Swing set in covered patio

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by alfonsocp, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. Jul 3, 2017 #1

    alfonsocp

    alfonsocp

    alfonsocp

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    Thinking in hanging a swing from a covered area at the back of our garage. See photos attached. The swing would go parallel to the main bean, attached with screw eyes, between the column at the middle and the doors at the back. It is a small swing - 49in wide.

    Wondering if the structure is sound for this. My worry is not so much the beam, but the columns. They are just 4x4s and seem to be standing on the concrete, no ground anchoring! Not sure if it is enough for this...

    Thank you in advance!

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  2. Jul 3, 2017 #2

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    I would hang a swing from it and not worry. Half the front porches around here have one hanging from the ceiling joists and they are fine. Get a heavy duty eye hook and drill a pilot hole so you know you are in a solid beam and not just the trim. If you hit air move over a inch and try again. If you hit air twice take the trim down so you can see what is up there.
     
  3. Jul 3, 2017 #3

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

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    You should be able to confirm whether the columns are anchored. Maybe just give one a nudge and see if it moves a little. You could always add an anchoring plate if needed.
    It certainly looks like the beam is beefy enough for your swing, but I would drill a test hole to see how much wood is up there before I invested in the swing.
     
  4. Jul 3, 2017 #4

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

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    For a "porch glider" it shouldn't be a problem, however there is a reason that playground swings are an "A" frame and your structure would collapse with that action.
     
  5. Jul 3, 2017 #5

    alfonsocp

    alfonsocp

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    Thank you All for the responses!! Sorry was not clear - this is indeed for a "porch glider" as Snoonyb mentioned. So no heavy swinging is expected.

    slownsteady - I gave a small nudge to the 4x4. I felt a small vibration. Did not try very hard though... I also took a closer look and it just looks like the 4x4s are over the concrete, that's it. If anchored it has to be from right underneath the column. Is that even common?

    Yes I'll try pilot holes to make sure I get to the solid beam. Thank you for the suggestions!!
     
  6. Jul 3, 2017 #6

    slownsteady

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  7. Jul 3, 2017 #7

    Snoonyb

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    It's a very common practice to drill a post and fit it over something that was either set into or doweled into the concrete to restrain motion.

    It was as common in the past, as it is now the practice to employ any number of different styles of post bases.

    Aesthetics, not structural, are a driving influence, in many decisions.
     
  8. Jul 4, 2017 #8

    alfonsocp

    alfonsocp

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    Hi Snoonyb - Thanks! Very interesting. I went back and hit the post at different heights. It kind of vibrates more from the middle than the bottom or the top. So it is indeed possible it is fitted over something... It feels solid in any case, so will try to just screw to the beam and test the swing. I can add the slownsteady' retrofit base if it does not feel safe...

    Thank you!
     
  9. Jul 4, 2017 #9

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    You could always anchor the posts with a galvanized angle bracket at the floor. More of a concern is the joint between the post and the beam. Lot's of times that is just a few toenails.
     
  10. Jul 4, 2017 #10

    Snoonyb

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    Vibration is an indicator of tension from compression loading, so after you have the porch glider up, pay attention to both the top and bottom post connections and the header.

    The post to header connection, as neal mentioned, may display loosened nails and the bottom of the post may show signs of wood separation caused by the increased load.
     
  11. Jul 5, 2017 #11

    Wuzzat?

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    With two heavy people swinging, see if there's movement at the top of the posts at right angles to the path of the swing. You could use a stepladder with a horizontal stick close to the beam tops and watch how the gap between the stick end and the post changes.

    IDK how much movement is excessive. More importantly, does this movement get larger with time?

    You can always add a brace or gusset plate to make the beam top more rigid.

    For your eyehook the pullout or pullthrough or pullover forces for screw sizes into different types of wood are on the Web. For 300 lbs total non-moving load I'd have each of two screws take at least 600 lbs pullout.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  12. Jul 5, 2017 #12

    alfonsocp

    alfonsocp

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    Thank you All! It makes sense. I will pay attention to both the top and bottom post connections when I test the swing. I will remove the trim that covers the joint between the column and the beam and leave it open for a while to watch out for anything suspicious...

    Wuzzat - I read somewhere 1/2in diameter screw eyes with threaded shank at least 4 inches long should do it. Will confirm how much pullout force that would withstand..
     
  13. Jul 5, 2017 #13

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Into fir. . .into hardwoods are a whole 'nother story.

    What I did when there is personal safety involved is to have another short length of chain/rope/whatever in parallel.
    If the primary support fails the users in this case get a jolt but they don't land on their butts.
     
  14. Jul 5, 2017 #14

    Sparky617

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    You might want to go a little heavier duty than an eye bolt. I used something like these to hang a swing under my deck. I had them leftover after I dismantled the swing set my kids used when they were young. I had picked it up used and moved it twice. So when it was time to get rid of it, I recycled the wood into mountain bike bridges and saved the hardware.

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/PlayStar-Metal-Swing-Hanger/3661214
     
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  15. Jul 5, 2017 #15

    Snoonyb

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    Keep in mind the length of the eye bolt and remember that you loose 3/4" in the width of the trim when computing the penetration and pull-out.

    Also when you pull the trim around the post to header connection you should be able to tell if the header is dimensional lumber or was composed of pieces of 2X lumber melded together.

    Dimensional lumber will measure 3.5", and a composed header will probably only measure 3".

    Driving a threaded bolt, centered, into a composed header stands the possibility of causing separation of the header elements. The cure would be additional fasteners to pull the header elements back together.

    The hangers referenced by sparky are another alternative for composed headers, and are typical of playground equipment found in schools and parks and lagscrews can be substituted for those packaged.
     
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  16. Jul 5, 2017 #16

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    With 8 fasteners you may have a "graceful failure" where the users sense that something is wrong.

    "Tested and rated to 350 lbs.; actual weight limit according to ASTM standards is 105 lbs. maximum"
    implies a safety factor of 350/105 equals about 3.5. The industry wide factor shown on the Hillman Hardware site was 4, I think.

    The fasteners for very heavy chandeliers that could land on someone have a lot higher safety factor.

    But, you could always just count bodies. . .
    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q="tombstone+agency"&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  17. Jul 5, 2017 #17

    nealtw

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    The more I look at this the less I like it. The amount of damage that would happen with a small failure. Never mind the person on the swing or near by.

    The beam is just to wobbly on the posts and may even be joined over the second post.
     
  18. Jul 5, 2017 #18

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    It is a lot safer to toss a rope over an old tree limb and tie a tire to it and put your kid in it and give them what we used to call an (Under Duck).

    I did mention half the houses in town have a porch swing here most are hung from two clothes line hooks screwed into ceiling joists. But on second thought those were all hung up just after WW2.
     
  19. Jul 6, 2017 #19

    slownsteady

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    I'm with sparky on this one. i used a "standard" eye bolt to replace an old one, hung my Air Chair on it, and it just a short time I could see the bolt starting to wear. In addition, it made a horrible grinding noise when I swung in the chair.
     
  20. Jul 6, 2017 #20

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

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    Besides which, were you to double them, at each suspension point, and suspend your porch glider from a "Y" configuration, there shouldn't be a weight concern.
     

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