Climbing Frame Buyer's Guide
Thinking about buying a wooden climbing frame?
If you are considering a wooden climbing frame for your children, you will find this climbing frame buyer's guide very useful. Wooden play equipment offers flexibility, strength, durability and longevity, and will look great in your garden. Wood ages and weathers without losing its structural integrity, and the natural wood colour tones blend with the garden rather than standing out within it.
How do I choose?
There are many factors that will influence your choice of wooden climbing frame, including your budget, available space, fitting in with the look of your garden, and your children's ages and interests.
Our climbing frames are all 'boxed' ready for home build. Our playsets come boxed with all parts pictured, including all wood, metal and plastic components and a fully illustrated owner's manual to aid your home build. During manufacture our products have all been pre-cut, pre-drilled and pre-stained so there is minimal input needed from you during the build.
What about installation?
Our sets are all designed for home build, and come will all parts required and a fully illustrated owners manual. An average set would take two adults a full day to build, presuming you have reasonable DIY skills and basic tools and a power screwdriver. If you don't have the time, tools or inclination to build your playset then a full national installation service is available via the Climbing Frames UK register of approved installers, with prices starting at £250.
What do I build my Climbing Frame on?
Our play centres are all residential sets so are designed to be sited on grass. Our sets all come with ground pegs to prevent movement of the set when children are swinging and climbing, but our play sets don't need any permanent concreting or hardcore surfacing. Some people consider ground mats, play-bark or rubber mulch, but there is no requirement for these with residential playsets.
Can you install on sloping ground?
Our climbing frames are designed to be built on a level surface. This does not mean that your garden has to be a bowling green, it's no problem if there's lumps and bumps, or a slight slope.
What are the maintenance requirements?
Our wooden play-centres are robust structures that require little maintenance. Equipment should be routinely inspected to ensure the bolts and screws are tightened as required. As with all wooden products treating and sealing the wood annually will protect and preserve the timber and will ensure your set lasts as long as possible. The same as you would for any garden timber product, whether it be a playset, shed, picnic table, fence or even decking.
Timber vs Aluminum, Steel & Plastic
Wood is fantastically strong and durable, and with routine maintenance will outlast aluminum or steel framed playsets. Plastic play sets are generally small and suited to toddlers as the slides are short and low. Timber playsets are fantastic as they look wonderful in your garden, have a huge number of play features, and are exceedingly strong so they will keep your children and their friends happy for many years.
Round or sawn (planed) wood?
The choice here is much more than an aesthetic one. Sawn wood is either square or rectangular in appearance and is often made from cedar or pine wood, round wood is predominantly pine wood. Round wood products are very cheap because the processing time is minimal, but they are still strong because the dimensions are large and the wood utilises the heart of the wood which is tough. Sawn wood is more expensive for us to produce due to the cuts and shaping, but we also engineer the wood to ensure playsets are strong and stable. Roundwood swingsets are more generally cheap and rustic, and sawn wood playsets cost more but come with more features and accessories.
Pine or Cedar wood?
Cedar wood is our product of choice for our climbing frames as it's soft to the touch, although naturally resistant to rot and insect attack. Pine is cheap, and is used on our cheap swingsets, although the side effect of the pressure treatment used to preserve the pine is that the wood often cracks and splinters, something you'd expect on a traditional rustic swings, but not premium American style playsets.