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TOPIC: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
 
Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
We have been looking at various options for a swing set and maybe slide in our backyard. A couple weeks ago we were at a friends house, and our daughter had a blast on their swing set. In fact, I couldn't get her off the damn thing. Anyway, as I was standing there at the swing set (for a loooooong time...) I started to wonder if maybe I could build my own swing set out of pressure treated lumber. And....as is usually the case....the Internet yielded some great options for a DIY / build-your-own swing set. The one I am looking at is: www.swing-n-slide.com.<br><br>The actual construction looks pretty straightforward. But, then again, maybe I am just naive about how long and difficult the project will be (I usually vastly underestimate home improvement projects).<br><br>So has anyone built one of these things?? Comments and experience??
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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Re: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
I have not done this (yet) but, you can do it! I can't wait to do it! Just spend a few weekends PLANNING. Think about all the different aspects of play, AND construction, including safety of both. Get your materials list together, buy some extra, charge up all them tools and get to it! Map out the layout, and the steps of construction. Don't get ahead of yourself. TAKE YOUR TIME! I say cement that puppy into the ground too as a starting point. I do like that bracket system.
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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Re: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
Yeah, I'm really wondering about the foundation/cement. The manufacturer has these lame sort of straps that they claim auger in to the ground. But I'm not so sure about that.<br><br>Also, the area I'm eyeing is not exactly level. So I'm not so sure about that either. Should I cut the swing set legs to different lengths or dig a deeper foundation hole on the high side of the yard??? I don't know.
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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Re: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
About 8 years ago I bought a swing set kit from Toys-R-Us. Several days later, two pallets of lumber and a burlap sack of nuts showed up in my yard. What followed was a fever dream of skinned knuckles, stripped nuts, late night swearing outbursts, and hernias-a-poppin'. I swore, SWORE, my kid (only had the 1 at that point) was going to play his ass off on the damn thing, even if I had to duct tape him to the Rocket Glider for two hours a day.<br><br>I needn't have worried. It's the center of our universe -- arguably the center of the neighborhood. Countess hundreds of hours of playtime, spread across three kids. Clearly the best investment of time and money I've ever made (an easier claim these days). It's held up great. I got nothing for you on the DIY side except to say: Do it. They'll use it.<br><br>I did once see a really cool Australian designed metal modular playscape at the New York Toy Show that was cool. I'll see if I can dig that up. Does Ikea make swing sets?
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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Re: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
Funny and encouraging! Thanks!
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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amy
Re: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
We bought a kit at Costco and my hubby put it together himself. Not sure if that's what you're talking about or if you're considering starting from scratch? It took DH about 2 weekends from start to finish. But part of what took him so long was some bad weather, so there were gaps in that time frame. I think if you have a nice sunny weekend you could probably get it done in 2 days. We're extremely pleased with the results!<br><br>Here's a link to a picture of it: viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&...
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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Re: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
Wow, awesome pic! I love how you guys even edged around the wood chip mulch and everything. That photos looks like something out of a catalog!<br><br>Anyway...yeah, I want to build something like this, but buy and cut all of the lumber myself. Basically swing-n-slide just provides all the plastic and metal parts (i.e. the actual swings, slide, etc...). So they ship you all that stuff, and then you go out and get the lumber yourself.<br><br>From what I can tell, it looks like you can save about 50% of the cost doing it this way. Plus, even more importantly, you get bragging rights for many, many years, and you can tell your kids that you built that swingset with your bare hands. And, really, that is what it's all about.
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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Re: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
A buddy of mine is not known for his mechanical abilities and he put up something similar.
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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Re: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
Our son is a full blown toddler this year, so we were all about buying the swingset. We bought the big set at Home Depot: www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/serv...splay?s...<br>(it says online only, but we got them to ship it to the store). It took my husband several weekends/evenings to put up, but only because he could never dedicate more than a few hours at once. It is a no-cut system, which made life easier. Still, don't expect to get it done quickly. You have to lay everything out first & that takes quite a while. Still, my son absolutely LOVES it! We bought a $20 baby swing from Walmart & put it on there until he's older.<br>The other thing you may want to look into are the Little Tikes/Step 2 plastic playsets. We also got one of those on Craigslist for $100, when the retail is $500! What a deal. We plopped the entire thing in fully intact into a friends pick-up & had it all together in 10 mins because we just had to re-attach the slides. Both my 21 month old & our friends 5 year old love that as well. This is what we got: www.littletikes.com/toys/little-tikes-pl...<br>Definately see if Craigslist or Ebay has something to save you some money.<br>Have fun & good luck.
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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ben
Re: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
We've been talking about what we might do when D gets a bit bigger. Right now the backyard jungle gym is my 16' hops trellis. That's not safe and hops can give a nasty rash. But using it for scale, our back yard has a little less than 30'x30 of play area. My wife would like to put a swing set back there, but it would easily take up half. She'd also like for me to plant some blueberry bushes that would eat up a 20'x4' area so we certainly couldn't do both.<br><br>Now there seems to be an easy solution right across the street from us. There is a park that is something like 6 city blocks in size directly across the street. There's a swimming pool, several ball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, and all sorts of playground equipment. One very limiting factor is that being across the street means that we have to walk across a four lane thoroughfare. The speed limit is 35 but the average speed is 50+. So in a way it isn't convenient.. So that is a big plus for having something in the back yard. But maybe we don't need something like what they try to sell all of us. Maybe something basic that wouldn't take up much space would work out great. It's just hard to tell.<br><br>Now I did find this page where you can design your own playset.<br>www.kidscreations.com/3dbuilder.cfm
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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Re: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
Whoa! Those Kids Creations sets do look awesome, but I didn't realize those sets were quite that pricey... We've been thinking about getting/building some kind of playset for our little guy next Spring/Summer. Looks like I'd better start saving now!
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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Re: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
Hi Rob,<br><br>I also had sticker shock from the standard pre-built units. If you go the DIY route, as I described above, you can get in for under $400 + sweat equity.
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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Re: Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
5 Years, 11 Months ago
You can buy the swings and hardware from here:<br><br>www.hardwareworld.com/Backyard-Play-Sets...;br><br>and then buy standard pressure treated lumber from Home Depot/Lowe's/etc... As you can see, even a heavy duty/300lb. swing can be purchased for only $26.
Last Edit: 2009/04/16 10:51 By .
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Re:Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
4 Years, 6 Months ago
We built a swing set for my daughters a few years ago. We purchased the set from an online company called www.backyardcity.com and bought the lumber locally. I finished the whole project in just a few days. It is definately doable.
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Re:Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
4 Years, 3 Months ago
Just a little bump to this thread... anyone else taking the plunge this summer?

For some reason, I've got the itch pretty bad. My bro said he has plenty of wood, and he even said he could build a playhouse, put it on a trailer and deliver it... I told him no, as that completely destroys the idea of ME (DAD) building TheBoy's playset. But he's a good bro, and knows what he's doing, so I'm sure he'll be heavily involved. Not due to my lack of ambition, but my lack of skills.

ANYWAY... Here's where some of my inspiration is stemming from (in addition to this thread):

www.knock-offwood.com/
This chick makes me think I can build ANYTHING. And she gives ya the plans for free even. Here's one part of her playhouse plans (www.knock-offwood.com/2010/05/furniture-...se-deck-options.html) This is kind of what I'm going for, playhouse on stilts. Easy to build (in theory), easy to move, easy to add/reconfigure for the next location (in 2 years hopefully).

playgrounddesigns.blogspot.com/
Stuff from all over the world! Some simple, some seemingly quite dangerous, and some quite fantastic.

www.filthwizardry.com/
Lots of crazy craft stuff here for youngsters. But here is the "music wall" inspiration (www.filthwizardry.com/2010/05/music-wall-rip-music-tree.html)

When I actually start this project, I'll start a thread documenting the stupidity and cursing build process and various plans and concerns.
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Re:Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
4 Years, 2 Months ago
Hey, good luck with that build. We built something simple for our boy a few years back. It's a modified version of knock-offwood.com freestanding swing. Three a-frames and a platform for a slide. For us, the hardest part was leveling the ground for it. The "ground work" took one weekend. Building the swing set itself took my father and I the next Saturday. The kids all love it.
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Re:Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
4 Years, 1 Month ago
Another bump...

Well... I dove head first, into shallow water!

Nah, it hasn't been too bad as far as the building. I'm working on a full write up (meaning long and wordy) of the process and will post a separate thread later this week.

It's not complete yet, but TheBoy loves it! And Dad is VERY stoked, at his accomplishment, as well as the joy in the kiddos eyes when he first saw it (far from completion).

You CAN do this, and you CAN do this CHEAP. But it is a major time commitment to do it on your own.
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Re:Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
4 Years, 1 Month ago
Can't wait to see it! Pix, Pix, Pix.
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Re:Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
4 Years, 1 Month ago
Can't wait to see it! Pix, Pix, Pix.
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Re:Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
4 Years, 1 Month ago
Nik -- congratulations! Look forward to the new thread on your experience. Looking forward to pictures too.
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Re:Has Anyone Built a DIY Backyard Playground Set?
4 Years, 1 Month ago
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