Purchasing a Swing Set Online versus Assembling One Brick and Mortar

September 27, 2019 1:19 pm

Dear Parents,

So you’ve made the decision to purchase a swing set online. Your kids are excited, and frankly, you are too. But wait! Before jumping into your purchase, please ask yourself the following questions:

What type of wood is the swing set made of, and can I determine its quality just from a picture?

Always do a bit of research online to familiarize yourself with the type of wood or material that your swing set is made of. The most common are:

  • Redwood: Species vary from the California Redwood to imported varieties from China and New Zealand, and tend to be more expensive than other varieties of wooden swing set. While sets that are stained will be both beautiful and hardy, you’ll need to clean them often to stave off rotting, splitting, and insect damage.
  • Cedar: Cedar is infamous for needing little to no maintenance, but there’s more to this statement than meets the eye. Chinese Cedar is a sweetly-scented cypress that naturally repels pests, fungus, and rot, while Domestics such as White and Red Cedar (also not true cedars, but cypress and juniper, respectively) require a degree of care to maintain their natural appearance.
  • Pine: Though a popular favorite, pine is known to splinter more than its Redwood and Cedar cousin. Comparatively low-maintenance, pressure-treated pine is the most durable of traditional swing set woods.

Can I be certain that the swing set I am purchasing will be safe for my children and guests to play on, no matter their ages and weights?

Silly as this question may sound, just imagine the horror if a larger child breaks your precious swing set, or sustains an injury because it couldn’t hold his weight? Have a thorough look over the manufacturer’s recommendations, familiarizing yourself with all weight, height, and usage protocols.

How much space is there between each swing, and what is the length of the beam?

Typically, beams are around seven feet long, which means that swings can get pretty close once children have begun rough-housing on them. Specialty sets are available with minimum 10’ beams, making it easier (and safer!) for older and larger children to play without risk.

How high off the ground is the center beam?

Like longer beams, taller beams are more conducive to older children. Likewise, a greater swing arch will lend to a more enjoyable experience, and contribute to the longevity of your investment.

Does my yard have the necessary space for this playset? Will the slope of my yard allow for a safe and secure installation?

Because children will be playing both on and around your swing set, you’ll want to make sure that you have ample space to accommodate their energetic activities. Furthermore, most swing sets purchased online are not fitted for anything other than level ground. While it is safer to have ground leveled than to install a set on uneven ground, this can be an arduous (and expensive!) task. If at all possible, choose a spot in your yard that is already level.

Why do most online swing sets only have a 5 year warranty?

The length of a warranty often indicates a product’s quality, as well as the confidence of the manufacturer that it will last. Check with your company of choice to determine the length your warranty, and make sure you know what it covers.

Do I have the time and patience to assemble this playset or will I need a professional installer?

Make sure to check how long the playset will take to assemble, and plan your schedule (or hire outside help) accordingly. Remember, time estimates are often based on professional installation, and you can assume it will take at least 50% longer for you to assemble everything properly.

Where can I find an installer who specializes in this particular swing set?

Have a look online or check with your local swing set company to see who offers the services you need. Ensure that your company of choice has the proper insurance to complete the job, as you’ll not want to face a lawsuit in the rare case that anything happens to a worker on your property.

What do I do if my set arrives with broken or missing pieces?

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for pieces to break or go missing. Often, the culprit is inefficient or poor handling during shipping, so it’s a good idea to ensure that your package will be delivered by a reliable and reputable provider. It’s always worth chatting with a company representative beforehand to ask whether you’ll be charged for broken/missing components.

What happens when my swing set arrives?

Check with your delivery provider so that you know whether you need to be home when your set arrives. Also, read reviews or contact the company so that you’re prepared for the size of the delivery – one big box is a lot different than twenty small ones! If you’ve hired a professional installer, make sure that he has a flexible schedule, as you’ll waste both time and money if he isn’t there on the right day.

All these and more are questions worth considering when you’re thinking of purchasing a swing set online. At Swingset & Toy Warehouse, our eager team of knowledgeable staff is equipped to address all of your questions and concerns when it comes to a new playset. Bring your kids along to one of our bright showrooms so they can try out their new playset in person – they can even customize it to their interests and activity level! Not only will our experienced staff guide you through the purchasing process, but we offer everything you’ll need in the future, from maintenance and repairs to warranty claims and repositioning.

Let’s Play Outside!

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