Building a backyard swingset takes a lot of planning. Before I first started looking into doing one in my yard, I had no idea where to start and how to pick the right one. There are so many options. So I asked Backyard Discovery’s Tom Reed, dad of two, to answer a few questions on how to select the right swing set for your yard.
Examiner: There are so many great backyard playsets that are so much more complicated and exciting than those old fashioned swing sets, how do you pick the right one for your family and yard?
Tom: Before choosing a playset, think about what you have and what you need. First, it’s important to consider placement. Knowing where you want to place your set will help you determine what size set you can accommodate, and therefore which set will insert itself seamlessly into your backyard setting. Next, think about how many people will be using the set and their ages. If you have both younger and older children, it’s important to find a set with features that will appeal to their individual levels. With these questions in mind, family’s can put in place guidelines that will help them more easily choose a playset from the ever-growing selection.
Examiner: How much space should you consider having around the play set? Can it go in the back or side of your yard or it better in the center?
Tom: A playset can be placed almost anywhere in the yard as long as there is some spacing on all sides, we like to call this the safe play area. Every set has specific dimensions, but when positioning your set, you should place it so that each side is no less than 6 feet from any object, whether it be the house, a shed, or even low-hanging branches or laundry lines. Children love to run around, fly down the slide, or swing as high as they can, and all of these activities require room to move, so by adding these extra feet of empty space, parents can help create a safer play environment.
Examiner: How do you approximate how much time it will take to construct different backyard play sets?
Tom: Building a playset is a process, but we try to make it as simple as possible. All of our sets come pre-drilled and pre-stained with each piece specifically marked so that you can match it up to the assembly manual. Of course, smaller sets will take less time to build than some of the larger ones, and timing will definitely depend on the number of people working to put the set together. Regardless, families should plan for the construction of their set to take at least five to seven hours. We recommend taking a weekend to build the set, and tempt some friends over with food to add a few helping hands.
Examiner: Anything else you want to add about picking out the right play set?
Tom: We also think it’s important to pay attention to the materials the playset is made of. Backyard Discovery specifically uses 100% cedar because the wood is not only strong, but it’s also naturally decay-, rot-, and insect-resistant. A playset is an investment, something that can grow as your children grow, so you should be able to count on it to last for years to come.
As a Backyard Discovery Ambassador, I’m documenting the whole process of building a backyard swingset from the ground up. The company sent me their 2011 Montpelier playset to share my experiences building our family’s first ever backyard playset/swingset. You can read every part to this series under the tag: Backyard Discovery.
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