I have a 12' deep by 46' wide porch off the front of my house.

The porch rafters are 2x6 8" OC with 2x4 laid flat on the bottom sides of every other joist.

My wife would like to hang a porch swing, but I'm concerned that a single bolt through a 2x6 (one for each side of the swing) will not be supported enough.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to do this?

detail of underside of porch roof

long view of house and porch

overview of porch roof construction

porch roof corner construction detail

  • Are you sure those are actually 8" on center, not 16"?
    – FreeMan
    Aug 23, 2021 at 12:06
  • What's the purpose of the flat 2x4s?
    – jay613
    Aug 23, 2021 at 19:07
  • Yes, the 2x6's are 8" OC.
    – JosephNY
    Aug 24, 2021 at 13:37
  • The flat 2x4's serve 2 purposes: (1) Add stiffness and strength to the 2x6 joists and (2) create a "drop" ceiling so the electrical inspector can pass it as is, without needing to drill holes through the 2x6's (and weaken them every so slightly) to run the wires.
    – JosephNY
    Aug 24, 2021 at 13:39

1 Answer 1



Attach a 2x6 flat across the rafters and use oversized eye hooks and washers to secure into the flat board.

If the porch swing will be perpendicular to the rafters then attach a 2x6 perpendicularly on the rafters which is 2-4 feet longer than the porch swing. Attach it using 2 screws per joist.

Now attach eye hook bolts to the flat 2x6 using oversized washers and double the nut to prevent unthreading.

If your porch swing is planned to run parallel with the rafters then attach 2 shorter 2x6 boards perpendicular to the the rafters and attach eye hook bolts.

Paint it white and it will be practically invisible once the shiplap ceiling goes around the board(s).

If you want it to be more invisible from the get-go then you could attach a 2x6 between the rafters and secure it using metal brackets. My concern would be whether two 2x6 rafters will be able to sufficiently withstand a fully loaded porch swing.

  • Attach the 2x6 directly to the rafters, not to those 2x4s that are nailed on, and use suitable screws. You can hide the end-grain of this board by making it about 8 inches longer at each end (first, "longer" as instructed in this answer, then 8 inches longer still) and beveling the last 8 inches down to the thickness of the ceiling boards. No screws in the beveled ends, they are decoration.
    – jay613
    Aug 23, 2021 at 19:17
  • 1
    @jay613 Actually, if you cut away sections of flat 2x4 to make room for the flat 2x6 then that actually solves the issue of needing to paint it because it will be hidden behind the shiplap.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 23, 2021 at 20:04
  • Ooh, this is exciting. So, attach 2x6 flat against the bottom of the rafters (having cut away enough of the flat 2x4 to fit the 2x6 directly against the rafter) and running perpendicular to the rafters? Then, eye bolts through the flat 2x6 (through the 1.5" depth of the 2x6)? That will mean the 2x6 with the eye bolts will be secured to many 2x6 rafters (with structural screws) and the swing chain/cable will be attached the eye bolts through the 1.5" depth of those new 2x6, right? This will be capable of holding a 3 or 4 person swing without developing sag over time?
    – JosephNY
    Aug 24, 2021 at 13:45
  • @JosephNY The rafters shouldn't sag since you're distributing the weight across so many of them. Add in the fact that they're 8" on-center and I can't imagine a force powerful enough to make that roof sag. If you're worried about the flat 2x6 sagging then you can add a short 2x6 above the main 2x6 and between the rafters and secure it using metal corner brackets that have a reinforced corner. Once you have your 2x6 sandwich then send the eye bolt through both.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 24, 2021 at 14:46
  • @JosephNY Also, since your rafters are sloped you should consider countering that angle so that the washer and nut don't bite into the wood easily. Hopefully my paint skillz are sufficient =) i.sstatic.net/jZ1F6.png
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 24, 2021 at 14:53

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