If you have children and a backyard, odds are, you have considered building or buying a playset. Playsets allow your children to pass the daylight hours in close proximity to your home. That means supervision is easy and your children are less likely to live out the plot of Stranger Things or another show where children seemingly go unsupervised for months on end.
However, building a swing set is no simple task, especially if you’re considering including all of the potential fixings like monkey bars, slides, rope ladders, a trapeze bar, to name a few.
However, taking on an entire playset build on your own can be overwhelming. Let’s start with a swing set (because no playset is complete without a swing).
If you’re planning on adding a swing set to an existing play structure or building a stand alone set, you might be wondering how tall you should build your swing and what materials you need. Here are a few tips to get you started on your swing set journey.
How tall should a swing set be?
There is no wrong answer. If you have young children, you could build your swing as small as 4-feet high. That way, if they fall off, they aren’t going too far. If you have older children or you don’t want your kids to grow out of the swing set, you’ll probably want to build the standard park size, which is about 8-feet tall, 8-feet deep, and 12-feet wide.
Other things to keep in mind when building a swing set
If you’re building a swing set, it’s also a good idea to keep these other factors in mind:
Obstructions: It is a good rule of thumb to have no obstructions within eight feet of the swing set.
Terrain: Swing sets should be assembled and installed on soft terrain such as grass or sand so if a child falls, the landing will be somewhat cushioned. They should not be installed over rough terrains such as concrete or solid wood because it will increase the risk of a fall causing a serious injury.
Level: Make sure the posts and beams of your swing set are installed on level ground. If the ground is not level, not only will the swing seats be crooked, it puts swingers at a higher risk of crashing into each other.
Safety seats or “toddler swings”: If you have young children, you should install at least one toddler swing to keep them secure while they enjoy the swing set. Toddler swings should never be used without supervision.
Materials: The top-rated wood for a backyard swing includes pine, redwood, and cedar — with pine being the strongest of the three. These materials are also weather resistant, cost-efficient, and provide a beautiful finish.