If you are a nature lover, you will need outdoor furniture to enjoy the lazy summer nights or the romantic sunsets from your patio, garden or backyard. Spending time outside, listening to the birds chirping in the evening or the crickets chirping at night is an enjoyable experience in itself, and the right outdoor furniture is the key to full relaxation. If you have a lovely garden at your home, and have a patio alongside, you can buy long lasting outdoor furniture to sit outside and enjoy the weather, sipping coffee with a magazine or newspaper. To buy outdoor furniture, you need to keep a few pointers in mind, which are listed below:

Decide what you need – The first thing to do is to decide the kind of furniture you will need and where you will be placing it. For example, if you plan to use the furniture for outside barbeque parties, you will need to consider the number of people you have to buy furniture for. Usually a large table with chairs is a good option to go for in this case. If you plan to use it for quiet mornings, reading newspaper and sipping coffee all by yourself, then you may only need a set of comfortable chairs with an end table.

You also need to decide whether you will be placing the furniture on hard ground or on grass, and if it will be placed outside in the open or under some umbrella or covered area. Lighter furniture is usually ideal for grassy tops, and heavier furniture can be placed on a hard surface. You also have to see if the place where the furniture will be placed gets a lot of sun, because if it does, you will need furniture which does not get weather beaten quickly.

Measure your patio or deck – The second most important thing to do is to measure the area and space which you are planning to fill. Make sure you leave extra space around the tables and chairs for people to move around freely. For lesser space, choosing a bar table set is a better option instead of table and chairs. In some cases, you may end up measuring the area more than once when you go out and decide on a piece of furniture to buy.

Spend time looking for the right thing – Buying the right outdoor furniture may be difficult for you in the beginning, especially if you do not have any prior experience buying it. You can start with surfing the internet, checking decorating magazines and visiting the local shops in your area. Then you can check at specialty patio stores, department stores and other full-line furniture stores and shops which have a collection of outdoor furnishings.

During your search, pay attention to the different materials used for outdoor furniture. For example, if you are looking for furniture with metal frames, it should be made using aluminum and not steel, as steel will rust outside in damp and moist weather. Similarly, the fabric you use for outdoor chairs needs to be UV testes, so it can last a long time.

The furniture needs to be durable at the same time, and should be maintenance free. Both summers and winters can be brutal for any piece of furniture, and anything made from cheap materials may not last you a very long time. Wrought iron is very durable and is not affected by the change in weather, and a little care can make it last a long time. On the other hand, aluminium is light weight and does not get rusty, so it is also a good option. Outdoor furniture made from wood is another option, but you have to be very careful about the wood used, as it will change with the effects of the weather. For example, pine furniture is softer and affordable, but is not good for outdoors. Teak furniture, on the other, hand is hard tougher but also expensive. If you have a limited budget, you can also check outdoor furniture made from recycled plastic, which gives the look of wood and also weighs lighter.

Be sure to test all the furniture items you plan to buy and sit in the chairs to see if they are comfortable. If you plan to buy a chaise lounge, make sure it is comfortable for you before you spend on it.