We’re already into March, Spring is supposed to be just around the corner, but the ‘Beast from the East’ has been making it feel like some milder weather is a long way off.
That said, it feels like the perfect time to do a post that highlights many of the outdoor furniture buying mistakes we make.
Put this out there before the weather improves. Before we start thinking about garden improvements. Get you primed and ready to buy some new garden furniture.
I’m not sure if its my age, but the old cliché of time flying is certainly true. Although, I’m not sure if I’ve been having enough fun of late, it’s been all work. However, Christmas only feels like it was a few weeks back, not a few months.
One thing I do know is when Spring does decide to ‘spring’, we’re getting to the time of year where we start looking at our gardens and thinking they need a little TLC.
That chance of a BBQ can’t be too far off, and if we’re inviting friends and family over, then the garden needs to be looking good.
I myself ripped up some old decking last Autumn. My fault, I’d not maintained it. So we need start thinking about what we do there. Slate pavers is our preference at the moment. I’m just waiting for things to get a little milder (and drier) before I tackle that one.
Once that job is done, it’ll be some new garden furniture to place on said new patio. And I can’t speak for our competitors, although I’m pretty sure the same will be true, garden furniture sales are intrinsically linked to the British weather.
When the sun is shining we will sell significantly more than when its grey and miserable. Yes, from a consumer point of view, you can grab a bargain in the off season, but we’re selling off discontinued styles, colours etc.
If you want to be on trend, get the latest technology/features etc, then you’re looking to purchase in the next 2 to 3 months or so. That way the latest 2018 furniture will be on your patio ready to use this summer.
Whatever time of year you buy, you have to be prepared. Not doing research on the best materials for the UK climate for example is just one of the most common outdoor furniture buying mistakes many homeowners make.
As consumers, we’ve definitely got more savvy, more discerning about the quality of our outdoor furniture over the last decade or so. But that said, many of us still make mistakes. I know I have.
Who hasn’t popped to the local DIY superstore for some weed killer, and returned home with a rattan outdoor set or such like that was reduced to clear? Maybe that’s just me?
That rattan set lasted about 2 years by the way. It looked great at first. Ended up all split on the corners from blowing down the garden every time there was a light breeze. It was only fit for the local recycling centre.
The UK’s most common outdoor furniture buying mistakes
The point I’m trying to make though, is if you are planning on purchasing new outdoor furniture, don’t just buy the first set that catches your eye.
Do a little research. Think of all the factors you have to take into account. Make an informed purchase.
And to help you, the Lazy Susan team have pooled our experience to highlight the most common outdoor furniture buying mistakes.
I think this goes for any large ticket purchase, but it is so often overlooked in our business. For some reason we wouldn’t dream of buying a new sofa on impulse, but outdoor furniture sets, many of us have done.
My advice is to always shop around. And not just for the best price too. Yes, of course the price is important, but there is a host of other factors you need to think about too.
For example, getting the best size or shape table to fit on your patio. Getting the right style to compliment your home/garden/patio etc. Getting pieces of furniture that fit with how you use your outdoor space. I could go on but you get the idea.
Shopping around will answer questions you didn’t even know you had. It will help you find the outdoor furniture that is perfect for you and the space you have. And most importantly it won’t fall into any of the below sub-headings.
Do Your Research (Online)
I can’t stress the importance of doing your research enough. You could be mistaken for thinking this is the same as shopping around, but I would advise you dig a little deeper.
Find out the pros and cons of different outdoor furniture materials. The advantages and disadvantages of different types of outdoor furniture.
This Lazy Susan blog is packed full of impartial tips and advice that’s why we started it.
The leading home and garden magazines/websites regularly feature articles that look at the latest styles, what works, what’s hot etc too.
All of this can be done from the comfort of your own home. Get on the internet and do your research.
If the final purchase decision you make is an informed one, then you know you’re getting pieces that are right for you, your garden, and they’ll last for many a summer to come.
Read Customer Reviews & Feedback
At Lazy Susan we pride ourselves on the quality of our products and service. Our customer testimonials are testament to that.
“We received excellent advice on the products over the phone, and then were welcomed at the warehouse to see and choose the products. At all times, the staff were extremely helpful and a minor problem was resolved very quickly. The furniture range available at Lazy Susan was by far the best range I’d found anywhere and the quality seems very high. The company is impressive – it’s so rare to find a company which seems to get everything right (products, price, service), so I would certainly recommend Lazy Susan to others”. Louise Ford
The high number of customers who send us photographs of their new Lazy Susan outdoor furniture in situ further illustrates this, and for me, is a great way of truly showing what you’re getting. Untouched, real photos of our furniture.
Before you buy online, you need to know you’re buying from a reputable source. We’ve covered this in much more detail in our recent Safe shopping online with Lazy Susan post.
Make sure you give it a read as that article took an in-depth look at how we can help alleviate any fears you may have when it comes to safe shopping online for outdoor furniture.
Buying furniture that is too big or too small is probably the most common furniture buying mistake we all make.
And all make it we have. Both inside and outside our homes.
They key is to buy a set that fits into the patio space you have available, but one that still leaves you with enough room for that set to function.
In other words, when it is placed on the patio, you still have enough room to walk around, pull out chairs, sit in comfort etc.
If you end up with garden furniture set that is too small, then I suppose it is not as bad as one that doesn’t fit. You may need to add other items to fill the space, planting etc, more furniture maybe.
However, too big? You’re either returning, replacing, tripping over it or extending the patio. Big or small though, it usually means more spending!
Following directly on from size, is measuring. And making sure you measure the ‘working’ space you have free will fit the pieces of/set of furniture you want.
With regard to Lazy Susan garden furniture, the space requirements we recommend are illustrated in the diagram below.
As general rule of thumb, we would recommend that you allow no less than 75cm each side of a table for a chair to be pulled away and used comfortably.
An example of what an 8 seater 210 x 150cm oval garden table set would look like is shown in this diagram, but the same principal applies regardless of table shape.
If would like to speak through the dimension recommendations with a member of staff, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
It can be especially worrying if you have very little space play with, but we’re always happy to help you find the right size set to fit whatever space you have.
Read The Small Print
When shopping online it is vital that you’re aware of the refund or returns policy, and that that said policy is fair.
The likes of eBay and Amazon have detailed complaints or dispute handling processes in case something goes wrong. You’re buying from pictures, there’s an element of trust involved.
That’s why here at Lazy Susan our testimonials are so important. They’re from real customers, they validate what we are saying about our furniture.
However, if you’re not happy. You need to know that you can return, quibble free.
At Lazy Susan or policy is clearly outlined in the Delivery & Returns section of our main shop website.
We also have a range of procedures and assurances in place, to ensure that buying from us is simple and hassle free:
The Lazy Susan Furniture Price Promise is to match any furniture price that is exactly the same as ours. We will require proof of the offer, as well as photographs to show it is exactly the same as our product.
Even after your purchase with Lazy Susan, we pride ourselves on our after-sale service; offering a 12 month guarantee on all our furniture in the rare event of any design or manufacturing related damage after your purchase.
One Year Guarantee
As a relatively small company within the furniture industry we are able to closely monitor the quality of our products and customer service throughout the purchasing process.
In order to maintain our reputation as a trusted, customer-centric company, we offer all customers a 1 year guarantee on all our furniture in the rare event of any design or manufacturing related issues.
Please simply complete our Warranty form to receive your 12 month Lazy Susan warranty.
Once the form has been completed, your details will be added to our special warranty database and your purchase will be covered 12 months from the delivery. This includes any structural damage and naturally occurring paint damage.
Unlike many of our competitors, if you are not happy with the products or service, just give us a call and talk to one of the Lazy Susan team.
We’re open Monday to Friday, office hours are 9am to 5pm. We’re always happy to talk through any concerns you may have. We want to ensure you are 100% happy with your Lazy Susan furniture.
Yes we make mistakes, we’re only human, but as our customer testimonials illustrate, we’re fully committed to service and take pride in customer satisfaction and high-quality products.
So, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us on 01243 717197 or email us via our Contact Form.
Function Over Form
Yes, of course your new furniture has to look good, but it also has to function. It has to be comfortable to sit on and sit at.
Don’t ignore the type of material and quality of the product.
Back to my rattan set. It looked super stylish. Square, modern, dark brown with sleek white cushions.
You were better off sat on the floor, it had zero ergonomics, the top of the back rest/frame would dig into your back. The cushions went flat and yellow, and well, you know the rest.
Don’t Ignore Where You Live
It’s also important to think about your environment. We’re a small island and the climate is pretty consistent across the country. Consistently bad. Sorry, I’ll get my coat.
I know we say it’s colder up North, but not by much. And maybe they get a little more rain in the North West?!
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, do a little research. See which types of material perform best. But look a little closer to home too.
For example, if you live by the sea, then the salt air can damage certain types of metal. You need to ensure that it is protected/coated with protective paint such as our furniture. Untreated metal will rust or pitt quickly.
If your garden is shaded by trees, then sap and bird droppings could be a big issue. Metal furniture is easy to clean, the sap won’t stain like it can on say timber furniture.
And trust me, cleaning leaves and bird poo from between the woven strands of rattan furniture is a nightmare.
Ask For Samples
This one isn’t an issue if you’re buying in store. However, I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again… Most of the best outdoor furniture is found online!
So ask for samples. Of course we can’t send you a free table or chair, but we’ve created sample kits so you can see the quality of finish on our furniture.
The sample kits are also a really useful way to help decide which colour cushions and parasol you’d like to pair with your furniture.
Free to order, they will show you the colour of the metal, the finish and fabric swatches for our parasols and cushions.
You can order theme here.
Not Buying Cushions
This is another regular mistake many people make. We see it often.
Customers order our furniture, and then come back to us a month or so later to order seat cushions and a parasol.
That’s not to say our seats are uncomfortable. They’re ergonomic and designed for outdoor dining. Sitting for an extended period of time.
However, you will significantly up that comfort with seat cushions. While a parasol will help keep the sun out your eyes as you enjoy a spot of al fresco dining.
Not investing in proper protection
We covered this in our recent Protect garden furniture from mother nature post, so I’ll keep this one short.
Garden furniture isn’t cheap, so if you don’t want to be replacing it every few years, spend a little money up front on the right protection.
Keep it clean, keep it dry, and it’ll last for many a summer to come.
Function Function Function
I’ve already mentioned this one. Sort of. However, it is worth repeating. Function is key. Think about how you use your garden.
If you entertain large groups of family and friends on a regular basis, then you will want to ensure you have a decent table, plenty of comfortable chairs.
On the other hand, you might just like to relax when the weather permits it? Maybe a sofa set would be better suited for your patio?
Think about how you use your outdoor space and buy pieces that serve the function.
Buying the latest fad material or style… Go for classical quality!
And last but not least, keep the styling simple. Look for furniture that is classically styled. And that doesn’t have to mean traditional.
Modern styles such as our Violet set pictured above are modern in terms of styling, construction and materials. However, they retain a clean classical style that will not date.
Go for garden furniture that is not only built to last, but will still look good in ten years time.