Adirondack chairs have a rich history dating back to the 1900s and tracing their heritage to the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. Today these iconic chairs are the epitome of comfortable and luxurious outdoor living.
Not only are Adirondack chairs durable, but they’re also aesthetically appealing, which explains why Adirondack chairs are so popular and cost more than ordinary outdoor furniture.
But why are Adirondack chairs so expensive? Generally, the cost is due to the high-quality material and unique design involved in manufacturing this outdoor furniture.
They’re usually built to last for many generations, require minimal maintenance, and can withstand the outdoor elements. This guide provides ten valid reasons why Adirondack chairs are so expensive.
Table of Contents
Top 10 Reasons Why Adirondack Chairs Are So Expensive
Many people love Adirondack chairs for their unique design and various color and style options. However, the price factor often discourages most potential buyers from owning these unique pieces.
If you’ve ever wondered why Adirondack chairs are so expensive, the 10 reasons below can give you an idea.
Adirondack chairs are not your ordinary outdoor chairs. From wood to Polywood, these pieces are handcrafted using high-quality materials.
A lot of care and excellent workmanship is often invested in the construction of each Adirondack chair, and because they’re typically designed for use in outdoor spaces, not every wood or plastic is good enough.
For a long time, teak wood was the standard material for making Adirondack chairs.
However, since different consumers have different tastes, many Adirondack chair manufacturers were forced to provide alternative materials to the traditional teak wood, which also became scarce over the years.
The new alternative woods which are commonly used today include:
- White Oak
- White Pine
These types, while not matching the quality and beauty of teak, are just as beautiful and durable. For example, cedar is naturally weather-resistant.
Therefore since wood is the chief material used to make Adirondack chairs, the wooden ones are the most expensive.
Where a particular wood is scarce, it’s only logical that the chairs will cost more. Also, when the demand increases and the supply is low, the prices will naturally shoot up. For instance, teak Adirondack chairs will be highly expensive owing to the scarcity of teak wood.
Finally, making an Adirondack chair requires a lot of wood, and if the lumber is expensive, the chairs will cost even more.
2. Lifetime Warranty
Most Adirondack chair manufacturers provide a lifetime warranty on their products. That’s usually because the chairs are built to last and rarely develop problems when in use.
The lifetime warranty typically covers any potential repairs you may require over the years. Also, in case of storm damage to the chair, the lifetime warranty covers all the necessary repairs.
The lifetime service warranty thus contributes to the high price as the cost of repairs is included in the initial purchase.
3. Unique Design
Adirondack chairs have a distinct and unique style that sets them apart from other outdoor furniture.
For over 100 years, the unique design that Thomas Lee created for the first prototype has remained with only slight changes and adjustments as the chair passed through different generations.
Lee was a nature lover who envisioned a lounging chair that would survive in the rugged terrains of the Adirondack mountains.
When he created the first prototype for what was known as the Westport chair, he had Harry Bunnel patent it into what became known as the Adirondack chair.
Later, Irving Wolpin adjusted it into the popular design that we know today. The chair still features the classic wide armrests, contoured seat, and reclining back that maintain its comfort as the original Westport chair.
Whereas most outdoor chairs have a similar design, the Adirondack has its own design that it shares with no other brand except the Muskoka chairs, with which it also shares heritage features like the best materials and extremely comfortable seating position.
It’s this uniqueness not found anywhere else that also contributes to the cost of Adirondack chair
4. Prolonged Manufacturing Process
Adirondack chairs cannot be made overnight, meaning it takes longer to manufacture them, unlike other chairs. Different manufacturers employ different processes in their production.
Some use assembly lines, while others prefer to handcraft their Adirondacks. Usually, those produced through manual labor retain a unique design than those made through an automated assembly line production.
However, manual labor is time-consuming and costly. In addition, the wood must be carefully shaped before it can be assembled together.
This process comes with extra setbacks, such as human error, which may delay the whole process.
For example, if something fails to fit or shape up, new materials and more time will be required to complete the project.
So the time and manual labor that goes into making Adirondacks chairs are what makes them expensive.
5. Guaranteed Durability
Durability is expensive, and Adirondacks are known as one of the most durable chairs. And because only the finest materials are used, these chairs typically endure a lot of abuse from nature.
These chairs can also adapt and survive in different terrains, whether rocky mountainous, snowy, or sandy regions.
Such a high level of quality definitely is not cheap. However, it saves you from buying outdoor area furniture frequently, and it’s rare to have a broken Adirondack chair in your hands. For most buyers, it’s usually a one-time purchase.
Therefore if you find an Adirondack manufacturer selling their chairs at a lower than average market price, the chances are that the products are of low quality.
6. Treated Wood
Most Adirondack manufacturers use treated wood in their production. Ideally, pressure-treated wood is known to hold well in outdoor weather since the wood is not susceptible to rot or pests.
The only challenge, however, is that treated wood is expensive and time-consuming since it undergoes several treatment phases to make it resistant to the elements.
The process generally includes the use of pressurized chambers to embed the chemicals deep inside the wood, and that costs a lot of money.
While Adirondack chairs made of treated wood have the advantage of lasting longer, it also comes at an extra cost.
Fortunately, you don’t have to buy such furniture as there are other cheaper solid timber options like cypress and cedar, which are naturally resistant woods.
Nearly all Adirondack chairs are customized, which adds to their initial cost. A cookie-cutter chair can be cheaper than most Adirondacks, but depending on your taste, there are several custom options that you can choose from.
Customization generally has to do with your individual tastes and preferences. For example, it could be your favorite color or even the logo of your favorite sports team.
You might even want the back of the chair to be designed according to the shape of your home state.
While customization is fun and gives your chair some personality, it sure takes time and extra effort to hack. Therefore customized Adirondack chairs are more expensive than standard chairs.
The chair manufacturer’s location is a vital factor worth considering. The Adirondack is a native of the United States, just as the Muskoka chair is commonly found in Canada.
Larger companies or freelance carpenters typically make these chairs. For Adirondack chairs made in the USA, construction attracts a minimum wage as stipulated in the country’s labor laws.
And since making Adirondack chairs requires specialized skills and experience, it costs more than the minimum wage. That’s why American-made Adirondack chairs are usually more expensive.
9. Low Supply
Like other products or even other types of outdoor chairs, Adirondack chairs are not mass-produced. Some businesses prefer mass production, but even then, the demand typically exceeds supply.
Part of this can be attributed to manufacturers who are niche-specific and focus on a particular type of style or design.
And the chairs are not specifically for commercial use where they end up in hotels, resorts, or Airbnbs, but even homeowners, apartment renters, and condo residents can buy them.
Still, most companies often target homeowners, and even then, not every house will use Adirondack chairs throughout the year.
Most consumers find it cumbersome to carry heavy chairs indoors during the winter season. As a result, the manufacturers typically produce insufficient furniture that barely meets the high demand.
Others prefer to make their products on order, and this disparity between demand and supply influences the market prices for Adirondack chairs.
10. Symbol of Status
Our last answer to the question of why Adirondack chairs are so expensive factors in the status of symbol associated with these chairs.
Most people, especially the affluent society and the highly wealthy, buy Adirondack chairs because they are the epitome of luxury and comfort. The rich will always want to show off their luxury and affluence.
For some, they’re comfortable and good-looking enough to grace their outdoor living spaces, while for others, they’re a symbol of wealth and act as aesthetic pieces in their outside spaces.
Those with more than enough money to spend will go for the most expensive outdoor furniture they can find, and Adirondack chairs naturally top the list.
Status symbol is something Adirondack chair manufacturers and distributors understand so well, and they’ll always find ways to capitalize on it. It shouldn’t be surprising then, that these furniture pieces are so expensive.
How Can You Save On The Cost Of Adirondack Chairs? ( 6 Practical Tips)
Now that we understand why Adirondack chairs are so expensive, you don’t have to break a bank to own them.
Neither should you think they’re beyond your reach just because you have a fixed budget.
If you want to own Adirondack chairs without stretching your resources, consider these practical tips to save on costs.
Shop From Your Local Store
No need to buy from big brands or online shops that charge the shipping fee on you when you can buy from your local builders or distributors.
If anything, local builders would agree to bargain and can even accept a discounted price. In short, they’re more likely to cut you a deal than that big store you want to buy from. There’s also the satisfaction that comes with supporting your local community.
Buy Directly From Amish
It’s always more cost-effective to buy a product from the source than from other dealers.
Interestingly even those big businesses often source their stock from Amish and sell them to consumers at exaggerated prices.
If you can find products from the local Amish community and ditch the middlemen, you can save a significant amount on Adirondack chairs cost from the purchase.
Consider Buying Second Hand Furniture
There’s nothing wrong with buying used furniture if they’re still in good shape. Just remember, Adirondack chairs are made to last a lifetime.
So if you find a neighbor looking to relocate or upgrade and wants to sell, go for it.
Garage sales, thrift stores, and estate sales are other great places where you can get good-quality Adirondack chairs at affordable prices.
Invest In Plastic Chairs
Polywood made of recycled plastic lumber is the cheapest yet durable material used to make high-quality Adirondack chairs. Its advantages over wooden chairs are numerous, including the inability to rot or decay.
Plus, Adirondack chairs require little maintenance and come in various colors that can add immense beauty to your outdoor living space.
Take Advantage Of Sales
Sales are a great option to find what you want within your budget. The price of Adirondack chairs usually shoots up during the summer months when people spend more time lounging outdoors.
So take advantage of those sales when manufacturers seek to clear their inventories as fast as possible.
If you’re good with your hands, building furniture shouldn’t seem like a complex project. You only need carefully crafted plans and design, your preferred materials, the required tools, and creativity, and you’ll be good to go.
By building your Adirondack chair, you save more on labor costs and can customize it to your preferences.
How Much Does It Cost To Maintain Adirondack Chairs?
Once you’ve made the initial purchase, it doesn’t cost much to maintain your Adirondack chairs.
The maintenance requirements largely depend on the materials used to make them. Ideally, for most chairs, all you need is a power washer, garden hose, or a good brush and wood cleaner.
Clean your chairs at least thrice a year if you can’t do it every month. After some time, you’ll want to do some retouching or painting to retain the original color of your chairs.
This may be frequent or not, depending on the climate of your location. If your area experiences humidity and rain, consider spray painting your furniture once a year using water-resistant spray and parasite-repellent.
Do Wooden Adirondack Chairs Need Cushions?
Ideally, Adirondack chairs are built with comfort and relaxation in mind. However, it doesn’t hurt to accessorize them to make them more comfortable and improve aesthetic appeal.
One way to accessorize your chairs is by adding comfortable cushions and headrest pillows, which provide extra padding to an already comfortable piece of furniture.
While this is not necessarily recommended, you can do whatever it takes to improve your outdoor living experience and meet your comfort preferences.
Why Are Adirondack Chairs So Expensive: FAQS
Can you leave Adirondack chairs outside?
The easy answer is yes. You can leave your Adirondack furniture outside. After all, they’re specifically built for outdoor use, and those made of poly lumber are weather-resistant, high-density polyethylene pieces that are easy to maintain.
What is the best material for Adirondack chairs?
Depends. Adirondack chairs can be made from recycled plastic or wood, each with pros and cons. Wood is more weather-resistant and durable than plastic but requires regular maintenance, including protective covers. Plastic is more affordable, flexible, portable, and easier to maintain. The only drawback is that they’re not as durable as wood. Still, both materials can last many years, so the best material depends on your needs and lifestyle.
Is an Adirondack chair worth it?
Absolutely. Of the many lawn chairs available in the market, Adirondack beats the rest hands down in terms of quality, comfort, unique design, durability and easy-to-maintain materials, and overall aesthetics, making them well worth the investment.
Can you leave Adirondack chairs out in the winter?
Not necessarily. Although this type of outdoor furniture is not known to absorb moisture, it doesn’t do well in heavy snow. It’s much safer and highly recommended to store them in a gazebo, pergola, or under a tarp than to leave them exposed to the elements.
What angle should the back of the Adirondack chair be?
The back of the Adirondack chair should be reclined at a 99- to a 110-degree angle so that your bottom is pressed against the back of the chair when sitting. To help you minimize the load on your back and avoid slumping forward, add a cushion to the back.
How long do plastic Adirondack chairs last?
Wooden Adirondack chairs can last many years, same as recycled plastic lawn chairs. However, low-maintenance recycled plastic lumber can last for generations, even in the most vulnerable environments, including the coastal areas, which are known for their corrosive salt air or hotter climates with intense heat.
What are the common differences between Adirondack chairs and other outdoor furniture?
A notable difference between Adirondack chairs and other lawn chairs is the high price based on the types o materials used, durability, and workmanship required to make them.
Several factors determine the cost of an Adirondack chair. We have learned that this specific outdoor furniture is unique and comfortable and employs complex construction processes and high-quality products.
That’s what makes them expensive. The cost is further influenced by customization, aesthetics, and the ability to adapt to any environment. To sum it up, Adirondack chairs are expensive because they’re of the highest quality and one of the most comfortable outdoor chairs.
Fortunately, you can still purchase them at a lower price by implementing a few practical tips highlighted in this piece.