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How to Mount a Porch Swing Using Eye Bolts

Michele M. Howard

A porch swing offers a quiet place to read a book or enjoy your morning coffee, a place for romance or simply a place to have a good conversation with friends and neighbors. Gently swinging back and forth is soothing and calming, a great way to unwind from a long day at work. A properly mounted swing provides years of enjoyment. Hanging a porch swing is not difficult and only requires a few basic skills.

Mounting a porch swing is not difficult to do.
  1. Locate the support beams or joists in the ceiling of your porch. It is best to hang the swing from joists, as regular roofing material will not support the weight of the swing. The swing may pull away, doing damage to your porch ceiling and potentially injuring the person sitting on it. You may need to cut away some of the ceiling material to find the joists.

  2. Examine the joists to determine whether they will support the weight of the swing with people on it. If you are unsure, have them inspected by a skilled carpenter.

  3. Pick the best joist to hang the swing from. This needs to be one that will give the swing enough room to swing freely without coming in contact with walls or railings once it is installed. A good amount of space to have behind the swing is 3 feet.

  4. Measure and mark the location for each eye bolt. The distance between eye bolts will equal the length of the swing plus 2 to 4 inches. For example, if the swing measures 5 feet in length, the eye bolts should be between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 4 inches apart.

  5. Drill two pilot holes into the joist using a drill bit slightly smaller than the shaft of the eye bolts. This helps prevent the wood from splitting when you screw in the eye bolts.

  6. Screw the eye bolts into the two holes. If you encounter some resistance, use pliers or thread a screwdriver through the eye to help turn the eye bolts.

  7. Hook an S-hook onto each eye bolt and attach the chains to each hook. There will usually be one chain coming down from each hook. Midway down this chain, it splits into two. Attach one chain to the front eye bolt on the front of the swing's armrest and the other to the back eye bolt on the armrest or the back of the swing. Swings typically come with the necessary chains and installed eye bolts.

  8. Adjust the lengths of the chains so that the front of the swing's seat is 17 to 18 inches above the floor. To do this, simply unhook each chain at the joist, and rehook them at a lower link. Make sure the number of links is the same for each chain so that the swing will hang level.