Purchasing a playset is a commitment and we fully understand that. You need a set that will grow with your children, that you can trust to keep them safe, and fits in your space and in your budget. If your neighborhood includes a homeowners’ association there can be certain rules and regulations you must abide by. Let’s breakdown the basic parameters to choose the perfect set for your family and your backyard.
This is possibly the most important step in the process, at least immediately. You want the best, most exciting outdoor activities money can buy, but your play set is an investment. An investment in your child’s confidence, their strength and coordination, their motor skills and social interactions. Giving your family an activity that can be enjoyed together is invaluable, so that may mean purchasing a set like the Timber Valley with swings that support up to 250lbs each, or a set with a large sandbox, or adult-accessible picnic table, like the Sequoia or Jungle Fun. If quality family time is the most important aspect but you’re working with a smaller budget, the Trailside offers ample opportunities for adults to push children on the swings.
Besides budget, this can be the next largest deciding factor. How much space are you willing to allocate to a play area? How much space do you actually need? Our minimum recommendation for a safe play perimeter is 6’ from all sides of the play structure, with a minimum of 158” for the swing safe zone. This is most easily illustrated with the Trailside, pictured below. All of our playset manuals include an illustrated image of the safe play zone with suggested dimensions, as well as recommendations for safe surfacing materials.
HOA restrictions can put a damper on a lot of backyard projects, but they can also keep your neighbors from installing a donkey in their backyard so I don’t think anyone will disagree that they’re completely unnecessary. Some of the most common concerns that a homeowners’ association will have about any additions to your personal space are those related to preserving the aesthetics of the area and protecting and enhancing home values. Some of the ways that these things are achieved are through limiting the height of backyard installations to no more than the height of your privacy fence, or restricting the materials or colors used for the assembly. With this in mind, we offer our Trailside Swingset, available in a variety of colors, paired with our Octagon or Hexagon Sandboxes for the backyard play experience without the large structure. In cases where certain materials are restricted, a set with a wooden roof, like our Cedar Chalet, Timber Valley or Mountain View Lodge may pass inspection while playsets with canopies would not. Renderings of our swing sets, along with dimensions, are available for download on our assembly manual page. Should your HOA require any additional information, our customer support team will be glad to assist!
How old are your kids?
Smaller children are more likely to be intimidated by a large playset. Swingsets with 5’ play decks have longer slides and higher climbing walls. However, these sets also come with additional ways to reach the play towers: the Sequoia Playset includes both a wooden ladder and a rope ladder, while the Jungle Fun also features a clatter bridge with steps for easy access. If your child is easily intimidated by the speed of the slide, you can run a strip of duct tape down the center to increase the friction, thus slowing them down. Simple accommodations like these can enable both older and younger kids to enjoy the same playset, or let additional playset features become available as your small child grows.
Conversely, older children are more likely to be bored by a smaller playset. We would not usually recommend a set like the Cedar Cottage for bigger kids, as the fewer, less challenging activities would easily be conquered. For small or timid children that set can be the perfect backyard addition, but for the adventurous we would be more likely to suggest a swing set from our Mountain View series.
Maintenance and Longevity
As with all large purchases and investments, your playset will require some regular attention. Application and maintenance of a water-based sealant is required as a condition of your warranty. This needs to be done first upon installation, and then once a year thereafter. Your local hardware store can assist you with identifying a suitable sealant for your area. Every two weeks during the play season, it is suggested that you examine all fasteners and swing hangers, tightening as needed. Then at the beginning of each season, we recommend the retightening of all hardware, lubrication of all metallic moving parts, and inspection of all accessories.
We offer a 10-Year warranty on upright wood pieces, and a 1-Year warranty on all other parts. If anything is cracked or damaged, please contact us to file a warranty claim or get a quote for replacement parts.