Recently purchased home and saw existing eye lag screw or bolt coming from front porch ceiling. Rolled the dice (hoping for bolt + reinforcement), did not remove vinyl ceiling to inspect carpentry. Installed swing and it failed with 2 people. Eye lag screw was inserted directly into joist.

Would like reinforce joists to ensure 700lbs load from swing. My idea is to install 4x4s across the joists using hangers/braces, but the rafter is in the way such that the hanger will not be flush against the joist. Question 1) Is there a hanger/bracket for this situation? Question 2) Is my idea a good one?

Also the joists are 2 feet apart - Question 3) is that too much space? Maybe I need to install another joist in between so the distance is only 1 foot.

I appreciate any help with this project.

project overview

  • It's not clear how the setup failed nor what problem you're trying to solve. From the looks of it the eye bolt just pulled out because of the rocking motion. If that's the case just use the same anchor points but different hardware. You need something with a built-in swivel and double lag screws, or you need to mount to the side of the framing instead of from below.
    – isherwood
    Oct 23, 2017 at 1:52
  • Thanks for the feedback. I suspect the setup failed because the eye lag screw (not a bolt) pulled right through. The load + swinging motion on the threads was too much and it simply pulled through. I'm hesitant to use the same anchor points because I want something more sturdy than the single 2x6 joist. My idea was inspired by this youtube vid: youtube.com/watch?v=HMGRk-tA9go&t=450
    – Paul
    Oct 23, 2017 at 22:24

3 Answers 3


Every thing is cool except you cannot screw into the bottom of the joist. Drill a hole horizontal through the side of it, near the middle, and use an eye bolt instead of an eye screw. Use minimum of 7/16" bolt diameter. Nut is up real tight on both sides and swing to your hearts content.


I ended up custom making metal brackets that wrap around the rafter and joist. Then fastened and eye bolt to the bottom of the bracket. Similar set up on the other side. Works well so far!

Custom metal bracket

  • Welcome back to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; if you think it's the best (even if it's your own question) then click the check mark. Otherwise, feel free to check someone else's answer if they're the best. Feb 13, 2019 at 2:36

This is probably not what you're looking for, but it might give you ideas. I used a double joist (2x6's, but whatever), with a steel plate across the top, and a long 1/2" bolt through the plate, descending between the joists and through the ceiling. On the bottom, I screwed a 1/2" threaded coupling 1, locking the bolt/ceiling/joists solid. For the swing, I just screw an eye-bolt into the other end of the coupling.

I'd post a picture, but this was back before there were cameras.

1 I didn't use furring strips. so the tightened coupling was pulling the ceiling right against the joist. With furring strips, you'd need some backing there.

A picture of the below-ceiling part: enter image description here

  • Interesting idea. I understand the two joints, plate on top, and a bolt through the plate descending down between the two joists. I'm having trouble visioning the bottom (apologies - newbie here). The thread coupling is attached to the bottom of the bolt? If so, I don't see how this locks the bolt/ceiling/joists solid. Sounds like the bolt has some movement between the joists.
    – Paul
    Oct 23, 2017 at 23:23
  • The coupling screws onto the bolt, like a nut. So, everything between it and the top plate is squeezed together. I added a picture of the coupling.
    – George
    Oct 24, 2017 at 2:53

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