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Briar Hill Furniture Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I pick up my furniture at your store and save on the shipping costs?

Yes of course! We encourage our customers to do so. And we're located in a beautiful area with lots to do, so you might want to make a day or a weekend of it. Check out our map and directions and give us a call if you need any assistance or would like to make arrangements.

Q. What are the differences between your indoor and outdoor furniture?

A. Both lines are made of northern white cedar. The difference is in the style of the furniture and in the product used to finish the furniture. For example, and exterior chair has slats for the back and seat and can be finished with an exterior stain. The interior chair is constructed completely of logs, has a high quality cushion, and will be completed with an interior stain and polyurethane.

Q. I'm having some trouble assembling a table I purchased. It seems like the parts don't fit quite right. Is it possible my kit was shipped with the wrong pieces? 

A. Probably not. Note that because of the natural round log construction and varying diameters, it may be necessary to gently force pieces together using a wooden mallet or a block of wood and hammer during assembly. Never strike the furniture directly with a hammer, always use some sort of protective buffer.

Q. My loveseat has some cracks and splits -- is it defective? 

A. Certainly not! Cracks and splits are characteristic of northern white cedar and are not manufacturing defects.

Q. Tell me more about these "cracks". 

A. Although cracks are characteristic of white cedar, any wood in log form will crack. It's part of the natural drying process. The more sunlight or heat the piece receives, the more it will crack. The cracks will not extend deeper than the "core" of the log and won't fall apart. As the air becomes more humid or when it is a rainy season, the cracks will close up some. Then will open again when it gets hotter weather.

Q. What finish should I put on my swing to protect it?

A. Your exterior furniture does not need to be finished for protection. White cedar is naturally rot-resistant and insect-resistant. The only reason you would want to finish it is because you don't like the silver-grey color it will acquire in time. In this case, any EXTERIOR stain of your choice can be used. The furniture needs to "breathe" so don't "seal" it. This is very important.

Q. What is the most important thing I need to know to make sure that my furniture lasts?

A. Keep it off the dirt and don't seal the wood. We recommend that if your furniture is going in the yard, put something poreous under the legs; such as, gravel or a patio stone or brick. If it is going on your porch or deck, it'll be fine.

Q. What do you mean by don't "seal" the furniture?

A. White cedar log furntiure needs to be able to breathe. This means, if it takes on moisture, it needs to be able to dry out. As the weather changes from rain to sunshine, the logs will absorb water and dry out again. You will be able to see the cracks open and close during this process. This is normal and needs to occur. If the furniture has been "sealed" it will, quite simply, rot. For example, if you were to put three coats of polyurethane on your swing and set it in the yard, it would be the most gorgeous piece of yard furniture anywhere. But when the sun heats up the polyurethane, it expands and cracks. Then the rain (or high humidity) comes and your logs absorb the moisture like a sponge through those cracks. Then "here comes the sun" and heats up the logs. The logs have absorbed so much moisture that it all can't get out. It comes to the surface of the log but is trapped under the polyurethane. It starts to rot and becomes black. Soon your swing will be shedding it's nice blanket of polyurethane in strips. (This process can take time if it isn't in constant sunlight but it will happen.) Instead of being the pride of your yard, it becomes something you don't want to look at let alone sit on and enjoy. The only cure for polyurethanitis is sanding it all down and redoing the swing. Those slats will be fun to do! (Between you and me, it is a lot easier and cheaper to burn the swing and buy a new one.)

Q. Give me some examples of what would "seal" the logs.

A. In our experience, products that will "seal" the logs are ANYTHING THAT IS NOT AN EXTERIOR STAIN. These would include polyurethanes, paints, interior stains, varnishes including marine varnishes, etc. If is isn't an exterior stain, don't use in on the exterior furniture.