Homemade Playset

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Introduction: Homemade Playset

About: My 30's have become a sort of renaissance for my tinkering and building.

In the last year or so I've noticed that my kids are getting a little too sedentary for their own good. I'd like them to get out more but we are often too busy with work and other things to go to a park and I don't like them playing in the street in front of our house because people drive like a-holes through our neighborhood. We already have a good backyard but it was a little boring. I decided a playground set would be a good investment. Like most of the things I build I could have purchase a playground set, but building it myself is more fun and I was able to spread the cost out. This build took me about nine months due to work, weather, and costs. In total I'd say I went just north of $1000 in material. Most of that cost was the lumber, and I probably could have cut that cost down by 25% if I had been willing to drive the extra distance to a wholesale lumber yard instead of going to the two "big box" stores. Their mark-up on lumber is ridiculous.

Step 1: The Design

I hate, hate, hate digging holes. I originally tried to create a design that would limit the number of holes needing to be dug to just four. I used small craft sticks to try and model the design. Ultimately I decided that to make a multi-tiered platform I was going to have to dig more than four holes.

Step 2: The Support

I started with four corner posts made from 10' 4x6's. They are sunk about 24" in the ground and are anchored with about 150 lbs of concrete each. This may be a bit much but I've never built one of these before and decided overkill was a good rule of thumb. There are four 4x6 secondary posts that are not anchored with concrete. These posts are sunk in the ground on top of some left over pavers I had to try to keep them from sinking over time.

Step 3: Frame

The base frame is all 2x6 and is bolted to the posts with 3/8" bolts. A coworker of mine has taken to calling this "The Bomb Shelter" due to my using such heavy duty means of construction. Truth be told, I wanted to be able to climb on this thing myself so it needed to be strong since I'm approaching 270 lbs. The keen observer may have noticed that I didn't use pressure treated lumber. Pressure treated lumber is more expensive, and with regular care and coats of sealer or paint the standard lumber will last just fine. After the frame was completed I knew I would have to be taking a long break due to some long work hours and other engagements so I applied a layer of deck sealer. This was mostly to protect the frame from my lawn sprinklers. I live in Nevada so rain and ambient moisture is not that big of a concern.

Step 4: The Deck and Rails

The deck is just 2x4's secured to the frame with exterior deck screws. I used a 1" strip of left over wood as a spacer. The vertical barrier is made up of 2x2's secured with deck screws. I used a 2x4 as a spacer for these.

Step 5: Fitting the Slide and Attaching the Swing Set

The slide, and swing set bracket are bought off Amazon. I needed to dry fit the slide and my kids were dying to try it out so I went ahead and just screwed it in place so they could. I splurged on the slide and got one that could support 300 lbs so I could get on it, and that was highly rate specifically for UV protection. The summer Nevada sun will destroy most regular plastic within days. Its a little narrow for my butt, but it holds up. The slide was $300. The angled bracket on the far side of the swing set was about $50. The near side of the swing set is attached using a wood bracket I made and some thread-rod.

The swings I bought were heavy duty, supporting up to 350 lbs. and the hanger bearings are rated for 700 lbs. each.

At this point the deck has been painted with a first coat of actual deck paint instead of just deck sealer. I had a friend who had just painted a deck and had about $200 worth of deck paint that he wasn't going to use, so he gave it to me. It was a little darker than I had wanted, but it was free and really good quality.

I still have to add the rope ladder and the fireman's pole but they are going to be purchased at a later time when I can afford it. For now the kiddos mostly enjoy swinging while I lay on the slide.

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    18 Comments

    0
    Nick70587
    Nick70587

    Answer 1 year ago

    It depends on how tall you want it. I sunk the posts nearly 2 feet in the ground.

    0
    Nick70587
    Nick70587

    6 years ago

    Thank you. I have embraced the "bomb shelter" remarks and might even hang a sign on it officially naming it that.

    0
    mikeparker224
    mikeparker224

    Reply 1 year ago

    Could you post the lumber and hardware list?

    0
    Nick70587
    Nick70587

    Reply 1 year ago

    I will do the best I can, its been a while.
    10' 4x6 qty 10
    10' 2x6 qty 8
    8' 4x4 qty 2
    8' 2x4 qty 20-ish
    8' 2x2 qty 20-ish
    Pre-made swing tripod bracket qty 1
    3/8" bolts 6" long qty 30
    3/8" bolts 8" long qty 30
    Various length exterior wood screws qty LOTS
    2x4 joist brackets qty 16-ish

    0
    Augiesmom15
    Augiesmom15

    Question 1 year ago

    Can you tell me how many 2x4 and 2x2 you use. A supply list would be great for those of us wanting to do this.

    0
    pimpdaddymoney
    pimpdaddymoney

    Question 1 year ago on Step 5

    The only thing this is missing is a list of materials.

    0
    JRock1203
    JRock1203

    2 years ago

    May have missed it, but did you have a cost for the materials excluding the slide? Just the lumber and concrete I suppose.

    0
    Nick70587
    Nick70587

    Best Answer 2 years ago

    It was roughly $700 for the lumber, concrete, and hardware. I did have some extra wood and concrete left over though.

    0
    KatieB212
    KatieB212

    Question 2 years ago on Introduction

    I see that you finished it off with a swing structure. Did you ever create a new post to explain how you built that portion?

    0
    Nick70587
    Nick70587

    Answer 2 years ago

    The last step briefly mentions it, but all it consists of is a pre-made steel bracket from Amazon. The legs are 4 x 4 and the header is a 4 x 6. The other end is bolted to the main structure.

    0
    dmulcahy62
    dmulcahy62

    Question 3 years ago on Step 5

    I like your design. Could you give some dimensions?

    0
    Nick70587
    Nick70587

    Answer 3 years ago

    The whole thing is about 8' x 8'. The square platforms are 4' x 4'. The highest platform was about 60" off the ground and the platforms all stepped down about 14". The step up to each platform was really too much for my little one to handle.

    0
    hplusm03
    hplusm03

    4 years ago

    This is exactly what I was looking for! My wife and I are about to buy our first home, and the first thing we talked about was getting a playset for our daughter. I have a lot of mechanical/tool, but very little building experience. This looks like a great project to get my hands dirty.

    0
    avocadostains

    This is awesome ,and I love the fact that you built a scale version first.

    0
    buck2217
    buck2217

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Shame my kidsare grown up so I have no excuse to build this for myself :-(

    0
    buck2217
    buck2217

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Building tough is the way to go, all my projects should survive the zombie apocalypse!!

    0
    rolltidehank
    rolltidehank

    6 years ago

    Love your home made swing set. I also tend to overbuild. I built a bed last year and was made fun of because of how heavy duty it is. Oh well. We'll have the last laughs when their inferior projects fall apart!