How to Hang a Hammock on a Porch

Written By Matthew Cordero

A hammock is a great piece of furniture that fits any set up: indoors or outdoors. You can take it with you on a camping trip or make it a permanent fixture on your porch for those lazy Sunday afternoons when you want to take a nap or read a book or listen to your music in peace.

To hang a hammock on the the porch first choose the type of hammock, pick sturdy posts or ceiling joists. If you must drill holes, remember not to drill drywall. When using chains instead of ropes, secure the chains properly. Lastly, make sure to test the hammock to avoid accidents.

Hammock on the Porch

Hammocks are not just for adults. They’re an engaging way to keep the kids right on the porch where they can play their hearts out and you can easily keep an eye on them. 

With the artistry that has been injected into the making of hammocks, these have quickly become a great substitute to the likes of reclining chairs. And thanks to the growth of the outdoor industry, there are a variety of hammocks you can now buy.

Getting Started

Because not everyone has the luxury of two strong trees right in front of their house. It will take a couple of hours to hang a hammock using tools but you can do it yourself even if you have no prior experience. So let’s do this. 

Let’s understand the fairly simple names of the different parts of a hammock. This makes it easy to explain and understand the process. Most hammocks have three parts - eyes, scale line, and bed. 

The corners of the hammock with a loop are called the eyes of the hammock. The scale lines, usually made of rope, that connect the eyes to the rest of the hammock are called scale lines. The body of the hammock upon which you will rest is called the bed.

Materials and Tools

If you want the hammock to be a permanent fixture on the porch, you need some high-quality tools to install it securely. You might have to make a run to the hardware store. So let’s make a list.  

  1. 1
    To hang a hammock on a porch without trees, you will need two hammock hooks.
  2. 2
    Depending on the infrastructure of your house, you can go with ropes or chains. If you are using ropes, you need to know how to tie a good knot. With chains, you need no such knowledge. You also don’t need to worry about wear and tear with chains. So you will either need a long rope or two lengths of chain. If you are using straps, you will need a carabiner.
  3. 3
    You will also need two "S" hooks if you are using chains.
  4. 4
    Get a ladder. If the distance between your anchor posts (a substitute for trees in this case), is not much, you will need to increase the height of your hammock so that it doesn’t touch the ground. Also, if you are looking to hang a hammock chair using chains, you will need a ladder to reach the ceiling joist or beam.
  5. 5
    You will need a tape measure to determine the distance and height of your hammock. This is not required to hang a hammock chair.  
  6. 6
    Get a drill. This is for both a traditional hammock or a hammock chair.  
  7. 7
    Get a chalk or pencil to mark the drill points.
  8. 8
    You also need a stud finder so that you don’t end up hanging the hammock from a weak spot in the wall causing injury and/ or structural damage.

Hanging Your Hammock

Now for the technique. There are a few different ways to do this, depending on the infrastructure you have and the type of hammock you want to hang.

Traditional Hammocks

If you are hanging a traditional hammock, one with ropes or fabric, you need to know how to tie a knot. But before that, find two wall studs or strong wood posts or ceiling joists. The distance between the anchor posts must be a couple of feet greater than the length of your hammock. 

So, if your hammock is 14 feet long from eye to eye, the beams must be 16 feet apart. This will keep the hammock off the ground and give the bed just enough curve. You don’t want it to be flat because that looks unattractive and is also inconvenient. It also puts a lot of pressure on the anchor posts, tempting it to snap. 

The rule of thumb is to keep the ends of the hammock about four feet from the ground. Also take into account the fact that the more weight you put into the hammock, the more it will sag. Hammocks made of stretchable materials sag more than the others.  

If your hammock has straps, all you need to do is tie a basic knot on both ends, attach it to a carabiner and you are good to go. The same rule applies if you are using ropes. If you are using chains, that requires some work.

Using a stud finder, locate a wall stud in the ceiling. Do not do this on drywall. It will be catastrophic.

Find the center of the stud at the desired height and mark it with a pencil or chalk. Drill a pilot hole here. Fix the screw eyes into the hole at about ⅜-inch deep.

Now, using the heavy-duty carabiners or "S" hooks, attach the chain to the hammock ends. And you are done.

Hammock Chairs

If you are looking to hang a hammock chair on the porch, your options are still the same. You need one strong ceiling joist. But this is a lot easier. 

Get on the ladder and find a stud on the wooden beam or the ceiling. Use a stud finder to be absolutely sure. Once you find it, mark the point with a pencil or chalk. Then drill a pilot hole into it and fix the screw eyes into the hole.

After that, take out an "S" hook and attach it to the chain. Attach the other end of the chain to the hammock chair and adjust it to the desired height. Tie the chain securely and you are good to go.

Alternative Hammocks

Before you jump into the details of hanging a hammock on the porch, there are a few things to consider. Nowadays, you can buy inflatable hammocks.

All you need is a few scoops of air and it’s ready for use. You don’t even need an air pump for these. It is the easiest type of hammock. You can also deflate it and store it away or take it on a trip with you. 

Buying a hammock with a stand is another easy option for your porch, and makes your hammock portable if you decide to move it.

And Finally, Test before You Rest 

One of the most important things to do after setting up your hammock is to test it. It is very tempting to just jump into it but you should not do that for a couple of reasons.

  • Whether you did a good job or not, literally jumping into a hammock put a lot more pressure on the hardware than necessary. So you should almost never do that.
  • If you did not do a good job, that will lead to an injury and maybe even damage to the structure of the house. So instead of having a relaxed time in the hammock, you will be gearing up for an expensive repair.    

When we say test, here is a non-threatening way to do it. When you are fixing the hammock, it is a good idea to tug on the ropes or chains, or straps to see if the screws are holding up. 

Once you are finished with the fixing, you can test it by placing one arm after the other. If you are skeptical, you can do this with a pile of books or heavy water bottles in the house. Whatever you use to test the weight, be sure to keep adding it gradually until the maximum weight that you are likely to put in the hammock. If it holds, you win. 

Congratulations on your new hammock and a job well done.