Building a wooden swing set can be complicated. Many online sets come with hundreds (if not more!) of pieces that you need to somehow piece together in a way that makes sense without the whole thing toppling over.
And then there’s the drilling -- and the drilling mistakes that ruin the wood -- and the finding of all the right bolts and nuts and screws and nails and getting them to stay tight and in the right spots. If you don’t hire someone to build this complicated set for you (and pay them an arm and a leg), you’ll end up doing it yourself over the course of weeks, and you may not end up with the lovely, safe set that you had in mind. We weren’t kidding when we said it’s a big project.
With beautiful wooden playsets that come with the right ingredients though, even someone without much building know-how, time, or money can accomplish this task in an afternoon. If you’re wondering if you have what it takes to make this project happen, then check out exactly what goes into building a wooden swing set, and see for yourself.
Prefabricated Parts Is the Only Way to Go
Swing sets that come with prefabricated parts can be up and running in a matter of a few hours. They’re simple to assemble, come with half the work already taken care of, and they intuitively fit together to make an easy task of the whole project.
Outdoor playsets that aren’t prefab are a completely different story. These types of playsets can take you days of work to put together, are confusing to work with, and often end in frustration and failure. Look at the instruction manual carefully online -- it may say “easy to assemble” but if there are a thousand pieces in the set, we assure you, it won’t be so easy!
If you are excited about doing this rewarding DIY project for your family then make sure you purchase a playset with prefab parts. These swing sets come with the walls already constructed, and complicated pieces such as bridges and arches will be put together by the manufacturer. This way you aren’t wandering around your yard with a random 2x4, dazed and confused trying to figure out where it belongs.
The Right Hardware
When you’re putting your outdoor playhouse together, selecting a set that uses the right hardware is probably one of the most important steps. Good hardware will last you the lifetime of your swing set (20+ years if you’re lucky), while inferior hardware will corrode quickly and seriously compromise the safety and integrity of your entire structure. Additionally, lesser quality hardware can rust and come loose presenting other safety hazards to your children as they play.
So what is the right hardware? First let’s talk about the wrong hardware. The wrong hardware will be zinc-plated and will corrode with the weather within a short amount of time. The right hardware is hot galvanized screws. These have an anti-corrosive layer that prevents oxidation and creates a strong barrier against the elements.
Additionally, when installing the hardware, make sure you depress the screws and bolts to prevent them from snagging on clothing or kids. Quality swing sets will come with the holes pre-drilled so you don’t even have to worry about this step.
Swing Set Accessories
Now for the fun part. Adding the swing set accessories onto your basic structure is really exciting because it means you’re almost done! Before you purchase your jungle gym, take some time to consider which additions will benefit your kids the most. Slides, tire swings, ladders, rock walls, steering wheels, flags, and more are some of the most frequently requested accessories, and you can choose the ones that will provide your children with the most fun.
Adding the accessories onto your basic structure is simple.
Follow the diagram/instructions provided to determine the correct location.
Secure each addition with the quality hardware we discussed above.
When everything is completely attached, tug at the accessory and make a preliminary use test to ensure that it has been solidly attached.