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Inexpensive Patio Furniture

First house or apartment, just renting, you can still afford inexpensive patio furniture for your outdoor spaces. I will look at the most popular materials that are out there that will not set you back a weeks pay.

I will go over just sitting furniture in this post, the types of furniture will come in conversation sets and other forms of outdoor furniture. Use the furniture category above to see my post on other furniture types and styles.

Now lets list the information on each of these types and give you the details you are looking for.

White resin garden benchPlastic

This will be the least expensive of all outdoor furniture if you purchase the stackable cheap ones. Prices and quality of the better quality furniture is getting much better today. The best quality chairs can cost upwards of $300. Color choices are big in some chairs or tables. Most will come in white.

The plus to this style of furniture is most are made from recycled materials, you will be helping the environment also.

The cheaper chairs are just molded in one piece and stackable. The better chairs will have some design and style. Some fold for storage. Because it is molded, you can get some designs that are close to cast iron, they will not hold up as well.

The biggest problem with this type of material is the sun and UV rays.  Over a period of time the plastic will start to crumble on the surface.  If this starts the protective surface is broken and it will not be long before the plastic starts to break up.

Mainstays Jefferson 3 piece bistro setFour Metal Styles

Metal furniture will be made from four materials for the most part. Aluminum will be the best if you want the least amount of maintenance. Cast Iron will need to be painted often to prevent rust. Wrought iron will have a black painted finish, initial cost will be very low. Steel will last very well if finished with a powder coat, will need to be Fixed if paint is damaged.

Aluminum can come in many colors, if left natural it will still last well outside if not in a salty environment. The frames of most Aluminum furniture is either round or square for the best structure. Some Aluminum can be cast like iron to give you a great design in you furniture. I like the sling material for the seats and backs in the aluminum furniture as it will last very well in outdoor conditions.  My set has been on the front porch for 7-8 years with no problems.

Grape vine metal garden benchCast iron will be the best material if you are looking for some design in your frames.  The casting can give you flowers or ornate designs you cannot get in other materials.  Cast iron will need a repaint if you see any rust areas. I have a bench that has been outside for over twenty years and I have just repainted it a couple of times.

Wrought iron is a very cheap way to get into patio furniture.  The simple design will have the lowest prices among the metal sets.  Biggest problem it will have to be watched for rust, if you spot rust, sand or wire brush to the bare metal and refinish with black paint. The set I have on my deck at the camper was repainted last year, it has been outside for more than ten years without any extra care except for an occasional wash with the hose.

Resin Wicker

Azalea Ridge Brown resin wicker dining setResin Wicker will have some of the richest looks of outdoor furniture. Most will have an aluminum or steel frame (make sure it has a powder coated finish) with the resin wicker woven for the outside look. The resin wicker is mostly made of recycled materials, it will be good for the environment.

The design of the chairs can be very different from collection to collection. The frames can be in a square design or have arched backs and arms. You can have a lot of differnet looks with this style of furniture.

Because of the use of recycled materials, the cost of resin wicker is not much more than any of the other materials.  If you take care of the cushions, this type of material will last 10 years or more with little or no care.  The cushions seem to be the weak point of the wicker furniture.

Wood types

Brown Wooden Porch RockerMany different types of wood are used in outdoor furniture. From painted pine, treated, cedar, redwood to the hardwoods like Acadia or Teak. I listed them in the cost order, if you start from the pine, double the price at each level of wood. the Teak will cost about 16 times the cost of the pine. The Teak will also last a lifetime, thus the extra cost.

Taking care of your wood will be determined by the type. The pine will need to be painted often to last in outdoor conditions. The treated will need to be power washed and treated every two years. The cedar will need power washed and treated every three to four years, depending on your environment. The redwood will need to be power washed every four to five years and treated.

I have a swing in treated wood that has been outside for 10 years, the wood has done very well.  I have power washed and treated every other years since I had it.

My son has a play set in the back yard made of redwood for at least 8 years.  Little or no care has bee done to the finish.  One power wash and refinish.  The biggest problem is the birds using it to crack open seeds and leaving marks on the edges.

A cedar trellis that is at the end of a patio has seen no cleaning or treating for two years.  It still looks like new.

Teak Wood StagesNot so inexpensive patio furniture in wood

The Acadia or Teak will last in the outdoor environment with out any treatment. If you do not treat it, it will turn a grey patina color. Treat it once a year with oil it will keep its original color and finish for a lifetime. Your choice on the look you want.


Consider the look you are going for and the amount of money you are willing to spend before looking for inexpensive patio furniture. I have several examples of each type of furniture in my outdoor areas. The two types I like the best is the chairs with aluminum frames with sling material for the seat and back or the black wrought iron table and chairs.

What is your favorite material for your patio furniture, let me know by using the comment section below.

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