The design for Adirondack chairs came from deep in the mountains of New York, as the name would suggest.
In the last one hundred years, they have become synonymous with comfortable, outdoorsy living.
Everything from beach life-style homes to Southern living decor uses Adirondack chairs to symbolize their owners’ status.
Adirondack chairs are so expensive because of their durability and basic name recognition. While it’s possible to find chairs made of less expensive plastic material, high-quality Adirondacks are the most sought after. They use wood and other synthetic materials designed specifically for outdoor use, and their name evokes a sense of style sought after by many homeowners.
Now let’s take a more in-depth look into what makes Adirondack chairs so expensive.
1. Unique Design
Adirondack chairs are distinctive enough to be known by a specific name. They aren’t simple “dining room” chairs that you can buy in hundreds of slightly different but ultimately similar designs.
The extra wide armrests, angled seats, and large backs are what define Adirondack chairs.
All of these features make for a more comfortable chair which you can enjoy for longer periods of time. They were ergonomic before the word was trendy.
Adirondack chairs look like nothing else on the market, and that kind uniqueness will always drive the price up.
Adirondacks were originally designed to withstand the harsh weather of the mountains, so the materials had to be durable.
This has extended to today as well, as they’ve kept to their origins as an ideal outdoor chair.
Their size and unique shape also require durability. These can be bulky chairs, and they’re often heavy due to their solid wood manufacture.
This means you want to leave them outside year-round instead of lugging them into a shed or covering them up when the weather gets bad.
These chairs can last a long time even in harsh conditions, and their price reflects that longevity.
To be fair, plastic Adirondacks aren’t that expensive; it’s the wood ones that cost real money. Lumber is expensive to begin with, and the price spiked over 300% the last couple of years.
In turn, solid wood Adirondack chairs are still expensive, and will remain so even if the lumber market settles.
Because you use these chairs outside, you need materials that can withstand the elements. Not every type of wood is suitable for constant outdoor use.
The most common materials for Adirondack chairs are teak, cedar, and Polywood (or other types of high-density plastic).
Since manufacturer’s have limits on what materials are best, sourcing the specific materials can raise the price.
4. Labor And Shipping
It costs more money to transport a heavy, solid wood chair rather than a lighter, plastic seat. That shipping cost gets baked into the final selling price.
Mass-production on mechanical assembly lines is also much easier with plastic furniture. With wood chairs like Adirondacks, each piece must be sourced, shaped, and then assembled, sometimes by hand.
5. Name Recognition
Adirondack chairs were developed in 1903 by a man named Thomas Lee. Unlike anything else on the market and build for quality and comfort, the chairs soon grew in popularity.
Thirty-five years later, a change in design was patented, the one with which we’re most familiar today.
The fact that a version of this chair design is still around one hundred years later with the same name is a testament to both the quality and the timelessness of it.
At the same time, however, that longevity means the price will be high. There’s no reason to reduce the price if people are still seeking out these chairs after one hundred years.
And as long as the price stays high, people will consider these chairs luxurious, so they’ll will want them as status symbols.
So it’s a cycle – the chairs are a symbol because of their history and cost, and they’ll continue to cost that much because of the status that price tag brings.
A true antique Adirondack chair can sell for thousands of dollars. This value partially stems from the same reasons given for modern chairs, but you also have to figure in the historical aspect.
Buying an Adirondack chair made nearly one hundred years ago is like buying a piece of history. Not only does it carry the weight of the past, but it’s a testament to the chair’s physical integrity.
A piece that’s still in good condition so many years later is a marvel. The better the condition of the antique chair, the higher the price. Collectors want pieces that are in the best condition possible as they’re even more special.
They may share the same history, but there’s a significant difference between a chair chips, burns, or missing pieces, and one that shows little signs of damage.
Adirondack chairs don’t have to be expensive; you can find cheaper versions made of less durable material than the classic style.
However, for something that’s going to last and look the best, a high-quality plastic or solid wood chair is what you want.
The high price tag on these kinds of chairs comes from the quality of their materials, as well as their distinctive style that designers covet.
They last for years on end, and they serve as a kind of status symbol in home design.
The Adirondack chair has been around for more than a century, and people will pay a lot of money for furniture with that kind of legacy – even more so if it’s an original from the early 1900s.