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Good planning and understanding is the key to purchasing outdoor garden furniture. This guide is designed to get you thinking and ask the right questions.
1. How big is your outdoor space?
Proportions are important. You don't want a tiny set on a massive patio or vice versa. You should allow comfortable space around the set so all seats are easily accessible without having to hold your breath and squeeze yourself in with a shoe horn. It is a good idea to invest in a piece of chalk and 'mark out' the outline of your shortlisted sets. All our product pages will outline the measurements.
2. What shape of set?
The main options are round, oval, square and rectangle. This question will depend on the shape of your patio / outdoor space. We sell mostly round dining sets because of their versatility. Round sets work perfectly on a round patio and they also work well on a square patio. Additionally, round sets tend to be the most 'social' shape in that they are a little more egalitarian and relaxed. Extra guests can pull up extra chairs and squeeze in more easily compared to a square or rectangle set. Having said that, square and rectangle sets are still popular and are often the only option especially when your space is more angular, formal or restrictive in size.
3. Is it worth increasing your budget?
There is no doubt that having a nice set of garden furniture will add to your property's appeal, and enable you to make the most of your outdoor space by creating a usable room outdoors where you can relax, read, dine. We have been selling garden furniture from the late 80's and have learned that aiming for a good quality set will last much longer, look better and will be more comfortable. We don't not stock low budget sets because they are often a false economy. Spending £200 on a set that lasts 2 or 3 years is not cheap at all.
4. Product guarantees?
This is the most simple way to gauge the level of quality. To the unfamiliar eye, it can be hard to tell the difference between similar looking products. For example, a 5ft 'teak' bench at £200 and another 5ft teak bench at £600 may look similar on a photograph. However, the more expensive one may have a 10 year guarantee and the cheaper version may make no reference to guarantee. A manufacturer with confidence in their product is happy to offer a guarantee.
5. What's the best material?
It depends mostly on personal preference. Synthetic rattan continues to be the most popular choice. We have sold rattan for over 10 years now and our versions are tried and tested to suit our climate. Rattan offers low maintenance as well as comfort and good looks. If you prefer hardwood, go for good quality as it will reward you with excellent longevity and classic looks. Don't be deterred by concerns regarding maintenance. We supply quality covers and can advise on excellent wood sealers that keep maintenance to a minimum. Powder coated steel, stainless steel and sling materials are also excellent. Which material suits your property best, and which do you find most comfortable? These should be the main questions to think about.
These five points should give you a good start, but the Mid-Ulster team will be happy to guide you on the specifics. Please get in touch if you have any questions!