Outdoor Benches for the Patio
Transforming your patio into a fully functional outdoor living space during warm months just takes a few simple furnishings. With a wide variety of pieces are available don’t overlook the beauty and versatility of adding a patio bench. They can accommodate multiple people or serve as tables if needed. More
Christopher Knight Home 214113 Maui Sturdy Construction Outdoor Swinging Bench
Seven Utes Pine Traditional Picnic Table with 2 Benches Finish: Walnut Stain
Silverheels Pine Cross-leg Picnic Table with 2 Benches Finish: Mushroom Stain
Whether you are looking to add a charming perch to your front porch or some bonus seating to your back yard, choosing a patio bench involves a bit of forethought. Think about how many people you need to seat and consider where a patio bench will fit best. If your outdoor space is exposed and sunny for large portions of the day rather than tucked under a porch roof or pergola, certain materials will work better than others. Moisture is another key factor when choosing your patio bench.
Deciding on Materials
The following list highlights characteristics of various patio bench materials, with pros and cons for each:
- Plastic - Requiring little maintenance, plastic benches are resistant to moisture and stand up to the elements. These lightweight, easy-to-move pieces are often stackable for easy storage in the off-season.
- Aluminum - Minimal care is required for aluminum benches to stay rust-free. These seats are lightweight, but the material itself doesn't have much natural beauty.
- Steel - For a solid long-term investment, choose durable and sturdy steel. Applying a protective finish reduces rusting over time, which can be a problem with this material.
- Wrought Iron - This durable furniture is a bit heavier than other metals. Powder coating will help protect wrought iron pieces from the elements.
- Wicker - Wicker traditionally constructed from cane or rattan doesn’t hold up well to the elements. New all-weather resin wicker benches are durable and resistant to fading, cracking and water. However, the material is lightweight and if it doesn’t have a frame with substantial weight it may get blown around during heavy wind.
- Synthetic Resins - These high-tech seats are great outdoors, as they are made from high quality PVC plastics and often cast on aluminum frames. However, these rigid materials may not be the most comfortable without some cushions.
- Wood - Wood patio benches have a beauty difficult to match, but they are typically heavy and difficult to move or store. A wood bench can be painted and stained to match existing decor with ease, though seasonal maintenance is needed to prolong its life.
When choosing patio benches, keep all of the above factors in mind and select a style you like in a color and material that make sense for your needs. Remember that any bench you choose now can always be updated with new padding, pillows or a fresh coat of paint later.