How to Buy a Porch Swing

Tips and Advice on Buying a Porch Swing

By Mark J. Donovan

Buying a porch swing is a great accessory to any porch, patio, deck, garden room, or three season room. A porch swing, like a rocking chair, is a relaxing and cathartic instrument that can help you unwind at the end of the day and to allow yourself time to sit back and reflect on the day and even your life.

A few years back we installed a porch swing underneath our deck up at our lake home. The underneath area of our deck is a concrete paver patio area with the deck approximately 9 feet off of the ground.

During the summer months, at any time of the day or evening, you can usually find someone swinging in it and relaxing and enjoying the views of the lake.

The particular porch swing we bought has spring loaded chains that hang on either side of it that allow the porch swing to flex a little up and down when sitting in it.

When buying a porch swing there are a few considerations that you should think about. First, porch swings are available in a variety of materials including wood and PVC. Though PVC swings require little to no maintenance I still prefer a wooden porch swing. If you are looking to buy a porch swing manufactured from wood there are also many choices.

Porch swings are available in oak, cedar, pine, maple and teak. Oak porch swings are one of the more popular wood porch swing types on the market. Oak is strong and durable and thus will hold up well, albeit it’s a little heavier than other wood porch swings. Cedar is also commonly used. It’s lighter than oak and it is resistant to rot and decay. It also won’t split or crack and will have less risk of sagging over time. Wicker porch swings are also extremely popular due to their unique look and durability, however they are better suited for covered areas.

Porch swings can also be purchased with or without finishes.  Unfinished porch swings offer flexibility in how you can finish them, however finishing a porch swing can be time consuming and you may not end up with your desired finish due to mistakes in your selection of the finish or the application of it.

When looking to buy a porch swing also carefully consider the physical dimensions of it. Make sure the seat depth and the angle of the back rest is comfortable to you. Also make sure the slat spacing is not too wide and not to narrow. If too wide, you may experience some discomfort sitting in it. If too narrow, the swing may weigh a lot more. Seat depths can also vary widely so it is important to pick something that will be comfortable for your family’s particular height dimensions. Also make sure the seat back is at a comfortable angle. You don’t want to feel like you’re laying down in the porch swing and you don’t want to feel like you’re sitting at attention in it either.

Make sure to examine the hardware associated with the porch swing. Porch swings should be assembled using screws and bolts, and not nails. Also make sure any associated chains are resistant to corrosion.

Deck Installation Bid Sheet

When buying a porch swing also check to see what it can support in weight. Most can comfortably support two people. Also, if buying a porch swing that attaches to a ceiling or deck floor joists make sure to use the proper size anchors for attaching the porch swing. Otherwise you may find yourself sitting on the ground unexpectedly.

For help on building a deck, see’s Deck Installation Bid Sheet. The Deck Installation Bid Sheet will teach your how to hire the right deck contractor, and help to ensure that your deck project is completed on time and budget.

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