Swing sets are most commonly purchased in the spring as the weather gets nice and parents want their kids to play outside in the backyard. What better way to encourage your children to spend time outside in healthy, physical activity. But first make sure you take time to do some research before you buy kids swing sets for sale.
Today's swing sets are more like a playground with ladders, slides, forts, climbing walls and so much more. With this array of choices, parents don't always know what the most important considerations are in picking a swing set. This article provides an outline of the key factors to consider when making your decision.
Swing Sets for Sale: Consider How Your Kids Will Use It
When you first start to think about buying a swing set you probably have a toddler. It's a good idea to think through the following questions to get a better idea of how big a swing set you might need, along with how many features make sense.
- How many children do you anticipate having?
- How many years will a parent stay/work at home versus the children spending time at daycare?
- How frequently will you host play dates at your home?
- How often will you entertain friends and their children?
Now pick 2 numbers. The higher number should represent the greatest number of children you anticipate playing on the swing set (and frequency?). The second number is the average number of children playing on the swing set, i.e. you plan to have 2 children with frequent play dates for both, a group of 4 children is your average. While you expect to have 2 or 3 large parties each year, you really only need a swing set for 4 children and can accommodate larger groups with some play toys.
Swing Sets for Sale Vary in Choice of Materials & Design
All swing sets are not equal, so it pays to do some research before you buy one. Metal swing sets are simpler but make sure the metal is galvanized and coated with a lead-free, rust resistant paint. There are many wood choices and you want to evaluate how much maintenance each requires. CedarWorks.com uses long lasting northern white cedar which is safer as the wood is splinter free and requires minimal maintenance.
Given how popular swing sets have become, there are numerous manufacturers to choose from along with the box stores. But take your time and don't make an impulse purchase when you see swing sets for sale. When buying a swing set which you'll have for quite a few years, here are the items to consider in choosing the right swing set for your family:
- Flexibility in size and shape to fit your location. Options should allow designing your own configuration from mix and match parts plus the ability to add sections as your family grows.
- With so many features available, you want the ability to swap out a supportive child seat once they're 4 years old. Don't clutter the play area with too many features, but rather create an environment where your children can use their imagination, coupled with great physical activity.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends the following safety guidelines for residential swing sets:
- Check for spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs; these should be less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches. To prevent trapping a child's head or neck, fill in all V-shaped angles that open upwards.
- Make sure platforms and ramps raised 30+ inches have guardrails to prevent falls.
- Remove/cover sharp points or edges in equipment or any type of protruding hardware.
- Remove tripping hazards like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps and rocks.
- Make sure there are no gaps or things sticking out at the top or bottom of the slide where clothing can get caught and trap a child.
When Looking at Swing Sets for Sale, Consider Installation & Maintenance
My handyman business has handled many different swing set installations. Most don't go smoothly and customers are unhappy when the installation costs just as much as the swing set. We're not responsible for the missing parts and inevitably, the installation takes longer than the manufacturer projections … because they're selling you the product.
We ask our customers to inventory the parts before we arrive to save money and warn them it will take several hours. When parents find too many parts are missing, they have to decide to find new parts of simply return the swing set.
Last fall we assembled Leisure Time's Cambridge kit purchased online from Sam's Club. The original manufacturer estimate for installation was 16 to 24 hours for 2 people, but they later admitted the installs were taking 48 hrs. We're good at what we do but there's no magic in reading difficult “written in China” directions. Then you've got to hunt for the right pieces of wood, the required hardware (holes pre-drilled) and run to the store to replace what's missing. It takes time and even my husband and I couldn't work faster than my technicians but we tried!
Other companies specializing in swing set installations and they reported similar problems. The real proof came the following year — the company and product aren't visible anywhere on the web (maybe a new name?)
- Boxes were dropped at the end of the driveway while it was raining and all the stickers came off the wood pieces.
- 2,316 pieces of hardware – 32 different types, shipped in 18 plastic bags (multiple sizes in each bag).
- 472 pieces of wood in 124 different shapes and fortunately only 2 pieces were missing.
- 68 pages of instructions.
Think Twice Before Buying a Complicated Swing Set
For related information, you can also read:
- Backyard Fun is More Than a Swing Set
- Your Kids Can Help You Find the Best Swingsets
- Playground safety tips from the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS)
- Research Before You Buy Kids Swingsets >> this article
- Tips for Installing a Swing Set.
We purchased a swing set in 2018 … and now we want to purchase another one. Can you provide more advice?
Elenore, I’m sorry but your website is all about children’s play spaces so you obviously know more than I do. This website is not meant for others to advertise their respective blogs/websites. If you’d like to start a discussion about something related to swing sets, I will respond to … meaningful & useful to my reader, ideas.
Mary a jones
I want to buy Swing Sets for kids
I have four Kids two daughters and two suns
This is an awesome post. Thanks for sharing these tips.
Alex, Curious as to what question you were trying to answer … or what tip was most meaningful to you?
Swing sets make childhood memories for kids. When I remember my childhood, it includes my swing sets where I spent most of the times. I want to make a memory for my daughter in her childhood. I am searching for the best place to buy a swing set. Thanks for researching the swings and sharing these tips. This really helps me. Thanks for sharing guidelines to buy a swing set.
Having a large tree swing in your backyard will complete the fun. I’ve got one in my own backyard and the kids love it. I got my swing kit at
Jane, Do you have a photo of your kids on the swing that you could share here?
Swing sets make great childhood memories for kids. When I remember my childhood, it always includes my swing sets where I had spent a lot of time. I want to make a memory for my kids so I’m searching for the best place to buy a swing set. Thanks for sharing your research & how to buy the best swing set for kids. This really helps me. Thanks for sharing guidelines to buy a swing set.
Good luck finding the right swing set for your kids, and spending lots of quality time using it
We purchased our swing set from CedarWorks in 2008 and it is still going strong. The only thing we are getting ready to replace is one of the cedar swings. It was well worth the money and their customer service is great!!
Thanks for your feedback Liz, Our CedarWorks swingset moved to a neighbor’s house and since we moved away, I have no idea how well it’s done … but I’m pretty confident it’s just fine.
I really liked the questions you put forward to consider before buying a swing set, like how many children you plan on having and how many years a parent will stay at home instead of having the children spend time in a daycare. I can see how questions like this would help you make a wise decision no your investment. I would bet that it would also be really helpful to talk to other parents who have children and see what their thoughts s and opinions are.
Nice tips! Actually whatever you have suggested should always be taken in consideration while buying such equipments. Thanks so much for this article.
I think consumers are getting smarter & researching more, and avoiding impulse buying. I found it interesting that your website states how many children can use each swing set style as I’ve not seen that before. Your bouncy seats are great.