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How to Hold Down Patio Furniture
Garden furniture is a big investment, and you definitely want to make sure it’s there so you can enjoy it year after year. If you have a sheltered backyard area, you probably don’t worry too much about keeping the patio furniture down so it doesn’t wander off in a strong wind or storm.
But battling the elements is a way of life for those who live on the coast or in areas where the trade winds always blow. Often a strong wind can come out of nowhere and send all your furniture, food and drinks flying. This is especially true if you have a terrace full of plastic garden furniture.
As you know, these inexpensive pieces can come in handy at a party and complement your permanent garden furniture so everyone can gather, enjoy a drink and a bite to eat on a hot summer day. Not only are they cheap, but they are easy to move around, especially compared to a quality piece of furniture which is made to last and is much more substantial.
To prevent your party from becoming an unintended whirlwind of excitement, take some precautions when preparing for your party if wind is in the forecast. With just a few precautions, you can be sure that your party will be a hit, even if it gets hit by a sudden gust of wind.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to weigh your furniture down with an unsightly red brick. However, you can weigh down a small patio table with a glass brick filled with colorful sand or other heavy objects, such as glass beads. This not only adds weight but also beauty to these tables.
If your party will last into the evening, you can use a similar trick, but create lighting instead. You can use the decorative glass blocks to hold a single candle or push several tapered candles into a base of sand or aquarium rock. This can create an elegant decoration as well as hold the table down.
Plastic patio chairs are a little more difficult to work with. That said, you can create a simple weight with lead sinkers. If you are near a lake, river, or ocean, chances are you have a fishing tackle store nearby. Sometimes Wal-Mart will have a good selection of lead fish scales.
Get a good commercial grade lead sinker, one that is heavy enough to hold your chairs in place without putting so much weight on the chair that it is difficult to move around. You can mount these weights in one of two ways. If you want them out of sight and out of mind, you can add them to the bottom of the legs where they curve together. You can glue them in there or use some decorative duct tape (it comes in many colors these days) to hold them in. Alternatively, you can hang the weight from the center of the chair. Just drill two holes in the center of the chair (usually there is already one there for a drain) and tie the sinker to it with fishing line. Make sure you leave enough line so that the sink touches the deck or patio. You don’t want it swinging around and potentially hitting the guest sitting in the chair.
Larger dining tables won’t move as easily, but if you have an umbrella, you’ll want to make sure it has a weighted base to add weight to the table. Otherwise, your umbrella may catch a sudden gust of wind and send your table flying. The decorative glass blocks mentioned above can also help keep the table weighted enough to withstand a fresh breeze. These bricks are available at almost any home improvement store as they are a popular home where they are used to create translucent walls in the bathroom or between rooms. To add a decorative touch, insert a string of colored lights into the opening and turn them on after dark.
Of course, wooden, wrought iron and steel garden furniture will not disappear as easily as the plastic variety. But with just a little creativity and a little planning, you can host an outdoor party with confidence, even if the weather calls for a bit of a blast.
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