Pergolas and hammocks are two of the most beautiful and useful additions you can add to a backyard. On one hand, both are highly effective in that they provide shade and a relaxing seating area. On the other hand, they complement any natural scenery to make your yard look beautiful. If you have a small yard, though, you might feel like you don’t have enough space for both.
Can you hang a hammock from a pergola? Yes! You can hang a hammock from a pergola if it is strong enough to handle your weight, which most are design for. There are ways that you can add additional support to the pergola to make it safe and strong enough for the hammock.
In this article, we are going to tell you exactly how to do it. This includes how to hang a hammock from a pergola, how much weight a pergola can hold, and additional things to remember in the process. Let’s get started.
How Do You Hang a Hammock on a Pergola?
A pergola is a structure you place outside. It includes columns that provide ample support for the beams in the rafters of the roof. Pergolas can either be freestanding or attached to a house. Because pergolas include columns and roofs, they are much stronger than traditional arbors.
Because of the extra support on the pergola, you can easily hang a hammock on it. It is best to go with a strong pergola, however. The last thing you want is to hang the hammock on a pergola that is lightweight and unable to handle your weight.
1. Check the Weight Capacity
The first thing you need to do when hanging a hammock on a pergola is to check the weight capacity. As we will learn later, most pergolas can handle about 300 pounds. Confirm exactly how much weight your pergola can handle before attaching any hammocks to ensure a safe hammocking experience.
Unless you have a really lightweight pergola that is used for decoration entirely, the pergola should be strong enough to handle a hammock and a person inside the hammock. Still, confirm the weight just to be on the safe side.
2. Select the Location for the Hammock
After confirming that your pergola is strong enough to handle a hammock, select the location for the hammock. It’s best to select columns that are about 12 feet apart. If you are using anchor points (which we recommend), it is best for the columns to be 14 feet apart.
If two columns that are directly across from one another are too close for the hammock, try to angle it diagonally. This will add more space. In most cases, this will work perfectly.
In addition to the length, you also should determine the height of the hammock. Depending on who you ask, some people say you should place the hammock 4 to 5 feet off the ground, whereas others recommend it being 6 to 8 feet off the ground if a spreader bar is not used.
Simply go with whatever seems best for your height and who will be using the hammock the most. For example, if your kids want the hammock, you will want to place it closer to the ground.
3. Add the Anchors
It is recommended to anchor the hammock down if you are using it on a pergola. This will make it a great option for permanent use. Select heavy-duty anchors and add them to the pergola columns. Read the instructions for the anchors you select.
We recommend selecting ½ inch diameter eyebolts. Make sure not to select eye screws on accident. Eyebolts must be completely drilled into the post, making the hammocking experience much safer.
Remember to place the anchors in the correct position. This means installing them on the right columns, as well as in the correct height based on who will be using the hammock the most.
We recommend installing your hammock with a heavy duty hammock hanging kit like this one with anchors.
4. Attach the Hammock
Finally, the last thing you need to do is attach the hammock to the anchors. At this point, your hammock is thoroughly attached to the pergola and can be safely used.
Before letting children get on it, we recommend testing the hammock out for yourself. This will ensure that you did everything correctly so as not to put your children at risk. If you feel that the pergola is buckling under the weight, you may need to add additional support in the form of metal bars or wooden posts.
How Much Weight Can a Pergola Hold?
How much weight a pergola holds depends entirely on the pergola you select. Most pergolas have the ability to hold 300 pounds. This weight rating is strong enough to handle most people and hammocks. In fact, a 300-pound capacity is even capable of holding a wooden swing.
Of course, certain pergolas can handle more or less weight. For example, pergolas that are freestanding and relatively small will likely handle very little weight, especially if the ceiling is made from a simple lattice. Pergolas that are attached to a home, in contrast, may be able to handle more than 300 pounds.
The easiest way to find out how much weight your pergola can stand is to check the manufacturing instructions if your pergola came with it. This will likely tell you outright exactly how much weight the pergola is capable of handling.
Things to Remember
If you are attaching a hammock to a pergola, chances are you want it to be as safe and attractive as possible. Beyond the basics that we have already discussed, there are a couple of things you should remember as well.
For example, you might want to be selective about the hammock you add to the pergola. Pergolas in and of themselves are really attractive, whereas some hammocks are ugly but functional. Select a knit hammock or some other hammock type that is attractive and matches the decor of the pergola and yard.
If you expect to take the hammock on and off the pergola, you might want to select hooks that are easier to remove. As you select these hooks, still make sure they offer the same strength and durability as more permanent hooks for the hammock.
Finally, don’t forget about the finishing touches. If the hammock is used for decorative purposes, especially if it has a bar, consider adding pillows and other decorative items to the hammock. This will create a much more picturesque and scenic look. Not to mention, it will make the hammock more comfortable for use.
If you want to add a hammock to a pergola, you are in luck. Most pergolas are designed to handle at least 300 pounds of weight. Because of this fact, you should be able to hang a hammock on your pergola for both aesthetic and functional reasons.
The only time you should not add a hammock to a pergola is if the pergola was designed for appearance purposes exclusively. Other than that, you should be able to safely attach a hammock to a pergola for use. This is a super attractive and functional way to make the most of your yard.
You can add additional items, such as pillows and other decorations to make the hammock and pergola setup even more attractive and functional. It is totally up to you!