Outdoor Excitement for Every Age

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What Wooden Playset Manufacturers Don’t Tell You

Wooden playsets and swing sets can seem like the best backyard children’s play spot to a lot of parents. After all, they are cheaper and they’re classic. However, at Adventure World Play Sets, we’ve seen a lot of parents become frustrated by the problems that come with wooden playsets — problems they only learned about after they bought one.

Those issues include everything from the style, the maintenance demands, and even some safety concerns. Here are the main downsides of kids’ wooden playsets and swing sets that the manufacturers won’t tell you — but they should!

wooden playset downsides

The 4 Wooden Playset Downsides

Ever heard the saying, “You get what you pay for?” It applies to most things, even backyard swing sets. Here are the most common issues we’ve heard about and seen:

  1. Maintenance Demands — Playsets are meant to be fun for children, not another backyard chore for Mom and Dad. Just like a wooden deck needs yearly work, a playset does, too. If you choose a wooden playset, you’ll have to repaint or re-stain it each summer to keep it looking nice and safe for young children. On the other hand, our vinyl playsets are virtually maintenance-free. The way we see it, you bought the set for fun, not to have yet ANOTHER backyard project.
  2. Splinters — As wooden sets age, the chances of splinters — really big, nasty splinters — increase. This is just a fact associated with wooden playground equipment. That’s why all of our playsets are made using splinter-free vinyl, safe for young hands. Learn more about the safety measures built into Adventure World playsets.
  3. Only One Look — All wooden playsets basically look the same — not that it’s a bad look, mind you. However, if you want to accessorize your backyard with bright colors and an exciting, kid-friendly style, you’ll want vinyl.
  4. Lifespan — This is one of the biggest downfalls of wooden playsets that parents never hear about. Simply put, wooden playsets have a far shorter lifespan than vinyl sets. The exposed wood frame can be damaged and undermined by a variety of factors like mold, insects, and more. This can cause the set to rot-out and fall apart. In addition, rainwater weakens the bolted joints, allowing the structure to start to wobble, further weakening the structure. Children climbing and children swinging add to the stress on a weakened structure making it a risk to collapse. NOTE: A rotting playset is not safe for children, as it may fail to hold their weight and collapse.

It’s not uncommon to see a wooden swing set wear out after a few years. On the other hand, our vinyl playsets come with a no-hassle 20-year warranty on the structure.

Why Do Wooden Playsets Have a Shorter Lifespan?

Paying full price for a playset only to get a fraction of the lifespan you expected — no question that’s a wooden swing set’s Achilles heel. But why do wooden sets have a shorter lifespan than their vinyl counterparts?

  1. Mold and Rot Damage — As a natural material, wood is highly-susceptible to mold growth, which can eventually burrow down into the wood beams themselves. Turning your once mighty swing set into driftwood, mold and rot can seriously undermine the safety of your set. This rot is dangerous as it weakens the pivotal joints where the bolts are placed for strength.
  2. Insect Attacks — To termites and other insects, your new wooden set makes the perfect meal or nest. Years of these attacks can leave your set weakened and even allow water to infiltrate and grow mold.
  3. Warping — Spending day after day in the elements takes its toll on the wooden beams and posts. After years of expanding and contracting in the hot sun, the set can permanently warp, making it more fit for a bonfire than swinging, sliding, climbing or other outdoor fun.

By wrapping every single one of our playsets in sturdy, splinter-free vinyl we ensure a long lifespan by keeping the sets safe from mold, insects, and warping, drying out — and rotting.

Bottom line: vinyl playsets are the gold standard for a reason — they just won’t let you down. Adventure World Play Sets quality is second to none!

Adventure World Vinyl Swing Sets and Playsets

Although wooden playsets can seem like the best buy in backyard excitement, we often hear that parents are pretty disappointed with their choice after a few short years. At Adventure World Play Sets, we build standout vinyl playsets that provide decades of safe, maintenance-free outdoor fun.

In addition, all of our sets can be customized — build your custom playset today in our 3D design center!

Adventure World playsets and swing sets are sold across the country through our exclusive dealer network. If you want to bring one of our custom playsets to your backyard, find your nearest dealer.

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Our Google Reviews

We are so pleased with this purchase. Our little ones have so enjoyed this play-set. It is so very worth the price, so well-made. I look forward to having grandkids playing on it one day!
Margaret Woods
Margaret Woods
18:49 25 Aug 20
We purchased an Adventure World Vinyl play station from Back Yard Living at end of May. Unit was delivered and installed in the time frame quoted. Adam was very helpful with information on various units and manufacturers. We decided to go with the maintenance free all vinyl clad swing set, play station from Adventure World. Unit was professionally and thoroughly installed yesterday. This unit is extremely well built and solid. Backyard Living was a pleasure to work with and we are extremely satisfied with the product we chose and the company who provided unit and installed I would wholeheartedly recommend Back Yard living as your go to company for your children's play station!!!
Dave Lake
Dave Lake
18:15 08 Jul 20
Purchased a an Adventure World BasecampModel swingset/ play unit from Backyard Living in Richmond,MI. Adam was extremely helpful with information to help me make my decision. Unit was ordered and was delivered and installed in the time frame quoted. Installation was very professional and thorough. We could not be more satisfied with this completely vinyl clad unit, solidly built, great safety features. I would wholeheartedly recommend Backyard Living for your go to company for a swingset/PlayStation!! Dave Troy,MI
Dave Lake
Dave Lake
17:21 08 Jul 20
great quality and value , very professional
charlie tebele
charlie tebele
16:04 05 Jun 20
You will not be disappointed with these sets! We have had one for 11 years now, just washed it off with soap and a garden hose after winter and looks like it did when new! It might seem like quite an investment upfront but is worth it. We bought when we had our first son and now have 4 kids playing on it! Our grandkids will use this set someday. Worth every dollar we spent on it!
Mark Gingerich
Mark Gingerich
01:39 12 Apr 20
Awesome, sturdy and affordable equipment coupled with great customer service. A win win for our preschool!
Karen Bowermaster
Karen Bowermaster
18:38 19 Sep 19