Outdoor porch swings are a classic accessory on the front porch of a home. They are a great place to cool off on a hot evening. In the last twenty years porches have made an architectural resurgence. People have rediscovered the benefits of relaxing in the front of their homes in their porch swing getting to know their neighbors.
When choosing a swing for your porch, deck, or patio, consider the space that the swing will occupy. Covered porches usually have the capabilities for you to hang a porch swing directly from the support beams. But don’t despair if you don’t have a covered porch. You can find swings that come suspended in their own frames so they can be used on uncovered decks and patios.
Another solution to the problem of hanging a swing is to consider a glider instead of a swing. Gliders are like porch swings in that they have a long seat, a backrest and arm rests. The difference is that gliders sit in a frame that lifts them off the ground. They move gently back and forth, back and forth instead of swinging or rocking.
Although outdoor porch swings can be purchased in a wide range of materials, the most common ones are wood and wicker. Wood is standard for patio swing construction. Cedar porch swings are very popular and available in many styles. You can find outdoor porch swings made from Southern Poplar, Oak, Maple, Cypress and Yellow Pine. Imported tropical woods like Teak, Brazilian Cherry, Shorea and Balau also make excellent Wicker Porch Furniture porch swings.
Cedar is valued for outdoor furniture because it naturally repels water making it naturally resistant to mildew, fungi and rot. While Cedar can be an expensive initial investment, cedar porch swings do need to be painted, stained, or treated in any way. They are meant to weather in the elements, turning silvery or dark gray over time. A two-seat cedar porch swing might cost about $375.00, while a similar design in Pine, that will need to be painted, stained or treated, might cost about $250.00. Cypress is an American wood that is similarly impervious to weather.
Oak porch swings are incredibly strong, and the wood is a light, warm color making it special and unique. Oak, if left to weather though becomes washed out looking. The answer to that is to treat the oak with a non toxic sealant that will help the oak retain its golden color. Less expensive Pine, Oak, or Maple porch swings need to be painted, stained, or treated in some way in order to survive the elements.
Teak is the most popular of the imported tropical wood outdoor porch swings. It is more expensive usually than most other woods, but for good reasons. It lasts a lifetime with no painting, staining or treating and is an extremely attractive color, a sort of warm grayish brown. A two-seat porch swing in teak could cost anywhere between $400.00 and $1000.00. Teak is now being grown and harvested using sustainable techniques. I recommend investing in sustainable Teak in order to slow down the cutting of the tropical rainforests.
Less expensive alternatives to Teak are Balau, a tropical wood endowed with rich oils and minerals making it resistance to decay and moisture, and Shorea, a strong, dense wood that resists mold, mildew, and rot as well. Shorea is related to Burma Teak but is said to grow naturally and plentifully in the Pacific Rim countries, making it considerably less expensive than teak. Because shorea contains an abundance of natural oils, it’s dense, heavy, and hard, and it’s highly resistant to rot, bug infestation, wear, and marring.