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DIY Swing Sets vs. Factory Made: What’s better?

13 Aug, 2018

DIY Swing Sets vs. Factory Made: What’s better?



For many parents, building a swing set for their kids is seen as a suburban rite of passage. Whether that’s building a complex tree house with a built-in slide, climbing wall, swing, and monkey bars, or a simple swing, directly creating something for your kids provides an immense sense of satisfaction. However, building, or even just personally assembling a premade swing set, is not a simple task. Before you decide what to do, consider what’s best for your kids and your family.

Swing sets can be highly complex

On the other hand, someone with an appropriate amount of experience and expertise absolutely could design and build their own swing set from scratch. You simply need to be realistic about the time and skill investment that you can make in the project.Swing sets often consist of much more than just a swing, and putting a ready-made swing set together can take hundreds of hours of work. Some swing sets come in literally thousands of individual parts that need to be assembled correctly before the swing set can be safely used. Often, that results in half-assembled swing sets standing unusable in the yard for months while you try to find the time to finish the job. In cases like this, it’s much easier to simply hire a professional to assemble the swing for you to ensure that it’s done correctly and right away.

Keep an eye out for quality issues

On the other hand, someone with an appropriate amount of experience and expertise absolutely could design and build their own swing set from scratch. You simply need to be realistic about the time and skill investment that you can make in the project.Ready made swing sets are a convenient choice because you know what they’ll cost, and that they’ll be safe and solid when they’re assembled. However, like many mass-produced products, manufacturers tend to minimize costs as much as possible. As a result, your swing set is likely to be made of poor quality wood like pine, which is cheap, and won’t naturally repel water and insects the way cedar or redwood does. That means you’ll need to do significantly more maintenance work in order to keep it from deteriorating due to frost, water, and sun damage.

Do your research before you DIY

The most important thing to consider is whether you have an appropriate amount of experience and expertise, as well as the time, to build the swing set you want for your kids. This doesn’t just mean being able to build a solid swing frame, or constructing a slide. A properly built swing set needs to incorporate safety features like an impact absorbent base filler, and a clear perimeter around the swing. Even for very simple swings, the ropes need to be hung correctly in order to avoid wear on the rope, damage to the frame, or damage to the tree if you decide on a tree swing. Parents who do their research, and who have the skills needed, can absolutely create wonderful playsets of various complexity for their kids. For those who don’t, a factory-built swing set is the ideal choice.

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