A swing set can be fun for both kids and adults, a place where childhood memories are formed and recollected. It doesn’t have to be expensive: used swing sets are available at a fraction of the price of an original set, if you know where to look.
Here are suggestions for buying a used swing set:
- Set a budget. Swings don’t have to be elaborate affairs that are loaded with features. A simple swing can bring affordable fun and decorate any backyard. Deciding on a budget will allow you to readily choose from among the available models and units you find.
- Prepare an area for the set. A set takes up around two by four square meters of flat space, including space to swing a loaded seat. You may also want the set to be part of a playground ensemble, so make sure you have plenty of space in your backyard. The swing set area should also allow for other playground pieces such as the sandbox and slide.
- Search online. Auction websites like Ebay may offer up swing sets for bidding. Classified ad sites like Craigslist may also sell swing sets for a fixed amount of cash. As a last resort, try inquiring in message boards and social networks. In all of these approaches, limit your search to within your own region; swing sets are considerably large pieces, and transporting them over huge distances will offset the savings for buying them second-hand.
- Avoid flimsy sets for outdoor playgrounds. If you plan to establish the swing outdoors, make sure the swing material can handle outdoor conditions such as rain, snow and heat. Metal swings should be properly primed and painted to resist corrosion. Wooden swings can also be considered if it’s properly varnished to resist moisture damage. The seats should be easily cleaned.
- Test the swing. Have an adult occupy the swing and go for a couple of practice runs. The legs should not show signs of buckling or instability. The swing chain should hold a full-sized adult. You can also bring kids with you to see if they like it or they can handle it. Inspect for damage, defects and wear. Make sure no sharp parts stick out that could harm people. Check the connections and make a mental note of all the tools you’ll need to reassemble it back at your home. Finally, bring a vehicle that can transport the disassembled pieces back home, preferably a flatbed truck.
- Prepare to restore it. A weathered swing set may need a few repairs before using it. After purchasing and setting it up, get a primer, paint and brush then coat the metal parts to prevent corrosion. Replace the chain or the link if it’s showing signs of giving way. Keep some handy tools and materials nearby to maintain it, such as grease and a wrench.
A swing set can provide years of fun for social gatherings or intimate family moments. Even a properly restored used swing can be part of cherished memories.