough time finding something and this seems like your only option? In many cases, the brand names you see in stores are simply brand names. Where is the value in a $5,800 set?
All-weather wicker can be a great value because it is a synthetic (man-made) material. It is not like teak or other forms of wood that must be harvested, cut, shaped, and finished to create the product.
Once you’ve established a value-driven budget, the next step is to determine what type of all-weather wicker furniture you are looking for. What is the shape of your space? Do you want a sectional or a sofa? Club chairs or chaises? Flat wicker or round wicker? What color is going to work best in your space but also hold its look over time? These are all important considerations that will narrow you down to a final decision.
Comfort is something that is often overlooked in the online shopping process. Most often this is not by choice – how can you know if something is comfortable if you don’t sit on it until after you buy it? There are always a few indicators as you browse online.
The first are the dimensions. Is the set 27”H and only 30”D? Outdoor furniture tends to be lower as to not block any views outside, but depth is a major indicator of comfort. Measure the depth of your sofa at home and get a feel for what you’re looking at online. If the set you’re looking at looks like it could be small in the picture, chances are it’s even smaller in person. Be careful here.
The next indicator of comfort online are the cushions. How thick are they? Do they appear comfortable in the picture, or are they rigid and boxy looking? What do the third party reviews say?
The comfort of all-weather wicker furniture depends on the sizing of the pieces and the cushions and fabric that are used. Pay close attention to these details and trust your gut. If there is any doubt call the company and ask questions!
All-weather wicker furniture is emerging as the most popular material for outdoor furniture because of this reason – durability. Why else would it be used in the outdoor areas of hotels, restaurants, cafes, and lounges. Commercial venues need furniture that is going to last, and all-weather wicker is often their first choice for this main reason.
All-weather wicker is an ideal material to use with outdoor furniture because it is synthetic. It does not fade and crack like teak and traditional wicker, and it does not rust or corrode like traditional aluminum. Check for powder-coated aluminum framing which will resist rust and corrosion over time.
A great benefit to some outdoor furniture sets is their versatility. Modular furniture can be arranged multiple ways to create different configurations in your space. This provides a refreshing change when you need one, and allows for the best possible setup whether you’re hanging with your family or hosting a larger party.
Consider this when choosing sofas and loveseats over sectionals. Many times there are limited ways you can arrange a sofa, but modular sectionals can be set up as sofas as well, giving you more options for your space.
Most all-weather wicker furniture is modular, giving you flexibility that not everyone can enjoy with their outdoor furniture.
Your furniture has to perform well in your space, and this is not something that all manufacturers consider when designing their furniture. Check for things like suction cups on glass table tops to secure it (and make sure the glass is tempered), clips that hold the pieces together on slippery surfaces, and velcro straps to secure lighter cushions on dining sets to the chairs.
Does the company offer outdoor covers for their furniture? These or weatherproof bins make for easy protection of the cushions and will lengthen the life of the product. Outdoor furniture deals with many things that indoor furniture doesn’t have to, and you have to be prepared anything!
All-weather wicker is an extremely functional material to use for outdoor furniture. Synthetic materials like this will not fade in the sun, crack in the cold, or weather in the rain.
The time between your order and your delivery is a very important consideration. Sometimes you think you’ve found the perfect set, only to find out it’s out of stock, not shipping for 2-3 months, on back order, or all of the above!
Make sure the set is available for when you need it before you fall in love with it! Think ahead as well. If you are having a big party in a month, start shopping now to avoid making a stressful, last minute choice down the road. Choose a company that can not only guarantee the furniture by a certain date, but be able to deliver it well before then so you can start enjoying it!
This is a point few shoppers consider in the buying process. How willing/able is the company you are buying from able to help with anything you might need for your set down the road? Are they easy to deal with on the phone? Were they responsive by e-mail when you asked questions? Are they local or do they ship their furniture from a warehouse on the other side of the country?
Some companies are better equipped than others at dealing with potential issues down the road. What happens if you need a replacement cushion? What is the cost? What is the lead time? Is it even possible? If you want to add a piece to your set down the road will they have it in stock or will you have to wait months to get it? Always choose a company that is easy to do business with and you’ll have an easier time when you need something else down the road.
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