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Build a swing set

Build a swing set

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Some systems are sold complete, while others offer individual components with plans you can design and build.

Before you look at play equipment, like a swing set for your backyard, look at public parks or schools where the systems should be thoroughly tested, safe and well designed. Notice what they are made of, the features they include and how they’re installed.

When you go shopping for one, you’ll see many are made of chemical-free wood or manmade timbers and include a variety of components like plastic molded swing seats, gliders, ladders and sliding tubes. Look for well-built components with recessed hardware and protective bolt caps. The sets typically are designed for ground level, but many features raised play environments.

Some systems are sold complete, while others offer individual components with plans you can design and build. You’ll find them sold at playground equipment companies and at home and garden centers. To shop online type “playground equipment” in a search engine.

A playground equipment company will charge $1,889, including labor and material, to install a good quality play set. You can buy the components for $1,500 and build it yourself, pocketing a 21% percent saving. Depending on where you live and the terrain of your property, you may have to pay a higher installation fee.

Plan to locate the play set in a level area that’s free of obstructions or potential hazards. Figure you’ll need a minimum perimeter of 6 feet in all directions around the play set. To cushion falls and reduce the risk of injuries, choose a soft and shock-absorbing surface material to cover the ground beneath and around the play set.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit

Pro Cost — DIY Cost — Pro time — DIY Time — DIY Savings — Percent Saved

$1,889 — $1,500 — 5.0 — 7.5 — $389 — 21%


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