What Wooden Swing Sets Manufacturers Don’t Tell You

wooden swing sets and playsets 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 Swing Sets 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. Wooden Swing Sets 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 Swing Sets — 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. Wooden Playset 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 Swing Sets Have a Shorter Lifespan?

Paying full price for a Wooden 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 Wooden Playset

Although wooden swing sets 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 wooden 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

The best swingset company, in my opinion! We are an independent contractor that works for a lot of companies. Adventure world swingsets are built very well. They will last more than one generation.
Jay Flaud
Jay Flaud
Reasonable price, great warranty, well installed. Kids will love it1
John Lippert
John Lippert
Amazing quality! Definitely worth the purchase since kids play all day on it!
Isabella Laris Logan
Isabella Laris Logan
Just got a wonderful playset for our preschool. It is fantastic!! It has been an easy experience.
Bethany Brown
Bethany Brown
Great quality playset. Arrived quickly. Installation and communication through J&R Mulch Waynesboro PA was excellent
Allison Hickman
Allison Hickman
If you ever need a swingset installed in your backyard or anywhere, you MUST get it from here.
Steven Rice
Steven Rice
We have been trying to purchase one of these play sets for months and none of the dealers in our area will call us back about purchasing one. I wish the purchasing process was easier than "find a vendor in your local area". No one here wants to build them! The Happy Hideout looks like an amazing product for my toddler to grow into. I'm sad no one will build them or call us back. Edit: The company contacted me personally and found a vendor in my area!
Charlotte Doty
Charlotte Doty
Great people to work with and high quality! Highly recommend, my kids love their new play house!
Ashley McGinnis
Ashley McGinnis