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Choosing Wood for Your Outdoor Garden Furniture

by Marcus Pickett

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If you're searching for outdoor garden furniture, you may have discovered by now that outdoor wood furniture is not nearly as popular as it once was. For a while now, outdoor furniture alternatives have been cheaper than the traditional wood. Metal and plastic, for example, can be machined and mass produced, eliminating any expertise required of an individual craftsman. To further entice homeowners, these alternatives also require less upkeep than wood furniture. That said, though more expensive, hand-crafted wood is, well, hand-crafted. Your neighbors across the street won't be able to go out and just duplicate your beautiful outdoor garden furniture with a quick stop to Lowe's or Home Depot. Your outdoor furniture will be your own. Plus, while there are some reasonable facsimiles of wood furniture, nothing beats the real thing, and nobody can deny that wood furniture is second-to-none for beauty.

Outdoor Wood Furniture
By far, the most common type of outdoor wood furniture is teak furniture. Teak is the hardest of hardwoods and will hold up to outdoor conditions better than essentially every other readily available wood. It does limit your options, but if you're thinking wood, at the very least you should start by considering teak. You can have outdoor wood furniture made from almost any type of wood, but you should plan on having it treated, sealed, and re-sealed every year or two. If you don't chose teak, at least check into the performance of your wood of choice for resistance to rot and pests. Even homeowners who have the financial resources rarely want to pay top dollar for outdoor furniture that will struggle to last even a year or two outdoors.

Wooden furniture is usually best utilized as outdoor garden furniture. First, the look of your outdoor furniture is paramount to creating a beautiful garden. The harsh look of outdoor metal furniture just doesn't cut it for some gardens. Secondly, outdoor garden furniture is often used less and, in general, takes less abuse than outdoor patio furniture. The one exception, however, is the possibility of attracting pests. Usually wood-consuming pests and garden-consuming pests are of two different varieties, but it's still a good idea to check with a professional gardener. You'll want to avoid planting flowers that may attract pests that will destroy your furniture.

More Outdoor Wooden Furniture
Still, outdoor wooden furniture can be used as outdoor patio or deck furniture. If you've got the financial resources, few types of furniture will impress like outdoor wooden furniture. Plus, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that the furniture will be used on a more regular basis. Again, teak is probably your best bet, but your options may be expanded somewhat if you have a covered deck or patio. Nothing is going to eliminate the maintenance and care that outdoor furniture requires, but the better the protection you can give your furniture, the longer it will last and the more sense the investment will make.

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More Outdoor Garden Furniture
A defense of wood for your outdoor furniture isn't an attack of the alternatives out there. If you're a big fan of the appearance of wood, it's still a viable choice, but the reasons alternatives have been taking an ever-increasing percentage of the market share are compelling. Aluminum and concrete finishes are becoming more and more decorative and impressive. Plastic furniture can also be decorative and sturdier than many homeowners imagine. It's now possible to have functional, low-maintenance outdoor furniture that still looks great, be it made of wood or a more contemporary material.

Marcus Pickett is a professional freelance writer for the home remodeling industry. He has published more than 600 articles on both regional and national topics within the home improvement industry.