Many homeowners find a great sense of satisfaction when they build things themselves. Though there are more ready-made home improvement items on the market than ever before, there is something to be said for taking the time to gather material, following a plan, and methodically crafting the latest addition to your home. Learning how to build a porch swing is one of those projects. Lazy summer afternoons are yours to be had as you sit in the shade of your front porch and enjoy the cathartic motion of the porch swing that you built yourself.
Where to Start
A few of you may be structural engineers. The rest of us who are learning how to build a porch swing need a pattern to follow for the arms. These are the part of the swing that will bear the most weight, so they need to be done correctly. There are plethoras of books available both in print and online that contain do it yourself summer projects. In these you will find suggestions for porch swing arms and supports.
Now that you’ve got your main supports constructed, it’s time to attach the slats that will make up the seat and the back of the bench. Make sure that you use a wood species that will be durable outdoors. While you may find some pressure treated pine slats that are suitable, you will find while you are learning how to build a porch swing that your best bet is to use a hardwood like oak or ash. These harder species will stand up well to the rain, snow, and sunlight. They are also stronger and will give your bench the ability to hold more weight safely.
Once you’ve got the slats attached and the bench portion of your porch swing in complete, you are ready to figure out how and where you want to hang it. There are two main options. The first is to build a frame to hang the swing in. Typically, a simple A-frame structure is built and the swing hangs freely from the crossbeam.
If you have a porch that is built with an overhead roof and you can see the ceiling joists, then you may decide to hang the swing directly from these. Regardless of which style you choose to use, make sure that you check the weight load limits on the chain and the hooks that you buy. Safety must be taken into account when learning how to build a porch swing.
The final step of how to build a porch swing is to protect the wood that you used to build the swing. Bare, unprotected wood will quickly dry out and split, causing your hard work to fall apart in just a few years. Add a coat of weather sealer or paint to ensure that your hard work lasts for years to come.
See Also: Front Porch Renovation