Purchasing a swing set takes time and research to make sure you are selecting the right model for your family. If you’re shopping for wooden playground sets online, you’ll want to be confident you know what you’re getting before clicking the “Check Out" button. To help make your online shopping experience a success, we’re sharing our industry expertise on playsets and backyard playgrounds.
Evaluate Your Property before Choosing a Playground Set
Before comparing specific playset models, be sure to evaluate your property and determine the type of swing set it can safely accommodate. Items to consider include:
1. How much space do I need for the swing set?
- Keep in mind the proper safety zone precautions: we recommend at least 6 ft. of open space around the entire swing set
2. What is the safest surface for underneath the swing set?
- Rubber mulch is the safest surface option for underneath swing sets. Unlike wood mulch, rubber mulch lasts a lifetime. It has great drainage, does not attract insects and only require a 3” depth. Wooden mulch requires twice the depth and needs to be replaced annually.
3. How big of a playground set do I need for my child?
- The amount of space you have in your backyard will help you figure out how large of a set you need. Determine what activities are most important. Monkey bars, for example, are a play set add-on that will require additional space.
- Also, having an idea of the number of children that are going to be playing on the set will help you determine a play set size. A standard swing set – that includes one clubhouse, three swings and a slide – can generally accommodate 2 to 4 children, ages 2 to 12. If you are looking to provide a play area for more children you can consider adding an extra clubhouse or an additional slide.
- The age range of children playing on the swing set will also help you to determine the ideal size of your play set. Play decks and swing beam heights can vary to accommodate younger and older children, as can clubhouse sizes and inside standing height. If you are looking to play on the swing set with your children consider a model that is constructed for adults and kids, and allows for a taller tent top or wood roof so you won’t struggle to stand up inside the clubhouse.
4. Do I want a metal, vinyl or wood swing set?
- If wood, what type of wood is the best option?
- Cedar or redwood is proven to be highly durable, yet cost effective and is naturally resistant to rot and insect damage.
After answering these questions, it is safe to begin looking around on the Internet at the different brands and swing set product offerings.
Investigate the Playset Details
Once you’ve identified a few swing set options that seem to fit your family’s needs, it’s time to give your potential purchase a deeper look. Here is a list of things to consider as you decide which playset to buy online.
1. Take a closer look at the photos and videos found on the website
2. Search around for any reviews of the swing set or the swing set manufacturer
- Brand YouTube Channels - product unboxing or set up videos
- Tour around any social pages the brand may have (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and search for comments or reviews the manufacturer may have.
- Look at the “About Us” section on the company’s website to learn more about their brand.
3. Read the fine print of the seller’s company policy
- What is the return policy?
- What are the manufacturer/retailer warranty terms and conditions?
Playset Concerns and Future Maintenance
1. Examine safety features of the swing set
- Double check to make sure the hardware is recessed. Exposed hardware causes potential dangers for the children playing on the swing set.
- Be sure the hardware is heavy-duty to prevent easy wear.
- Check the description mentions there are rounded corners and no sharp edges.
- Make sure the wood comes pre-sanded and stained on all six sides to prevent future splintering.
2. Check out any installation videos the company has available to assist you in the swing set assembly process.
3. In regards to the long-term aspects of your swing set, are you able to substitute any of the pieces when your child is older?
- Does the swing set you are interested in allow you to switch out the original slide with a more advanced slide?
- Is it possible to change out a regular swing for a tire swing later on?
- Can you add additional activities to make the play set more challenging and fun?
4. Is there future maintenance to consider, such as hardware replacement, sanding, staining, etc.?
For additional tips on finding the right playground set for your back yard, check out our swing set buying guide. If you have any questions as you begin your research, please contact our Customer Service team. We’d love to hear from you!