Houzz Logo Print

Finding Joists in Porch Ceiling for Plant Hooks

I want to install ceiling hooks in my back screened-in porch from which to hang plants. I'm having a terrible time finding the ceiling joists.

I'm planning to use Stanley 3-7/8" #4 Zinc-Plated, Round Screw Ceiling Hooks rated at 60 lbs. They seem like a better choice than toggle bolts that could rip out from the sheet rock by a heavy plant.

I don't have any way to get above the ceiling or into the attic to locate the joists. I have tried the knocking technique without any luck. I just can't differentiate the sounds very well. I have a stud finder, but it doesn't work very well on this rough semi-popcorn ceiling. (It never worked very well on my smooth walls, either.)

Do the joists run parallel or perpendicular to long side/back of the house? I'm worried that they run parallel and, if so, I will have no choice how far away from the screen to place the hook. The patio is long and narrow and I can't have plants hanging down the center.

Would the joist spacing be 24" on center, rather than the standard 16", since it is the porch?

Can I just measure our 16" or 24" out from the long side (or from the short side) in order to locate a joist?

I'm sure I am making this way too difficult, but I also don't want to end up with a million holes in the ceiling or a big mess. I would be so grateful for any help.

The back of the house and porch:

Screen door is on the far left side:

I want to install the hooks in the ceiling on the right side (screen side) of the next two photos:

Thank you SO much!

Comments (14)