Outdoor furniture is always exposed to the brunt of nature. Even if your patio furniture is under a shed, they have to face a significant fraction of the assault of nature’s elements. If your furniture is broken, you can always search for “furniture repair near me” and get it fixed by a professional. However, with DIY repair, you can save a bit of money. Here’s how.
- Considering DIY repair – Your outdoor patio chair is exposed to the sun for several hours, full of your suntan lotion and your body oils. It is also exposed constantly to dust and debris. Moreover, sometimes birds decide to take a dump on your chair and if the patio chair is beside the pool, it is often splashed by the pool water rich in chlorine. No wonder outdoor patio furniture doesn’t last as long as indoor furniture and gets damaged easily.
However, it’s not always worth your time to attempt the DIY repair. For instance, if you got cheap patio chairs for $50 apiece, repairing them is not worth the time. You’re better off replacing them. The same holds even if the furniture price reaches as high as $250. You can figure out if the DIY repair is worth your time by calculating the amount of money you lose during that time.
For instance, let’s assume a DIY patio furniture repair would save you around $100 and it would take around 4 hours. That means every hour you save around $25. However, if you make around $30 or more every hour, that repair isn’t worth your time. You’re better off devoting that time to your actual job and leaving the repair to professionals. Things change if the patio furniture is made from exceptionally high-quality materials or if it’s very old with decades of memories attached to it.
- Hunt for materials – While the local hardware shop is a short drive away, you’re more likely to get higher quality or cheaper materials online. However, make sure you have time for online research. Apart from materials and tools, you’ll get all kinds of videos and comprehensive tutorials for the most elaborate patio chair repair projects.
Usually, patio chairs have frames made out of a wide variety of materials. From aluminum and iron to wood and wicker. The prices also vary drastically. You can find a decent frame for as low as $80 and even come across artisan frames for chaise lounges for thousands of dollars.
Things get a lot easier when you’re shopping for furniture cushions. Most of the patio chair cushions sold online can be cleaned easily and come with a removable cover. However, if you have a working cushion, there’s no need to replace it. Just wash off the mildew and dirt with warm water and mild dishwashing soap. If the mildew problem is deep and severe, you may use bleach to kill off the microbes.
While cushions are cheap, they don’t last long in outdoor conditions for obvious reasons. You’re better off buying materials like wicker, slings, and straps to make the seat. Sling is an elastic fabric that’s strung on metal frames while wicker is hardened plant fiber that can stand up to the regular assaults of natural elements. Chair seats made from sling and straps can last you over a decade without any problems.
If you’re not using teak and other expensive wood for the patio furniture, you’re probably going to use metal. In that case, you’ll also need waterproof and rust-resistant paint to coat the metal frame. While you paint the metal frame of the furniture, make sure to clean it thoroughly free from dust and other particles. You’ll need a well-ventilated, preferably outdoor environment to paint the furniture since you’ll be using spray paint cans. After the paint, you may need to finish it off with a layer of clear PU coat.
- Refurbishing fabric – If you’re refurbishing sling furniture, you’ll need to buy a specially treated sling that can stand up to the elements and stains. To replace the fabric, you’ll need to remove the side rails, remove the old fabric, insert a new vinyl spline for the edges and slide it back into the rails. After that reassemble the rails and chop off excess spline. Don’t try saving money on furniture fabric since it would inevitably get stained and worn out very easily if it’s not designed for the outdoors.
You can find fabric for outdoor furniture for as much as$16 for each yard and you may be able to get sewn slings for just around $60. Re-slinging each of your patio chairs shouldn’t take more than 2 hours even if you’re a complete amateur. On the other hand, for furniture with straps, make sure to replace them once they develop cracks and other signs of damage. If you need new rolls for your patio furniture, you can get foot-long rolls for just around $60.
- Measure carefully – You can’t be sloppy while replacing slings and straps on your patio furniture. Before you can attach straps, you need to soften the hardened fabric in boiling water for around 10 minutes. Otherwise, you won’t be able to stretch them over the frame. It’s always best to cut off one strap and test it out on the frame. This helps you to assess if your measurements are accurate and lead to fewer problems and material waste.
After you repair the furniture, make sure to clean off any dust and other residues from the furniture. If you have spray-painted the frame of your furniture, make sure to let it dry out in the open for a couple of days before you attach the fabric, slings, or straps.
While DIY patio chair repair helps you save a bit of money, it takes a lot of time and effort. You’re better off saving your energy and directing it towards something more productive and fulfilling. Search for “furniture repair near me” and let the professionals handle the boring job.