How to Install a Swing Set in Your Backyard
If you’re thinking about installing a backyard swing set, it’s important to find the right equipment, an appropriate location and install it safely. Consider these tips as you select and install a swing set.
Choose Your Swing Set Wisely
Consider buying a swing set that your child can grow into, BobVila.com suggests. Look for an option that won’t just offer safety and fun for a small child, but also has features a kid will enjoy for years to come. A modular set will allow you to add pieces as your children get older.
Long-term safety should also be a consideration as you shop. According to Good Housekeeping, swings should be a minimum of 8 inches apart with seats at least 8 inches from the ground. For greater safety, Good Housekeeping advises that you get a play set with soft plastic or rubber swing seats, as well as barriers around any platforms taller than 4 feet.
Find the Right Placement
In addition to picking the right type of swing set, it’s important to find the right spot in your yard. Consider these suggestions when choosing where to put your new swing set.
Level ground. Your swing set installation should be in an area that is level and free of potential hazards, such as bricks, rocks or overhead branches and wires, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says. Also, avoid installing the equipment over hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete.
A clear area. BobVila.com says there should be at least 6 feet of clearance around the entire playset. The CPSC suggests having an even greater clearance for swings — twice the height from the ground to the bar supporting the swings.
Good orientation. Consider visibility from your windows when deciding what direction the structure should face, BobVila.com advises. And, says the CPSC, it’s a good idea to carefully plan the layout of your swing set. For instance, for safety reasons, avoid having children exit a slide in front of a swing.
Avoid the sun. Metal materials on a swing set can cause burns if they get too hot. Try to position the swing set out of direct sunlight. Slides and other metal surfaces that face north will get the least direct sunlight, the CPSC says.
Once you have your equipment and location picked out, backyard swing set installation requires a bit more planning. Installing a 12-inch-deep protective surface, such as sand or shredded rubber, under and 6 feet around the swing set may help cushion falls and reduce risk of injury, Good Housekeeping says.
Installing a swing set is a great way to help keep the kids active and happy, but it’s important to plan it well and design it with safety in mind. Remember these backyard swing set installation and preparation tips to help create a safe, outdoor activity for your kids and their friends.
Originally published on June 2, 2015.