With beautiful weather upon us, there’s no better time to build your very own porch swing. Sure, you could purchase a porch swing that’s already assembled and finished — but you’d miss out on huge DIY benefits!
A porch swing is a great entry-level building project for people with beginner to intermediate experience. You can save yourself money and reduce waste when you build a swing for yourself using inexpensive materials or old furniture.
Check out our list of free DIY porch swing sets that’ll add flair to your home.
Important Details to Consider When Building a Porch Swing
Before you throw yourself headlong into any build, planning is essential and some important details need to be considered when building your porch swing.
From deciding the size of your porch swing to choosing the best wood — here are a few of the many things you need to consider beforehand.
Porch Swing Size and Capacity
So how big should your porch swing be? Generally, swing seats and frames are 4 to 5 feet long. Porch swings of this size can support two or more people. However, they can vary widely and range anywhere from 18 to 36 inches.
So, it’s safe to say there will be some flexibility when it comes to choosing the dimensions of your porch swing.
Ultimately, your style preference and the size of the space available for your build will be the determining factors.
Types of Materials to Use
No two DIY porch swing plans will be the same, however, there always are some essential materials (such as slats) that most porch swing plans will use. Below are the essential materials that you need to get started on your own porch swing.
- Finish Nailer
- Tape Measure
- Wood Glue
- Wood Stain
- Sand Paper
- Jig Saw
- Miter Saw
- 2-inch Finish Nails
- 4 Eye Screws
- 1¼-inch Finish Nails
- Wood Filler
What Is the Best Wood to Use When Building a Porch Swing?
Porch swings can be made from various types of wood. However, the most commonly seen lumber choices are cedar, cypress, alder, and pine.
Out of all these options, cedar reigns supreme for porch swings because it naturally resists rot, looks beautiful, and it repels insects.
Porch Swing Location and Climate
For the porch swing to function properly without any potential for danger, you’ll want to be mindful of where you place it. Other structures shouldn’t be too close to the swing.
First, allow 4 feet of room in front and behind the swing to achieve an adequate swinging motion. Next, locate the ceiling joists above the area of the swing. Finally, be sure to install your swing into a structural beam for safety.
Although cedar is strong wood that’s resistant to many potential threats, there are still some steps you can take to help protect it. Seal the wood to fortify it in the winter months. Then, you can purchase a porch swing cover which will cover your swing and block it from unforgiving weather conditions.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Porch Swing?
Building a porch swing costs around $150 on average. However, if you are a little more resourceful and are able to cut costs using repurposed furniture or old lumber, you could complete your swing for as little as $30 or $40.
Building a heavy-duty porch swing is still relatively inexpensive compared to buying a fully assembled porch swing. If you’re building a porch swing out of quality wood you can expect to spend about $250.
Free Porch Swing Plans to Consider
Here are 20 simple ways to add a porch swing to your home. Every porch swing plan features a short description and a full tutorial on how to build your swing using common materials.
Porch Swing in a Tree
This DIY porch swing plan is perfect for those who don’t have a porch. You can easily hang your swing in a nearby tree instead. If you have a tree with a large and sturdy horizontal limb, that’s the perfect location for a swinging tree. Check out the tutorial here.
Porch Swing Bed
This plan is the perfect option for those who love to lounge around outdoors. This elegant porch swing bed is wider than a typical swing, and it features thick ropes that hang in suspension to give you that relaxing, “vacation getaway” feel. Check out how to build this porch swing bed here.
Lumber Porch Swing Plans
The lumber porch swing not only saves you money by using minimal materials, it takes only 5 hours to complete. An excellent option for beginners who want to add something fun and relaxing to their home. It looks beautiful left natural or with a stain added. Review the full tutorial to the lumber swing here.
Farmhouse Porch Swing Plans
Out of all the porch swing plans, this one is popular because it requires very little effort. This farmhouse version of a porch swing takes $40 of lumber (and a little patience) to create a super cool, rustic swing that adds value to your home.
Porch Swing and Pergola Combo
Functionality and beauty come together to make this lovely porch swing that looks great and offers shade on sunny days. It works perfectly as a reading nook that’s tucked on the side of the porch.
White Porch Swing Plans
This porch swing has a classic look that can be decorated to add character. Bright throw blankets and decorative pillows can make your porch look festive and inviting. Read how you can achieve this white porch swing look with ideas for decorating.
Single-Seat Porch Swing Plans
Room for just one? A custom swing made for one person is a unique add-on to your porch or yard. These plans include a helpful video to show you how to construct a single-seated porch swing from start to finish. See all of the materials and steps as well as the finished product.
Rustic Porch Swing Plans
This DIY plan will give you a customized rustic porch swing. It’s a bit on the advanced side, and will show you how to build a frame as well.
You’ll be able to make it the exact length you want, determine the bench size, design the seat, and learn how to cut lumber and assemble everything. You can find all these instructions, along with pictures to help make the process easier here.
Outdoor Pallet Swing Plans
This simple and comfy version of a porch swing takes about $30 to construct. The swing can hang from either a nearby branch or your porch. Cover the seat with thick cushions to make them great for lounging and hanging with friends, or for taking an afternoon nap.
Repurposed Porch Swing Plans
This porch swing is a unique idea because it’s made entirely from an old bed. Why throw away your furniture when you can reuse it for a cute addition to your porch? Find out how you can turn an old bed into a comfortable porch swing.
Porch Swing With Cup Holders
This swing has a distinct design that features the classic porch swing and a center console that holds drinks. The project is perfect for hanging out with family and friends on a nice day. A step-by-step guide will show you how to create a gorgeous porch swing with cup holders in a short amount of time.
Hammock-Style Baby Porch Swing Plans
This hammock-style porch swing is a unique idea for those who have little ones who like to play on the porch. It’s simple to create and doesn’t require many materials. Follow these easy instructions to make a relaxing swing set for your baby.
Old-Country Style Porch Swing Plans
This porch swing offers a lot of support with a high back and wide space for sitting. It also has the countryside feel with the stain of the wood and overall design. Find out how to build this swing.
Heavy-Duty Porch Swing Plans
The heavy-duty porch swing plan takes a little longer to execute, but it holds more weight and typically stands up to harsh weather better. These swings usually use better quality wood such as cedar or redwood. The instructions will teach you to make a stronger and more robust porch swing for any season.
Super Comfy Porch Swings Plans
What makes this porch swing so comfortable? It uses a crib mattress for the sitting area. This is an easy way to repurpose an old mattress instead of throwing it out.
The slats provide a sturdy foundation while the mattress is a great place to relax on a fun-filled weekend with family or friends. This swing is great for babies and small children. Read more for the step-by-step plan.
Simple Porch Swing Plans
The simple porch swing is just as its name implies, simple! It uses common stocks and a basic design that’ll produce the swing you want with a friendly budget. Check out the instructions on how to build a simply beautiful porch swing.
Wide Porch Swing Plans (Heavy-Duty)
This porch swing costs a little more but it’s comfortable and wide — based on the size of a single mattress. Swings like this offer options to create a living space. Consider these heavy-duty porch swing plans for a swing that doubles as a daybed.
Casual Porch Swing Plans
The casual porch swing is a simple swing that is great on the porch, patio, or deck. You can add colorful throw pillows to make it “pop” or leave it as is. Learn more about how you can make a casual porch swing that’s the perfect place for gatherings and home activities.
Backyard Porch Swing Plans
Though this is a list of swings that are meant for the porch, you can also build one in your backyard if you don’t have porch space — or don’t have a porch. This swing requires a big tree branch that is able to support the weight. Find further instructions here.
Modern Porch Swing Plans
If you’re looking for a more modern swing design that is closer to a bench or couch, this DIY project is for you. It offers space, back support, and a chic style that makes a lovely addition to any front or backyard. Check out this site for more information on how to build a modern porch swing.
There’s something fulfilling about improving your home without the help of professionals. And it doesn’t hurt that you can save a ton of money by simply doing it yourself.
All you have to do is take the proper precautions and follow the plans, and you will be rocking in your porch swing and enjoying the sun in no time.