Buying Outdoor Wood Furniture – 5 Things to Know

Before you purchase any outdoor wooden furniture, learn what to look for and how to make sure it will last. Nothing matches the quality of a finely crafted wooden chair or lounger. If you are a homeowner looking to make an investment in your backyard, or maybe turn it into a country getaway, remember these 5 essential points when buying your wood furniture set. Properly constructed wood furniture can last a lifetime and provide seasons of enjoyment with very little maintenance BUT – it all starts with choosing a quality set.

1. Type of wood. When selecting wood furniture, first ask what type of wood is used and if the wood is solid stock or laminate. Each species of wood has different characteristics and reactions to the environment. Consider your weather, temperatures and sun exposure when selecting outdoor furniture. No matter which wood you choose, ask about its characteristics so you know what is required to maintain it before you buy. Cedar has been rated as the ‘best’ wood for outdoor furniture. Its natural oils make Cedar the most resistant to weather, water and insect infestation. Cedar is also naturally more stable and lighter in weight than other woods. It can be stained or simply left natural. Untreated Cedar has the same qualities as stained Cedar. Just note that untreated or natural Cedar will “silver out” or grey in a season or two.

2. Wood Thickness. Consider the thickness of the pieces of wood used. Stock lumber is most often milled to ¾” making this the industry minimum standard to maintain integrity and overall strength in wood for furniture building. This ¾” minimum has a tendency to become “wobbly” over time. Yes, all wood swells, shrinks and loosens, however, chairs made of ¾” stock seem to have a more significant “wobble effect.” Try looking for furniture made from 1″ stock.

3. Wood Appearance. To be or KNOT to be. Each species of wood has its own characteristics. Wood grains vary in appearance based upon the species and cut of the wood. Consider how knots are used in the construction of your furniture. While they can be attractive in giving wood a “rustic” or “woodsy” feel, knots weaken the strength and integrity of wood. Notice where the knots are in the planks; in the center of boards they generally do not pose a problem. If they’re at the end grain or edges of a plank, it is likely the board will crack or split at the knot or worse.

4. Choice of Hardware. Also consider the nuts, bolts and screws of outdoor furniture. Hopefully the appropriate hardware has been used but remember buying furniture that’s “assembly required,” means it’s pre-drilled, with inexpensive hardware. To save time and money factories usually use punch threaded receivers and cheap bolts to maximize profit and ease assembly with a hex wrench. Make sure to ask how the furniture is put together. The best way to join two pieces of wood is through a combination of glue and screws. Glue offers the strongest unbreakable bond because it fuses the wood on a molecular level and screws hold wood together by force and pressure. With this heavy-duty combination, basic and inexpensive galvanized or plated screws and bolts are perfectly effective. Shop for “assembled” pieces but ask how they are put together. Make sure it’s using the “glue and screw method.”

5. Comfortableness of Design. Perhaps the most important consideration is comfort. We’ve all sat in chairs that look great but were extremely uncomfortable. Like an Adirondack chair that feels okay but after 5 minutes our legs fall asleep or we can’t get out of the darn thing. Comfortable furniture is ergonomically designed, meaning it is curved in all the right places. Test each piece of furniture before you buy. Are the armrests high or low enough for you? Can you get in and out of the chair easily? If it’s a chair, sit in it. If it’s a lounger, lounge in it. If it has adjustable features, adjust them. This is the only way to tell whether the furniture is right for you.

Now remember the 5 Things to Know, Before You Buy Your Outdoor Wood Furniture and make sure to put this information to good use. You’ll be glad you did.

Hardware and Building Supplies

Hardware and building supplies are required to make a complete building. Building supplies includes cement, insulation, bricks, etc. Construction companies have all the building supplies they will need and you don’t have to provide them with anything. But when you are planning a home project you need such supplies for, there are many hardware and supplies stores that can help you out. Let’s discuss some various hardware pieces you will need for a typical building project:

o Furniture: Some hardware you will need for your furniture are the ones that are used for support and to enhance the look, design and durability of the piece. You might require furniture legs, furniture arms, frames, screws, etc.

o Bathroom Hardware: A bathroom requires many fixtures and fittings, which also need other hardware to support them and improve the whole look of the area. Bathroom hardware includes taps, tubs, shelves, mirrors, showers, holders, etc.

o Plumbing hardware: Plumbing material is very important, as there is a constant demand for water and also even if the usage is over, the water remains in these products. Thus it is imperative that the hardware used for plumbing is corrosion resistant and highly durable. Also, you need to make sure that the hardware can withstand extreme temperatures. Materials commonly used are aluminium, copper and steel.

o Doors: One of the first things someone notices about your house is the door. So, why not make sure that while they are standing on your doorstep they have something attractive to look at? Door hardware, like knockers, number plates, door handles, hinges, screws, fasteners and hooks, helps create that attractive effect.

o Cupboards and Cabinets: They sometimes are filled with very heavy things, so you need to make sure they are sturdy and also the hardware used for support is equally, if not more, sturdy and attractive as well. Hardware for cabinets is usually made from plastic, metal or even glass. Hinges, locks, handles, fasteners and brackets are all examples of cabinet hardware.

o Safety and Security: Safety and security are things everyone is interested in and the hardware makes this is an easier task. You will need window guards, burglar alarms, smoke detectors and locks, amongst others, to make your home safe.

o Window Hardware: A window is not only a piece of glass in the wall to look through. It needs many small components to make it a complete window, like fasteners, hinges, handles, locks, window extrusions, etc.

o Curtains: Curtain hardware is made generally from metal, plastic or other materials. Rings, rods, hooks and poles are usually made from aluminium or iron. You will also need curtain finials and curtain poles to hang and move the curtains. These products can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Building Supplies are used in the construction, so it would be advisable that you get professional advice and only then go ahead with the building. Some building supplies you might require:

o Cement: Cement today is available in bags of 20kg for easy handling. Also, make sure you get the correct method and ingredients to mix it up well.

o Insulation: You can get acoustic and thermal insulation for your home with batts that are durable and also fire resistant.

How Building Furniture Can Save You Money

With the right tools and skill set, you can enjoy a fulfilling hobby and save money by building your own furniture. Filling your home with pieces that you’ve built, refurbished, refinished or repaired yourself not only saves dollars, but it also fills you with satisfaction and pride. Keep reading to learn the basics on how to get started either making your own furniture or repairing the furniture that you have.

Start Small

Especially if you’re new to woodworking or carpentry, you want to start small. Instead of learning as you go on a complicated dresser or armoire, maybe take a woodworking class that focuses on easier projects, such as a foot stool or a small table.

Once you have those foundation skills, you can then expand your tool inventory and your project scope.

Get Educated

Like the last tip suggested, educating yourself is going to make the difference between a poorly-made product and a masterpiece. If you don’t have the time or the money for an evening carpentry class, check your local library or bookstore for books or DVDs that will help you tackle a particular project.

Build a Tool Library

Working with quality tools can mean the difference between a positive experience with a quality product and a bad experience with a poorly made product. While you shouldn’t break the bank buying up every tool imaginable before you even start your first project, you should make sure you have the tools you need.

Because good tools are often expensive, most large-scale home hardware retailers offer tool or equipment rental programs. So, if you need a power sander or tile cutter, you can rent one for the day rather than shelling out a few hundred dollars on something you’ll only use a few times.

Start With Refurbishing

Refurbishing or repairing older furniture can be a great way to start your furniture-building endeavors. Not only will you get an almost-new look on the item, but you’ll also have a chance to look inside a piece of furniture, learn how it’s made and put together, and gain a better understanding of the trade.

To find furniture pieces that you can fix up, try looking in your own house. From that old coffee table in the basement to that beat-up headboard that’s sitting in the garage, you’re likely to find something that could be sanded down, painted and refinished.

Woodworking Plans For Furniture – Building Your Way To Glory!

If you’re going to do something, you should strive to do it right the first time. When it comes to building any type of indoor or outdoor home furnishings, getting your hands on the right woodworking plans for furniture is the most powerful way to ensure that you do. This article will offer suggestions and recommendations to help you choose the very best plans for you.

One of the first things you need to look at when considering a set of furniture plans is who put these plans together? Was it someone just trying to make a quick buck by copying and pasting random, unproven plans? Or was the creator someone with not only a passion for woodworking, but an incredible level of skill and expertise? If you can find a set of plans put together by a master craftsman who uses the very same plans being sold, you need to pull out your credit card and get those plans in your hands immediately. (A link to my personal recommendation is included at the end of this article. I hope it helps!)

Another critical consideration you must make is the reputation of the furniture plans being offered. Before I buy anything online, the first place I go to is Amazon.com, as they sell almost everything under the sun and include real life customer reviews for just about everything. These are reviews from people who have actually purchased and used the product in question. They are generally very honest and candid. If you can’t find the product you’re considering at Amazon, simply do a Google search by typing in “(Product Name) Review.”

It is also important that your plans are printed clearly and largely enough to be read and understood. You might be surprised at some of the slop being sold today. Much of it is so small that you can’t make out whether you’re looking at a 3, 5, or 8! In woodworking, a discipline wherein a fraction of an inch can make the difference between glory and shame, these kinds of issues must NEVER arise. Wouldn’t you agree?

Finally, your woodworking plans for furniture should explicitly list all materials and tools that will be required to construct each individual project. This is something that you don’t want to have to guess at. And you certainly don’t want to get half-way through a project only to find out that you need to make a $500 trip to the hardware store in order to complete it. Work confidently knowing that you have everything required to bring your vision to life. Good plans can help you achieve this.