Thursday, February 24, 2011

Swing sets Playhouses....

I have been serving the greater Seattle area with my custom swing sets and playhouses for many years..  What I want to tell you about is what the right set is for your landscape and children...

The biggest misconceptions and what not to do for your kids....
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  A lot of my customers want what they wish they had as a child,  that is probably the most common request that I get...   Is that true?   Well yes swing sets have not changed since we were kids.  Yes some of the toys have changed and some of the basic features have changed over the years but all an all its the same....  To think back when you wished you had A fort that you and the boys could retreat to. When you had a hard game of tag, or maybe you wanted to hide from the neighbor kids...  I remember wanting so badly to have a fort that my brother, sister, and I could go to.  The things we could sister always wanting to play house.  My older brother and I always wanted to play pirates.   I look back on the games we played as kids and the dreams we had for a swing set that would do all the things we could think of.

   So I have designed my sets to do just that.   My thought prosess for my designs has been s on what I wanted and what you the client wanted when we were kids.   We all grew up in a different time when parents didn't buy swing sets or playhouses we had a rope attached to a tree with a tire sometimes.  I used to look so forward to the trips to the park where we would swing for hours and play hot lava..  That's where you are not allowed to touch the ground..I grew up hear in Washington where everyone was afraid of mt st Helen's..go figure..that's why the game I suppose...  So yes dont think that it is bad to want a set that you dreamed of as a child.  Your kids are the same as you were.  Our times have changed with the Internet and cell phones.  outside toys haven't.  kids still like the same outside toys as you and I did.  I would have to say I wish I had a supper soaker when I was a kid!!!  That sure has changed...

  Clients ask me how long will a set last for?   I can tell you this,  a child will loose almost all interest in a fort or slide by the time they are 12-13  of age..  You cant stop the progression of getting to big for that.  The kids will however use the swings for their entire life.  My kids still swing and they are in there latter teens now.   Heck I still like to swing in the warm summer nights. 
The best thing for a parent to do is to plan on how long they are going to use the set.  decide the budget and go for it.   I would recommend bigger forts for the older kids. 7+  that will allow for the use of the set till there teens..if you are on a budget and plan on adding to the set at a latter date and the kids are 7and under  I would go with the smaller sets.  do remember you will have to add to the set as the kids get bigger.  I would recommend that you put age appropriate toys on a set. any family with kids over 5 years you should most definitely put on monkey have the set going in anyway use all the space possible for the kids.  The kids will use the monkey bars daily over and over..  its just a great toy to add.  I sell the gliders and other swing toys for my clients and I don't have a problem selling them to you. for the money the belt swing is going to be the most used and the cheapest one to buy..  bigger kids really just cant use any other swings than the belt swing.  

  The pros and cons to sandboxes..    I love a sand box and so do your kids.   If you decide to go with a sandbox.  if is a pretty expensive item to put in correctly... Its not the cost of labor or the cost of the wood materials it is the sand..  It has to be a washed and screened sand just like from the ocean floor.   Do remember that you cant just buy landscape sand and call it good.  It will have silica dust that can cause lung problems at a latter time in the child's life.   So getting the right sand and a good amount is pretty expensive for the option of a set.    I recommend you add it if your budget will allow.   If you are looking for a inexpensive set I would opt out of that option.

  Some clients ask the pros and cons of inclosed sets versus open style forts.   We live in Washington,  with that the choice should be simple to make.  I always recommend that you have a combination of both.  That is why I put decks on my sets to have the best of both worlds.  In Washington state our weather is so hit and miss with the rain.  If you put the inclosed fort on the set the kids can get out of the rain when it comes then go right back to playing when it is dry outside.  keeps the mud out of your home and the kids active outside even if its raining but not to cold to play..

  I can say that girls love to swing and boys love to climb.. so if you have both you will want to mix up the set..  but if you have one or the other you need to accommodate that gender with what is going to be used the most.

This will conclude my posting for now.

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