A porch swing brings pleasure and comfort, a leisure tool right outside your door. But porch swings have also been known to cause accidents and damage to the house if not correctly installed.
If you’re thinking of fitting your front porch with a swing, you’ll need to install it properly with sufficient clearance so that it does not hit the house. Read on to understand how to keep porch swing from hitting house.
The first step is to understand the dimensions of your porch swing before hanging it. A porch swing should have between 26-36 inches of clearance space on both the front and back sides to keep it from hitting the house. Another 14 inches of clearance is needed on either side to keep the porch swing from hitting the house.
Therefore when installing a porch swing, there are a few factors you need to consider so that your leisure moments don’t end in accidents or damage to property. Sufficient clearance is the first thing that will ensure your new porch swing stays fully functional.
Why Does The Porch Swing Hit The House?
Several reasons contribute to your porch swing hitting the house or guardrails. To prevent your porch swing from being a safety hazard, it’s important to note that the average porch swing needs around 26-36 inches of clearance from the wall and guardrail and another 14 inches on either side.
That space is sufficient to prevent your porch swing from damaging the house. With the proper hanging procedure, your porch swing can be a beautiful addition to your front porch’s aesthetic appeal.
You need to ensure that the porch is strong enough to support the load on the swing. That means choosing the best hanging hardware, locating the proper joists, and ensuring the dimensions and swing space is correct.
Steps For Hanging Your Porch Swing Safely
Here are the steps to hang your porch swing. If correctly done, it can perfectly serve its intended purpose of being a leisure space, not a safety hazard.
Measure The Size
The Porch Swing Company recommends the average porch swing to be 4 feet. But this is not a standard rule. The size of your porch swing depends on the number of people who will use it at a given time.
You can install a single-person swing or have one that seats several people. The best rule is to have a porch swing with about 2 feet per person, meaning a 4-foot porch swing would accommodate two people.
A porch swing with three feet in front, four at the back, and 14 inches of space on the sides is safe and wouldn’t hit your house or guardrails. Decide on how many people would sit on it simultaneously and leave a distance of 2 feet per person.
Choose The Ideal Spot
Before we get to the technical part of hanging your porch swing correctly, you want to be sure you’re erecting your porch swing in a suitable spot.
According to the examples given above, confirm that the space is correct: 3 to 4 feet of swinging arc at the back and front and 2 feet on either side of the swing. Next, choose the orientation of your porch swing.
Do you want a view of your front yard or street? This question should inform your choice of the perfect angle to position the swing for a better view.
Get The Structural Support Right
This goes without saying, but we are naturally heavy as humans, and a porch swing can be just as heavy, depending on its materials. We’re talking about hundreds of pounds pulling from your porch ceiling at any given time.
That means proper caution should be taken to ensure stability and safety. Be sure to pick the correct spot that supports the average load that will hang on the swing.
Installation can be much easier if you have an unfinished ceiling where the beams and joists are exposed. You can work with a 2×6 or 2×8 joist to safely support the load. Otherwise, a thinner dimension will require extra bolstering support.
If your ceiling beams are covered with boards or plywood, you’ll need to measure the exact location of joists and beams to get the correct spot to hang the swing.
You’ll need to access the joists from the attic or create a small opening in the ceiling to access them, then patch it up after safely installing the swing.
Decide On The Best Hanging Method
Most new porch swings come with a hanging kit as part of the package, and the kit contains all the hardware equipment you’ll need.
Otherwise, you can purchase the hardware kit separately if you have your own thrift swing. There are several methods of hanging your porch swing correctly.
You can use a thick, marine-grade rope or chains for suspension, or if you prefer to use both, you can wrap the rope around the swing for added details. Another option is to suspend the swing from the ceiling with hooks.
The ideal porch swing suspended with chains has two chains on either side hanging from hooks fitted on the ceiling beams and creating a Y-shape connected to the swing.
Otherwise, you can use four separate chains connected to the four corners of the swing for much stronger support. But this method requires that you drill four holes in the ceiling.
Install the Hanging Hardware
Before drilling the holes in the ceiling, the hooks should be 4 inches wider than the swing to help keep the weight a little more balanced. This will ensure the chains or rope don’t rub against the swing.
Next, drill pilot holes, then screw them to the ceiling joists or beams. Attach the rope or chains to the swing and hang it on the ceiling hooks, keeping the swing seat 17-19 inches from the porch floor.
Try testing the swing to see if it is installed correctly and if it moves smoothly. Sit back and enjoy a good time on your porch swing.
How To Remove A porch Swing Without Hitting House
If the porch swing turns out to be a little uncomfortable or after some time in use, you realize that it keeps hitting the house, you’ll need to relocate it to a more suitable location on your porch.
So how do you remove the porch swing without hitting the house? Here are the steps to follow to maintain safety throughout.
- Lift off the chains and bolts supporting the swing. First, you’ll need to remove the eye bolts inserted in the pilot holes on the beam.
- Find the nut used to reinforce the eye bolt on top of the beam and remove it with an adjustable wrench.
- Slowly turn the adjustable wrench counterclockwise until the nut is entirely loosened from the eye bolt.
- Turn the eyebolt counterclockwise with a power drill to loosen it completely.
When installing your porch swing again after removing it, be sure not to use the same bolts and nuts to reduce the chances of malfunction.
You’ll need a new spot for the bolts since the previous pilot holes have been altered and may not be able to sustain the weight of the whole swing.
How To Keep Porch Swing From Hitting House: FAQS
How Far Away From The Wall Should A Porch Swing Be?
The first thing to consider is the distance of the porch swing from the wall and guardrails. Ensure there is space of at least 14 inches on either side of the swing to avoid bumping or accidental damage to the house.
The front and back of the porch swing should also have ample space of 3-4 feet to allow for comfortable swinging.
Which Direction Should A Porch Swing Face?
This depends on your preferred view. You may want to admire your front yard or gaze lazily into the streets. Or you may want a more private experience with the porch facing either side of your compound. There’s no standard rule on where to position your porch swing.
How High Should A Porch Swing Be Off The Ground For Adults?
Your porch swing should not hang too high or low above the ground, and the safest and most comfortable distance is 17-19 inches.
The porch swing should be suspended with two chains of 8ft for maximum support on an 8-9ft ceiling. If your roof is higher, the chains should not be less than 11ft.
Will A 2×6 Hold A Porch Swing?
If you prefer to hang your porch swing from a single ceiling beam, a 2×8 will work perfectly. Otherwise, to use 2×6, ensure the weight is distributed evenly over two joists. The best materials to use are stainless steel swing hangers and hooks.
A porch swing adds magnificence, beauty, and comfort to any home. The aesthetic appeal is instant and creates a romantic atmosphere right from the porch to inside the home.
Porch swings are some of the few remaining objects of love and bonding that can make you forget your smartphone for a few hours of conversations with loved ones.
But poorly installed porch swings can ruin those special moments through accidents or damage to the house. Knowing how to keep the porch swing from hitting the home is crucial.
This guide provides everything you need to know about installing a safe porch so you can enjoy its benefits for a long time.