It might be time to redo the landscaping, but you and the kids aren’t ready to part with the swing set yet. Don’t worry; you won’t need to throw it out and buy a new one. There is a way to move it.
We are going to break down the steps so you can successfully move your swing set and let your kids go back to enjoying their backyard.
Our backyard is an important piece of space for the entire family — there, we have fun, cook, dine, and enjoy each other’s company. But to form these beautiful memories, we need to have the right backyard setup.
It may take an afternoon, but being able to disassemble a swing set and move it to a new location will preserve your children’s favorite play area and keep the backyard safe and enjoyable for the whole family.
With this step-by-step process, your backyard will be rearranged in no time. Soon enough, everyone will be back to their normal routine!
How Do You Move a Swing Set? A Step-by-Step Guide
There are companies out there that claim that you need professional help to move a swing set. While it may make it easier on you, it isn’t necessary, nor is it always the most cost-effective. Calling movers and scheduling your day around their window can be time-consuming (which is why some modern playhouses are assembled with white glove service).
With this guide, you can get your swing set move done in an afternoon and save yourself a headache. If you think about it, the time your backyard is out of commission will be the same, so you may as well learn something new and put the funds toward other fun outdoor structures.
Once you’ve successfully disassembled your swing set and moved it to a different location, you have the opportunity to repurpose the space where the swing set once stood for something that your kids might enjoy even more.
While these steps may be necessary to move a traditional swing set, you’ll never have to go through the trouble with a premium outdoor playhouse.
Step One: Disassemble the Swing Set
The first step is to disassemble the swing set. You’ll need to make sure that you have the right tools and adequate amounts of bags for parts, nuts, and bolts.
Before you begin taking items off, inspect each piece of the swing set. You’ll want to check for breaks, rips, tears, or worn-out pieces. Identify these pieces and create a list of parts that no longer fit the manufacturer’s safety standards. Then, order new parts and pieces to replace these before moving day arrives.
You may have been ready to do this right now, but making sure you have the new parts before starting will help you have an easier time getting the swing set back together. If you move everything and use the old pieces, you’re looking at a second install process at a later date. Most importantly, it will be dangerous for your children to use the playground equipment with worn-out pieces holding the swings together, so they’ll be out of commission either way.
- Pro tip: if your swing set needs to be stained or sealed, now is the opportune time to do so. It may not be necessary, but a proper stain or seal process can ensure that your outdoor equipment stands the test of time.
Step Two: Label the Pieces
Once you’re ready to take it apart, label each piece and bag up all the nuts and bolts. You’ll want to itemize everything and group pieces together so that you know how they fit together and where they go.
It may seem tedious, but grouping nuts and bolts together according to placement rather than one universal bag will help you stay organized and get it right in the long run. If you know a certain number of screws are needed for specific corners, you’ll know exactly where you’re missing a screw if you’re left with extras as you rebuild.
Step Three: Make Some Instructions for an Easy Reassembly
Make a mental note of each step and the order in which you broke each piece down. You’re basically working backward. When it’s time to reassemble, the last piece you broke down will end up as the first piece you put back up.
Use masking tape and a permanent marker and label pieces with the number in which you took them off. You’ll want to work backward to “Piece One” when you begin to build it again. You can also add specific placement or context clues to tell you where and how it fits back together.
You may benefit from creating a checklist of the numbered pieces and where they fit together, and how you make them work with each other. Just because you took number seven off and then number eight doesn’t mean that number six may not also touch those two pieces, so your instructions can make that easier to rebuild.
Another smart way to keep your assembly process smooth can be to film the entire process. If you can set up your phone or camera at an angle where you can capture everything, you’ll be able to watch the video and follow the same process.
To do this on your smartphone, set it on a tripod or other stable surface, unlock your phone and open the camera app. Click “time lapse mode” and the record button to make the play-back process smoother.
Step Four: Find a New Spot for Your Swing Set
Now that it’s broken down and organized, it’s time to find a new space for your swing set before putting it back together. Measure the perimeter of the previous swing set area and ensure that wherever you start looking has this much space and space around it.
- Pro-tip: Never install a swing set under trees or near other features like fire pits or picnic tables.
Additionally, recall that you’ll not only need the space to house your playground equipment, but you’ll also need clearance around the set to make sure it’s safe for playtime.
Step Five: Make Sure the Ground Is Level
Once you find the right spot, level out the ground so the swing set will sit on an even, flat surface. This is a critical safety measure. Uneven surfaces can result in playground equipment of all kinds becoming loose or unstable.
Before you put the swing set back, create a protective surface to rest the swing set. This is generally made of a thick, rubbery material that can absorb the shock from kids jumping and falling during playtime.
If applicable, now decide on a border for your playground. Playground borders help keep all the fill materials like wood chips or sand in place (and out of the rest of your backyard). There are many materials to consider, including wooden logs, tires, and pre-made plastic ledges. If you didn’t have one before, it’s probably a good idea to consider one with this rebuild.
Step Six: Reassemble the Swing Set
Now that the ground is level and everything is in place and ready, it’s time to put your swing set back together. Because your prep work was so meticulous and detailed, your build should come together in a cinch.
Be careful to read your labels and read them again for good measure. It’s always best to check your work twice to get the build right the first time.
Accidentally skipping a step could become an issue halfway through your rebuild: You may have to start over — or at the very least, burn daylight hours retracing your steps. Beyond the time lost, you risk potentially damaging a piece of equipment if something goes wrong.
Moving a Swing Set FAQs
The steps may be straightforward, but there can still be a lot of uncertainty with a project of this caliber.
To start, reaching out to the manufacturer is the most straightforward way to get the answers you need. For DIY projects, there are usually more questions and curiosities that come up naturally during the creation process.
Below are the most common questions you may have when deciding whether or not you would be able to do this project on your own.
How Many People Do I Need for This Job?
Many swing sets require basic carpentry tools and skills to build properly and safely. If you know how to use a screwdriver, a wrench, and perhaps a hammer, you should be able to put a swing set together with little difficulty.
However, playground equipment can be heavy and cumbersome when you’re left alone to complete the work. Having at least one friend to help move around large and bulky pieces and catch the heavier pieces would be beneficial.
If your swing set is oversized and really heavy, you may want to employ at least two extra friends to help with the work. Not only will it cut down on the overall time of the project, but it may serve as a safer way to get everything done.
While reading this guide, you may start feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work required to move a swing set. Luckily, you’ll never have to worry about moving a swing set again when you opt for a more modern piece of play equipment for your kids.
If your backyard play area needs a complete overhaul, you might want to consider simply disassembling your swing set and swapping it out for an entirely new playset that caters to your kids’ creativity and sense of adventure.
What Tools Do I Need?
You’ll need basic tools for most playground equipment. This will include wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, and a level. These items will get you through each step with ease (you could save even more time if you added some power tools to the list).
It may not be necessary, but drills can save a lot of time and effort on your end and get the kids away from their screen time faster. If you have fewer friends that have shown up than you were hoping for, drills can also be a lifesaver. What might have been a two-day job with basic tools can be cut down to one day with powered options.
- Pro-tip: To ensure you have everything, head to the swing set’s manufacturer site. You’ll be able to see what the production companies recommend. Finally, save some more time by printing out a copy of the instructions for everyone who is lending a hand, including your children, if applicable!
Why Does the Ground Need To Be Level?
The ground needs to be level for safety. If you use a slope or a hill for your swing set equipment, it will eventually tip over, more than likely while children are playing on it.
When the surface area isn’t flat and even, the playground equipment can’t be flat and even as well, meaning that it’s a safety risk waiting to happen. You may get some use out of it and think it’s good enough, but eventually, the swing set will most likely fail.
Can My Kids Help Out?
When kids see us doing DIY projects, they always want to get involved. It may seem to slow you down at first, but allowing them to help out is a great way to fire up their brains and get them thinking about how things work.
You are trying to get something accomplished, so try making it into a game for your children. This will keep them occupied and focused on specific tasks, ensuring that they aren’t in the way or doing something else unsavory while your attention is geared toward the swing set.
For example, you can allow them to push the drill when you have a screw in place, or you can allow them to hold the bags of nuts and bolts and pass them to you when you’re ready.
Moving a Swing Set Made Easy
Moving a swing set can be hard work, but we are confident that you can complete this project on your own or with a few friends helping out.
Our step-by-step guide will hopefully help you get through the process efficiently and with minimal trouble. It may take a while, considering the amount of work, but with prep work and intention, you can tackle the project and have your backyard ready for fun in no time.