A hammock can be a great way to make the most of your limited space on your small balcony. You can take it down when you need extra space or move it around as needed. How do you hang it up?
To hang a hammock on a small balcony, you will need to decide where you will hang the hammock first, whether it’s from the railings or the walls. Then, you will need to gather your hammock hanging hardware like a drill, screws, and a stud finder.
Hanging a hammock is a simple process, even if you have limited space for it. Let’s take a look at how to hang one.
Determine Where to Hang the Hammock With Math
Think about how a hammock works for a second. It hangs loosely when nothing is in it. When you lay down or sit on it, your weight causes the hammock to push down, bringing you closer to the floor.
You don’t want to lay on the floor. You want to be suspended. With some simple math, you can determine the proper placement of the hangers. Of course, you don’t have to use math if you don’t want to, but doing so will allow you to take the guessing work out of hammock hanging.
The Hammock Hang Calculator is a great place to start unless you want to do the math yourself. It shows a labeled image that displays all of the information you input so you can easily interpret the results. The calculator is meant to help you estimate how to hang it, so it might not give accurate results sometimes.
Begin with entering the distance between two trees, or, in your case, the distance between the two areas of the wall or railings you want to hang your hammock.
Next, enter the ridgeline length or the length of the entire hammock into the calculator. As shown in the image, the ridgeline length is the length of the material you lay in. This isn’t counting the ropes that connect the hammock to the trees or walls.
The preferred sit height is how far off the ground you want to be when you lay in the hammock. So, if you want to be a foot off the ground, you will put 12 inches into the calculator. The calculator also works with the metric system, if that’s what you would prefer to use.
The next two steps are entering how much weight will be in the hammock and at what angle the hammock will hang from. These two numbers are important for knowing how high to hang the hammock.
Locate the Wall Studs
If you hang the hammock from the wall, you will need to locate the studs. The studs are boards inside the wall that are usually about 2 feet apart from each other. When you hang something heavy on the wall, you should put the nail, screw, or bolt in the middle of the stud for maximum support. If you don’t put it in the stud, you risk the object falling out of the wall.
It’s especially important to use studs when hanging up a hammock since one or two people will be on it at a time. A hammock will likely fall out of the wall if it isn’t on a stud.
Finding studs is a simple process. There are two basic ways to find studs: manually and electronically.
Finding Studs Manually
- Look for raised and sunken areas on the wall. Using a light will be able to help you find them easier. Windows should have studs on each side of them, which is a simple starting point when you’re searching for them. Sometimes the wall trims are secured to the studs.
- Tap the walls. Tap gently with a hammer or with your knuckles. Studs will have a solid sound. The space between the studs will sound hollow.
- Mark the studs. Studs are typically 16 or 24 inches (41 or 61cm) apart. When you think you have found a stud, mark it and measure to see if you find another one.
- Test the stud. Hammer a nail into the wall where you think a stud is. If it’s harder to get into the wall, then you have found a stud.
Finding Studs Electronically
- Calibrate the stud finder. Not all models need to be calibrated, but be sure to do so if it’s necessary.
- Move the stud finder across the wall. The system will signal when it finds a stud. It should signal when it finds both ends of the stud, so you will have to measure to be able to find the center.
Gather Your Tools: Screw Eyes, Carabiners, S-Hooks, etc.
The tools you need will depend on what hammock you use and how you’re hanging it. If you’re going to hang it from two poles or rails, you might only need some rope. If you’re going to put it in the wall, you will need screw eyes, carabiners, a drill, and possibly some S-hooks and J-hooks.
The easiest method to hang a hammock in the wall requires the following tools:
- Screw eyes: These are hung in the ceiling or the wall.
- Carabiners: A simple way to attach the hammock to the screw eye. You can easily unhook and remove them from the screw eyes. If you need to move your hammock often, this might be the best choice.
- S-hooks: You can use these instead of carabiners if you prefer them. They also attach the hammock to the screw eye, but they don’t clasp shut.
- Chain link: Similar to a carabiner, a single chain link will screw closed. It’s simple to remove, but you will have to unscrew it every time you want to remove it. If you hang the hammock up high, some people might have difficulty taking it down.
The hammock you bought will likely have hanging tools with it or a recommendation. You can follow those guidelines instead, if you don’t want to use a screw eye and one of the three attachment pieces listed above.
For alternative methods, you can rely on a rope or a hammock stand to hang your hammock. A rope is a less permanent option which might be best for apartment-dwellers. Hammock stands are often too big for small balconies, but you might be able to find one that fits your area.
Hang the Hammock
Once your hanging pieces are in place, you can hang the hammock. If you use the method above, hanging the hammock will look like this:
- Attach a fastener (carabiner, S-hook, or chain link) to each end of the hammock.
- Attach the fasteners to the screw eyes.
- Lay in the hammock and relax.
Hanging the hammock is the easiest step. If you have any uncertainty about how stable it is, test it out by placing a couple of heavy objects in the hammock. It’s not recommended that these objects exceed your weight or the recommended maximum weight that the hammock might specify.
Hanging a hammock is a simple process and doesn’t require too many tools. You need to have a basic understanding of wall studs and how to find them. Other than that, it doesn’t require too much expertise. It should only take an hour to install the hardware if even that. If you choose a method that will allow you to easily remove your hammock, you can remove it when you have guests over so you can make the most of your balcony space.