photo by Jordan Whitt via Unsplash

3 Considerations Before Purchasing a Backyard Playground Set

January 28, 2021 | by carol evenson, guest contributor

Making a playground part of your home's landscape is an exciting thing. Not only might it mean less trips to the park and more quality time spent at home, it holds the promise of years of healthy fun for your kids. If you've done research on what's available, you've seen how many different choices you have. In order to make the best all-around decision for your family, it's important to give this plenty of thought before making your purchase. To help you throughout this process, here are three things to keep in mind as you choose a playground set.

1. Set Your Budget and Come Up With a Plan

One of the nicest things about choosing a playground set is that there is something available to suit every budget. Even so, it can still be a big financial undertaking so making sure your bases are covered is essential. In addition to working the expense into your budget, don't forget to explore different payment options.

It's common for consumers to purchase larger items using a line of credit as a convenient way to lessen the impact of making a large purchase all at once. If you're currently working on building your credit or repairing your credit history, you might consider opening a secured credit card to use for making larger purchases. This is an excellent way to not only build your credit, but make affording your family's new playground set a reality as well.

2. Choose the Set That Suits Your Kids

After checking out different sets, you know that they all have different things to offer. While some are more basic with swings and a slide, others add more exciting features such as zip lines, towers, tunnels and climbing features. One of the most important things to remember is that you want your kids to have fun and challenge themselves.

Once you have a set in mind, don't forget to ask yourself if you can see your kids being attracted to its features. Is there enough going on to warrant purchasing it? Are there ways to add on or make changes down the road if needed? Is there enough room for your kids to have friends over? Is there room for your kids to grow? Don't forget to check the manufacturer's recommendation for age and weight as well.

While you might be tempted to buy the set as a surprise gift, consider sourcing input from your kids as well. They might love something you wouldn't have thought of, or maybe what you thought was a sure bet ends up being a total flop in their book. If you're ordering a set online, have your kids sit next to you and check it out. Or better yet, bring them along to test some out in person.

3. Look for Quality and Easy Maintenance

Playground sets have come a long way since the days of nuclear-hot slides and splinter-filled wood framing. Sure, this is great news for your kids — but it's even better for you, particularly from a quality and maintenance perspective.

Finding a well-built quality set shouldn't be difficult. Many are built using a combination of materials, such as vinyl and hardwood. Be on the lookout for cedar or redwood in this case, as those are rock-solid against insect and (normal) weather damage.

Chances are, the last thing you want is to have your new playground set be yet another thing to add to your home maintenance checklist. While there are pros and cons to all materials commonly used, it's up to you to make the final decision as to what makes the most sense for your family. For instance, truly maintenance free materials such as vinyl are a great choice because you don't have to worry about splinters or rot as you might with some types of wood.

Don't hesitate to make a backyard playground part of your home's landscape. This is one investment that will pay your entire family back for years.

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