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WHICH BENCH IS THE BEST BENCH?
I tend to be a trifle indecisive when choosing items to buy and this means that I usually take a while and undertake some research to help me decide on important purchases, before actually buying.
Now one of my recent purchases was a new garden bench. I already had a bench in my garden that had stood the test of time pretty well but had now after much use, become the worst for wear. My husband had made some repairs but the bench was beginning to sway a little when someone placed their bottom onto it. And this was with skinny people as well as those of more ample girths, I'll have you know! The wood was also starting to rot on one of the seat panels.
Now, I knew I needed to purchase a new bench to replace the worn one but which one to choose? First, as usual, I looked online and then followed up by visiting the appropriate stores to have a look at them and see if they looked strong enough to last a few years and could stand the English weather. What I did discover was that many benches which looked good online didn't look nearly as good on closer inspection. My husband thought many were poorly constructed or made with cheap flimsy materials. True, I didn't want the sturdiest bench available as this would probably mean a hefty price tag. I didn't wish to spend too much as I had also just replaced my garden patio set and so didn't want to go too mad. I thought a price of between £40 and £80 seemed a reasonable amount to spend and should be enough to buy a solid if plain bench.
So when we were having our premature spring in the United Kingdom, I went with my husband to search for a new bench for our garden.
We went to several places in our search for benches, one being QD Stores. In here we saw a bench but my husband soon said that he didn’t think it was up to much. Looking at it further and applying pressure, I had to agree.
On our quest we visited several other places, among them Poundstretcher. Here we looked at two benches which were in our budget and of these; my husband preferred the all wood one on sale rather than the other which was a mix of wood and metal. The trouble was with this bench was the fact that it was displayed on an inaccessible platform and so we couldn't sit on it to test it at all. Never the less, we had a look and felt it here and there, as best we could. We nearly bought this bench thinking it would fulfil our criteria but I thought perhaps we should look at a few more before finally deciding.
Next stop was Homebase and here we came upon a few benches of various designs. Some were made entirely of metal and of these my husband said,
"No, not a good idea as a metal bench will rust too quickly and we want to leave it out in the garden all year round." He preferred to buy an all, or almost all, wooden bench.
We moved on to look and try the Peru bench which was priced at £59.99, and another bench consisting of two single wooden seats with a table in the middle and a hole in this for a parasol. This is called the ‘Peru companion seat’ and is priced at £99.99. We sat together upon both benches and they seemed strong enough. So, which one to buy? As usual I hated making a decision and my husband just said, "You decide; it's up to you!" After a few minutes I made my choice which was the Peru bench, mainly because there's room for three on it and the other bench was more suited to a couple. However, I may well return to buy this companion bench as well when a further area of my garden is paved, providing a suitable space.
The decision was made and so hubby took down a long, flat, cardboard box from a high shelf, which contained the Peru bench, and carried it over to the till. It was quite heavy and I did tell him he was supposed to request help from staff but no, he insisted, as usual, on doing it himself, knocking down part of the display in the process. I walked away pretending not to know him.
The bench fit quite well into our car, but granted we do have a people carrier. I think it would fit into smaller cars but will supply measurements further along in this review.
Once home my husband wasted no time in assembling our new bench. It took no longer than half an hour and luckily he didn't need any assistance
The unassembled bench consisted of slats that were already fitted together, four support brackets, two armrests, seat back, a long piece of wood which fitted under the seat and screws necessary for assembly, along with instructions.
The only tool my husband needed to assemble the bench was a screwdriver.
My husband said that the instructions were clear and easy to follow.
AM I SITTING COMFORTABLY?
The bench has been sat upon many times over the past several weeks. The weather hasn't been perfect at all but we have still managed to find opportunities to enjoy a cup of tea outside and a couple of times a glass of wine whilst using this bench and our new patio set. It will be lovely to spend more time using our new garden furniture when the sun shines throughout the summer, hopefully.
The bench looks and feels solid. I would expect it to last for many years. In my opinion it looks good and welcoming and reminds me of a traditional park bench. Really, it is just what I wanted; for eating outside I have a patio set and if the weather gets really nice I have sun loungers but I like a bench to leave permanently outside so there is always a place ready to sit upon, during all seasons of the year, in my garden.
It is comfortable but obviously a hard wooden garden bench won't be as comfortable as a lounger or a padded chair but, to sit out for half an hour or so, then it's perfect.
Cushions are available to purchase separately with the Peru Bench but I didn't want these as in the case of the bench I want it to be functional rather than fancy and don't want to have unnecessary cushions that I have to remember to remove and the find somewhere to store them.
The Peru bench is treated with wood preserver but will still need further treatments for the purpose of longevity and I would think once every year will be sufficient.
I paid £59.99 for my bench from a Homebase store and I also earned 120 Nectar points with this purchase.
It can be ordered on-line: http://www.homebase.co.uk/
Home delivery starts from £5.95
* This 1.2m Peru Bench is stylish and versatile to suit any outdoor space.
* Dimensions of bench in cm: (H)86, (W)122, (D)59.
* Material (of chair): Solid eucalyptus wood.
* Self-Assembly: 1 Person.
* Care Instructions: Use wood oil to maintain the product, Cover the product when not in use.
I am pleased with this purchase. I believe the price to about right for this particular bench. I might perhaps have found a similar bench slightly cheaper if I had bought online but I wanted to see the bench in 'real-life' before purchasing it. I might also have seen something slightly cheaper if I had kept on searching but then, if one keeps driving around to different places for a purchase then, taking into account, the price of petrol this becomes expensive, as well as being time consuming. I am satisfied with my purchase and really feel it is ideal for my garden.
Summary: A decent garden bench
Pictures of Homebase Peru Bench
My new bench
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