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How to determine clearance behind porch swing

Connie Jurczyk
2 months ago

I'm putting a 5' custom made porch swing on my new screened porch, hanging it against the one wall of the porch that is actually a solid wall, not a screen. I have read on porch swing websites (, etc.) that I need a minimum 12" in front of and in back of the swing. I've read 2' on other sites. Bob Vila recommends 3-4'. These are vastly different numbers!

I have a foot traffic area that I'd like to keep clear so I'm really hoping the 12" recommendation will work. I am planning to hang it from 2 hooks (with ropes, like an inverted 'V') instead of 4, because I feel it will swing a little more smoothly.

Not planning to do wild swinging! Just a nice relaxing, small, back and forth. Behide the swing is an outdoor wall with tongue and groove pine, not screen. Not that I want it to bump, but just pointing out that there is not a fragile screen back there.

Would love to know what people think is a "good enough" space behind the swing to be able to enjoy it, without using 3-4' of space behind it.

Bonus question - if anyone has tried/built a 2 hook vs. a 4 hook hanging design, I'm dying to know if the swing works differently. The few videos I've seen make it appear that the 4 hook style doesn't really swing back and forth, it just sort of moves in all directions.

Thanks all!

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