Swing Set Buyer's Guide
Safety Zones: This gives kids plenty of room to zoom down the slide, climb up the rock wall, or swing sky high on the swings. This also gives children enough “tumble room” if they happen to loose their balance or trip while playing on the play set. As a rule of thumb, it's great to plan for about a 6' safety zone around the perimeter of your swing set, however, the CPSC has further recommendations for swings and other play features. Check out the CPSC Outdoor Home Playground Handbook and the Public Playground Safety Handbook for more info.
Leveling: It's important to set up your swing set in a relatively level area of your yard to ensure that your swing set is stable. In most cases you can simply dig one side of the set down for minor leveling corrections.
Each swing set has it's own unique set of play features. Some are designed with a lot of climbing features while others may be geared towards forts and playhouses. Ask your kids what they like. You'll have no trouble getting them to spout off their favorite things to do on the playground! If you're still not quite sure what your kids would enjoy most in a swing set, take them to a park and observe what they gravitate to. This will will help you find the perfect play set for your family.
Playground surfacing is an excellent way to bring added safety to your playground area. Most playground surfaces have a fall height rating. This means that they are rated to cushion a child's fall from a given height. The fall height rating depends on the material and depth used. Check out the Public Playground Safety Handbook for more detailed info on playground surfacing.
Should I buy a wood, metal, or vinyl swing set?
Wood Swing Sets: Wood swing sets are our most popular option. They are strong and durable, they look amazing in just about any backyard, and they have a ton of features and options! Swing set manufactures use wood like cedar, preserved pine, or vinyl coated pine for outdoor durability. This means that they are resistant to rot and decay and will last many years if maintained properly. Maintenance for wooden swing sets typically involves an occasional staining and nut and bolt check. Specific maintenance instructions will be included in the manufacture's owners manual.
Metal Swing Sets: Metal swing sets are an excellent choice because they have very low maintenance.
Vinyl or Poly Coated Swing Sets: Vinyl swing sets are another low maintenance option. We use the word "Vinyl" to mean wood that is coated. This creates a durable protective layer between the wood and the the elements. With a vinyl swing set you can enjoy many of the features of a wood swing set without ever having to re-stain it.