Recommendation Needed for Outdoor Playset

Updated on May 01, 2008
A.B. asks from Spring, TX
15 answers

We are looking to buy a big wooden outdoor playset for the backyard. There are so many options out there right now and the prices are coming down. However, we're not sure which is the best. We are looking for one that is safe, not too complicated to install, and affordable. If anyone has recommendations for playsets, please let me know.

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S.W.

answers from Houston on

We have a Rainbow Play System and love it. We have three kids and even I swing with them on it sometimes.

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D.G.

answers from Houston on

Last year we put in the one from Costco. It has been fantastic. I know they changed it a little this year by adding some things that added some money. Many of our friends have this one too and have been very pleased. One of our friends put it together themselves and it took 3 people and an entire weekend. We had a local company put our together and it took them 4 hours since they do it every day. They are called Some Assembly Required. They are in Cypress. Here is their website http://www.reliabilitymall.com/members/some_assembly_requ...
Have fun!

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D.G.

answers from San Antonio on

WE have a wooden outdoor swing set from Home Depot. It has a slide and 2 swings, a fort area and a sandbox. We also purchased an extra baby swing. We had it for our grandchildren but they have moved so we no longer need it. If you are interested in buying this you can email me. It cost around $900.00 and we are selling it for $300.00.

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E.G.

answers from Houston on

We also have a Rainbow system and everyone (our family and guests) absolutely loves it! A friend bought one on Craigslist for $1000, so I tried to go that route, but nothing would work for us -- we live in the Heights, and we don't have a massive yard. Most of the sets on Craigslist started at about $1000. There have been some in the $###-###-#### range, but they're pretty well-worn. (I think that $100 set may have been a typo...I looked for months, and never saw anything even close to that price for a real Rainbow.) We finally ended up buying a prototype from the Rainbow store on Clay Road & the Beltway (Kid Structures). Periodically, they get sets that Rainbow created as prototypes for the upcoming design season (to see what new designs they want to sell). They are sold as-is (they have been used for about 6 months), but they have the full (lifetime) Rainbow warranty, and you can get a GREAT deal on them. I bought a set for $1499, which, if it sold as a regular unit, would have been at least $3000. These prototypes go pretty quickly, so, if you'd like one, I suggest heading over there. If not, there are plenty of regular Rainbow options (starting at about $1599 and going up to, like, $80,000...seriously.) Good luck!

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T.V.

answers from Houston on

We are in the same situation! What I have ready about the playsets at Sam's and Toys r us is that they use these pieces for support that look really great because they're coated in plastic. HOWEVER, if you were to open those up you would find support beams that are pieced together. That doesn't sound safe at all so we opted to go another route.

If your hubby is a handy man I suggest buying a plan set off of ebay ($10) it comes in a PDF attachment and the fellow who designed it sends it over really quick. The playhouse has a clubhouse up top with a porch, total size 5X10, a play area under the clubhouse (we are not going to deck it and instead make a sandbox) a fireman's pole out the back, a slide, a swing beam and monkey bars with a small platform. You buy the materials yourself, so you spend what you want and you know what you're getting- remember preasure treated wood can still be dangerous to kiddos. http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZ136leet

Good luck!
T.

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K.H.

answers from Austin on

We have a used Rainbow set that we got from craigslist for $100
it was in pretty decent shape
good luck hunting!

K., mama to
Catherine, 4y
Samuel, 15m

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G.T.

answers from Austin on

A.,
My children are older now, but when they were smaller I did extensive research on playsets. We ended up buying a Playwood. It is probably the most expensive available, but in my and my husband's opinions it was the best built, safest system on the market. My children had many years of fun on this set with not one single injury, which makes it worth every penny we spent on it. We of course did have to have a truckload of gravel brought in and filled an area designed for the playscape. While I'm not crazy about the gravel pit it provided a safer landing for their falls and provided countless hours of entertainment for them. Not only that we could have added components to it had we chosen to do so. Our youngest is now 10 and while most 10 year olds still like playscapes, she has grown so much it's almost too small. We've been talking about selling it, but because it is constructed of redwood and very well made we aren't willing to sell it for $100. If you'd like for me to send you some pictures, I'd be happy to do so.

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A.R.

answers from San Antonio on

Costco has a great playset. It's made out of Cedar and redwood which would be low mantaince. You can see it online or in the store.

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K.B.

answers from Houston on

Rainbow makes great outdoor play structures! We have one - not reated with chemicals, great fun - tons of options. Our yard was just a bit too narrow for the one we wanted - they customized it (cut a little length off the end, etc) to that it would just fit perfectly in the space we had. Not just my kids love it, but every kid that has ever been here loves it~!

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C.M.

answers from Houston on

There are so many of themout there. The main thing you need to look for is the 4x4 that hold the playset up. Most only have 2x2.

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D.R.

answers from Houston on

1500 dollars, hard to install, unless you could hire someone to assist with the installation. It was the fabulous one at Costco! I have 2 very energetic girls, and they lived on that playset. Was the hit of the neighborhood when kids would come over to play. Although it sounds expensive it was worth every penney when you divide by day by day use. The quality was amazing, and we used it for 4 years non stop. They would still be using it, but we moved and left it with the renters, and their baby uses it everyday. One of the best investments we ever made for our backyard and for their coordination.

Hope this helps

Deb R

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B.B.

answers from Austin on

I actually have the same question & was wanting to read the other responses,but wasn't sure how unless I responded first... sorry I'm of no help!

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L.G.

answers from Austin on

We purchased a good sized wooden play set last year at Toys R Us for about $1000. It was about middle of the road in terms of price and size but it's held up very well and our two kids (5 and 2) love it. We looked around for about 5 months and this set looked to be best value for the money. Incidentally, it took my husband about 6 hrs to put together (and he's not a "handy" guy).

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C.P.

answers from Austin on

We have the Rainbow set from Costco as well. We have had it for 3 years now and the kids still love it. It took my husband 2 full days to put it together (you need two people so he had a friend come over to help each day). It wasn't too hard for them to put together since the set comes with a DVD showing step by step instructions. They would come in the house, watch a section, then go outside and perform the steps, it seemed to go up pretty easily, just make sure you have a good power drill.

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D.B.

answers from Houston on

If you'd want one that's top-of-the-line and gently used, we have one and would sell it to you---we can negotiate the price. It has a slide, fort on top with ladder, picnic/play deck underneath, swings. Our 16yr old is not attached to it (she got it when she was 8). Your family would take it apart and remove it from the yard in your truck or van (or rental). We are in West Houston. Call ###-###-####.

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