What Do You Look For In an Outdoor Play System?
When choosing a Play system or outdoor play area for your children to enjoy at your home, be sure to look at the safety features of the equipment before you buy. You should be able to pick the style that suits their needs, fits in your backyard with extra room around all sides, and the one that is most age-appropriate for your children to grow with and have fun on.
Check for these safety features before buying a new playset for your children:
1) Recessed bolts that won’t stick out and tear clothing or hurt fingers. Make sure that the build plan does not call for or use nails. Nails can back out of wood over time, and cause injuries and punctures. Make sure that bolts with recessed holes for placement are used in the wooden playset.
2) Covered chains that are sturdy, but lighter weight than industrial metal materials. “Painted” or colored chains are not the same. It needs a plastic coating over where their small hands will be gripping the chain. I chose the swing set with a plastisol coasting, which I thought was a great purchase. It covers the chain, but allows it to breathe without trapping water. (And it won’t pull fingers or hair!)
3) Quality wood that will last, and withstand the weather for years to come. Make sure it is pressure treated, solid pieces. Cheaper swing sets have thin wood that will splinter faster and bend with too much weight. Buy only the solid-frame wood sets that are heavy-duty.
4) Sturdy plastic slides that retain color and keep cool in the sunlight. Some slides are too thin, and they buckle when an older or heavier child uses it. Make sure the slide is thick! Don’t ever get a metal slide, they are too hot in the sun and can burn the skin.
5) Check for pre-sanded and smooth out surfaces and corners of the wood, to prevent injuries. If this is done in the factory, it will save you lots of time! You will want pre-sanded and pre-cut wood.
6) Look at the product warranty or manufacturer’s warranty, and compare brands. Inspecting the details of the warranty is important, since you will have this at your home for many years.
7) Check to see if the swing set is made in the U.S. Other countries safety standards are not the same as ours. Your swing set will be the safest if it is made in the USA.
8) Read the customer approval ratings and feedback on other websites. Don’t just check their website and believe what it says. Be sure to be thorough in your search for brand satisfaction and wood sustainability. While no company can make everyone happy ALL the time, take note of what the customer service is like and the response time.
9) Look for a build plan that you can manage. Make sure and read how difficult it is to build it, before you buy it. Joints with tongue and groove options are great, since its less hardware, and it implies a solid build surface.
10) Check the company history, or longevity. Were they around five years ago? Have they had any complaints? You will need support from customer service if you have questions, so make sure they will be there to answer the phone if you do have to call.
The playsets I really liked were at www.playnation.com. They come in ready-to build kits with all the prep-work done for you. You can also customize the set to your needs.
Another company that sells complete swing sets is www.gorillaplaysets.com. They have lots of styles and price ranges to choose from.