How To Choose The Perfect Porch Swing
Swings had always had a magical hold for children and adults alike, as these are still our favorite spots when we visit a park or playground. Aside from the usual rubber tire, there are now many designs and styles available you can choose from to match your porch and patio arrangement.
Whether to reflect, have a casual conversation with friends, or just seeking some light-hearted fun, a suspended swing seems to have captured the hearts of many homeowners, continuously being an addition to many American homes. Besides adding a lively mood and romantic charm than your average porch chair, it takes little space and can be enjoyed right at your yard instead of going to a park and waiting in line for your turn.
Criteria for the Perfect Porch Swing
Comfort and Safety - As with all other furniture, the best way to determine a porch swing's comfortability is to sit on it and test it out. Keep in mind that this is something you will be lounging on for long periods, so you want something that isn't hard on the back and the back of your knees. With comfort comes safety. You want to be able to relax comfortably without worrying whether the chains or the support of the porch swing can carry your weight.
Ask the seller of the porch swing's weight capacity and check if your ceiling can carry such additional weight. If your roof cannot support the extra weight, you might want to ask for other options. There are porch swings that are smaller in size and can seat one person. There are also porch swings with stands, so you don't have to worry about finding a suitable place to hang it in.
Size - This doesn't go for the size of the swing and the size of your porch. You may want to have enough space for the swing to move back and forth. It doesn't have to be a big space but should be adequate to move gently.
Keep the back of the porch swing clear so you won't get hit and accidentally break anything. If your space allows for it, place items by the side, keep your porch simple by placing a few details and make your porch swing the focal point of the space.
Material - Because you're going to use it in an outdoor setting, it's essential to know which materials are best for your climate. You don't just get an aluminum porch swing because your sister-in-law, who lives in a colder climate, gave it good reviews. You want to make sure you get a durable material explicitly meant for your location's weather.
A few of the most common porch swing materials are natural wood, metal, fabric, synthetic resin, and wicker. Natural wood, especially hardwoods like teak and cedar are the best when it comes to style and will blend with any design.
Teak is naturally resistant to mold, mildew, moisture, insects, and rot due to its high oil content. It is easy to maintain requiring only an occasional hose down with soapy water and a once-a-year sealing to maintain its honey-gold color. Left untreated, it turns into a beautiful, silvery gray as preferred by others. It does not get hot even on summer days, so you can rest assured that you can swing all you want without burning your bum.
The Western Red Cedar has been dubbed the Tree of Life by Native Americans for its wide range of uses, including its roots. It has the same properties as teak but more versatile when it comes to holding colors and finishes.
Pinewood is a type of softwood that borders between a creamy white or yellowish color. It's less durable than the other two kinds of wood, making it a less expensive material for porch swings. While it cannot compete with the other two qualities, seal regularly to retain quality. It is insect and rot-resistant, too, and its golden tone is perfect for rustic-styled homes.
Porch swings made from wicker remind you of warm, loving days with grandma while you sit on her lap playing with her yarn. Today, modern style wicker porch swings reminiscent of the tropics like in the Bali. Some come with a padded seat to make it more comfortable.
One disadvantage of real wicker is it can't withstand moisture. A better alternative is a synthetic resin, which mimics the look of a basket weave. Synthetic resin also comes in other styles and colors, sometimes even looking like wood. The beauty of synthetic resin is that it is low maintenance and is durable against weather elements.
Wrought iron porch swings are for you if you have a thing for English style gardens. It's heavier and made for windy places. The downside is that it might absorb heat during the summertime.
No Porch or Without a Roof
If you don't have a porch or your porch is too small to accommodate a porch swing, you can still enjoy a porch swing.
Many porch swing beds have their stand or frame and come in a variety of sizes from a small cocoon chair in no small swing bench. Both have their structure or support and require minimal to zero installation.
Porch swings with its canopies might also help provide shade and shelter from the rain, especially if your porch doesn't have a roof. Choose the one that has canopies made of Sunbrella or other weatherproof outdoor fabric. Trees and pergolas also serve as substitutes to hang your swings while offering a magnificent view.
What could be more satisfying and romantic than watching the sun slowly rise or set on your porch? Maybe swaying gently on a porch swing while sipping your favorite drink with a loved one is a contender.
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