How to hang a stylish and secure porch swing.
Friday, July 16, 2021
Choose a safe location
We most often think of porch swings as being at the front of our homes where you can see all the neighborhood happenings, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you want more privacy or the view is better, the backyard might be a better option.
No matter what you decide, just make sure your porch joists and beams can safely hold the weight of the swing and its occupants. Similar to needing a structurally sound door frame to improve the security of your home, you need joists free of rot, cracks and other damage to keep your porch swing securely anchored.
Whether hanging a traditional two-person swing or a larger swing bed, you’ll need a 2x8 joist or 4x4 beam. If your joists aren’t deep enough to support a porch swing, you can reinforce them with 4x4s using these instructions from Home Depot.
Also consider whether you want to face the yard or inwards. Hanging your swing perpendicular to the road or yard can give you greater privacy. Regardless of which way you face, you can always add outdoor privacy with porch curtains or screens like we see below.
Choose your hardware
You’ll want either steel chains or rope to hang your porch swing. Chains tend to be more durable, but rope might complement your home’s style better. If you prefer the durability of steel but not the appearance, you can also disguise the chains by winding rope or other material around it. The porch swings below use rope as a purely decorative feature rather than for bearing weight.
You’ll also need eye bolts, screw eyes or hooks to attach your chains or ropes. Bolts should be at least 1/2” in diameter. Screws should have a threaded shank at least 4” in length to hold everything together securely.
Whatever you choose, make sure all your hardware is graded for the appropriate weight and outdoor use. Marine grade rope at least 3/4" thick is ideal for porch swings since it holds up to a variety of weather conditions.
Unlike most porch furniture, you need to consider clearance when installing a swing. DIY Network recommends at least four feet in front of and behind the swing to avoid damaging your home or rocking into furniture or bushes. As much as we love the look of this next swing, we hope they have some bumper pads behind.
How high should you hang a porch swing? Most experts say 17” to 19” off the floor. To a certain extent, you can adjust that according to you and your family members’ height. Nineteen inches might feel a little high for the short-legged crew.
When we think of porch swings, most of us picture a traditional farmhouse style like Grandma used to have. It’s hard to go wrong with those. But don’t be afraid to think outside the box. An extra-wide swing or swinging porch bed is perfect if you have lots of room and are ready to lounge in style.
If you have a small porch, try a swinging chair for one.
Or double it up so no one is ever left sitting on the steps.
Even if you choose a traditional porch swing, look for one with a bit of a unique twist like this one that not only uses ropes for the supports but also on the backrest.
And have fun with cushions, throws and other décor to add your personal touch and extra comfort.
When summer is over, don’t think you have to pack everything up. Porch swings also look fantastic in those indoor/outdoor spaces for fall or spruced up for the holidays. This is porch décor you can use all year long.