When buying furniture, it’s worth remembering that the bigger pieces, such as sofas and dining tables, will often remain with you for many years. So, although it’s easy to be persuaded by low prices and fleeting trends, it’s important to look past the noise to find quality pieces that will stand the test of time.

When it comes to furniture, it’s no secret that price usually indicates quality, thus spending a bit more money upfront can save you in the long run. But what makes quality cost more? Read on to find out just what you’re spending those extra dollars on:

 Materials

If you want your furniture to last for years and years, look for pieces made from long lasting materials.For wood furniture, the following are good choices as they are all resistant to cracking:Ash Cherry Oak Walnut Birch Mahogany Maple

Try to stay away from soft timbers such as Pine, Cedar or Redwood.Leather is a popular material for use on chairs and sofas, just make sure they are made from real, hard wearing hides that will withstand your lifestyle.

If the furniture is not being upholstered in leather, make sure it’s made from thick, tightly woven fabrics such as linen, cotton or wool.

Look at craftsmanship

Examine the structure of any wood pieces carefully. Ensure all seams fit together well and check doors, hinges and drawers to make sure they open and close smoothly. If the furniture has a steel structure, check there is no squeaking, wobbling or weakness.

Quality checks

Low quality furniture will often have unfinished seams and screws that stick out. Places that are not visible on a piece of furniture (such as the underneath of a table or couch) are usually a good indicator of overall quality. If the hidden parts are not completed neatly, the whole piece will likely not be finished to a high standard. Look at the seams in upholstery and make sure there is no pulling or splitting, you shouldn’t be able to feel any springs in furniture and padding should be thick but still comfortable.

Test it out

Before purchasing any furniture always test it out. Furniture shops are there so you can see what you are getting in real life. Check for comfort and make sure the size, colour and feel are exactly what you want.

Avoid materials that are man-made

If your main goal is longevity and durability, try to avoid man made materials such as plastics, bonded leather, melamine, MDF and laminates. Although it may be hard to avoid these materials altogether, look for furniture that is predominantly made from natural materials such as metal, stone, marble, leather and hardwoods.

Buy Australian made or from local stores

Although the idea of buying furniture online is appealing, it’s certainly not recommended when making a decision about an expensive life-long piece of furniture. Visiting a furniture store is the only way to truly know what you are purchasing.

Spend a few days visiting stores in your town or city to get the full picture of what’s available. Make sure you look at local furniture makers as well as large chain stores. If you’re looking for a bespoke piece of furniture, your smaller, local stores are where you will find it.

Good furniture is a wise investment and like all investments, it should be given the appropriate amount of consideration, trial and testing. If you’re building a new home, Ben Trager Homes recommends furnishing your forever home with good quality pieces that will last a lifetime.