A Pittsburgh Handyman,
With A Few Specialties...



 

Swing Sets!

Sorry, the season has ened.

The web site is still up, so you can do your research.

My Sets Cost About The Same As Store-Bought Kits,

BUT MINE ARE DELIVERED! 

AND ASSEMBLED!

AND SOLID! 

Yet some people ask, 'Your prices are good, but how much for you to assemble it?'

NOTHING! My prices INCLUDE assembly!



 

PART ONE: Don't Make These Swing Set MISTAKES!!!



 

1. CEDAR SUCKS!

Don't buy a swingset kit made of cedar at a toy store. Cedar is very light, for shipping purposes. These sets are very flimsy. Big kids can't swing. YOU can't climb up in there with your kids.

The wood is so soft and thin that it can split. Screws can pull out.

I just heard from a customer who bought a cedar set. It did the job for about a year. Then a big wind picked up a trampoline and threw it against the swing set. The swing set was destroyed!

Go to Home Depot or Lowes. They have a couple cedar sets in their parking lot. Imagine climbing in there with your kid.

And why do they tell you to stain it every year? Where does all that old stain go? Just check your kids' pants!

PROOF That Cedar Sucks!

Go to craigslist, and search for swing sets for sale. Notice that nobody EVER sells a used cedar swing set that was originally sold as a kit! All you see are huge sets made of pressure treated lumber, which you must haul away and reassemble.

Toys-R-Us sells dozens of different kits, and they're all cedar. I bet each store sells dozens of each model each year. What happened to them all? Are they worthless after five or ten years? Do people just cut them up and throw them in the trash?

You DO see people selling just the slides, rocket gliders, and tire swings. Why aren't they selling the entire set?



 

2. Don't buy a swing set that YOU have to assemble!

You have to haul it home, or you have to pay for delivery. And "Delivery" means to your driveway. You still have to get those big boxes to your back yard.

Then you have to assemble it! You will save some money, but you'll spend that money on Tylenol, bourbon, and marriage counseling.

Don't believe me? Read the customer reviews. Some companies don't even label their pieces!

It can take two hours just to open the boxes and sort the pieces!

The customer reviews for this set say it took a handyman 14 hours. It might take you longer. 

If you ask the uncles for help, it WILL take you longer! You will all be fighting over the book, and discussing strategies and techniques.

And the BOOK! It's 48 pages! And I don't mean half English and half Spanish, either!



 

3. Don't hire an installer!

The set in the previous two pictures lists for $1200. Assembly could cost about 50% of the set's price.

Of the set's FULL RETAIL PRICE, that is. If you buy a set on sale, it doesn't get any cheaper or easier to assemble just because you bought it cheaper! I've had people buy a set on sale for $300 who were SHOCKED when they heard assembly would be $300. "But that's what I PAID for the whole set!"

That $1800 set could cost $600 for assembly.

Even if your installer does a perfect job, you will still end up with a cedar set that will not last.

That's more money than my biggest set! And my set is NOT made of cedar!

If you decide to go this route, at least promise me you will check his insurance.

(PS - Don't ask the store to install it, either! I asked how much Toys-R-Us charges, and you won't believe it! They charge $175 PER HOUR! I guess they have lawyers doing it between cases! Can you imagine them taking 18 hours, and hitting you for $3,150??? What would be their motivation to hurry up? Why wouldn't they drag their feet and crank it up to 20 hours? Unbelievable!)



 

4. Get a rock WALL!

Is that a rock LADDER? What are those gaps?

Is that so they don't have to provide a rock wall AND a ladder?

Why wouldn't your kid just climb this "slat ladder"?

My rock wall is a WALL!



 

5. Don't buy a swing set that has a sandbox!

A sandbox is great, until cats start using it at night.

If you want a sandbox, get one with a lid, and keep it NEXT to your swing set.



 

6. Don't Buy A Used Swing Set On Craig's List.

The ad ALWAYS says you have to disassemble it and haul it away. These old sets usually have rusty hardware and some rotten wood that YOU must replace.

Most people think this job might not be too bad. Just remove the swing beam, the ladder, and the rock wall, and then move the tower in one big piece, right?

But the components are so big, you will soon realize that this strategy was only half-baked .



 

You Are Now SMART!!!

You have now been educated. You can safely go out into the world and buy a swingset.

You will not make any of those common swingset mistakes.

My swingsets don't make those mistakes either!



 

PART TWO: Let Me Build You A SOLID Swing Set!



 

Pressure Treated Wood Is Better!

Go to Home Depot or Lowes, and pick up a 4x4 post. Then lift a 4x4 pressure treated post. You won't believe the difference!

This pile of wood is the lumber for ONE Papa Bear (Our largest play set). This pile gets even bigger if you add any options.

This pile LAUGHS at the box that your cedar set came in.

In fact, if you could distribute this load over TEN boxes, you wouldn't be able to lift ANY of them!



 

The PAPA BEAR!
Our BIGGEST Set!

Two decks.

Balcony on the upper deck.

Rock Wall

Step Ladder

Tarp Roof. Can upgrade to a wooden roof.

Picnic Table

Short slide from the lower deck. Can upgrade to longer slide, or to BOTH slides.

Twelve Foot Swing Beam. Room for three swings plus something beyond the 'A'.

Click Here



 

The MAMA BEAR!

One deck, 4 feet high.

Standard length slide.

Rock Wall

Step Ladder

Tarp Roof.

Picnic Table.

Twelve Foot Swing Beam. Room for three swings plus something beyond the 'A'.

Click Here



 

The BABY BEAR!

Smaller deck, 4 feet high.

Standard length slide.

No Picnic Table.

No Roof.

Rock Wall

Step Ladder

Twelve Foot Swing Beam. Room for three swings plus something beyond the 'A'.

Click Here



 

SWING LINKS:

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Papa Bear
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Mama Bear
   Pix
Baby Bear
 
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Registered Home Improvement Contractor
with the PA Attorney General: PA077766

Insured

Copyright Kenneth R. Whitaker 2017

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