wooden play structures for less than $500? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My kids need something to do in the backyard so we are looking at swingsets. I prefer the look of wood, but wow.... I cant believe the price on some of these!!! We plan to move in 2 years or less so spending $2500 on a swingset isnt happening (and I doubt it would even if we werent moving!). Are there sets under $500 that are sturdy and decent? Seems a lot of the cheaper ones are getting poor reviews.
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#2 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 07:19 PM
 
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Too bad you don't live nearby.......our neighborhood is being torn down in sections and the one family left a year old wood play area - one of the rainbow company ones. Trust me, if I could move it..........

If I were you, I'd keep my eyes open on craigslist and freecycle for a higher end structure, or if you are handy, quite a few of the home improvement stores sell the plans, so you can build and add on as you have the money to.
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#3 of 13 Old 12-28-2007, 10:39 PM
 
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Could you maybe build your own? I know you can buy plans for swingsets / forts.

What about a kitset?

It's complicated.
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#4 of 13 Old 12-29-2007, 11:43 AM
 
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About two years ago we went through the same thing. We finally got ours at Sams Club and it was $1000. Our neighbors got their wooden one from Walmart (he works there) for under $500. Their kids NEVER play on their swingset. Ours has a little more to it and gets a lot more play.

I did know that all three of my boys would get tons of use with the swingset so it was well worth it.

I pass a few houses near me that have play stuctures in their yards. These things a huge and at least $8000-$10000 and I never have seen anyone play on them. I really think you should only get it if you KNOW your kids will play on it.
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#5 of 13 Old 12-29-2007, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, that is the reason we are getting a less expensive one ... but we really need to get something. We have a big fenced yard but there is nothing to do in it - no big rocks to play on, only one tree that isnt climbable - its really a wasted space and so the kids dont even want to go out in it, which means for fresh air/outdoor time we have to get in the car and go to a park which isnt always possible. I would like them to have something to do outside while I cook, or while the baby is napping. We have talked about it and they are excited, so I do think they will use it ... I hope!
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#6 of 13 Old 12-29-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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check out your craigs list. you might find one someone wants removed.
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#7 of 13 Old 12-29-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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We found a beautiful one on Craigslist for 350.
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#8 of 13 Old 12-30-2007, 12:19 AM
 
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We did too. Craigslist is perfect for that!

Ours probably cost $2000-2500 new; it's a big Rainbow one with two levels w/ canopies, a tire swing, wavy and circular tube slides, a regular swing, a sandbox and a picnic table. The lady was asking $300 for it, so I emailed and offered her $350 (I knew she was going to have a lot of responses to her ad!) They go fast in the summer-I tried to get several others but missed out by responding too slowly! I finally got ours in October.

It took 6 men about 5 hours to dismantle it, load it into a u-haul and reassemble it in our yard. ExH, DP and assorted friends and brothers did it, because Rainbow wanted to charge as much to move it as we paid for the swingset.

~*Kristi*~
Tallulah Dare 8-01,  Marcos Gael 12-04, Cormac Mateo 9-09, Leonidas Ronan 11-11

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#9 of 13 Old 12-31-2007, 05:02 AM
 
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If you have a big grassy back-yard, you can do other stuff besides a play structure. We have a sandbox that someone gave us (their boys were done with it), and my kids are so happy when I put our tent up in the yard for them to play in. Another possibility for older kids is an "adventure playground" set up, where you bring in some wood, a basic structure like a box or a couple of wooden ladders, and let them go to town with hammer and nails or leftover paint or what have you. It'll look like hell, but they'll have a great time building for themselves.
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#10 of 13 Old 12-31-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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growing up, my "sandbox" was RR ties formed into a square with sand. the kids loved it because it was so big.
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#11 of 13 Old 12-31-2007, 09:44 PM
 
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We also got ours used. We spent 2 years watching the ads. I love it and it was worth the $$. We never could have afforded a new one but I wanted a nice wooden one. Also as you budget for them don't forget to budget for the ground covering. It's expensive and adds up fast.

Ds - 2002 High Functioning Autism
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#12 of 13 Old 01-01-2008, 03:46 AM
 
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You could build a treeless treehouse. I built my kids a house on 4x4's this fall and they love it. They really wanted a treehouse but we don't have mature enough trees.

In the summer, I am going to put a sandbox underneath it.

Not including the tools that I had to buy, it cost about $600 for wood and parts. I could have done a little better on the cost if I had planned a little better. I still have to shingle it and paint it so that will probably add another $75 to it.

If you want me to send you pictures, let me know. I didn't use any plans or anything and managed to get most of it built in about 4 weekends.
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#13 of 13 Old 01-01-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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We have one of the Timber Bilt sets from Home Depot. We got the no-cut kit, so we had to buy the beams separately. It went together nicely - the next door neighbor and I built it in 2 afternoons. It is so much nicer and sturdier than the others I have seen that cost as much or more.
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