How to Install a Front Porch Swing
One of the best things about the summer is being able to sit out in the fresh air and enjoy it! Is there a more relaxing way to sit outside than on a front porch swing?! (Ok, maybe in a hammock…)
We’ve compiled a quick how-to for the installation for a front porch swing below. You’re only seven steps away from relaxing in style!
1. Measure the Area to Make Sure it Fits!
Measure the available space before selecting your swing size: you will need at least 2 feet (but preferably three or four) on the front and back sides for clearance for when the swing is in motion. We suggest at least 14 inches of clearance on either side. Find an area with at least a 2’ x 6’ sturdy wooden beam to allow you to secure the hardware. The joist, fasteners, and hardware must be sturdy enough to support at least 500 pounds. Do you want to wave to neighbors? Overlook a garden? These are things to think about before installation.
2. Choose a Swing
With your measurements in mind, select a swing from your local hardware store or online retailer. Research a number of varieties to find one that matches your home and suits your needs. There are many options available! Traditional wood or resin? Wicker or metal? Color? Shape? Design?
3. Purchase Supplies
Your swing will likely include hardware, but below is a list of common items you’ll need. (**Note** Stainless steel or galvanized hardware are preferable to withstand the elements)
You will need:
-Screw-in swing hooks
-Eyebolts/S-hooks with 4-6” shafts, or some other chain connector
-Four total heavy-duty 7-foot chains
-A fully charged drill and bit kit
4. Attach Swing Hooks
-Making note of the swing’s width, mark the distance on the beam.
-To prevent the chains from rubbing against the swing and better distribute weight, install the fasteners 2” – 4” wider than the swing’s length.
-Drill one pilot hole into the beam on each of the two markings, selecting a drill bit that is just a bit smaller in diameter than the hook.
-Screw the swing hooks into the pilot holes until snug.
5. Attach Chains
-Follow the swing manufacturer’s instructions for attaching the chains. This will vary by manufacturer and model.
-Ensure all four chains are secure.
6. Hang the Swing
Ask a friend/family member for help to avoid damage to your swing (and your back).
-Climb up your sturdily-placed ladder and have your helper pass the swing up to you.
-Adjust the chains as necessary, ensuring a height of 17 – 19” above the ground. Push the swing to verify it moves smoothly.
7. Grab a Glass of Tea and Test It
Grab a cool drink and test out your new swing, relaxing and enjoying your handiwork!
Just remember that the support beam is a very important part of the installation, primarily for the safety of those that may use it. The joist or support beam must be at least 2’x6’ to ensure safe, secure mounting and operation, and anything less can result in serious injury! If adding a support beam in installations (where necessary mounting surfaces are lacking), enlist the help of a professional for the safety of your family and friends.