How To Install a Porch Swing

Who doesn't love a porch swing? They evoke such delightful daydreams of warm summer days relaxing on the front porch with a glass of lemonade and not a care in the world. Ahhh, isn't that the life...

Now in this dream, you don't want to be in fear that mid-swing you'll come crashing to the ground because of faulty installation.

Hanging things from the ceiling that need to take a lot of weight can be a very daunting task, but don't let it deter you. Just follow the correct steps, and you will have a safe porch swing and a subtle breeze in no time.

From The Ceiling
Make sure that the support beam in your ceiling will support the weight of the porch swing and its occupants. If you don't know your ceiling's strength, have a carpenter check it out.

Buy a hanging kit with your swing, but be sure it includes all the galvanized hardware and heavy-duty chain you'll need for your particular swing. If your swing doesn't come with a kit you can easily buy your own. Just read the hanging directions and go from there.

Locate an overhead beam with at least an eight foot clearance and install two swing hooks spaced at the width of the swing to hold the chains. To prevent wood splitting when screwing in the large hooks needed to hold your swing, first drill a pair of pilot holes.

Use four chains to hang your swing from the hooks. Two chains from each hook, one to the front of the swing and one to the back. From and eight foot ceiling, use seven-foot-long chains. This should keep the swing 17 inches off the ground for easy on and off.

From A Tree Limb
A strong and sturdy limb is the perfect place to hang your swing. Don't use hooks to attach a chain directly to a tree limb. Instead, use a rubber hose as padding on the chains to protect the limb from abrasion, and fasten the chains around the limb with a heavy, rust-resistant bolt. Add an inch or two to the swing length when positioning the chains.

A Stand
If you don't have a front porch or a reliable tree limb on hand, then you can always go with a pre-built A-frame stand option.

(Image: Bill & Beth's Soulful Straw Bale Retreat)

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Alysha is a photographer and designer living in Seattle who loves dark chocolate, tea, and all things furry. In her spare time you'll find her with paint in her hair renovating her 1919 Craftsman and sharing the process on her blog Old House New Tricks.