Checking is a term used to describe small cracks that appear on the end grain of the wood. These checking cracks would most likely occur at the ends of the slats, ends of the arms or anywhere where end grain is exposed. This is completely natural and not a cause for concern. These checking cracks will stabilize in the first few weeks of exposure.
Our patio area has a small covered portion. When it is time to store the unit or get it out of the elements the collapsible feature is outstanding. 4 stackable arm chairs were included in our purchase and they also take up very little storage space. We have found the fit and finish of these products to be above average and I would highly recommend them. Oh yes they are also comfortable, practical,and an attractive addition to ones out of doors activities.