When a house has a porch, usually the house owners put sofa, bench or swing as the decoration. Porch is the perfect spot to mingle with the guests, especially when they visit during afternoon tea. Enjoying the breeze and garden view are some other benefits in the list. House owner could also spend his personal time there. For you who love swings better, read some tips first before buying one.
1. Consider the Materials
When you decide to have a porch swing, you should understand that the commitment last for years. This porch will occupy the spot you choose as functional decoration. It is not something you purchase for a while then throw away months later. For this reason, you are recommended to take one made from high quality material.
To choose the material, people tend to match it with their taste and style. You could also use this trick as well. For example, a classic porch swing is commonly made from wood. There are plenty of wood materials in the market; oak pine, teak, etc. If you prefer modern concept, then some other materials might work better. They are resin, plastic, recycled products and iron.
Since porch swing will last for years, you could consider to choose environmentally friendly material, too. One way is purchasing materials taken from responsibly harvested forest. You should dig a little bit further to find the company that sell this kind of product. Here is quick tips; avoid any exotic wood like teak; they definitely come from tropical forest.
Another option for eco-friendly material is recycled plastic. You might also be interested to use poly-wood; it has the shine of natural wood without cutting the real trees. One more thing; make sure the paint you use to color the porch is non-toxic. It is a protection for you, your family and anyone who will use the swing.
2. Check the Swing Structure
Never hesitate to ask when you are not familiar about the swing structure. To be able to swing, the structure must include hardware and fasteners, both have maximum weigh limitation. Make sure to check this information; the minimum weight should be 500 pounds. The heavier the weight it could handle, the better.
Pay attention to the load-bearing joist as well. There are two sizes that often used by the manufacturers; 2×6 and 2×8. The first option is strong enough to handle two average persons. It is recommended to choose the 2×8 ones, since you don’t know who will be sitting on the swing. After that, double-check the material for swing kit. It should be made from stainless steel or galvanized steel.
3. Consider Its Style
It is time to incorporate more of “you” into the porch swing design. Choosing the material is only the beginning of the work. You need to think about the details as well. For example, what is your preference for the porch’s back? Will you make it simple with high and straight model or go with something elegant like curved back rest?
Also, you might want to think further about the arm rest. Is it better to make it wide or slim? Is it good to add inserts so your coffee cup could have special handle? After that, you still have to think about the tone; will it be natural or colorful? If you love colors, what would be your choice? Don’t forget to put cushion on the porch as well.
4. Go For Durable Products
You have learned the importance of suitable porch swing material in the previous paragraph. In addition to that explanation, you must consider the durability as well. It is not only about lasting for a long time, but also its ability to handle the weight and weather condition. First, the hardware will be stuck to the ceiling and swing handle. Is the hardware strong enough to hook on both surface?
For those who live in humid area, will the hardware be affected? Low quality products might get corrosion upon long-time exposure to humid weather. In this case, should you change to more durable hardware? The most important thing you should not forget to ask is the maintenance. Make sure you are able to handle the maintenance cost of the porch swing.
5. Learn the Installation
Next thing you should learn is the installation. You might get help on the first installation, but the porch swing might need repair. When it happens, you could either fix it yourself or hire repairman. By knowing the installation, you could explain the problem with your swing.
Take a look at the chains or rope. Some designs use two hooks, then both ends of the chain is connected to the armrest and porch back. If this is not your model, then your porch takes four hooks instead. Each hook supports one handle on the armrest and porch back.
Next item you should observe is fasteners. A porch swing hardware kit usually includes spring, hook and base. Several brands use S-hook with 4 inches to 6 inches shaft. When installing the fasteners, make sure to give two inches wider gap to the length and width. This setting will help the porch to swing better. One more thing; drill pilot holes before nailing the real screws.
6. Check the Price
Be careful; cheap price is not a guarantee of good quality. However, it doesn’t mean that you cannot find a good deal; lower price for good quality product. Again, you need to ask in details about the quality and information of each porch swing in display. If you lay your eyes on cedar, you cannot expect big discount because it lasts for years.
For even better deal, you could purchase the porch swing in the end of the season. Many shops hold clearance sale, so you have more options to choose. Be careful though, some products might have broken parts or cracks. Double check the condition of the products. Unless you cannot compromise the quality, it is better to wait a little bit longer for more affordable price.