Checkout Lane: Ideas for furnishing your deck or porch

Lana Lagomarsini

With summer lasting only a few fleeting months, it’s important that what you are sitting on is just as comfortable as the weather.

“Here in new England, we appreciate the summer because we have to live through the winter. We try to be outside as much as we can,” said Richard Dubois, general manager for The Pool Place in Abington, Mass.

Popular types of furniture for the season are aluminum and “Polywood” sets. Aluminum is popular for its lightweight designs and low maintenance.

“Aluminum does not rust, and that’s the biggest thing,” Dubois said. “Steel furniture will rust, and it will start to stain your deck.”

Polywood is made from wood scraps melted down and mixed with melted plastic. The result is furniture that has the look of wood without the maintenance.

“It’s a wood-textured grain so that it looks like wood, but the benefit is what we sell has a lifetime warranty,” said Joel Jordan, owner of the Unfinished Business furniture store in Hanover, Mass. “There’s no maintenance. ... No maintenance has a lot of appeal.”

Furniture sets can range from swings and picnic tables to popular dining sets. A dining set can cost anywhere from $400 to $3,000.

“You can create outdoor spaces as nice as any room in your house,” Jordan said.

Says Dubois, “If you are going to be spending that much time in your backyard, you want it to be nice, to look nice, to have somewhere to entertain your friends,” Dubois said.

For those who already own backyard furniture, it is important to maintain any wood pieces you have. The only type of wood that does not need much maintenance is teak.

“If you don’t want to take care of (teak), you can let it weather and it turns a beautiful silvery-grey color,” Dubois said.

The best way to protect patio furniture when it’s not being used is to cover it or put it indoors.

Reach Patriot Ledger writer Lana Lagomarsini at llagomar@ledger.com.

Types of patio furniture

Folding armchair: These chairs are easy to fold and store and can provide extra seating on short notice. Although they can sometimes be plain in design, they can accent or add to any furniture set easily.

Rocker: These chairs are similar to indoor rockers but are designed to be waterproof. They are great for relaxing outdoors or on a porch.

Lounge chairs: These have adjustable backs so the user can have a full range of motion from sitting to lying down. They are commonly used by the pool.

Adirondack chairs: These chairs are built low to the ground and are also adjustable. They are classic lawn and patio chairs and are the most common outdoor style.

Source: Doityourself.com