Wooden Swingset/Playset Preping The Backyard Area

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by MatS, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    0
    just purchased one of those wooden playsets for my child
    not looking forward to the hours of assembling it but before that I need some advice on preparing the area it will sit on.

    I'm thinking I don't want to put this directly on the lawn and have to cut and maintain the lawn in and around it

    so here is what I had in mind
    rent a sod cutter from Home Depot and take the grass up in the area in which it will sit (of course leaving the proper clearance on all sides)
    then putting down some type of landscaping fabric/weed barrier and on top of that laying down either wood chips or (more expensive) playground mulch

    was originally thinking of laying down 6x6's around the border but I might just leave it borderless between the mulch and grass instead or use plastic landscaping edging

    one question I had was do even need to take up the grass or can I just put down the landscaping fabric over the area and that will kill the grass underneath?

    any other swingset/playset experts out there do the same or have other suggestions/tips?

    safety comes first but I'm not looking to spend a ton on this as you can see I didn't exactly buy the most extravagant playset

    [​IMG]
    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=4725837
     
  2. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Messages:
    1,819
    Likes Received:
    192
    Real Name:
    Chris
    Not sure about leaving the grass down. In theory that should work.
    When I put one in for my kids, I got rid of the grass and used 4x4's to "enclose" the playground. I would recommend some type of barrier. The wood chips will go everywhere without it and will most likely scatter about some even with it. I made sure the 4x4s were spaced far enough away from the play area so that that if one of the kids fell or something that they wouldn't fall on the 4x4. I also made the mulch about 6-8 inches deep ontop of the weed barrier. Nice and soft for those unexpected hard landings.
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did pretty much exactly what you're proposing. I removed the sod and dumped in a ton of wood chips. I didn't put down a weed barrier and I should have since I now get the odd weed coming up though the chips. I've have ours built for almost two years now and its worked out very well.
     
  4. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's not nessacary to remove the grass, but would make it a tad easier in the end. Also, use heavy black plastic for weed/grass control, those fabric ones are worthless. Then put down at least 6 inches of mulch (we also looked at the rubber mulch, but holy crap, how can they charge that much for ripped up tires?????)

    Use what ever your heart desires as the boundry, just make sure you have at least 4ft between the playset and the edging.
     
  5. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    0
    actually on second thought if I don't dig down and pull up the grass and just put the fabric over the grass the wood chip coating would sit elevated way too high and would need a high boundry

    still haven't made up my mind what to do I might even just leave the grass and put up the set as is
     
  6. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 1999
    Messages:
    1,099
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Randy
    I just put that exact model up in June. Here's my best advice . . . make sure you have a perfectly level spot for the "fort" portion. My back yard is sloped, and I ended up having to dig a lot of dirt out, and actually sit parts of the fort portion and the ladder portion in the ground.

    Don't make the mistake of trying to build up to level the fort. When I did, the ladder and rock wall would no longer touch the ground. You'll notice I moved the location of the slide, because it would have had no angle coming from the side it was designed for, due to the hill. I had to buy longer bolts because of this.

    BTW, it does take 2 people, and plan on 6-8 hours. Get a good powerful drill (they provide the screwdriver bit). Lay out all the boards holes up, and grouped by number. And don't forget that there are recalled bolts still in the bag. Use the new bolts supplied, and throw away the recalled bolts right in the beginning.

    Other than that, it wasn't too bad to put together. The directions aren't too bad, and everything lined up well.

    I'm just mowing around it, due to the slope of the ground.

    (also, a little Armour All on the slide makes it a TURBO SLIDE)

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jerry Almeida

    Jerry Almeida Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 1999
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Real Name:
    Jerry Almeida

    That's what I did, and everything has worked out fine. I have almost the same set, purchased from Wal-Mart, and the kids love it.

    I agree with the 6-8 time frame. It's definately an all day project, but when you see the kids playing on it, it's all worth it.
     
  8. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2001
    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Nathan
    Interestingly enough, I put up a sister set to that model yesterday.

    [​IMG]
    The Tacoma.

    It only took about 4 hours with a helper. (But my set looks to be simpler than the one you got.)

    I also knew about the recall, and my package had a big sticker saying it had the replacement bolts in the package, but there were no bolts! [​IMG]

    I put it together anyway, and called the company who is sending the bolts out FedEx. It'll take about 45 seconds to change 2 bolts out, when they arrive.

    Oh, and I didn't prep the area beforehand. If it was good enough for me to fall off the swings and land on the grass, then it's good enough for my kids. [​IMG]
     
  9. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    1,998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    Greg
    WARNING: Some bark dust / mulch is extremely prone to giving splinters (as in rest your hand on the mulch and get a splinter). When you order your bark dust ask which product is best for kids / lack of splinters. I don't know if they call this "Playground mulch" or not (never heard of it). Larger chips won't cause splinters but they aren't as comfortable if you fall off the swing...
     
  10. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Messages:
    1,819
    Likes Received:
    192
    Real Name:
    Chris
    I think that you can actually buy mulch that is specific for this type pf application.

    I actually ended up moving my swingset. It is a monster by Backyard Adventures and we had just owned it a year when we moved (move was only 20-some miles). The first install was in an ornately created playground that was a ballbuster to build (multiple stumps and ground roots to remove, sloping yard which needed to be level and then a 40 x 20 foot "wall" of 4x4s to enclose the playground. When we moved, I found the most level spot on the lawn and up she went [​IMG]
     

Share This Page