A patio set can look attractive but have glaring flaws that can lead to problems after a few months:
- On large furniture pieces, choose cushions with springs. They'll hold their shape longer.
- When inspecting metal furniture, bring a magnet. Aluminum is not magnetic, but steel often is. Although it doesn't work with all types of steel, you can sometimes distinguish aluminum from steel construction (or fittings) by just testing them with a magnet. Remember, steel will rust while aluminum and stainless steel won't.
- Look for aluminum loungers made with long, unsegmented framing pieces. They cost a little more, but they'll last longer.
- Check chairs to make sure the legs are solid and sturdy. Sit in the chair to see if it shifts or flexes as it takes your weight. Award extra points to chairs that include cross bracing pieces.
- Opt for furniture assembled using stainless steel screws.
- Run your hands along wood pieces to make sure they're sanded smooth.
- Check to make sure chair and table legs have rubber or plastic feet that won't scratch your deck or patio.