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Securing a porch swing

Posted by Bruce M on August 20th, 1998 09:52 PM
In reply to Porch Swing by Jeremy Venenga on August 19th, 1998 08:13 PM [Go to top of thread]

1 of 1 people found this post helpful

Hi Jeremy

You are right in trying to find your main rafters in your porch roof.....else you find out the hard way that there's not enough support in what you might otherwise have put your screws into....

You say horizontal....not sure what you mean. Normally, on a porch with, say, an 6 to 10 foot overhang, the rafters go from the ledger board against the house out to the weight bearing header (or double header)...usually 2X8's or 2X10's nailed together, that are supported by porch posts. A couple of framing options could have occured....the rafters are 3 to 4 feet apart (on center or OC) with 2X4 perlins in between them (at right angles and usually 2 feet on center) or the rafters are 16 inches to 2 feet on center by themselves. Assuming you have a 3/4" tongue and groove or lap joint panel ceiling, the easiest way to find where the rafters are is to find the nail heads. If not that way, you may have to get an electronic stud finder with the 'thick wall' stud finder option, which allows the stud finder to penetrate thick plaster or wooden walls/panels.

However, even when you do find the rafters, that may not be enough to support the 'live load" of the porch swing. By that, I mean the weight of the swing assembly (probably about 100 lbs) plus two large adults (at say 200 lbs each) = 500 pounds.....too much for a single 2X8 or so rafter. So what you might try is to run two 2X6's flat at right angles to three of the rafters, using lag bolts to hold this securely to these rafters and then putting your porch swing bolts into these secured 2X6's. Another option is to put 2X6's on each side of the swing from under the supporting rafter to the porch deck (making sure its supported under the porch). This will easily carry the 'live load' of the porch swing.

Just a couple of thoughts


Bruce M

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