Porch Swing - Is Configuration Strong Enough?

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Old 06-25-13, 08:53 AM
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Question Porch Swing - Is Configuration Strong Enough?

Greetings DIYers! I have a porch swing question and the answers will either give me more work to do or give me comfort. Here goes . . .

I have a large porch and am installing a swing. The house was built in 2008 and the porch is covered. It is constructed with 6x6 posts supporting a cross-beam (perpendicular to the house/structure; I think the beam is two 2x6s or 2x8s).

There are roof trusses every two feet, again perpendicular to the house. The trusses are constructed with a 2x4 at the base (bottom) and I think 2x6's on top and 2x4s in the web (the V's).

Each truss is attached to the house side with a joist hanger and also rests on a 2x6 that is attached to the house. On the opposite side, the trusses rest on the beams supported by the posts.

The truss span for the porch swing is about 8'. Across this span is a 1" board below the 2x4 truss base, used to attach the vinyl bead board ceiling.

To attach the porch swing eye bolts, I drilled two 1/2" holes into the center of the 2x4 base truss and through the 1" board below the base, each hole being 17" from the side of the house and the side of the post support. Into the holes I inserted 1/2" by 10" eye bolts and placed 1 1/2" washers on the top and bottom, then secured each bolt with a 3/4" nut on top. There is a 63" span between holes/eye screws for hanging the swing. So the eye bolts to hang the swing start 17" out from the side of the house - 63" out from this point is another eye bolt - and 17" from this point is the beam resting on a 6x6 post.

Thanks for reading so far! My questions are: 1) is this configuration sufficient to hold 500-600 lbs.? and 2) do you think the roof truss will twist (torque?) or fail over time/or over a short period, eventually causing collapse? That is, must I install two 2x4s on each side of the 2x4 truss base (the ones with the eye bolts through them) and secure all three 2x4s together?

I ask because I just finished replacing the vinyl bead-board ceiling after installing the above (it was a job!). I'll take the ceiling apart again if necessary, but if I can use the 2x4 truss as described above I'll leave well enough alone and keep it as-is.

Thank you!
 

Last edited by Here To Serve; 06-25-13 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 06-25-13, 11:17 AM
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The trusses are designed to carry a load on the top. Having drilled a 1/2" hole in the 2x4 has really weakened the 2x4. At least, I would attach 2x to the sides of the 2x4 that you drilled. The longer the better on the 2x. To spread the load, I would have taken 3 2x6 and made a beam (nailed and glued together, perpendicular to the rafters) on top of the lower truss 2x4. The beam would be as long as you can make it so that as many trusses as possible help to carry the load. Attach the beam to the trusses with brackets.
 
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Old 06-26-13, 06:52 PM
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A beam, solid or built-up is a good idea, but not sitting on bottom cords of trusses (rated to carry dead loads of ceiling materials- drywall/insulation only, not live/point concentrated loads). Your 2x's would need to span the whole length of the trusses and be built-up enough to carry the proposed loads using the correct structurally rated species/grade.

Gary
 
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Old 06-28-13, 06:02 AM
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Thanks gents! Sounds like I'm doing more work . . . from your comments, at least 2x4s (try to get 2x6s in the space), spanning across the porch from the house to the beam/post, bolt the three members together and secure into the house and beam on the ends. That I can handle; taking apart the bead board ceiling - now that's another thing (yick).

It's amazing how many porch swings I see that go right into the truss, using a 3" lag screw, without any other thought!

Appreciate your information!
 
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Old 06-28-13, 09:18 AM
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That's how our porch swing was originally installed, mainly because my wife didn't want to wait for me to do it right. I never sat in it, didn't want to expose it to the extra weight. After a couple years my wife and our grandson were in the swing when it fell - no one hurt, just startled. I've since removed a portion of the ceiling and hung it correctly. I no longer have any qualms about sitting in the swing
 
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Old 06-28-13, 06:07 PM
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New Findings and New Questions!

New Findings and New Questions!

So I removed the vinyl bead board ceiling on both sides of the truss where I put the eye bolts. Discovered the truss base is actually a 2x6. Also on one side of the truss it is as described above - straight trusses every 2'. But on the other side, the porch is octagonal, and the roof structure is constructed of several 2x6s or 2x8s coming from the center point on top. Three of these top beams are attached directly into the side of the base truss where I put the eye bolts. Additionally, there is a diagonal brace joined to this bass truss that is 3 2x10s combined. Here's a photo of this side (don't know if it will show; this is my first time posting a photo). Please see my proposed solution below. Note: the octagonal supports are darker in the photo, coming in from an angle at the top, while the ceiling supports are visible from the bottom.

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Here is a photo of the other side (showing both sections removed). There is actually two 2x6s already attached to the base truss for the ceiling; that is, they are split, not one piece going across (nuts).

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My thought is to run a solid 2x8 on the non-octagonal side, over the split 2x's already attached to the base, and bolt them together with the base truss. On the octagonal side, I think there is already enough support material attached to keep the base truss from twisting, but I will put a 2x8 block beside each section where the eye bolt is into the truss (essentially in these two areas the thickness will be 4 2x's). So the beam across will consist of the base truss and the newly installed 2x8, all supported by other members.

Thoughts? Will this work? Thanks!
 
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Old 06-28-13, 08:44 PM
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It's late and I'm a bit tired and can't think straight. Could you take a pic from away from the house so we can see the whole porch or draw an aerial view. I'm confused.
Thanks
 
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Old 06-29-13, 04:56 AM
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Yes. Here are two views. One from the front, the second from the side. The swing would be hanging beside the post in the first photo, to the right of the window, and facing the front/to the right. Thanks!

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Old 06-29-13, 06:34 AM
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So here's a summary: I've drilled 1/2" holes through the base of a truss; the base is a 2x6. On one side (the "square" side) of the truss are two 2x6's nailed to the truss, used as support for the vinyl beadboard ceiling; there is a 4" gap between the two going all the way across the 8' distance of the truss base.

On the opposite side of the truss there are several members of an octagonal ceiling structure attached. Three 2x6s are attached perpendicular to the truss, one 2x10 attached perpendicular (all about 1.5' apart), and one beam of three 2x8's attached at an angle. In other words, lots of wood pushing into the truss from the octagonal side.

My plan is to attach an additional 2x6 x 8' support to the "square" side of the truss, attach it with a total of eight 3/8" lag bolts+washers+nuts. To the octagonal side I will attach two blocks of wood, 2x6, next to the areas where the eye bolts are placed through the truss; these would be attached as part of the lag bolts coming from the other side. So much of the structure will be 4 2x's thick, two of them (the truss and the extra support) will span the entire 8' across.
 
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Old 06-29-13, 05:27 PM
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The final results. Yes, it's more than I wanted to do, but I feel better about the security of the swing now. Photos show new beam attached to truss spanning the 8' ceiling (first photo), and the octagonal section with blocks between the perpendicular supports. There are six 7" hex bolts and 1 1/2" washers holding the members together. I also used 6" spikes (nails) on the ends. Thanks all!

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Old 06-30-13, 11:24 AM
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Looks like you will be safely swinging soon !!
 
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