The Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set is your average starter playset for kids ages 3 to 6. Backyard Discovery has over 35 years of experience creating ready-to-assemble outdoor play and patio structures. This set is typical of Backyard Discovery and will help your children create lasting memories and develop crucial play skills.
Costing anywhere from $450 to $550 in total, the Buckley Hill set costs less than the average outdoor playground. The Buckley Hill set is made for small yards and small children. This review will give you the full rundown of everything you need to know before buying the Buckley Hill set.
The Backyartisan's Verdict
At The Backyartisan, we break down ratings to determine the overall value of playsets. Each aspect of the swing set is rated on a scale from one to five stars. We rate everything from pre-installation to after the set is in your yard. We go through each feature of the Buckley Hill set in-depth to let you know whether this set is suitable for you and your backyard.
Around 30% of the rating weight goes to shipping and installation. The experience and usage your children get out of the playset are 45% of the overall rating. The weighted rating of the playset value is 25%. This article will explain the weighted values as we go through them.
This star scale is how we rated the Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set.
Shipping & Receiving
For shipping and receiving, we explain everything you need to know about this process, what to expect, and how it compares to others. The shipping and receiving process of playsets is a lot more complicated than your typical online purchase.
Read our other articles on shipping and receiving to learn more and what you can expect from your average playset shipment. Here are the features of the Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Swing Set shipping and receiving processes.
Our Buckley Hill verdict: We give Backyard Discovery 5 stars for the shipping and receiving of the Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set. These are tiny sets, so they will be simple to ship and receive upon arrival compared to your average or large-sized playsets.
Trucking Company Appointments
The best way to ship and receive these playsets is through a trucking company, even if it's not the most convenient for you. Even smaller sets like the Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set are larger shipments than the average parcel, so they aren't going to fit on the average parcel truck. Usually, you will need to make an appointment with the truck company during a window of time that you guarantee to be home so that you can receive the shipment.
Most trucking companies won't deliver the set without an appointment. Lastly, find out from Backyard Discovery and the truck company if you will need to unload the shipment on your own so that you can be prepared to do so. Some truck companies will help unload the boxes and even carry them where you need them, but don’t count on that. Make sure you’re prepared.
Dealing with Pallets
Your shipment will come on a pallet to help with transporting it. Since these playsets are over 6 feet long, you'll likely have to handle a pallet or two and find something to do with it after the shipment is delivered.
You might get lucky and get a trucking company that takes the pallets away for you. However, you may need to be ready to take the pallet and dispose of it yourself, just in case they don’t take it. This is something to keep in mind when planning for the arrival of the playset.
Unboxing and Taking Inventory
We can't emphasize enough how important this next aspect is. We talk about it in nearly every article! While you are unboxing the playset, taking inventory of each piece is crucial. This is one of the more tedious aspects of this process, and it's not always easy. So make sure that as you unbox, you take meticulous notes and pictures of everything that comes with it.
You have 30-90 days to report anything missing or damaged in the inventory, so it's essential to get this done as soon as possible. If you report it in this time frame, you can get what’s missing sent to you as quickly as possible. Taking inventory is also helpful when you start going through the directions, as they can get confusing.
If you know where everything is ahead of time, it makes it go a lot smoother.
Box Weight and Dimensions
With the Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill set, you typically receive two boxes. The heaviest box you receive is 120 pounds. So, even though it's only two boxes, be prepared to have someone there with you to help unload the shipment.
- Box 1: 76 3/4" x 17 3/4" x 7 1/2" Weight: 119 lbs.
- Box 2: 38 1/2" x 18 1/4" x 4" Weight: 28 lbs.
Backyard Discovery is typically less complicated and heavy-duty when it comes to installation, but no installation is easy. First, look through our in-depth article on how to install a playground yourself to learn more about what you need to know before installing any playground yourself. If you're not looking to install the playset yourself, we also walk you through how to hire a playset installer.
Our Buckley Hill verdict: We give the Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Swing Set a 3-star installation rating. Backyard Discovery uses the Bilt app to make installation easier. The Bilt app provides interactive 3-D instructions. However, even with the Bilt app, playsets aren't simple to install.
Each of the tools you need to complete the installment should be your standard tools in a toolbox. So, if you’re used to completing projects around the house, you should have everything you need. However, if you don't have one of the tools required, picking them up for this installment could be beneficial for future projects, so they won't go to waste!
To complete the installation process, you'll need:
- Phillips Head Drill Attachment
- Open End Wrenches 1/2"
- Phillips Screwdriver
- 1/8", 3/8" & 7/16" Drill Bits
- 1/2" Deep Sockets
- Claw Hammer
- Rubber Mallet - Optional
- Tape Measure
- Electric drill
Ease and Timeframe of Installation
As with most playset installations, you won't find this installation easy. If you want a more straightforward installation process, you'd have to hire someone to do it for you! Interestingly, Backyard Discovery did not estimate how long installing the Buckley Hill set may take. However, we recommend giving yourself at least 1.5 days for installation.
1.5 days is how long it typically takes for Backyard Discovery playsets to be installed. However, if you hire someone to do the installation for you, they may need more or less time, depending on their hours and rates.
Quality of Directions
As with most Backyard Discovery directions, the instruction manual is well-written, but the directions are just plain dense. So, make sure to stay focused and organized. One helpful thing you can do is take good notes as you start the installation. If you need to take a break, you can refer back to your notes when you resume work.
The space of use for the Buckley Hill Swing Set is 24 x 23 feet. The set is 8 feet tall and rounded. This is one of the smaller sets from Backyard Discovery, but we recommend giving yourself at least 5-6 feet of clearance around the swing set. It's critical to be away from walls, fences, and other yard features.
Stability & Durability
You want the playsets you buy to last as long as the kids need them to, no matter the weather or wear and tear. Our stability and durability ratings will walk you through if this set is worth the investment and if it will last.
Backyard Discovery playsets aren't your heavy-duty options on the market, but their stability and durability ratings are average compared to others. The Buckley Hill playset, in particular, it's a lot more lightweight than average due to it being made for smaller kids.
Our Buckley Hill verdict: We give the Buckley Hill play set a 2-star stability and durability rating. It's not the most stable or durable playset on the market. However, at around $500, you're getting the stability and durability that $500 can get you.
This set is meant to be cheaper and more affordable, and therefore, maybe not meant to last as long as the more expensive sets. You’re getting a lower price with the Buckley Hill set but sacrificing stability and durability in the process.
Joints & Hardware
The Buckley Hill set is a collection of generic bolts, nuts, and many screws. Nothing about the joints or hardware stands out, but they are sufficient to do the job. The plate for the swing beam is fine, but it has no heft and doesn't feel heavy duty at all. The swing beam holds the two belt swings, but it can’t do more than that. This set is made lightweight for smaller kids, and the hardware feels like it.
The Buckley Hill set does not have thick wood. Because this is a set made for young, small kids, the swing beam is only 2x5.25. The wood thickness is not great, but other aspects of the wood are fine. Again, nothing about the wood used in the set stands out, but the wood seems to do what it needs to do.
The thickness of the plastic in this set is okay. There is only some plastic in the foundation of the playset, though. The main plastic pieces are the wave slide and some rock climbing pieces. However, because the wave slide is three separate pieces, it may not last as long as you want it to last. Neither slide piece is heavy-duty.
Wood Stain & Finish
The wood in this play set is good-looking and pretty natural looking. The finish is smoothly spread. After some time and the weather passes through it, it will most likely need some attention to keep it looking nice and natural. Keep an eye on the finish and roughness of the set. We have an article that details everything you need to know about restoring playsets and keeping them new.
For individual activities such as the slide and rock wall, each child can only weigh up to 150 pounds. With joint activities, such as the swings and playhouse area, the max weight limit is 120 lbs per child. Backyard Discovery recommends no more than nine children playing on the set simultaneously. For safety reasons, we recommend sticking to the suggested limits. The Buckley Hill is a lightweight swing set model made for only a couple of kids at a time. It’s also not made for older kids that may weigh more.
Look through our site for more information on our maintenance recommendations for all playsets, but this swing set will need you to take care of it to keep it looking good and working well for as long as possible. Even though you save money with this set initially, the ongoing maintenance of it may add up quickly. It’s going to need some TLC.
In the play elements rating, Backyartisan looks at each play feature the set has to offer. This set provides plenty of basic outdoor play options.
Our Buckley Hill verdict: This swing set gets you the basics. We rate the Buckley Hill set 2-stars for play elements. The playset is not the worst for playing, but it could do more. Your kids will enjoy the swings, climbing wall, slide, and small fort but may get bored with these simple features after a while.
Ups, Downs & Acrosses
In ups, downs, and acrosses, we highlight how your kids can get in, out, on, and off the playset. There are few options on the Buckley Hill set, but they are at least safe. The only choices for moving up, down, and across are the rocks on the rock wall and the slide. Additionally, only one kid can move across these areas due to the weight restrictions and limits.
The Buckley Hill set has the minimum swing options with just two positions. Each swing is your typical belt model, but they are smaller than average due to this playset being for younger children.
Social Play Accessories
The Buckley Hill set has few social play capabilities. However, a chalkboard in the clubhouse allows kids to draw together while they hang out under the fort. There is also space underneath the rock wall where kids can play. There are two swings, though, so two kids can enjoy the swings together.
Solo Play Accessories
The Buckley Hill set provides a few solo play accessories. There is a small rock wall that could be fun for small children. The wave slide is also perfect for small children. Other than that, the Buckley Hill playset does not provide many solo play opportunities.
Roof & Kit Options
The only option for the roof and fort kit is the tarp that comes with the playset. The upper fort or clubhouse is a decent size for small children. The green tarp shades the area, providing a fort-like design. However, the tarp is not as durable as most and could need replacing after a big storm hits.
Price & Value
Okay, now we went through all the details on the shipping, installation, stability, and play elements, but is the price worth it? The Buckley Hill set can cost anywhere from $450 to $550 and potentially even the installation, but should you buy it? To find out, we will go through the price and value rating and what we considered.
Our Buckley Hill verdict: At The Backyartisan, we give the Buckley Hill set a 4-star rating for price and value. Typically, Backyard Discovery achieves higher than average on their playsets in this category. This swing set is definitely in the cheap zone of their playsets and models. Although the playset is smaller, has fewer play features, and is less durable, it is lower in price than most swing sets.
The overall worth of the Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set is below average. The warranty plan for this set is poor and takes quite some time and hard work to put together. Sometimes, you could pay 25-40% higher in price to get the playset assembled.
Essentially, you get what you pay for with this set. It's a low price for a playset, so it may be okay if you only have one or two small kids. However, due to its lower price, the playset is small, less durable, and yet still time-intensive to put together. It may be worth looking at other playsets and reviews before going with the Buckley Hill set. For any playset, under $1,000 is just cheap.
Backyard Discovery claims to provide customers with free shipping on their playsets. However, by looking at the return policy, you see their shipping is not free at all. Typically, there are no free returns, either. Transportation rates are rising, so this could actually cost $150 to ship if you return it. You may need to pay someone to help you unload the shipment. Some truck companies may also charge a fee for scheduling delivery.
If you decide to hire someone to install the playset for you, which may be your best and easiest option, you will have to pay a high amount. On the lower end of payments, you could try to hire someone for around $250-300. However, there may not be many people that will install it for that cheap.
Keep in mind that this is hard work, so think about what your time is your time worth. You also want the job done well because this is a playset your kids will be playing on, and you want them to be safe. Sometimes going the easier or cheaper route is not what's best. If you don’t hire someone to install the playset, you’ll save money, but it’ll take about 1.5 days of your own time. Plan ahead!
Backyard Discovery's warranty has improved over the years, but it could be better. Backyard Discovery offers a 5-year warranty for decay and a 2-year warranty on workmanship. In the past, Backyard Discovery used a sliding scale where the warranty became worse in coverage over time. For metal pieces, the warranty is for five years as well, but there is no mention of plastic, which matters for the slide pieces.
You should remember that their warranty does not cover labor, damage from bad weather, regular maintenance, or anything considered natural. The below-average warranty for the Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Swing Set may not be worth the investment, and you may just lose money.
Overall, we give the Buckley Hill Swing Set from Backyard Discovery a summary rating of 3.1 stars. It's an average, small-sized playset, but not much above that. Buckley Hill is a cheap set for Backyard Discovery, but you get a lower-quality set at a low price. This set could be good for starters, but the installation, maintenance, and overall value may not be worth it in the long run.