How to Securely Install a Hanging Chair

This article was originally published on Domino.

Whether you have an of-the-moment rattan hanging chair, hanging seat, or a modern ring seat, we'll show you the proper way to install it from a porch ceiling or a tree branch so you can safely lounge all summer long.

A reminder: Always follow the instructions that come with your swing. Our hanging suggestions are an additional resource.

The Basics: How to Hang a Chair from a Ceiling

Things you will need:

  • A hanging chair
  • Hanging hardware. If your chair did not come with hanging hardware, you will need an ⅜-inch eye screw that can hold at least 300 pounds with thread at least 4-inches long.
  • Two quick link chain connectors, S-hooks, or locking carabiners depending on your preference. All must be able to support at least 300 pounds.
  • Electric drill
  • Provided chains or rope. If your chair did not come with this, use heavy-duty galvanized chain, pre-measured. The chair should sit about 3 to 4 feet off the ground. Measure from the ceiling to the chair's attachment ring, lifted to its desired height off the floor, to find the length of chain you need.

If you prefer rope to galvanized metal chains, here's what you should know:

  • Select a rope that's at least ¾-inch in diameter and can hold at least 300 pounds.
  • Manila is a great choice if you want a natural-fiber rope since it's both outdoor-friendly and long-lasting.
  • Marine-grade braided nylon, polyester, or polypropylene rope are other options that stand up to the outdoor elements.
  • Determine how long your ropes need to be so that the bottom of the chair hangs three to four feet off the ground and then add an extra foot for tying knots. You can adjust the length of the rope or cut off excess rope later if needed.

Step 1:

Locate a ceiling joist in your desired location that is at least 2 x 6-inches to ensure it can support the weight of the chair and person sitting in it. If your porch ceiling is covered, use a stud finder to locate a joist, which are typically horizontal ceiling supports. If you're using a stud finder, mark both sides of the joist and then mark between the two lines to find the center point. This is where the chair will hang from.

Choose a spot that allows for at least three feet of space behind the swing and at least 14 inches on either side to prevent hitting a wall or railing.

If your joist isn't big enough or you're worried about the strength, you can reinforce it with beams, but this might be a job for a professional if you're a beginner DIYer.

Step 2:

Drill a pilot hole about 3-inches deep into the center mark on the joist. Make sure that the drill bit you use is smaller than the width of the eye screw.

Step 3:

Install the eye screw into the pilot hole carefully to ensure the wood does not split. Twist until all of the threading is no longer visible on the screw. Wedge a screwdriver through the eye if you need help tightening.

Step 4:

Attach an S-hook or locking carabiner to the eye screw.

Step 5:

Attach one end of the rope to the chair's hanging device and the other end of the rope to the S-hook or carabiner at the eye screw. There are different ways of doing this depending on the type of chair, often knots and carabiners are used. Follow the instructions given with your chair.

If your chair did not come with instructions:

  • Create a basic double bowline knot at the top and bottom of the rope to create two loops.
  • Attach one loop to the S-hook or carabiner at the eye screw.
  • Attach a carabiner to the bottom rope loop and clip it again onto the chair's hanging ring and lock it closed.