Imagine yourself sitting on a porch swing and sipping your favorite beverage on a sunny day! Nothing is more soothing than hanging a stylish porch swing in the garden and getting relaxed outdoors while snuggling up with a book or spending quality time with loved ones. Porch swings are not only for your comfort but also make your home look more appealing and aesthetic.
But many people have a big elephant in the room - “How to hang a porch swing?”; and we can totally get it! This guide will help you with how to hang a swing on a porch, along with some basics of porch swing dimensions.
So, let’s get started without any further delay!
How to Hang a Swing on a Porch?
Examining Joist or Beams:
It may feel obvious, but you will need to consider many things before you actually start hanging a porch swing. The joist or beams of your home must be adequately supported as they will hold the weight of a swing and people sitting on it.
Moreover, consider the wood condition and other loads being supported by a joist before you hang a porch on it.
The next thing is to look for structural support. To hang a two-person porch swing, it is recommended to use at least two 2 x 6 inches joists, and to hang a swing along a single joist; it should measure 2 x 8 inches at least. Moreover, mark the points for the hardware installation.
Measure Porch Swing Dimensions:
The next step is determining swing space and hanger measurements. To hang a porch swing, you will need a minimum of 18 inches of space behind the swing and 14 to 16 inches on either side of the swing.
Plus, to ensure equal weight distribution of the swing, you will need hardware and other equipment that are 2 to 4 inches wider than the swing’s length. It also prevents the chains from rubbing against the swing.
Last but not least is the distance between the swing and the floor - it should be 17 to 19 inches so you can swing smoothly and freely.
Getting Right Hardware and Equipment:
Once you have measured the porch swing dimensions, the next step is to get the right hardware and equipment by considering porch swing dimensions and other related factors. You will need a porch swing rope or chain and hardware that are weather-resistance and have the capacity to bear 500 pounds or more load.
Here is the detailed list of hardware and equipment you will need to hang a swing on a porch:
1. Porch Swing Rope or Steel Chain:
New swings generally come with hanging chains or ropes, but if that’s not the case with you, you can choose either one based on what matches the most with your cypress porch swings.
Steel chains are a more popular option due to their durability, but if you want to have a classic and rustic look, you can go with a porch swing rope; just make sure that the rope is a minimum of 3/4-inch 19 (millimeters) thick and seven feet long.
A single rope on each side of a porch will do the work if you use a porch swing rope. However, if you are using steel chains - you will need one long and one short chain for each end of the swing.
Additionally, if you use a porch swing rope, look for wear, like fraying threads, to avoid future damage.
2. Screw Eyes & Eye Bolts:
To install your porch swing rope, you will need heavy-duty galvanized or stainless-steel screw eyes, screw hooks, or eye bolts with an enclosed ring or hook. Additionally, the screw must be a minimum of 1/2 inch long with 4 inches long threaded shank screws.
3. Hanger Kits:
Hanger kits are a good alternative that includes swivel-type hanger mounts and heavy-duty springs resulting in smoother swinging. Additionally, the hanger mounts are installed with lag screws.
Hanging the Swing:
Generally, porch swings come with pre-installed hooks and chains, and you just simply need to hook the chains onto the hangers in the ceiling to hang a swing on a porch.
But if your porch swing doesn’t have pre-installed hooks and chains, you’ll need to do that manually. The location of the hooks depends on the design of the swing, but generally, you should locate them where the vertical and horizontal front-most edge meets.
Now, place the next two swing hooks on the porch at the same height as the swing hooks with the rear of the seat. Drill pilot holes before screwing the swing hooks into the porch swing itself, and keep a diameter a bit smaller than the pointed end of the swing hook. Once you’re ready, screw the swing hooks into the porch swing by hand.
Whether you need to use screw-eye or eyebolts depends on your ceiling. Use screw-eyes for unfinished porch ceilings and eyebolts for furnished ceilings.
4. Four screw eyes:
- Once you install two screw eyes, loop the porch swing rope or chain attached to the swing arms.
- Now, turn the eye-screw into the hole as far as it goes, followed by passing a screwdriver through the eye-screw circle to ensure that the central point is exactly below the hole you drove.
- The next step is to push the screwdriver against the eye screw to jam it tightly into the hole; to do so, place one hand on the screwdriver's handle and another on the other end of the screwdriver.
- Now, install another screw-eye in another joist or beam with a roughly equivalent distance to the length of the porch swing
5. Four eyebolts:
- Cut away the part of a roof above the porch swing to predrill a hole through the joist. Ensure the drill tip is coming straight through the ceiling of your porch.
- Next, slide an eyebolt up through the porch ceiling and ask someone to secure it with a nut on the porch roof.
- Now, install another eyebolt in another joist or beam with a roughly equivalent distance to the length of the porch swing, and once you are done, repair the roof.
Besides the ceiling types, what you use to hang the swing also changes the process a little bit.
If you are using a steel chain:
- Secure one end of an individual long chain to the front mounting point of the swing with a quick link and repeat the same with an individual short chain for the rear of the seat,
- Using small S-hooks, connect the short chain to the long chain on each side about 2 to 3 feet above the seat,
- Now, hook the long chains onto the hangers with a quick link and pull back the short chains on the long ones to get the tilt,
- Adjust the tilt and the seat height as per your preference by hooking onto different links.
If you are using a porch swing rope:
- Fold each porch swing rope in half and tie a simple overhand knot,
- Create a 2-inch long loop from the bend,
- Either hook the individual loop over the screw or use an S-hook between the eye and the rope loop,
- Prop the swings on a box to get the desired height,
- Secure the front mounting point with an overhand knot by threading the front half of each rope - keep knots big enough that it doesn’t slip through,
- Tie off the rear mounts on the swing to the rear halves of the rope and adjust the swing back at the desired angle,
- Test the swing by swinging and adjusting the knots as required,
- Cut down the excess rope from the bottom ends.
Once you have installed all the required hardware and equipment, it is time to give a final touch to the process of hanging the swing:
Connect the porch swing rope or chain to the front swing hook, and then loop it up through the respective eyebolt or screw-eye on your porch ceiling. Now, connect the end of your porch swing rope or chain to the second swing hook on the same side that you connected to the other end of your rope or chain. Repeat the same on the opposite side.
Woohoo! You are done!
For an extra-smooth experience, you can attach comfort springs to your porch swing’s eyebolt or screw-eye and attach the chain to the end of the comfort spring. A better bounce supported by comfort springs makes the swing’s motion more fluid.
Finding and hanging a porch swing is not as easy as you may think, but we hope this guide has helped you to figure out how to hang a porch swing! If your swing porch is heavy, you can always ask someone to assist you in the process.
Porch swings are easier to hang on unfinished ceilings, but it is quite a cumbersome process for finished ceilings. You can buy an A-frame porch swing if you have finished ceilings. Moreover, you can always add colorful cushions and pillows to make your porch swing more comfortable.
Note: Every porch is unique in its own way, and you can always refer to the manufacturer’s guide if you are unsure how to hang a porch swing. Additionally, you can also get professional help if you want.
On our website, you can explore our range of porch swing ropes, hanger kits, and everything related to outdoor furniture.