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What to Do When Your Porch Swing is Crooked

What to Do When Your Porch Swing is Crooked

Being able to sit on a porch swing outside is very relaxing, but this experience can be ruined if you are always sliding to one side or tipping backward. If. your porch swing isn’t level, it can be hard to enjoy it! So how can you fix your crooked porch swing?

Porch swings are commonly crooked due to poor installation. A crooked porch swing can also be caused by the frame not being built properly. If the swing is freestanding, it can be fixed by leveling the frame. If it is hung from the house and is still crooked, there is little that can be done.

So, let’s discuss some things you can do to make your relaxation time even better. There may not always be much that you can do to fix your porch swing, but hopefully, we can give you a few tips.

Proper Installation

Making sure that your porch swing is properly installed is the most important part of making sure your porch swing is not crooked. Most porch swings these days come ready to be installed. The chains are set to the same length, and you have the instructions on how to get started. Even with these tools at your disposal, it can be tricky to get it right.

We’ll cover the steps that are essential for proper swing setup. We’ll also cover some of the more awkward installation situations you might run into.

Chains vs. Ropes

One of the biggest choices is to decide whether or not you want a swing with ropes or a porch swing with metal chains. Both can work well when it comes to supporting the weight of the swing and the weight of whoever will sit on it. Most people decide to go with metal chains because they tend to do well with the outdoor exposure that they are exposed to.

If you decide to go with rope, you need to make sure that the rope is at least 3/4 inches thick. If it isn’t at least that thick, you can get really hurt. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you can end up falling or going down with the swing.


Once you’ve decided on what kind of swing you want and whether you want to have chains or rope, you need to figure out the spacing. This is crucial — not only so you enjoy swinging back and forth, but also for the weight distribution that needs to happen. According to Home Depot, you will want at least 48 inches of space between the back of the swing and the house. This makes sense because you don’t want to have to fix the siding of your house if the wind is blowing too hard.

It is also important to have 14-16 inches of side clearance. You don’t want to put your swing at the very edge of the porch since it will make the house look slightly off-kilter. You also don’t want it too close to the front door, since your clumsy relatives or friends might find themselves running into it. Leaving space on the side also reduces the risk of the swing knocking into guardrails.

Spacing also plays a big part when you install the hooks, screws, or eye bolts to the underpinnings of the house. You want them to be spread out enough so that the weight can be distributed evenly. Whatever you decide to use, the hardware must be placed 2-4 inches away from where the swing is going to hang. This will ensure that the length of the chain is going to be even. You will also want to make sure that your swing is hung so that it is hanging 17-19 inches above the deck.

We wrote a full guide on porch swing spacing and how to keep it from hitting your house, so if you’re curious please check it out.


It is also important that you hang your swing on the joists that run perpendicular to the house. This will ensure that your swing is hung parallel to the side of your house. The joists are the strongest area you can anchor your swing to. You want to find joists that are either 2×6 feet in length or 2×8 feet in length. You can also use 4×4’s to add support to the joists and the distribution of the weight of the swing.

If you have a deck, we wrote about how you can also hang it from the underside of the deck joists.

Crooked Frame

Sometimes, even when you properly install your porch swing, it will still be crooked. This is because the frame has been built unevenly. No matter how you lengthen or shorten the chains, your porch swing is still going to be at a constant tilt. Unfortunately, there are no solutions for fixing this. In some cases, the porch swing that you have purchased has simply been poorly made.

The best thing that you can do is to make sure that your swing has been properly installed. If it hasn’t been properly installed, you’ll need to take it down and reinstall it correctly. After that point, you are simply forced to choose between dealing with a crooked porch swing or getting a new one.

If you’d like to learn more, we cover this and more things in our porch swing reference guide.

Freestanding Swings

If you have a freestanding swing, it is much easier to fix the problem. This is where you are going to see the most problems with the frame being built incorrectly. Because it is freestanding, it has to have a frame that will support its weight. If it is built unevenly, your porch swing will be crooked.

Your first instinct might be to adjust the length of your rope or chain. However, that won’t fix the problem; your swing is going to continue to be crooked. This is because the problem is with the frame that is supporting the swing and not the swing itself. So, you have to go to the root of the problem. Obviously, you can’t just put your freestanding swing on a raised surface; the problem is just going to continue.

The best thing to do is to dig a hole for one side of the frame. After lowering it in the hole, you’ll want to make sure that your swing is level. How deep it will need to be will depend on how crooked your frame is. Make sure that you measure each side first so you will know which side needs to be leveled out. After the process is done, you can once again sit on your swing and enjoy a nice view. 

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