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How to Hang a Porch Swing from a Deck

How to Hang a Porch Swing from a Deck

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Why do people like porch swings?

If you live in a warm climate, or even if your spring and summer days are few, you can still enjoy all of the benefits of a porch swing. Swinging is a relaxing activity for all ages. The back and forth motion of the swing is said to improve concentration, circulation, and alleviate stress. For children, a porch swing can engage them in something that calms their minds. Porch swings can also help tone your leg muscles. As you drift back and forth on a swing, you’ll use your leg muscles to keep them moving. It’s like a fun, low-effort exercise. 

Another benefit of having a porch swing is the increased family time or another space to relax. Take your kids outside for afternoon reading or to catch up after a long week. These also turn into a gathering place when you have the family over to the house. Everyone can enjoy the benefits of more fresh air and sunshine (of course wear sunscreen). Vitamin D helps release those feel-good neurotransmitters, plus you’re in the company of the people that matter the most. Everyone in the household can now spend quality time outdoors without having to go too far. 

Finally, if the home you’re currently living in is a starter, fixer-upper, or temporary, installing a porch swing can increase the curbside appeal - perhaps even the resale value. It enhances your outdoor space. When people come to view the house with the realtor, it adds another talking point, helping people envision themselves living in your space. 

Choosing a porch swing 

Before we dive into how to hang a porch swing with rope or chain, lets go over the many different types of porch swings available. Choosing the one that is right for you could depend on personal taste, climate, or even needed upkeep. Let's go through the different types of materials available and the benefits of each before you purchase and hang your swing.

Wooden Swings

Wooden swings have a classic beauty. People love the look and feel because they can be painted or stained to match the space. There is also a multitude of craftsmanship options to choose from. You can find anything from ornate to modern, to rustic farmhouse. Keep in mind, this type of material will call for some light upkeep in order to retain good condition year after year.

Check out our collection of Wooden Porch Swings

Adirondack Swings

If you love the classic Adirondack style, this type of swing is perfect for you. It looks great dressed up with cushions or as is. They come in a variety of colors so it can become a true statement piece in your outdoor space. As the material is usually a plastic composite, it won’t require too much upkeep to preserve the good condition. 

 

Check out our collection of Adirondack Swings

Metal Swings

If it’s elegance and durability you seek, a metal swing is a perfect choice. Since metal is much more resistant to breaks as a material, you can choose designs that are highly ornate to simple, clean lines. 

Wicker Swings

If you are going for a traditional antique look, a wicker swing can do just that. These are classically beautiful and also very comfortable as they flex slightly. Something to keep in mind with a wicker swing is the maintenance. The material is porous so we don’t recommend leaving it outside all of the time as humidity and sun exposure can break down the material over time. There is a simple solution to keeping your wicker swing in good condition though, bring it inside or throw a cover over it and it will look great year after year.

Porch swings are known for, obviously, hanging on a porch.  However, not all of us have a porch to hang it on!  That’s why we decided to hang our porch swing from our deck in the backyard – and seriously, it was super easy.  Or at least, Jordan and my dad said it was – my super-preggo-self mostly just watched the magic happen. 😊

What you’ll need:

  1. Eye Bolts - At least 2
  2. Rope and chain connectors
  3. Rope or chain 

Rope vs Chain

You’ll need to choose between using a rope or chain to hang your porch swing. This can weigh heavily on the aesthetic you’re trying to achieve. No matter what you choose, having equal lengths for each side is very important. A chain is the most common option for hanging porch swings, but the rope is better if you want a rustic look. There are some things to keep in mind if you opt for rope:

  • Make sure to use the marine-grade rope. This can withstand weight, weather, and general wear and tear. 
  • Make sure it is at least 19 millimeters thick. 
  • Check your rope regularly for signs of tears like fraying and replace it promptly. 

Structural Support

Before you purchase your porch swing, check very carefully that you have the necessary structural support. The swing has a lot of weight and when you add up to three people it can equal several hundred pounds of weight. That is a lot of stress on the structure if you don’t plan accordingly. 

Check the joists. If the ceiling on your porch is unfinished and you can see them, this will be much easier. Once you see where the joists are, make sure it is aligned with where you want to hang your hooks and ultimately the swing itself. If your ceiling is covered, you might need to go up to the attic to see where the joists are located. 

Hardware

Now that you have an idea of where it is going to go, head to the hardware store to get your eye bolts. We recommend ones that can hold OVER 300 lbs, but you can purchase ones that hold more weight than that as well. Make sure you’ve got a drill and drill bit just a little smaller than your bolts as well. You’ll also need to purchase a chain or rope depending on what hanging aesthetic you would like to achieve. 

Choose the placement

Once you’ve figured out the possible safe places to hang the swing according to the joists, it’s time to place your swing. This is also a time to think about the range of motion and clearance. You don’t want your swing to hit any walls or sides when you’re sitting in it. You might want to use a measuring tape to be sure of the arc of motion. Around 24 inches or four feet of space will be sufficient. 

Start by setting the porch swing under the deck to figure out where you want it. Then we brought up the chains to mark where we needed to drill holes. If you feel like being more particular, you can also measure it out. The biggest thing to make sure is that you’re drilling into a sturdy board above the deck and that your eye hook won’t go all the way through.

We started by setting the porch swing under the deck to figure out where we wanted it. Then basically just bring the chains up and make your marks where you need to drill the holes.  If you feel like being more particular, you can also measure it out. The biggest thing to make sure is that you’re drilling into a sturdy board below the deck (i.e. 2x6’s) that your eye hook won’t go all the way through.

How to hang a porch swing drill holes eye hook outside deck

Drilling the holes

Now it’s time to actually start the fun part! Drill the pilot holes where you made each of your marks. Then take your eye-hooks and twist them into the holes by hand until they are secure. If it becomes too difficult, place a long screwdriver through the eye for leverage or use a pair of pliers to grip the hook.

 

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Once you have your eye bolts in, the only thing left is to hang up the swing. This part was easiest with three people – two people to hold the swing and one to judge the height it should be hung at. The guys held up the swing and I told them up/down until we found the sweet spot.

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At that point, I suggest having one of the people continue holding their side at the right height, and the other person puts their side down. Both people can then be available to get the first side hung at the right height. In order to hang it, string the chain through the eye hook and clip the carabiner so that the swing is hanging at the height you want it.

The porch swing store how to hang a porch swing from a deck chain link outdoor furniture

Then move on to the next side and do the same process – make sure your swing is straight (count the number of chain links on the other side and just make it match up), loop the chain through the eye hook and clip your carabiner!

Our chains were a bit long and were hanging down so we just looped them through the eye hooks one more time.

Test your swing

Remember that it doesn’t have to be final. Push your swing to make sure it moves evenly and does not tilt. Try sitting in it to make sure both ends are even with each other. If the right side of your swing is too low on the left, you’re going to need to detach it and shorten the right side. If the swing height was too short, you could extend the chain (only chain) to make the sides longer. 

 

Want extra comfort?

You can add comfort springs to your porch swing for a little bounce and more fluid motion when you’re swinging. Add these springs to the eye bolts in the joist for a smoother swinging experience. Keep in mind that these are only an option if you use a chain to hang your porch swing. 

A porch swing is an excellent investment and can be enjoyed by the entire family year after year. Let our team at The Porch Swing Store help you design the perfect outdoor relaxing space with top-quality products and services. 

 

Happy Swinging!

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Are you as in love with the porch swing above as I am? Check it out here!

Note: The suggestions in this post are purely informational.  Always follow the directions that you receive when purchasing your porch swing.

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