Swing Set Installation Tips

Backyard swing sets are for kids to dream about the possibilitiesEvery year families with young, energetic children purchase swing sets which have to be assembled and set up. Although setting up a swing set isn’t difficult, it requires more patience and time than than you would expect. A touch of realism will help homeowners assess how much time it will take to assemble the swing set and decide whether it’s worth it … as smaller, simpler swing sets or pre-assembled ones are just as much fun.

Double the cost of a swing set to cover paying someone to set it up – does it fit your budget?

This approach gets the swing set assembled quickly and prevents the project from consuming all your free time over the course of several weeks. It’s a good idea to read Swing Sets: Research Before You Buy. And remember that giving your child their own space is the most important consideration, not a bigger swing set.

Get Creative and Share the Work

Most swing sets take more than a day to assemble, except for pre-assembled components where you are (knowingly or not) the last step in the manufacturing process. There are so many components and parts in today’s swing sets. They’re more like playgrounds, or the equivalent of several swing sets. So here are some ideas to help get you through the swing set install with your good humor intact:

  • Call it a party and invite 1 or 2 friends (with the requisite skills and their own tools) to help set up the swing set. Start on Saturday morning, and decide at the end of the day, what help you’ll need on Sunday. Working at a reasonable pace will make it more fun and you can celebrate Sunday night.
  • Accept you’re not going to get it done by yourself in one weekend. You can limit your hands-on experience to one weekend by scheduling a local handyman to complete the project if you’re not done by Sunday night.
  • Get your children to help and explain what a big project it is. Let them know it will take several weeks to complete setting up the swing set.  Study the instructions and figure out how much you will tackle each weekend, so everyone knows what to expect. Your children will  learn a valuable lesson, that good things require you to work hard.

Handyman Tips to Avoid Problems Setting Up a Swing Set

Every year there are new swing set manufacturers and models.  If your goal is to minimize problems, purchase an established brand from a retailer who will support you through the installation. It’s a good idea to compare at least one US manufactured brand and one that comes partially assembled.

Here are the most common problems homeowners, and handymen too, run into.

  • The site isn’t level. Swing sets need a minimum of  6 feet from potential hazards, with more room behind swings. Place stakes at the corners and attach string before you start, adding/removing dirt to make ALL strings level.
  • The boxes are delivered when it’s raining, and the labels come off requiring hours to layout the 100’s of pieces and make new labels in support of a smooth assembly.
  • Thousands of pieces of hardware are mixed in bags, requiring you to sort them before you can start. So we’ve learned to use plastic containers with lids (to store overnight).
  • Children don't need the biggest swing set in the neighborhoodYes, there are hundreds of pieces of wood which may or may not be labeled with many pieces similar in shape, so you’ll want to lay them out by size and shape, to find them easier.
  • The actual assembly time is significantly greater than the manufacturer’s estimate for installation … but we covered that above, and wish you the best of luck.

Here are some more resources to help you create the right backyard space for your children, and it’s not always a swing set.

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