How to Build a Swing Set
BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 120 Projects
If you want to design and build a backyard playground that meets your needs, but you don’t want to start from scratch, a good option is to buy a precut playground kit. Most home centers and a number of Internet suppliers sell do-it-yourself playground packages containing parts and hardware to make a complete play area. Some of the kits include all of the wood, while others include a list of lumber that you must buy with the set. Dozens of different designs are available, from a basic swingset and slide to elaborate, multilevel play areas with numerous extra features. Most manufacturers design their systems so that optional features can be easily added on. Most playground systems are designed to be installed with poured concrete footings, but in some cases you may be able to get by with simply anchoring the posts. If you choose not to pour footings, it’s even more important for the ground underneath the tower and swingset to be very level. To level and smooth the playground area and to stop grass and weeds from growing through it, cut out the sod in the play area, or at least in the area where the structures go, before you begin building. Some playground kits include all the necessary drill bits and drivers. If your kit doesn’t, you’ll need a standard selection of spade bits and drill bits, as well as countersink bits for #6 and #8 screws. You’ll also need a magnetized Phillips head driver for your drill. Note: The instructions in the following project are intended as a general guide for installing a playground kit that includes precut lumber. The type of playground you purchase may use different materials and techniques than shown here.