Outdoor Playset Installation Guide and Safety Tips
Learn how to install an outdoor playset safely with these tips and instructions.
Find a spot that is free from tree branches and has a six-foot safety zone around the playset. Install on solid ground and is level.
If your ground isn’t level, you can level it yourself. Start by placing four stakes where you want the four corners. Remember to include the length of the slide or other accessories and the safety zone. Wrap mason string around the stakes and level the strings for reference.
Start removing the sod at the highest point. Use a shovel or sod remover. The ground should be even with the strings. Use a long level to double check the slope.
For assembly, follow the instructions included with your outdoor playset. Lay everything out and start with the main tower, then add the rest of the structure. Then add the accessories like swings, a slide and a rope climb.
Once your playset is assembled, be sure to anchor it to the ground. Be sure your anchor is as close to the base as possible. Wrap a strap on the anchor. Drill a pilot hole and secure it with a lag screw.
To contain your ground base cover, you can add a border around the perimeter. For the ground base itself, you have several options. Sand is soft, but it can blow around. You can use sand underneath your playset to make a sandbox. Mulch is a popular option because it’s fairly soft, it tends to stay in the play area, it looks good, and it will last a few years. The best option is rubberized mulch, which is even softer and lasts longer than traditional mulch.
To maintain your outdoor playset, give the playset a good cleaning at the beginning of every season. Before the play season, and every two weeks, make sure all the bolts are tight. Look for any sharp edges and replace anything as needed. Also check for splinters and any protruding nails or screws.
On a monthly basis, oil any moving parts. Check swing seats for rust or deterioration. Fill in any thin spot in the base cover material. Trim any branches near the playset. Store any removable swings, ropes, and plastic parts for the winter. Pressure wash and apply a wood sealer every three years.