The story of what goes into a piece of Outdoor Lifestyle furniture is a blend of classic craftsmanship, and state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques that create the highest quality furniture in the industry today. Yet just as importantly, Outdoor Lifestyle is dedicated to providing furnishings that make as little negative impact on the environment as possible. We're proud to be a founding member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, a world-wide body that sees our environment as more than simply a source for raw materials, but instead as a valuable resource that should be cherished and protected. We believe that a good piece of cast-aluminum furniture should last 20 years or more,and that's a goal we aspire to reach with every piece of furniture we offer. That's why our furniture is fully recyclable and why we push the limits of the industry further than any other manufacturer of aluminum furniture in promoting and using methods that protect and sustain the Earth. By purchasing furniture from Outdoor Lifestyle not only did you make the beautiful choice—you made a smart one.
All Outdoor Lifestyle furniture offers an industry leading limited 15-year warranty on frames and a limited five-year warrant on its finishes in residential use. Outdoor Lifestyle is different: not only in its manufacture of its furnishings, but also in the exceptional quality of the metal used. We use only A356 aluminum, a special grade of metal that is the U.S. standard for aluminum alloy.
Our metal is purchased in 30 lb. bars and each bar is embossed with a unique serial number which relates to a special certificate of analysis from a metallurgist testifying to its premium quality. Prior to casting, the metal must be heated to a temperature of 1300° F in our furnace. Such a high degree of temperature not only facilitates the casting process, but also ensures that our aluminum alloy does not acquire any possible chemical impurities, or that the molecular structure—the strength— of the metal itself will not be compromised. After the metal has been carefully melted it goes to our casting department where it is hand-poured into molds and is allowed to cool naturally.
Once it has attained a sufficient degree of hardness the casting is taken to our polishing department. This marks the beginning of a labor-intensive process where castings are visually inspected, excess pieces of metal are removed and castings are then filed by hand, or are mechanically sanded with a sander to assure smooth, even finishes. Any remnant metal from the polishing process, or any casting which does not meet the inspector's standards for quality, is returned to our foundry area where they are recycled and become part of new castings.
Our components are imported from our casting facilities to be assembled here in Stanley, NC using a computer-controlled, just-in-time manufacturing system. Through this process absolute quality is maintained, timely delivery is assured, and customers benefit from a level of local custom workmanship, and constructional details that are distinctly different from what you could expect to find from other makers of outdoor furniture.
Each seating piece of Outdoor Lifestyle furniture comes complete from our factory and requires no further assembly. Each piece is fully welded together, as we have found that welds, as opposed to nuts, bolts or other fasteners provide a far more durable fit, greater strength, and give our furniture greater stability. Indeed, the welding process is critical to the strength of an Outdoor Lifestyle piece. In addition to the use of welding, our tables are assembled using hardware made of rust-resistant, marine-grade steel hardware. This helps our tables stand up to the rigors of outdoor life years longer than tables from our competitors. Once a piece has been fully welded and reviewed for quality, is then released to our polishing department where it is sanded, inspected again, and given a final light sanding to make sure every weld has a smooth, even look.
A furnishing from Outdoor Lifestyle goes through a number of intermediate steps before it is ready to be powder coated. After being placed on an overhead conveyor, each piece is cleaned and pretreated in a chemical spray using an advanced computer-controlled components washer. The chemicals etch surfaces and ensure that all contaminants are totally removed from surfaces. Each piece then goes through and additional three rounds of water spray and rinse stages, eventually ending with it being sealed with a conversion coating that protects the aluminum against oxidation. Outdoor Lifestyle only uses environmentally friendly processes throughout this phase. All chemicals and water are recycled, stored and reused in a highly sophisticated, self-contained system.
Another point of differentiation that makes Outdoor Lifestyle thoroughly unique is that after the cleaning process is complete each piece passes through an oven to draw out all surface moisture. This is the reason why Outdoor Lifestyle is the only manufacturer to offer a warranty against freeze damage.
Outdoor Lifestyle furniture is painted using an electrostatic powder coating process that ensures a smooth, durable, stable finish. The powder coating takes place in a specially housed recovery area where residual powder is filtered, collected and recycled for later reuse. The furniture then proceeds through a 400° F oven for final curing and is inspected again for quality. Outdoor Lifestyle only uses premium polyester powder coatings made specifically for the rigors of outdoor use. Therefore, powder coating a piece of furniture so it can withstand years of use and the effect of the elements takes time to do right. Which is why from the beginning of the powder coat process, to its removal from the oven, to its passing final inspection, it takes two hours before a piece of Outdoor Lifestyle furniture reaches the stage where our label can be placed on it.
At this point nylon glides are fitted into chair feet and one-inch thick steel leveling plates are attached to ensure that our chairs don't wobble. Table leg adjusters are added to table legs to ensure that all tables will stand firmly on any uneven floor surface. They are inspected again for quality and then readied for packing. Yet even here there are still a few steps that make us different from the rest. For instance all pieces are wrapped in recyclable plastic for protection and then packed in containers made from post-consumer, recyclable cardboard. Even our shipping pallets are custom-made and constructed from recycled materials. Finally all boxes are shrink-wrapped and strapped to their pallets to ensure they arrive either to your home or to the dealership in mint condition.
As you can see, there's a reason why those who really know outdoor furniture look at furnishings from Outdoor Lifestyle as special. They see our dedication to quality and our serious commitment to preserving the environment as unique and worth the difference when it comes to choosing between common run-of-the-mill aluminum pieces or possessing a high-quality furnishing that will last for years. Beautiful. Sturdy. Solid. Our pieces offer you quality and a product warranty that stands unmatched throughout the industry. And such claims aren't merely hyperbole either.
Indeed in 2011 we submitted several of our seating options for testing by a laboratory accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) to verify that they would conform to the stringent safety, durability and structural standards mandated by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA). These industry standards are reviewed every five years by the prestigious American National Standards Institute. The ANSI is a private, nonprofit organization that develops standards for products and services in the U.S., and coordinates American standards with International standards so that American products can be used world-wide. The final result? Outdoor Lifestyle submitted the Ashbury, Infinity, 303/Wilshire Arm Chair (which offers the same frame as the Jazz and Florence Arm Chairs) and Moda Arm Chair for testing and all either met or exceeded the requirements of ANSI/BIFMA X5.1-2002. In simple layman's terms, we passed the industry's most rigorous quality and durability standards tests with flying colors. And you really can't do better than that can you? When it comes to attractiveness, style and quality, the choice of course is yours— and we think the choice is obvious.