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DIY vs. Purchasing a Porch Swing - What’s Better For You?

Posted by Eric King on

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a little DIY-ing around your home. In more recent years, thanks to websites like Pinterest, it’s become a bit of a trend to create things yourself, but Internet influence aside, people have been DIY-ing things for centuries, more out of necessity than out of vanity or additional interest. Still, finding the right plans and creating something you can truly call your own from start to finish has become a very popular way of doing things for many people, and it can be a lot of fun along the way. But should you ‘DIY’ everything? Obviously, we’re going to be talking about porch swings here, so let’s ask that question upfront: Which is a better solution for your needs - purchasing a porch swing, or building one yourself?

When asking yourself this question, there are a few important things to think about: Cost, time involved, safety, and quality. While there are smaller details you’ll likely find along the way, these are the big, overall ‘categories’ most questions and concerns will fall into when it comes to your porch swing. So, let’s go through each one!

Cost: When it comes to cost, you might automatically think making your own porch swing is a great way to save money. And you may be right, depending on what materials you use. At Magnolia, our swings start at under $250.00, again, depending on materials. Purchasing those materials to DIY a porch swing will likely be the biggest factor in your overall cost, but that’s only if you already have all the proper tools to build a swing from scratch. Unfortunately, it takes more than a hammer and a few nails to put together a great swing, and not everyone has instant access to the variety of tools it takes to build a porch swing. Paint or stain, finishing products, chains or rope, etc., are also details to factor into your overall cost if you’re making a swing yourself.

Time Involved: This category may be where most people ‘swing’ (no pun intended) toward purchasing a porch swing, rather than making one themselves. The bottom line? It’s not the easiest thing in the world to build a swing from scratch with no experience. Even if you have detailed plans and a lot of gusto, it’s going to likely be a challenge without the help of someone who knows a little bit of carpentry around, and it will likely take some time. A porch swing is supposed to be enjoyable and relaxing, so starting off with a building process that could be frustrating and painstaking may take away some of the simple pleasures that are supposed to go along with your swing.

Safety & Quality: The safety of your swing, and the quality tend to go hand-in-hand. While porch swings can be made out of a variety of different materials (wood, plastic, wicker, etc.), it’s important to choose what you feel is right for your home based on how sturdy the material is, and what the climate is like where you live. Plastic swings tend to work better in areas that deal with a lot of rain and snow - they can withstand the weather, and are easier to clean. Unfortunately, if you’re considering building a swing yourself, plastic may be a harder material to work with, or even come by at your local hardware store. Wood swings can work in a wetter environment with the right protective sealant, but again, that can factor into your overall time and cost.

At Magnolia, we don’t want to discourage anyone from trying something new, and if you have your heart set on DIY-ing a porch swing for your home, that’s great! We think every home should benefit from a great swing. But, if you consider your options as far as cost, time, safety, and quality, you might find that purchasing a solid porch swing might work better for you and your home in the long run. Feel free to take a look at our different selections, materials, etc., to choose the swing that’s best for you, and what you’d love to see hanging outside your home. Enjoy your porch swing, don’t stress over it!

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