Thinking about splurging on an expensive playset for your children in the backyard? It’s pretty standard to purchase playsets when you have a larger family in order to provide a play area for the children. When making such a large purchase, it’s common to wonder how long your expensive new toy may last.

You may also be wondering if there are any extra steps you and your family can take to extend the life of your new playset. If you take good care of it, you can turn this large purchase into an investment for years to come. If you’re wondering about how long your new playset may last, keep reading.

What Can You Expect?

For a good quality and sturdy playset, you should expect it to last more than 15 years. Playsets take a rough beating with both children playing on them and from the weather due to being outdoors. Purchasing a playset made from better materials may pay off in the long run as it will last you much longer. 

Buy Preferred Wood 

If you’ve been in the market for a playset, you may have realized that they come in a wide variety of styles. You can choose from plastic (less desirable), metal (not as widely available), and wood.

Each wood has its own pros and cons that may shape the longevity of your swing set, but choosing a wood set means you’ll be able to customize it — plus replace any pieces that sustain damage.

You Can Extend The Life of Your Playset 

If you’re still worried about your playset’s life, there are a few things that you can do to ensure it lasts. For one thing, installing it properly helps set you up for long-term backyard play. You’ll need to ensure that the set is level and properly balanced so that it can withstand your kids’ activity levels.

Treating the wood of your playset and staining it regularly can also help prolong its use. You can treat the wood itself to repel pests in the area and ensure that no critters are infiltrating your space. Keep in mind that some wood treatments can be harmful to children and pets, so be sure to do your research before selecting a product.

Seriously, for great advice on leveling and installing as well an ongoing maintenance checklist for your playsets, check out all of our resources in the advice section of our site. 

For metal sets, weather or termite-proofing isn’t a concern, but metal is less common for backyard playsets. Plastic, of course, tends to deteriorate much faster, and there’s no protective coating that preserves plastic. You’ll want to check out our playset buyer’s guide when making the big decision.

Inspecting your swing set regularly can also help ensure that your wood playset isn’t rotting or deteriorating over time. Keeping an eye on your playset’s general condition can help you spot any issues early on and fix them. It’s also a smart idea to inspect the set before your kids start playing each day, just in case an animal or the environment has caused a less visible issue.

Cheaper Sets May Not Last 

The quality of your playset is really the most important factor when discussing its life. A cheaper swing set may only last for three to five years as the materials are not as high quality and cannot handle as much wear and tear. A lower-cost plastic set is also less desirable than a lower-cost wood or metal playset because it will likely fall apart even sooner.

How can you really tell if a swing set is built to last? You’ll want to first check out if we’ve reviewed it here at Backyartisan, then go see what others might be saying about it in reviews. It’s worth noting that most people leave reviews with their experience about the buying process, installation, and customer service, while very few reviews speak to the product a few years down the road.

The bottom line is, it may be worth it for you to consider splurging in order to get a longer life out of your set. This is especially true if your children are young and you’re considering a smaller-scale playset for the short-term.

But something to consider with the longevity of a cheaper set is the usage. If you only use your set a few times a month or less, you may find that it has a longer life than one that gets used daily. If you feel that your family will not use the playset often or for a long window of time, a cheaper set may be the way to go, even though it will not last as long. 

Think about your children’s ages and ability levels, plus your long-term backyard recreation plans, and choose accordingly. If your kids enjoy their playset — and love the snot out of it — it might be worth the investment to get a more expensive playset, even if it doesn’t last long.

Final Comments

In the end, regardless of quality, you should care for your playset to give it the most extended life possible. While different playsets may have different lifespans, you can decide for yourself what works best for your family and your needs. Taking care of your set will allow you to get the most use out of it and ensure that you get the most for your money.

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