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Help a Mom: Searching for affordable wooden swing sets

Posted May 15, 2012

I received this email from a mom, who is looking to add a swing set to her backyard:

I would like to know who [readers] could refer who builds wooden swing sets in the Triangle area - the Woodplay and Creative Playthings type swings sets, but at a fraction of the cost and with great material and workmanship. I would like one built for my 2- and 6-year-old daughters. My 13-year-old may or may not care for it, but it should hold her if she wanted to swing.

Do you have advice for this mom? Please share your tips in the comments box below. (If you don't see the comments box below, you'll need to log in or sign up for a WRAL account. You can do that by going to the top of the page and clicking on either "log in" or "register").

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  • newssaavy72 May 17, 2012

    Thanks to all of you for the great comments and suggestions!

  • howdiditgettothis May 16, 2012

    Best of luck in your search for an "inexpensive" playset......I agree try craig's list first.

    We looked at every company in the area, including do it yourself kits.

    We ended up first having our yard landscaped to make it level, then going with Creative Playthings. They are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. The owner came out, measured our yard out, made recommendations on sizes & styles, listened to what we wanted, and was super helpful, even with a few special requests we made.

    He showed up with 4-5 guys & they had our huge custom play set put up in about 4 hours. During the process, I even asked if he would make shutters to put on the windows and put a chin up bar instead of a fireman's pole (neither of which they had done, but were quite agreeable to doing).

    In the end, well worth the money. Multiple adults could get on the play set & it was sturdy as a rock!

  • fromRaleigh May 16, 2012

    We bought our Creative Playthings playset off of Craigslist for 1/4 of the price of new...we also called C P and had them go dis-assemble, deliver, and re-assemble in our yard so we wouldn't have to worry about whether we put it back together right-they put it together in an hour at the most! You can go buy the stain to freshen up the look. Good Luck!

  • NC Native, Baptist, Voter May 16, 2012

    We have a swing set frame that you can have. it is in fine shape. No extra stuff like slide or fort, but a basic wooden frame in good shape.

  • Platinum May 16, 2012

    p.s. There is a safe way to clean the plastic handles and slides (the yellow ones get black stains, I think it may be mildew or mold?) You can use white vinegar mixed half and half with hot water and wipe them down with a sponge. For some reason it gets the black out.

  • Platinum May 16, 2012

    Not trying to complicate the decision, but when I was in the market for a playset about 15 yrs. ago, my biggest concern was the pressure-treated pine and other wood species vs. redwood. Supposedly there are a lot of chemicals, including arsenic, in pressure-treated wood. You can easily get more info online about the arsenic in swing sets and decide for yourself if price is really your main consideration. Some of the chemicals used in cheap swing sets have been shown to be carcinogenic. Something to think about when making your choice.

  • jennifer4 May 16, 2012

    PLayset Junction website is

  • jennifer4 May 16, 2012

    We bought a kit from Playset Junction online included the swings, bolts, screws, and plans and then bought the lumber and my father & husband built it. It took a long weekend, but it is very sturdy and strong and anyone can swing on it. In total it cost about $800-900.00 for the lumber and kit. Still alot but this one will last for years!

  • triciajo2000 May 16, 2012

    We bought our set from home depot. It took many hours to put together, but my husband pretty much had to do it on his home. The main problem was that the parts were mis-labeled so figuring out the pieces took an entire afternoon. We could not be happier with the set. Over the past year we have added a fireman's pole, tire swing, and trapeze bar. It's easy to take swings and such off to put other equipment up. We have four kids using it almost everyday. Other then a little wear, it has held up really well. The set is called swing-in-slide. This set is a little over $1000, but we got it for around $800 when it was on sale. It's worth $1000 though. And, it holds bigger kids too.

  • kwiddersmith May 16, 2012

    We got a hardware kit from Home Depot that allowed us to pick the configuration and accessories we wanted, and then we bought the lumber and my husband and a neighbor assembled it. If you don't want to do the assembly yourself you could probably find a handyman who would do the labor for you.