I don’t know about you, but the cabin fever is REAL in our house right now. With temperatures plummeting and frost creeping up the windows, I’m dreaming of warm spring days, open doors and the sweet sounds of children’s spirited adventures…outside.
You too? Maybe it’s time to finally invest in that backyard playset you’ve been thinking about. It’s never too early to start planning for spring. But with all the options out there, how on earth do you know which backyard playset is right for your family and what questions do you ask builders?
First and foremost, consider the obvious. Of course safety should be top of mind before investing in any outdoor playset, but what, exactly, does that mean?
A good place to start is by finding a reputable company with a long history of making high-quality products that are nontoxic and backed by warranty.
Beyond that, though, consider the method of installation. Sure, you can DIY it, but professional installation should ensure that all safety boxes are checked, giving you much needed peace of mind. Plus, in many cases, DIY installation will void your warranty, so make sure you read the fine print.
Find out what makes a swing set a superior choice
Consider Their Interests
Playsets have come a long way since the days of our childhood. The possibilities for add-ons and interest-specific sets are endless. It might help to consider the kind of play your kids enjoy most.
I’ve got a budding ninja warrior and a swing-obsessed toddler. That means climbing ropes, monkey bars, and swings are a must for us. But really anything that resembles an obstacle course would be a big hit around here.
Perhaps your kids are more into playing house or sports or defending a medieval castle from fire-breathing dragons. Wherever their interests lie, you can find a playset that inspires them.
How Long Will a Playset Last?
In addition, a playset’s physical lifespan, think of how big your family will get and how to extend the playset’s usage over the years.
A single swing might seem fine now, but as your kids change and your family grows, so will their interests and needs. The toddler who’s content swinging for hours will soon be a preschooler mastering his climbing skills until he becomes a big kid astronaut blasting into space and eventually a pensive pre-teen reflecting on life’s big mysteries in his own secret hideaway. Throw in another kid or two, and a single swing set suddenly feels not-quite-right.
Fortunately, many playsets can easily adapt to these changing needs over time. Want to add an extra swing in a few years? No biggie. How about a whole new hideaway? You got it! You don’t have to prepare for it all right now, but it’s useful to think at least a few years down the line and find a playset that can adapt in the future.
While we’re on the topic of longevity, let’s talk maintenance! Oh maintenance. That’s a bad word in my house. Wood playsets are adorable. They also require loads of maintenance. Vinyl-clad wood brings together the strength of wood and durability of vinyl, leaving you with a maintenance free playset that also retains its resale value much longer than wood for vinyl alone. Yes, please!
How Much Does a Playset Cost?
Playsets can get expensive, it’s true. But it might be helpful to think of an outdoor playset as an investment in your children’s childhood. Of course it’s an investment that should be carefully considered and balanced against other needs and wants, but children don’t stay small forever. In fact, childhood is way too short, IMHO. Right now you’re building their bank of memories that will serve them as they venture into the world someday. No, they don’t need a playset. It’s a luxury, for sure. But it’s a luxury that can serve as a building block for priceless memories, no doubt.
Plus, the best outdoor playsets have exceptional resale value or could even be passed on to your grandkids. When you break this all down over time, the lifetime value of a playset might just be worth it.
Call an expert!
Still have questions? Feel overwhelmed? Our play experts at Horizon Structures can answer any questions you hand and help you design a playset that meets your individual family’s wants and needs. Then, they’ll professionally install it on-site to ensure safety and peace of mind.