An affordable, straight-grained softwood, light in color, easy to craft into furniture, and naturally splinter-free, with more knots than teak or mahogany. A relatively quick grower, cedar is rapidly renewable resource. Harvested from forests in the northern United States and Southern Canada.
Durability: Naturally insect- and weather-resistant, white cedar also resists mold, mildew, and decay. Will last for 25 years.
Maintenance Needs: Apply a transparent or water-based stain if desired annually. Clean with diluted bleach solution or soap and water.
Price Comparison: Standard chair: $80-$250; bench: $150-$350; patio table and four chairs: $500-$1,100.
A dense, strong, relatively lightweight, and medium textured hardwood with a golden cast. Harvested primarily from dry tropical forests in Bolivia, but also grows in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Peru.
Durability: Durable; darker wood are more decay-resistant than lighter woods. Will last for 25 years.
Maintenance Needs: To maintain its naturally golden hue, oil every six months with teak, boiled linseed, or marine oil. Scrub with a brush and rinse with a hose to clean.
Price Comparison: Standard chair: $150-$300; bench: $200-$500; patio table and four chairs: $950-$1,600.
A resilient, dense, straight grained, and honey-brown hardwood that’s very stable. Primarily harvested from teak plantations in Southeast Asia, but also grows in West Africa, Central America, and South America.
Durability: Highly resistant to rot and decay. Will last for up to 50 or more years, even if it is left out year-round.
Maintenance Needs: Without preservative, it weathers to a silvery gray finish. To maintain original color, apply high-grade teak oil once or twice a year. Clean with a specialty teak-cleaning product or mild soap and warm water.
Price Comparison: Standard chair: $210-$350; bench: $350-$600; patio table and four chairs: $1,200-$2,030.