Hanging a Porch Swing

I'm trying to hang a porch swing, but I'm having trouble finding a stud which I can use to hang the hook.  I've tried a stud finder, but it's not giving me a clear indication.  Any advice?

Look for even the faintest signs (sometimes are almost buried by layers of paint) of nails in the bead board ceiling. They should be into the ceiling joists above where attached (studs are verticals in walls).

When desperate, you can also always use a small bit to drill pilot holes until you feel it really hit the meat of the first joist starting approx 16 inches either from the left or right side of the porch.

They showed the solution on a recent episode of This Old House:

The finished ceiling is installed on furring strips, so the load bearing members are at least one inch behind the ceiling surface.  That's why your stud finder doesn't see them.

  1. You must take the decorative ceiling down in the area, where the swing should hang, so you can find the actual load bearing members in that area of the ceiling.  
  2. Load bearing members might not be in the right positions for the exact position you would like.  You then select one suitable anchor location, and install a 2 x 6 where needed for the second anchor, securely screwed into the nearest load bearing members. 
  3. Then, after you install the anchors, you re-install the decorative ceiling.

I can help you do it, but I am booked solid for the next 2+ weeks.  Send me a PM if you need help.

It seems to me that the solution depends on whether you are planning on hanging the swing perpendicular to the joists (which would require two joists as Tom is pointing out) or parallel in which case you only need to find one joist. I suspect this is why many folks hang the swing on the end of the porch.

Personally, they make me nervous having that much weight on a joist that could crack but that's just me. 

This is why I preferred the old-fashioned gliders like Granma had (pic).

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