Few home amenities can hold a candle to the aesthetic and practical appeal of a porch swing. Installation and repair of these outdoor mainstays is typically not very involved, making them excellent projects for do-it-yourselfers, but because they do need to be well-anchored and structurally sound, they may not be appropriate for every setting. Whether you currently have a porch swing that is in need of a few touch ups or you're looking to install one for the very first time, here are a few things worth considering.
1.Where Can Porch Swings Be Hung?
Homeowners who want the benefits of a porch swing but do not have easily-accessed structural elements to hang one from should consider purchasing a free-standing model.
Basically, there are only two elements that need to be in place in order to hang a porch swing: A sturdy structural element from which the swing will be suspended and sufficient room behind and in front of the installation spot to allow the swing to move back and forth. A professional will easily be able to determine the best way to install any porch swing in just about any area (though some scenarios may require a little more work than others in order to find or create a suitably stable anchoring spot). For DIYs, most models will come with easy-to-understand instructions on what structural elements will provide sufficient stability as well as guidelines concerning the amount of space to leave for motion and the appropriate height the unit should be installed above the floor.
2.Hardware, Ropes and Chains
Your swing should be able to support more weight than you are likely to put on it. Thankfully, when you buy one, it will often come with the appropriate hardware or at least specific guidelines for the hardware that should be used. For appearances, some homeowners may choose to hang their swing with rope rather than chain. If you choose to hang with rope, opt for a marine grade synthetic so that it will not degrade when exposed to the elements.
3.Porch Swing Repair
For the most part, repairing a porch swing is mainly a matter of replacing elements that have aged past the point of integrity with brand new ones of the same dimensions. Some sanding, painting, and/or staining may be required to make the new pieces blend in seamlessly with the existing ones, but in most instances, the process can easily be performed by any homeowner with access to basic hand tools.
4.Free-Standing Porch Swings
Homeowners who want the benefits of a porch swing but do not have easily-accessed structural elements to hang one from should consider purchasing a free-standing model. These swings come in a number of different designs and like many pieces of modern furniture, they are designed for easy assembly.
Even if you do not have a porch, you may still be able to have a porch swing! Many homeowners have found that building a pergola or gazebo in their yard that is fitted with a porch swing not only adds beauty to the property, but provides the perfect setting to enjoy the outdoors during comfortable weather.
5.Maintaining Your Swing
There are definitely some models out there made of metal, but most porch swings are made of good old-fashioned wood. This is wonderful for appearances, but outdoor wood requires maintenance that properly-surfaced metal does not. While a few woods like cedar and some exotic hardwoods are meant to be left to the elements as-is, pine--the most affordable wood available--will need to be sealed for protection. This can be accomplished using any number of paints, stains, and finishes (and many kits will have wood that comes pre-finished), but it is important to examine your swing at least once a year to make sure that the seal is still doing its job. Any signs of chipping paint or cracking or splintering wood are indicators that it's time to sand and reseal your swing to preserve its integrity.