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Things to consider when looking for outdoor playsets

Outdoor playsets are available in a wide variety of sizes and formats. Where some cater for younger children alone and others for older, there are also those styles that grow with the child. When shopping for an outdoor playset, you will find that there are a lot of factors that will influence your decision, and ultimately lead you to purchase the right playset for your family’s needs.

Family dynamics

When you understand the custom needs of your family as a whole, you can better determine what style of playset will accommodate them. With young children, simple outdoor playhouses with climbing stairs, a short slide, and sand pit usually suffice, but as they grow, children’s interests change and mature. Therefore, they will require more features to keep them involved. A diverse swing selection, a climbing wall, monkey bars, and tall swing, are just a few of the features that would satisfy the needs of older children. You may also want to consider purchasing a playset that actually grows with your children. An example would be a playset with a tall slide, climbing wall, and play deck, but also with a baby swing and sand pit. If this is an option that interests you, then opt for backyard playsets that are customizable, so that you can add and update features and accessories as your children grow.


The durability of an outdoor swingset should be a determining factor if you plan to have it for a long period of time. Extreme weather conditions can be detrimental to certain materials, and if it is not naturally able to withstand the elements, or it is not treated to do so, then a beautiful looking playset could be garbage in no time. For this reason, choosing a playset constructed from durable materials that are long lasting is imperative. Playsets are commonly constructed with wood, metal, or plastic. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of these materials, but all things considered, there really is only one material that will likely suit your personal needs.


The price of an outdoor playset should undoubtedly determine your choice. When comparing the prices, remember your objectives. The price should reflect the longevity of a playset, and therefore, its durability and diversity. For example, you may ultimately choose an inexpensive backyard playset that has a short life span, simply because it will be meeting a short-term goal. In contrast, you may decide to invest in a more expensive swingset that has durable attributes and customizable features, allowing it to grow with your family for many years to come. Metal playsets are usually the most inexpensive when comparing them to wood and plastic. The most expensive material is wood, and even when contrasting one wood playset with another, prices can vary greatly because of the type of lumber used. Ideally, the price of your outdoor playset should parallel the years of enjoyment that will come from using it; unless you happen upon a fantastic bargain.


The safety of your outdoor equipment should be a primary concern. Even if you are supervising a young child, accidents can happen in seconds. You cannot prevent all accidents, and children fall off playsets, bikes, and scooters every day. But you can still foresee and avoid the preventable accidents. For this reason, you should select an outdoor playset that is safe. Some things to look for include sharp edges or points, narrow spaces that can trap a child, and openings where young ones can fall. Additionally, metal playsets or accessories can cause serious burns when exposed to extremely hot temperatures. Remember to review the manufacturer’s safety features prior to purchasing any outdoor playset.


Not all company’s install outdoor playsets, so find out in advance what the policy is. If they do not provide installation, you may have to take that project on yourself. For smaller playsets, this should not be a problem, but for the larger more complex sets, it could take days and monotonous organization to assemble. If you don’t have the time to install a playset, then commissioning someone to do it for you will be an extra cost that you need to include in your overall budget.

Maintenance and Warranty

Before making a final decision on your outdoor playset, consider the maintenance required to keep it in shape, as well as the warranty attached. Ideally, you should opt for a playset that is low maintenance. You don’t want to waste time and money sanding, sealing, or coating on an annual basis. A playset that is self sustaining or requires little to no maintenance is ideal for any busy parent.

Warranties for backyard playsets cover different areas of the structure, and in many cases, one playset can have more than one warranty. For example, one warranty may cover accessories, while another may cover the construction material. Always check warranties, and make sure you are comfortable with the coverage before purchasing your playset.

These are some great guidelines for thinking about your new outdoor playset. Now let's take a look at some tips for setting up your new playset.