Of course, it may be easier to buy a pre-fabricated swing set, but it feels quite a bit more satisfying to learn how to build a swing set yourself.
When we were kids, we all loved to go to the backyard and swing on the swing set. We watched our dads pull a load of lumber out to the yard and were amazed when it became a beautiful new swing set to play on. Although, the question remains: How did dad know how to build a swing set all by himself?
How to Build a Swing Set the Easy Way and the Hard Way
Well, there are a few ways to accomplish this task. The decision rests on how much work you’d like to do and how much fun your children demand. It boils down to two ways: the easy way and the hard way.
Both methods are just as viable as each other. They simply differ in their beginnings. As in, what materials you use and how close they are to the final product, what tools you own, and whether you prefer to spend less or more time on the project.
How to build a swing set the easy way
For a moment, let’s envision the finished product. Every project has many pieces that fit together to form the structure you have in mind. Do you want a slide or a playhouse attached to the swing? How tall do you want your swing set? Are your children of varying ages and thus need different styles of swing?
These are important questions to answer before you start drawing up your plans. If you can answer simply, and you would just like the normal swing set with two seats, then the easy way is the way for you.
Before you get started
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You’ll need a set of tools, hardware, and lumber. A circular saw will do the job, but a table saw will make better cuts. With this, the choice is yours. You will also need a screw gun that can run both drill bits and screws.
As for hardware, you will need four to six angle iron brackets, two or three lag bolts, and a box of screws. The lumber you will need may vary, but you will need a 4×4 for the cross beam and a few 2×4 boards for the A-frames.
If your area isn’t level, you may want to level it out with some sand. Using a board and a 4-foot level, smooth out the sand in the area by pushing the sand with the leveled board. After your area is level and you have your items ready, it is time to get to the build.
How to put it together
First, build your A-frames. Use 2×4 boards cut at 60-degree angles. They should fit together into a triangle with a 4-inch space at the peak for the cross beam to fit into. At the center of the triangle, use another 2×4 board to support the A-frame.
Drill through the top of the boards so you can bolt them to the beam. Follow this process for the other A-frames and set them aside. Cut your crossbeam to the size you prefer and bolt on the swings.
Keep a good distance between them, so the children don’t bump each other as they swing. Drill through the beam in the places where the A-frame will meet.
Now, stand one of the A-frames up and fit the crossbeam into place. Run the bolt through the pilot holes and secure it with a nut. Finally, secure the other A-frames to the beam the same way you did the other. Now that your swing set is standing, use the angle iron brackets to support the structure.
The legs of the swing set now need to be pegged to the ground, so it doesn’t fall over. There are a few different methods you could use for this, but the easiest way is to use stakes. Attach the stakes to the legs of the swing set and sink them into the ground.
How to build a swing set the hard way
It requires a bit more creativity to know how to build a swing set the hard way. Your answers to the questions made previously will help you envision your design. Here we’ll describe how to build a swing set with a slide attached to it.
What you’ll need
Swing N Slide Summit Slide
Other than the items listed previously, you will need a slide and some climbing stones. For this build, a third A-frame is necessary to support the slide. And some extra brackets will be needed to support the underside of the platform.
A small pre-cut piece of plywood will become your platform. If you prefer not to buy extra lumber, you can also use a couple of 2×4 boards set side by side.
A can of paint or stain will make the build look great when it’s finished. This will also prevent wear and tear as the years go by.
On to the project
Now that you have everything in order, it’s time to start building. Build your A-frames and set your crossbeam. The third A-frame will fit into the build off-center. It will be the support for the slide platform. Attach 2×4 boards horizontally to the legs of this frame. That will be where you attach the climbing stones.
Frame the platform at the height of your slide using 2×4 boards. At this point, you can screw in the cap to the platform. If you are using a piece of plywood, put a screw in every 4 inches. If you are using 2×4 boards then, use 2 screws on either side. Now, attach the climbing stones.
Ensure that they are not too far apart so that the children can reach up to them. Finally, attach the slide to the platform and lay on your paint or stain.
And if you’re a visual person, check out this quick video for more instruction:
That’s the Swing
Whether you build your swing set the easy way or the hard way, be sure to take your time and have fun with it. You know your kids will!
Did we help you learn how to build a swing set? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image source: pexels