DIY: How To Build Your Own Playsets For Kids (Swings, Slides & More)

Do your kids want a big, fun, exciting playset to enjoy in their own backyard?

Do you have a bunch of kids who love to play outside or even just one little one who likes to run, slide and swing?

Do you enjoy building things and finishing DIY projects?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to learn how to build your own kids’ playset right in your backyard.

This is a challenging but very rewarding DIY project that’s sure to get you and your kids excited about the possibilities. If you’re intermediate or better with power tools and woodworking, you can complete this project. So let’s get started!

3 Pros of Building Your Own Playset

Why would you want to build your own playsets anyway? Doesn’t that sound like a lot of trouble when you could just go out and buy one and have someone else put it together for you? If you want to go that route, you certainly can, but you may want to reconsider when you find out the benefits you can enjoy from putting together a playset yourself. Check out these three pros of playset building and see if they change your mind.

  • You can get the whole family involved. Sure, your kids don’t need to be using power tools, but they can help you with some other parts of the building project.
  • It’s a rewarding project. You’ll feel proud of your skills when you see your kids enjoying something you’ve built with your own hands.
  • You can save money. The cost of materials is much less than it would be from a professional company, and you won’t have to pay for any labor, either.

3 Cons of Building Your Own Playset

Of course, just like there are good reasons to build your own playset, there are also reasons why you might want to reconsider. Below are some of the cons of playset building you should keep in mind when you’re trying to decide whether or not this project is right for you. It’s important to have all the information you need before you make a decision on a project as big as this one, so be sure to weigh the pros against the cons and figure out for yourself whether or not to give it a try.

  • It can take a long time. If you don’t have several days to devote to this project, you may not want to go this route.
  • It can be done wrong. It’s important to know what you’re doing with power tools, lumber and everything else involved in this project. This is for your children’s safety.
  • You may not have enough space for it. Playsets take up a lot of room in the yard, so it’s a good idea to make sure you measure everything before you ever get started buying the items you need for this project.

Materials

  • (4) 4x4s and (1) 48.5” and (1) 106.5” lumber posts
  • (4) 2x8 frame boards
  • (5) 2x6 floor boards
  • (4) 2x4s and (36) 1x4s for lumber balusters
  • (2) 4x4s and (1) 2x6 and (1) 53’ a-frame lumber boards
  • (1) 4x4 and (2) 2x4 and (1) 57’ beam boards
  • Plastic slide attachment
  • Swings and swing hardware kits
  • (2) 1x4s and (1) 60’ roof board
  • 1 piece of canvas or fabric for roof
  • (9) 2x2 lumber ladder pieces
  • (100) 1-1/4” screws
  • (500) 2-1/2” screws
  • (100) 5” screws
  • Wood glue
  • Wood stain

Equipment

  • Tape measure
  • Framing square
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Miter saw
  • Hand screwdriver
  • Sander and sanding pads
  • Power drill and bits
  • Safety gloves and goggles

Steps

  • 1
    Start by building the playset frame. If you did not get your lumber pre-cut at the hardware store, use a circular saw to cut it to the dimensions in the materials list.
  • 2
    Use the 4x4s to build the frame. Attach the 2x8s to the base of the playset to make a sandbox.
  • 3
    Build the floor for your playset above the sandbox using the 2x4s. Attach them to the legs by drilling pilot holes and then using galvanized screws. This will keep the wood sturdy and secure.
  • 4
    With the floor joists in place, you can attach the 2x4 or 2x6 deck boards to the center of the playset frame. Do this by cutting notches into the slats for the deck and fitting them securely around the posts that are already in place.
  • 5
    Drill pilot holes into the slats and use the larger screws to secure them place. Space the slats equally apart from each other, but do not leave more than a quarter-inch between each one. Smooth them with a sander before you continue.
  • 6
    Drill pilot holes into the ladder pieces and attach them using the 2-1/2” screws to the 4x4 posts on one side of the playset. Use a level to keep the steps straight and space them about three inches apart from each other.
  • 7
    Attach the balusters to the sides of the “main floor” of the playset. To space them out evenly, use a cut wood block between each one. Secure these pieces to the 4x4 posts.
  • 8
    Build the swing A-frame by attaching 4x4 legs to 2x6 braces. Cut the tops of the A-frame boards at 15-degree angles and secure them with galvanized screws. Use wood glue to add additional support to the top of the swing frame.
  • 9
    Attach a 4x4 to the top of the A-frame and to the top of the playhouse portion of the playset. Use 5” screws to affix this. Always make sure everything is completely level when doing this.
  • 10
    Build the roof support by attaching two 2-foot boards to either side of the playhouse. Connect them with a 60” board using pilot holes and 2-1/2” galvanized screws.
  • 11
    Attach the canopy or fabric roof using bolts or screws.
  • 12
    Attach the plastic slide fixture according to the directions included with this piece of the playset.
  • 13
    Attach the swings and swing hardware kits according to the directions included with these items.
  • 14
    Sand everything so that it’s safe for kids.
  • 15
    Fill all gaps present with wood glue.
  • 16
    Use wood stain if desired. This will ensure the longevity of your playset.

Conclusion

There are a lot of things to keep in mind when you’re planning your backyard playset DIY project, so be sure you take your time and do your research if you have any further questions or concerns. Your kids’ safety should be the number one focus when you build. Always make sure you double-check everything you build with your own adult weight before you let your kids play on any of it. With the right attention to safety details, your kids will have a fun and secure place to play at home any time!

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