Swings had always had a magical hold for children and adults alike as these are still our favorite spot 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. Aside from adding a lively mood and romantic charm than your average porch chair, it takes little space and can be enjoyed right at your own yard instead of having to go to a park and wait in line for your turn.
Comfort and Safety - As with all other furniture, the best way to determine a porch swing’s comfort is to sit on it and test it out. Keep in mind that this is something you will be lounging on for long periods of time 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 weight capacity of the porch swing and check if your ceiling can carry such additional weight. If your ceiling cannot support the additional 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 that have its own stands so you don’t have to worry finding a suitable place to hang it in.
Size - This just doesn’t go for the size of the swing but also for the size of your porch as well. 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 enough to move gently. Keep the back of the porch swing clear so you won’t be hit and accidentally break anything. If your space allows for it, place items by the side or keep your porch simple by placing a few items and making your porch swing the focal point of the space.
Material - Because you’re going to use it in an outdoor setting, it’s important 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 that is meant specifically 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 type of design.
Teak due to its high oil content is naturally resistant to mold, mildew, moisture, insects, and rot. It is very low maintenance 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 in the 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. In modern times, it has the same properties as Teak but more versatile when it comes to holding colors and finishes.
Pine wood is a type of soft wood 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 qualities of the other two, it can last a long time as long as it is continuously sealed. It is insect and rot resistant as well and its color is perfect for rustic style homes.
Porch swings ade from wicker are those that 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 that it isn’t made to 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 color, 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 is made for windy places. The downside is that it might absorb heat during summer time.