How to Hang a Porch Swing or Swing Bed Guide
Wondering how to hang a porch swing or swing bed? It's not as complicated as you might think. All you'll need is a few common household tools, a stable beam to hang your swing from, and a helping hand. We've put together a guide that breaks it down step by step for you:
What you'll need
- Stud Finder
- Safety Glasses
- A drill and the appropriate drill bit(your drill bit should be a bit smaller than the screw)
- Swing Hangers and their accompanying screws.
- Pipe-wrench pliers/regular pliers for lag eye screws or a socket ratchet or nut driver if you have hex lag screws
- 4-6 ft Ladder
- Find your perfect porch swing
1. Find the right beam or joists
For starters, you’ll need to find a strong support beam or joists that will accommodate your swing length and still allow for plenty of room behind (at least 4ft). The beams and joists of a home serve as the foundational frame for the roof. They are generally the only parts of a house that are strong enough to support the weight of a porch swing or swing bed.
Anything that compromises structural integrity such as creaky or deteriorated wood should cause you to reconsider your choice. If you are unsure about your particular spot, consult a professional architect, or contractor for advice.
We will be installing each swing hanger approximately 1-2 inches outside of the actual swing length to disperse the weight evenly. If your beams and joists are hidden in the ceiling, use a stud finder to locate them and make sure the joists or beams are at least 2’ x 6’ or larger, and can support the weight capacity of your swing.
2. Set up the Swing Hangers
Once you have decided where you want to hang your swing, put your safety glasses on and use a pen to mark the spot the first swing hanger will go (if your swing hanger has more than one hole, mark all of them with a pen). Next, measure the length of your swing plus 1-2 inches and mark the second swing hanger spot with a pen.
This is where the second swing hanger will go. Remember, there should be plenty of room behind the swing hangers/beam. Though you could get away with 3 ft, we recommend at least 4 ft behind your swing so it can sway back and forth with ease.
The next step is to drill pilot holes into your beam/joists so we can screw in our swing hangers with ease. Pilot holes will help guide your screws into the wood, alleviating pressure and minimizing the chance of splitting your beam/joists.
Choose a drill bit with a diameter that is about the size of your screw shank. The “shank” on a screw refers to the upper portion of the screw that does not have threads. After selecting the right bit, use a drill gun to drill holes into the swing hanger spots you marked. Carefully align your swing hangers with the predrilled holes and screw them in.
If you are using lag eye screws to secure your swing hangers. you can use pipe-wrench pliers, or a hook drill bit to tighten the screws. Alternatively, if you are using hex lag screws to secure your swing hangers, use a socket ratchet or nut driver to tighten them.
3. Hang the Swing up
The majority of swings are hung in an upside-down “Y” configuration. The longer chain runs through the armrest of the swing and connects to the side of the swing seat. The shorter chain runs from the lateral swing back and connects to the longer chain to set the swing upright.
You want to install your porch swing so that it is 17”-19” inches off the ground for optimal comfort. Two 8ft chains will accommodate ceilings 8-9ft tall. If your ceilings are 12ft tall, you would need a pair of 11ft chains to hang your swing.
Set your swing down on the ground directly below your swing hangers. Place a ladder directly behind the swing and have someone lift the swing up as you climb a ladder to link the top chains onto the swing hangers. Once you have attached the longer chain, tilt the swing back about an inch and adjust the shorter chain to your comfort. And Voilà! You’ve completed the installation of your new charming porch swing! Now sit back, relax, and swing away!
TIP: Make sure to periodically check your ceiling for any signs of cracking or warping. If you notice any damage, remove your swing and consult a professional contractor or structural architect. Make sure to replace severely rusted chains.
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