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What to Know About Wooden Swing Sets: Should You Get One for Your Yard?

Swing sets can be a center of entertainment and exercise.  I'm going to go over some other benefits of a swing set, a wood swing set to be exact.  I'll also go over maintenance, price, quality, how long the swing set should last, different types of wood to use, and safety concerns.  I hope that this article inspires you to add a swing set to your family's life.

Benefits of a Wooden Swing Set

There are many benefits to buying a wooden swing set.  Not only are wooden swing sets fun and great for kids of all ages, including adults, but they are also more durable and safer than plastic swings.  I'll go over the many other benefits of wooden swing sets here.

Sturdy and Durable

Wooden swing sets are very sturdy and durable.  In fact, they are considered to be stronger than other swing set materials.  Since they are very durable, this is a safe option for holding the weight of children and adults.

Nice Looks

Although looks aren't everything, it can be nice to have a beautiful swing set in your backyard. The wooden look can blend in with your backyard and can make it look more natural.

Lots of Options to Choose From

When purchasing a wooden swing set, you will have many options to choose from.  Some are just the traditional swing set, while others have a slide and climbing features.  One such swing set is the Backyard Discovery Wooden Swing Sets, also called the Backyard Discovery Wood Playset.

Safest Material

Although plastic swing sets and play sets aren't dangerous, wood is the safest option.  When properly cared for, wood is more compact and won't wear or tear. Wooden swing sets do require maintenance, so make sure you take care of your swing set properly to avoid splinters and cuts.

Maintenance

Stain the Wood

Even if the wooden swing set came stained, you will still need to re-stain it often, depending on how often it is used.  The stain may also wear away if it is in direct sun and in the weather.  You may also need to seal the swing set if it didn't come sealed.  If it did arrive sealed, you will still need to re-seal it every one to two years.

Remove any Removable Parts Before Winter

If you live in a location where you get lots of snow and cold weather during the winter, then it would be wise to remove any removable parts from the swing playset.  This could include the swings, the canopy, and any added removable features like rope ladders.  Besides removing parts from the playset, you may also want to cover it with a tarp.

Keep the Swing Set Clean

Every once in a while, you should clean the swing set with a water hose and mild soap.  You may want to apply liquid dish soap onto the roof and corners to prevent insects from building nests.  Remember to never use ant killers or other poisons, since it is very toxic and shouldn't be around young children.

Read the Weight Recommendations and Follow Them

When you order a swing set, it should come with weight recommendations.  It is important to read these weight recommendations so that your children will be safe and the wood will last longer.  Most swing sets will hold around 150 to 230 pounds, but some may hold up to 800 pounds.  Before you purchase the swing set, make sure you know what the weight limit is.

Check it Regularly

It is best to check the wooden swing set before your kids start using it and then a couple more times before summer ends.  You will want to check the swing chains and small hardware.  Also make sure the wood is not cracking and there are no splinters.

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Price

The price is going to depend on the quality of the wooden swing and which brand you buy from. Some of the Backyard Discovery swing sets, which is a common swing set brand, are going to be higher priced since they come with a slide and other play set features.  Also, the price will depend on the size of the wooden swing.  Small wooden swing sets are going to be much cheaper than large wooden swing sets.  The average price for a wooden swing set is from $200 to $600. However, some wooden swing sets for sale are up to $2,000 or more.  You may be able to find discount wooden swing sets for a cheaper price.  Also, some companies may do free shipping. Backyard Discovery swing sets are often sold with free shipping.  Keep in mind that kids wooden swing sets are more expensive than wooden swings sets for adults, which would most likely be put on a porch or patio.

Quality

When shopping for wooden swing sets, it is important to shop for quality.  Most quality swing sets will be around $1,000 to $1,500, but some may be less.  You will want to look for wooden play sets that have a five foot deck, so that both young children and older children can play on the play set. Good quality swings usually have a ten year warranty.  Some, however, have a lifetime warranty. Most redwood swing sets will have a lifetime warranty.  Make sure the beams are solid and make sure it can hold the weight of children.

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How Long a Wooden Swing Set Lasts

The longevity of a wooden swing set has a lot to do with what kind of wood it's made of and what kind of preservatives are put on it.  Both of these factors are things that you can control.  Factors out of your control that also effect how long a wooden swing set lasts are the weather and how much use it gets.  The weather is more of a factor than usage if the swing set it well built.

Hardwood versus Softwood

Swing sets made of hardwood will last longer than swing sets made of soft wood. Woods like oak, aspen, cedar and walnut will last much longer than swing sets made of pine.  However, the hardwoods will cost more and also be heavier to work with.  For longevity though, you can't beat a good hardwood for a swing set.  If made correctly, a swing set made of cedar has the potential to last well over one hundred years.

Preservatives

It's important to put a wood preservative on your swing set.  This is especially important for the parts that go into or touch the ground.  Wetness in the ground can start to rot wood fairly quickly if the wood is untreated.  Some people even put preservatives on pressure treated wood while others don't feel there is a need to treat pressure treated wood.

Swing Set Inspiration

Do you have fond childhood memories of swinging on a favorite swing set?  Maybe it was at your local playground, grandparents place or in your very own backyard.  I don't know about you, but to me swing sets never go out of style.  They can be enjoyed by people of all ages.  If you are an adult but still think of those childhood memories, it may be time to build a swing set for yourself. Oh, and don't forget to share with your children too.

Different Types of Wood Used on Wooden Swing Sets

When buying a swing set, you will need to decide which timber you will want your playset to be made from.  The most popular wood used on swing sets are redwood, pine, and cedar.  Cedar and pine swing sets are very durable, and also very popular.  Redwood swing sets are just as durable cedar swing sets are, but redwood will cost more.  Redwood swing sets are good backyard wooden swing set, since they are very beautiful and colorful.  Keep in mind that you should shop for real wood swing sets.  Some swing sets, such as cedar sets, are made from the Chinese fir instead of cedar.  This is also known as fake cedar.  It is best to look for real wood swing sets that have good quality.

Safety

As with all playground type of facilities and toys, safety needs to be the number one concern.  First, make sure that the legs of the swing set frame are anchored down.  I remember as a child swinging so high on a cousin's swing set, that the whole frame would rock back and forth.  All of us kids would take turns to see who could get it to rock the highest.  This is not cool.  Nor is is safe.  Make sure that there is no rocking of the frame for your wooden swing set.

Another safety concern with swingsets is to make sure that you keep it in your line of site.  The old saying of "boys will be boys" can also applied to "girls will be girls", or to sum it up "kids will be kids".  Kids find creative ways to get hurt.  It is a good idea to keep your swing set within line of sight of your house window.  That way you can monitor your children even if your aren't right there with them at all times.

A final safety concern, is to make sure that any children who will be using the swing set know some basic swing set rules.  As fun as it may seem, under-ducks (where kids try to run under a moving swing with a passenger on it) are simply not safe. Accidents happen and they will happen more frequently when kids aren't being safe by following the rules.   If you need to post swing set rules, that's not a bad idea.  But the main concern should be that all kids know and follow general swing set safety rules.

Conclusion

I've gone over the basics of a wooden swing set.  Hopefully this information will get you well on your way to adding a wooden swing set to your backyard.  Make sure to think about what type of swing set will fit your needs.  You will have many options including what kind of cost will fit your budget.  A little extra effort in the planning stages will reap big rewards when it's time to enjoy your swing set.

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Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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