Where to Build a Swing Set: Location Setup Guide


Now that you have gotten excited about bringing home the swing set of your (and your children’s) dreams, it is time to decide where exactly you will place the structure. This might be more complicated than you were expecting, but it should not be too difficult when following a few pointers.

The best location to set up a swing set will be in a leveled area where there are no obstacles, safety hazards, or other concerns nearby. Be sure to provide plenty of clearance from fencing, trees, or other obstructions, and avoid placing the swing set on top of any utilities.

Of course, assuming you have chosen a spot that is safe and free of hazards, a lot of the decisions that will be determined on where to build and set up your swing set will come down to obstacles and space. Your yard size and swing set size will also play a role.

Where to Put a Swing Set in the Yard

First of all, we should start with the basics as we will build our general assumptions on where to place a swing set in your yard. To state what might seem obvious (but in case it is not), we are assuming that you will be placing your swing set in the backyard. Also, it is generally safe to assume that your yard will be large enough to fit your entire swing set.

Assuming this is true, you can put your swing set just about anywhere in your yard that you would like. However, there are a few key tricks to positioning it safely.

  • Be sure to avoid obstacles and any other safety hazards.
  • This includes putting your swing set at least 10 feet from any fence and away from trees and other obstructions.

You might also want to consider how you will monitor your children when you install the swing set.

Though you might not want it too close to your house, you can consider an area that you can view from your kitchen window or another location in your house. Of course, if you have young children, you will need to be able to monitor them closely to ensure safe play on your backyard swing set.

Here are a few other factors to consider when deciding where to put a swing set in the yard:

Consider Sun and Shade of Location

Placing the swing set in the sun or the shade really comes down to what you prefer. Although, it is important to keep in mind that a shady location might help the longevity of the wood’s stain. The sun can also bleach the color from any flags, tarps, or other items attached to the swing set.

Check out our How To Stain A Swing Set Guide for more info, but essentially, the level of upkeep will be slightly higher when the swing set is in full sun light.

But, if you prefer for your children to get that extra dose of Vitamin D, then placing the swing set in the sun can be a great choice. The sun adds so much excitement to the day- there are just so many benefits to standing and playing in the sunshine. Rain or shine, sun or shade, your children are not going to think twice about the placement once you have made this decision.

Avoid Obstacles

You need to make sure that you place your swing set away from any obstacles that could pose as safety hazards to your children. Even if the branches or other obstacles hang just a few feet higher than the top of the swing set, you never know what your excited child might try to do.

For example, if there is a rope or wire that is close enough that your child believes they can jump to climb onto or hang from it, then this risk might not be one that you should take. Instead, be sure to move the swing set to a safer location.

If your yard is unfortunately imposed by a cable that runs above the entire surface, then you need to have strong boundaries and enforce safety rules with your children.

Be sure to talk to them about the dangers that leaning into these temptations could impose. And, even if you trust your children, close supervision is important when there are risks involved like placing a swing set near an unsafe obstacle.

Avoid yard structures and tripping hazards

Not only do you need to avoid placing the swing set near any safety hazards that are in the “sky”, but you need to consider the placement of the swing set near any tripping hazards that rest on the ground, too.

Though the large garden rocks might not seem like a big deal to you, who can easily step over them, they might not be as in “plain sight” to your child who is eager to run around the swing set.

If you cannot move the structures out of the way, and this is the most level spot in your yard, then consider creatively covering them or adding some type of sand/padding to prevent an abrasion should your child fall on them.

Choose the most level spot in your yard

Since you will have to level the ground under your swing set before you can begin the installation process, it is recommended to choose a spot that is already pretty level. This will eliminate the excess dirt that would otherwise come with leveling a more uneven portion, and this can save you a lot of work.

To learn more in-depth information about leveling your yard for your swing set, be sure to check out our How To Level The Ground For A Swing Set article.

Also, adding the right ground cover for your swing set can reduce injuries in case of a fall. We covered all available ground coverings with their pros and cons in our What To Put Under A Swing Set article, but basically, rubber mulch is the safest option.

Place the swing set in an area that does not obstruct major utilities

Hopefully, you will never have to worry about any major utilities going down and requiring that your yard is dug up or rerouted. But, in the event that this is necessary, you are not going to want to have to move your swing set to make this happen.

Instead of dealing with this hassle, should it arise, try to place your swing set in another location in your yard. If you are unsure of where the utilities run, contact your local authorities for a map of the water lines or any underground power lines, etc.

In most areas there’s a dig-safe number you can call for more info on this. A lot of neighborhood areas might also have set-backs on the outside edge of the property, so be aware of that as well.

Identify a spot that is in view from your home

Whether your children are very young or slightly older, you will still need to provide some type of supervision when they’re playing on the swing set. Even the most trustworthy and cautious child can still be at risk for making poor decisions with something so tempting as a swing set.

To avoid hazards and set your family up for safe swing set use, try to place the swing set where it is in an easy view from your home.

This does not mean that every angle has to be seen through every window in your house. But, if you are able to permit your older children to play on the swing set while you are inside cooking dinner, then peeping through the kitchen window will be easier than running out every so often.

Of course, it is always recommended to provide some sort of supervision for young children while they use the swing set. Swing sets can be used safely, without a doubt, just be sure to follow safety guidelines that are appropriate for your child’s age and decision-making abilities.

Avoid placing in an area too close to the woods

If you do not live in a wooded area, then this is likely no concern for you. But, if your backyard backs up to the woods, then try to avoid placing the swing set too close.

Though it might seem nice in providing more space in your yard, placing too close to the woods means you will have to inspect for ticks, poison ivy, and other frustrations that could leave your children feeling ill or itchy.

Place out of view of the street

Finally, if you have the option to place the swing set out of the street view, then it is suggested that you do so. This will increase your children’s privacy from passersby, even if there are few people walking in your neighborhood.

Your children will be less tempted to run to say hi to their favorite neighbor (or dog) and run across the street, so you can have more peace of mind knowing they are safe and secure.

But, again, supervision is always necessary when your children play on the swing set. The amount and type of supervision are, of course, determined by their age, decision-making abilities, and your own comfort level.

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Robert Sampson

I'm Robert Sampson and I live in Colorado where I spend a lot of time in the backyard with my family either grilling, playing games and sports, or working on a project to make our backyard a better place to be.

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