Saturday, July 26, 2014

Garden Swing (Buyer Beware!)

Last week Niall sat on a garden swing at B&Q and his mind was made.  We needed a swing, and he was on a hunt to find it.  Wednesday morning Niall came through to the kitchen.  He was, dare I say it, giddy!  Niall had found a swing on Gumtree that looked pretty amazing.  It retails for £400 new.  And the ad said it was 'never used', so at £65 it seemed like a great deal.  We called, emailed and texted the seller to say we would take it.  I was afraid someone would get it before Niall!

Niall talked to the seller, who told us the swing was unassembled and had fit in his Mondeo (it's a four seater car, smaller than our MPV.)   I thought I was picking up a brand new, unused gazebo swing that would fit in the car no problem.  I drove the 40 minutes to pick it up without any tools or bungee cords.  Doesn't the ad make the swing seem great?


Never used but needs assembled

When I actually saw the swing, I was surprised.  Not in a good way.  I almost said, "No Thanks."  But then I remembered how giddy Niall had been at the prospect of a gazebo swing.  The 'swing' may not have been used, but it had been left in the damp to rot.  The gazebo part had obviously been in use and left to the elements.  And then taken apart, with all of the nuts and bolts misplaced.  The whole thing was big, moldy and barely fit in the car.  The seller let me have some wire to tie the parts down and I took the drive home slowly.  When she said, "Putting it together if obviously self explanatory" I got the hint that she didn't have the instructions.

When I got home Niall was still pretty excited despite the obviously used condition.  I power washed it to clean off some of the mold then sanded the parts that had rotted, and left the swing out to dry.  I called the manufacturer (because the assembly wasn't that straight forward, at least to me.)

The manufacturer (we figured out it's an Anchor Fast Avon Swing Arbour) kindly sent me the instructions.  Armed with that paperwork, I was able to hobble together the hardware that was needed from B&Q.  I went to the lumber yard to get some replacement wood for a piece that wasn't fit for purpose.  Then roped a friend who was visiting and the girls (Margaret had wield a rubber mallet now!) into helping me assemble. Oh, and then Niall helped finishing putting it together.  We dug in two surplus pavers so the swing has something solid on which to rest.

I sanded a few more parts and then we painted the whole thing in a coat of Cuprinol.  (Brown.  Niall had wanted green to match the fence, but a test patch did not fair well.)

Niall has his garden swing! Now if we can get the grass to grow.

Swing £65 (Gumtree)
Hardware £9 (B&Q)
Timber £5 (Jewsons)
Curprinol £0 (Free!  We used what was in the garage)
Total:  £79


Tammy said...

Have I mentioned before how much I love, love, LOVE all the DIY you guys do? I need to come see it!

Mitch said...

Please come!