Home Improvement

Building a Backyard Play Structure

A child’s dream backyard includes a play structure complete with a slide and swings just like the one at the neighborhood park. Once you have made the decision to make your child’s dream come true then you have several avenues from which to select depending on the amount of money and time you can invest.

One of the most economical means of obtaining a play structure is to buy a used one. Since children eventually outgrow their play structures you can often find a used one at a fraction of the cost. Your time investment will require disassembling and reassembling the structure. To make the task of reassembling easier, you should take a photo of the play structure prior to disassembling. Check your newspaper classifieds and once you find one, call immediately since they tend to sell quickly. You should also check to see if your newspaper places their classifieds online. Many times the online version is available sooner than the print version which will give you a leading start.

If you decide to build your own play structure you have many options available. You can build totally from scratch by designing a set of plans, purchasing the material needed, and building the set. This is obviously very labor intensive and probably not the best project for a beginner. Another option is to purchase a kit from a store such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. You can purchase a kit for as little as $299 which includes: design options, some accessories, hardware, brackets, and plans. You must separately purchase slides, lumber and the remaining accessories. You can also purchase a complete kit which contains all material including lumber. These options are as labor intensive as the previous option but they take the guesswork out of design and building. The final and most expensive option is to purchase your playground already built.

Whichever option you decide upon you need to make certain that the structure is built safely and that your children know how to safely play on their new play structure. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year approximately 205,860 preschool and elementary children receive emergency treatment as the result of injuries sustained on playground equipment. Therefore, when it comes to playground equipment, safety definitely comes before price.

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