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How to Hang a Porch Swing

Posted by Casey King on

A beautiful porch swing is a great way to add seating and charm to your porch or patio.  Porch swings are available in a wide variety of styles and sizes to accommodate both your needs as well as your style  preferences. We recommend selecting a porch swing that will best suit the climate of the area you live, the size of your porch/patio, and coordinate well with the exterior of your home. See our other blog post, “What Type of Porch Swing Material is Right for You” for some pointers on selecting the material of swing best for your local climate.

Since porch swings are supposed to be used to relax, we don’t want the experience of hanging your swing to add any unwanted stress or worry.  So we’ve created these easy to follow steps to use during the hanging of your porch swing!

Follow these 5 Easy Steps When Hanging a Porch Swing

Preparation Steps:

Should you already have a porch swing, please skip to Step 1 of the hanging instructions. If you still need help selecting the perfect size and type of swing for your porch, we can help with that too! Read on...

Measure: Determine the size of swing you will need by measuring the area in which you want to hang your it. Keep in mind that you will need at least 2 feet of clearance on either side of your swing and at least 2-3 feet behind it to accommodate the movement of the swing while it’s in use.

Select Material: Due to the different climates of the various regions of the country, different materials fair better in certain areas than in others. There are different types of wood that are well-suited for different climates and of course, poly swings can accommodate any type of climate.  Please read our blog post  “What Type of Porch Swing Material is Right for You” with more details regarding the benefits and issues with the different types of wood.

Purchase a Swing: with your newly determined measurements,knowledge of material choices, and design preference, select the swing that will best suit your size, type, and style needs.  Make sure you include all of the other supplies you may need in your purchase.  For example, hanging chain and/or ropes, swing hanging hooks, chain connectors if needed, and any required tools you may not already have at your disposal, such as a drill and drill bits. Check out the amazing porch swings we offer at Magnolia Porch Swings!

Prep Work is Complete….We’re Ready to Hang!

Step 1: Attach Swing Hangers to Support Beams

In order to know where to attach the swing hangers, measure the swing from side to side (use the distance between the hanging hardware on the swing). Mark this distance on the overhead support beam with a pen/pencil being sure to center the marks, if desired, and to accommodate the needed clearance of 2 feet on either end of the swing. Drill pilot holes into the marks using a drill bit one size smaller than your hanging hardware (i.e. if your hanging hardware is 3/8” you will use a 5/16” drill bit for the pilot holes). Screw the hanging hardware into the pilot holes until they are secure.

Step 2: Attach Chain or Rope to Swing

If your swing came with the hanging assembly pre-attached, you can skip ahead.  Otherwise, you will need to attach the chain/rope to the swing using the instructions provided with your swing. Different swings will have different assembly instructions for this step depending upon the hardware used in both the construction of your swing, as well as the hanging assembly you chose. Attaching the chain/rope to most swings is an easy process.

Step 3: Connect Chain/Rope to Overhead Support Hangers

This step will often require multiple people in order to ensure the swing is level once in place, as well as keeping both yourself and the swing safe and sound during installation. One person will need to stand on a sturdy step ladder as the other lifts the swing up for them to attach the chain/rope to the hanger now firmly attached to the support beam. If having an extra set of hands is not an option, you can hang the swing alone; however, extra care will need to be taken.  Simply place the swing on a level surface such as a table, saw horses, five gallon buckets, etc., then use the step ladder to attach the chain/rope to the hanger on the support beam.

Step 4: Check Your Work

Once the chain/rope on either side is attached to the hanger in the support beam, check the swing to make sure it is level. If the swing is not completely level, you may need to adjust the chain/rope length on either side accordingly.  The ideal distance between the bottom of the porch swing and the ground is between 17 and 19 inches. This leg-swinging height can be lengthened or shortened based upon the swing user’s preference/height.  For instance, taller individuals may want to hang their swing a bit higher in order to give more leg room.

Step 5: Porch Swing Trial

Your swing should glide smoothly back and forth when pushed gently.  If not, you may need to check your chain to make sure there are not any kinks in the chain, or the chain could be hung at either the top or bottom connection point.  

If your swing glides smoothly when pushed, sit down carefully, applying a little bit of weight at a time.  Once you’re fully seated, try a few swings back and forth. You should glide smoothly to and fro; if not, check your chain/rope connection points again.

Now you’re all set to enjoy some peaceful porch swingin’!

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  • Best guide to hanging the swing on the porch. Thank you for sharing valuable knowledge.

    becky on

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