If you’re looking to up the fun-factor in your backyard, you may have considered adding playground equipment. Not only are swing sets a surefire hit, they’re also a great source of exercise and entertainment for your children.
That being said, installing a swing set correctly is of the utmost importance. A wobbly swing set is a safety hazard. The most common way to anchor a swing set is concrete. But, if you don’t want to deal with the hassle and mess of wet concrete, you can choose a different method to anchor your swing set. Here’s what you need to know.
Placing your swing set
So, you’ve built or bought a swing set and now it’s time to install it in your backyard.
The first thing you need to do is find a flat area that is free of any obstructions 8-feet in front and 8-feet behind the swing set. This allows your children the space to play safely without fear of soaring into a fence or patio set.
It’s also important to make sure that the ground is solid beneath the playset and isn’t prone to flooding when it rains. You might even consider installing a protective surface under the swing set to cushion potential falls and protect your grass from wear.
Types of ground anchors
The most important step of installing your swing set is ensuring that it’s properly anchored. Solid anchors prevent the swing set from tipping over and causing serious injury. While you can use concrete for this task, ground anchors are easier and less expensive.
Here are the different types of ground anchors to consider for your swing set:
Stake ground anchor: Stake ground anchors are metal stakes you drive into the ground. Once in place, you attach the legs of the swing set to the stakes with screws.
Twist-in ground anchor: Twist-in ground anchors are similar to stakes; however, instead of pounding them with a hammer, you twist them into the ground. Once firmly in the ground, you attach them to the swing set legs with screws.
How to anchor a swing set using ground anchors
Once you’ve found a solid, flat area that is free of any obstructions to install your swing set, it’s time to anchor it to the ground. For this process, you’ll need the following tools and materials:
- Plastic or wooden ground stakes
- A hammer
- A drill
- A screwdriver or small metal bar
- Ground anchors (stake or twist-in)
- Screws, bolts, and additional attachment hardware
Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary materials, it’s time to put the anchors in the ground. Follow the steps below to properly anchor your swing set.
Determine where to put the anchors: Start by marking the area where you want to place the swing set. The easiest way is to place the swing set in its intended spot and mark where the legs fall by driving stakes into the ground. Move the swing set aside.
Install the anchors: Attach an anchor to the drill and drill it into the ground. If this isn’t possible, place a screwdriver or small metal bar through the head of the anchor. This will help you twist the anchor into the ground. When installing each anchor, make sure they remain perpendicular to the surface of the ground. A slight angle is fine if you don’t have room to install the anchor perpendicularly. Make sure to leave enough of the top of the anchor sticking out of the ground to attach it to the swing set leg. Repeat the process until all of the anchors have been secured in place.
Move the swing set into position: Once all of the anchors are in place, move the swing set back into position. The anchors should be in line with the legs.
Secure the anchors to the swing set legs: Next, attach the anchors to the legs of the swing set. How you attach the legs will depend on your specific swing set, but it is usually via a bracket, wire, chain, or other hardware.
Ensure the fasteners are secure: Double check that the anchors are secure. Test the swing set yourself before allowing children to play on it to ensure the swing set isn’t wobbly. Happy swinging!