Building a Covered Outdoor Swing

What You'll Need
4 - 4X4 posts
4 - 2X6s, each 10 feet long
4 - 2X6s, each at least 6 feet long
5 to 10 2X2s, each 10 feet long
Nail gun
Electric drill
Ready-mixed concrete
Galvanized carriage bolts
Galvanized 1/2-inch chain
Two eyebolts
Two carabiners

While a covered outdoor swing adds beauty to any outdoor space it can be quite expensive to purchase. This specific plan will teach you how to build an arbor roof which you can attach to any porch swing.

Step 1- Setting the Foundation

First, decide upon the size of swing you want. This example is based upon a 10X6 feet area, which is generally large enough for any porch swing. Dig holes 2 feet deep where the 4 (4X4) corner posts will go. Set the poles in ready-mixed concrete until the concrete hardens.

Step 2 - Building the Roof

Nail each of the 10 feet long 2X6s exactly 6 inches from the top of each of the posts. Nail 1 on each side so the posts are sandwiched between the 2X6s. Next, before bolting the posts, drill pilot holes in a galvanized carriage bolt on each side. Once the 4 2X6s are sandwiching your posts, rest the shorter 6 feet 2X6s on top of them going from the front of the arbor to the back. They should be flush with the top of the posts. Bolt these pieces on in the same fashion.

Step 3 - Filling in the Roof

Run the 10 feet 2X2s along the top of the frame so they fill in the roof area and run the length of the roof's 10 feet long top. Make sure they are evenly spaced and level. You can use anywhere from 5 to 10 depending on how solid you want the area to be. Once the whole project is completed you would ideally want to put some vining plants up there to make a covered canopy of plants above your swing. The more 2X2s you use, the more filled in the roof can be and the more plant weight it can support.

Step 4 - Attaching a Swing

You can use almost any kind of bench here so long as it’s strong enough to support weight while hanging. If you plan on using a real bench, cut off the legs. If you use an existing porch swing it will be a bit easier. First, anchor your 1/2-inch galvanized chain to the bench at all 4 of the bottom corners with carriage bolts. Drill 2 holes in the arms of the bench and pull the front chains up through those holes while pulling the back chains up along the back of the bench. Next, drill holes on the inner side rails of your arbor frame and then screw eyebolts into each hole. Next, pull the front and back lengths of your chain together to form a point. Secure the chains through the end link of a single length of chain. Lastly, attach these single lengths of chain to your eyebolts with carabiners.