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I have a deck where the roof overhang goes out about 5-6 feet. I'd like to hang a porch swing from the roof beams. I'm looking at three person swing (similar to this model). The adults in the house weigh approx 260 lbs, so I would expect a load of no more than 600-700 lbs in total. Image of beams below.

The roof overhang is built on 2x8 beams. I am thinking that I could drill aligned holes the length of the swing (plus a beam on either side), then put a metal pipe of some type through the holes and hang the swing from that. Is this a good idea, or am I at risk of damaging the roof beams? If so, any suggestions as to how to do this?

enter image description here

  • I like the idea of a steel pipe. It would help distribute the load over multiple joists. You'd have to drill holes through all of the joists to get it in through, unless you strapped it to the bottom of the joists with 2-hole straps. – ryanwinchester Apr 19 '15 at 7:46
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The problem with the pipe idea is that unless you're going to run it at an angle, you'd never be able to get a pipe through several consecutive rafters.

You may actually be OK with lag screws - a properly installed 3/8 lag screw should provide an enormous amount of withdrawal resistance. Here's a sample chart from Masco:1

enter image description here

I wouldn't be horribly concerned about the roof members, as long as you are attaching where they have full thickness and minimize the distance of the cantilever.

Your most likely points of failure are going to be the chains (see this answer), or the hardware on the swing itself. In general, working with rated fasteners installed they way they were intended to be used is a better idea than "winging it".

Note that I have no idea of the condition or construction quality of where you intend to hang your swing to, and I am not a structural engineer.

1 Not to be taken as a product endorsement or as representative of other similar products. You will always want to check the ratings of the hardware that you actually intend to install.

  • Thanks for the awesome answer! Now I just need to find a nice padded swing (or figure out how to make one). – Erick T Apr 6 '15 at 2:34
  • At my local hardware store, all the lag screws were rated under 300 lbs, and had bright yellow stickers warning against using them to support human weight. Is there a good place to order ones that are rated higher? – Erick T May 3 '15 at 20:17

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