How To Build Outdoor Swing Sets & Playgrounds – Guide

Last updated on December 9th, 2023

We will discuss How To Build Outdoor Swing Sets & Playgrounds in this step-by-step guide, along with related costs, safety issues, and other considerations. This article will also highlight some tips on how to build a backyard play structure.

Children need to play outdoors regularly. Getting some sunshine and physical activity is essential for keeping them healthy. So what can you do? It would be a great idea to build a swing set in the backyard so the kids could play to their hearts’ content. Moreover, it does not have to be expensive if you do it yourself.

What is the importance of building a swing set yourself & how much does it cost?


If you build your own swing set, you can customize its dimensions to meet your yard’s needs and the needs of your family. Furthermore, building a swing set yourself is significantly cheaper than purchasing one.

You will want to review your budget before we begin our discussion of how to build an outdoor swing set; to make sure that this is the right decision for you and your family.

Building a swing set can still cost less than some luxury swing sets depending on the features that you want to include, the size, and if you have the tools you need. The average cost of building a swing set is between $100 and $300, with luxury DIY swing sets costing closer to $1,000. While the cost of purchasing a complete swing set may range from $2000 to $8,000.

How To Build Outdoor Swing Sets & Playgrounds 

Before you can build a swing set, you have to prepare your backyard.

1- How To Build A Backyard Playground

The following are some tips on how to make a backyard playground that you should follow to make a safe playground for your kids.

A- Find A Safe Location

The first step in preparing the yard is to find a safe area in the yard where children can play. Try to avoid places where there are wires, trees, or roof materials; a place where there are no stones or rocks is best. Furthermore, you should choose a location with a solid foundation that will hold the weight of the playset as well as your children.

B- Look For Any Holes

Take a walk in your yard and do a complete inspection. Look for loose soil and check under the grass or corners that might contain hidden holes. Even a small hole can cause serious injuries. Once you discover any holes, cover them immediately.

C- Level Your Ground

It is difficult to find a location where the ground is evenly level. The ground will need to be leveled if there are a few bumps. Similarly, if your house is on a slope, you will need professional assistance to level your yard. You can use a construction leveling tool to make sure the land is level. Make sure the ground is even by breaking down any soil blocks with a rake. 

2- Materials & Tools

The following are the materials needed to build your own swing set:

  • Four 4” x 4” x 8′ pressure-treated lumber
  • Eight 2” x 6” x 12′ pressure-treated lumber
  • One 4” x 6” x 10′ pressure-treated lumber
  • Two swings
  • Two swings set brackets
  • Two A-frame metal brackets
  • A horse glider bracket and seat
  • Two sets of heavy-duty swing hangers

***See below for a closer look at the materials***

The following tools are required:

  • Drill
  • Drill pieces
  • Phillips head drill bit
  • Hammer
  • Tape Measure
  • Sand Paper

3- Steps

Below is our step-by-step guide on How To Build Outdoor Swing Sets:

Step 1: Lay out your lumber & brackets:

Each of the 4” x 4” x 8′ lumbers will become the swing set’s legs so you need to arrange them on each side. At the top, the beam will be 4” x 6” x 10′ of lumber. The beam and legs must be heavy to guarantee safety and durability. In addition, make sure these materials are sturdy enough to build a backyard swing set.

how to build a backyard play structure
Credit: Wayfair

Step 2: Attach the brackets to the lumber with screws.

Most swing sets come with the necessary hardware to attach them to the lumber. Place the 4” x 6” x 10′ beam into the brackets and attach it to the screws using the included screws. Get the kids involved in building the structure. Lay back the beam as soon as it is constructed and attached and screw in the  4” x 4” x 8′ lumber that will serve as legs.

how to build backyard playground
Credit: diy.dunnlumber

The A-Frame Metal Bracket Below Is A Best-Seller On Amazon

Additionally, drill holes for swings and mount swing hangers in the beam for accessories to be attached.

how to build a backyard swing set
Credit: diy.dunnlumber

Here Are Some High-Quality Swing Hangers On Amazon

Step 3. Screw in the side supports.

Then  2” x 6” x 12′ pieces of lumber are used to build support around the top and bottom of the swing set to help stabilize it.

The lower side support should be approximately 3 feet from the ground, and the upper support should be approximately 2 feet from the top. Repeat this for the other side too.

how to build outdoor swing set
Credit: Wayfair

Step 4: Attach any accessories you want.

If you want, you can attach DIY accessories such as a steering wheel, megaphone, swings, etc. An average swing set with a 10′ width will support three swings. It can be a standard swing, a baby swing, a two-seater swing, etc. Choose the swing that fits the needs of your children. 

how to build backyard playground
Credit: diy.dunnlumber

Check Out This Amazing Full Bucket Swing & Swing Seat On Amazon

Here’s Another Great Full Bucket Toddler Swing Seat with Finger Grip On Amazon

You can also add a telescope for added fun to your children’s swing sets.

Take A Look At This Pirate Telescope Available On Amazon.

Step 5: Spray with water repellent

You can protect the treated lumber by applying a water repellent after it is ready. After that, you can check the swing set’s safety. To test how strong your swing set is, tug or pull the chains. You can invite your children to play on the swing set once you are confident in its structural stability. 

Check Out This Rain Guard Water Repellent On Amazon

4- Safety Tips for Building Your Own Swing Set

The safety of your children should be your primary concern. Ensure that the swing is solid and does not wobble. Here are some safety checks to keep in mind:

  • Test the swing chains by tugging and pulling them before you let your kids play with them.
  • Choose an area of your yard that is level and free of obstacles for your swing set.
  • Ensure that the wood planks you use are thoroughly sanded to prevent splinters. Keep your planks intact by staining or painting them before you install them.

Want More Tips? Check Out This – How To Build A Backyard Swing Set Video:

FAQs – How To Build Outdoor Swing Sets & Playgrounds

1- What is the recommended distance between swings on a swing set?

A safe swing structure requires adequate spacing between swings. At least two feet of space should be provided between each swing. To avoid entanglement and collision, the swings and the main frame should be separated by at least 30 inches. The swing set must also be at least two feet off the ground.

2- What type of wood should I use for an outdoor playset?

Among the woods used for outdoor swing sets, cedar and redwood are the most popular choices. Natural resistance to disease, rot, and insect infestation are some of the benefits of using these woods. 

3- Is it possible to build a playset on grass?

For backyard swing sets and playsets, the grass is still the most popular choice, so it may work out perfectly for your family. Furthermore, you can read our review above to get a complete overview of how to build playsets for the backyard.

Final Thoughts

Parents often build a playground in their backyards in order to keep an eye on their little ones. A swing set is a perfect way to keep your child occupied and ensure that they get exercise at the same time. Also, your kids will probably be thrilled at the thought of a swing set. Hence, you can build your set today and the children will have fun every day.

We hope you have enjoyed our article; How To Build Outdoor Swing Sets & Playgrounds to help you build your swing set with ease.

Want an Easier Option? Check out these Best Deals on Amazon

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