When it comes to creating a stunning and inviting outdoor space, the condition of your furniture plays a vital role. Over time, outdoor furniture can show wear and tear, leaving you wondering whether it’s time for a replacement. Knowing when to bid farewell to your trusted outdoor companions is important to maintaining aesthetics and functionality. From instability and physical wear to discomfort and unsightly damage like rust or mold, this Redfin guide will provide valuable insights into when to refresh your outdoor living space with brand-new furniture. So whether you plan on renting an apartment in Spokane, WA, or you want to refresh your home in Indianapolis, IN, read on to ensure your outdoor seating, dining, and lounging experiences are exceptional.
Seven signs it’s time to replace your furniture
1. It’s unstable and shows signs of physical wear
If your furniture is displaying signs of instability and physical wear, it may be a clear indication that it’s time for a replacement. Unstable furniture can pose a safety hazard and compromise the comfort of those using it. Visible signs of physical wear, such as sagging cushions, frayed upholstery, or cracked frames, not only detract from the aesthetic appeal but also affect the functionality and durability of the furniture.
“It’s an easy decision if your furniture is unstable or there’s any physical wear and tear. Your furniture also might just be dated or doesn’t fit the need for your space anymore,” shares Stephanie of home decor and luxury company, The Broadmoor House.
2. It’s uncomfortable
If your outdoor furniture is uncomfortable, it’s time to consider a replacement. Upgrading to more ergonomically designed and cushioned pieces will provide a more enjoyable outdoor experience.
Home Furniture and Patio notes, “You know it’s time to replace your once luxurious patio loveseat, club chairs, and sofa set when your guests appear uncomfortable. Whether it’s the worn-out cushions and inner filling, the weakening frame structure, or the noticeable wear on its material surfaces and edges, it’s likely time to consider investing in new outdoor furniture. .”
Vicki Johnson of Vintage Porch Swings adds, “You’ll know it’s time to replace outdoor furniture when people are uncomfortable, whether falling apart, scratchy, missing pieces, or discolored from the weather. Traditional pieces hand-crafted in solid wood ground-contact lumber and sealed with a weather-resistant coating are ideal, so you don’t have to worry about most things.”
3. There is rust
Replacing your outdoor furniture is essential if rust is present, as it not only compromises the aesthetic appeal but also indicates structural weakness.
“When it comes to knowing when it’s time to replace your outdoor furniture, there are a few key signs to look out for,” remarks Nick of Fabrika Outdoor Living. “One is to check for visible signs of rust or fading in the material.”
Tim Newton, President of Leaders Furniture, adds, “If your outdoor furniture is rusting, it’s time to replace it before it causes damage to your floor, area rug, or clothing. When looking for a replacement, stay away from steel and look for items with all aluminum frames that use stainless-steel hardware. When shopping online, be sure to look at the scale of the product, as many seating and dining groups are smaller in scale to keep the price down.”
4. There is mold
If mold is present on your outdoor furniture, it is important to replace it promptly to maintain a clean outdoor environment. Mold can spread rapidly, so investing in new furniture ensures a fresh and mold-free outdoor space for your enjoyment.
“Look for any signs of mold from the rain. If the foundation or the elements break down, that’s a sign that it’s time for something new, fresh, and stylish,” notes Style by Carise, creator of handmade accessories.
5. The paint is starting to peel
When the paint on your outdoor furniture begins to peel, it is a clear sign that the protective layer is compromised, exposing the underlying material to the elements.
“We know a piece has had its day in the sun when we see paint peeling off iron furniture,” notes furniture supplier Mayker. “In this situation, we always recommend upgrading old outdoor furniture with transitional pieces designed with performance, outdoor fabrics that resist stains, are bleach cleanable, and are made for high-traffic areas.”
6. There are signs of dry rot and cracking
When your outdoor furniture displays signs of cracking and dry rot, it indicates structural weakness. Replacing your outdoor furniture may avoid accidents and maintains the overall integrity of your outdoor space.
“Dry rot or cracking can often happen to low-quality plastic or rattan furniture, especially when exposed to harsh elements and the sun for long periods,” says custom woodworker Brooklyn Buffalo Woodworks. “When looking to purchase new patio furniture, try to find items that are made out of material to stand the test of time, such as tropical hardwoods, cedar, redwood, or even HDPE (high-density polyethylene).”
7. When it starts to creak
Creaking is often a sign of worn-out joints or structural instability. Retractableawnings.com shares, “Has your favorite outdoor chair started to make a creak or make other noises when you sit on it? This is a warning sign that it’s time to replace your garden furniture. Creaking and noise are indicators that the frame is weak and could break at any time.”
What to keep in mind when selecting new outdoor furniture
Don’t mix up refreshing vs. replacing
Sometimes your outdoor furniture may not need a replacement, and it is important not to confuse replacing with refreshing. While refreshing involves cleaning, repairing, or updating the appearance of existing furniture, replacing is sometimes only necessary when structural integrity or safety is compromised.
“Let’s not confuse refreshing versus when it’s time to replace. For those that have seen some better days, consider simply replacing your cushions or sling seats. Good furniture usually constitutes quality-made, sturdy frames. Our customers who have purchased quality brands like Winston or Tropitone decades ago are finally coming to see us now to replace cushions or sling fabrics,” states Jay Yozviak, owner of Land and Lake Patio, a specialty outdoor living retailer in Scranton, PA, and Charleston, SC.
“High-quality outdoor furniture can last years and not show wear and tear for a while,” adds Wicker furniture company Ohana Depot. “Our customers who have had their furniture for a while update them with new cushions to give them a refresh. When cushions start to feel flat, or the color isn’t as vibrant as before, it is a good time to replace them and make your patio furniture feel new.”
Be smart about your new selections
“The variety and selections available for outdoor furniture is virtually endless,” shares Dustin of Wickertree Langley. “There are outdoor fabrics that resist fading, repel water, and are stain resistant. Cushion foam is engineered to prevent mold and mildew and allow rain to drain through and dry within hours. Lastly, there are PVC resins that are UV fade and water-resistant combined with powder-coated aluminum frames that will not rust with structural strength to support 300+ pounds.”
Small pieces can go a long way
If you’re looking for a quick, affordable way to refresh your porch this season, start with a new doormat,” recommends Damn Good Doormats. “A doormat does a real job keeping bacteria, dirt, and grime from entering your home. More so, don’t settle for a plain, mass-produced welcome mat; consider a handmade doormat.”