How To Anchor A Swing Set (4 Ways To Do It!)

Patricia Oelze
by Patricia Oelze

Kids love to play on swing sets and parents love to watch them enjoy themselves. But you have to make sure your swing set is safe because approximately 200 thousand kids wind up in the hospital every year because of swing set related accidents. The best way to make sure your swing set is safe is to anchor it to the ground securely. In fact, it is a law in some states.

You can anchor your swing set with concrete, ground anchors, tie-downs, or blocks and stakes. It is not difficult, and it can make your children’s playground much safer for everyone. Whichever method you decide to use, we have the steps here for you.

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How to Anchor A Swing Set with Concrete

  • First, make sure the swing set is in the exact spot that you want it to remain because concrete is pretty much permanent. Be sure it is not too close to any trees or fences and you do not want the slide to be in direct sunlight all day because those things can get hot and cause a nasty burn.
  • Make a small mark at each spot with your shovel.
  • Dig a hole, 12 inches deep, and 8 inches in diameter.
  • Using a 3/8-inch drill bit, drill a hole on two sides of each leg, horizontally oriented. It should be one inch from the bottom of the leg.
  • Put the plate on the bottom of each leg using the pieces that you got with your concrete anchoring kit.
  • Insert two large screws or bolts through each plate into the holes you made on the legs of the swing set.
  • Put each anchor in its hole, making sure it is completely in the hole and level. You can use a level placed on top of the top bar of the swing set to check. If it is not level, add or remove dirt until it is.
  • When you are ready to set the legs, mix a batch of concrete. Pour enough to fill it about an inch from the top. Poke holes around the legs to get rid of any air pockets.
  • Let the concrete dry for 24 hours.
  • Pack the soil you removed back on top of the base of each of the legs.
  • Put mulch or some other soft material under the swing to cushion it. If you use shredded or wood mulch, use nine inches. If using chips, sand, or gravel, use about a foot.

How to Anchor A Swing Set with Ground Anchors

  • Put the swing set in the spot that you want it to remain. Make sure the swings are not too close to any trees or fences and that the slide does not get direct sunlight.
  • Make a hole with a stake near each hole to make it easier to insert the anchors. It should be directly in front of each leg.
  • Take out the stakes and twist an anchor into each of the holes at a 45-degree angle. If it is too hard to twist by hand, use a metal rod like a crowbar in the eyehole of the anchor and use it to help you twist.
  • Put a bolt or screw into the eye of the anchor and then drill it into the side of the leg near the bottom.
  • Cover the bottom of each leg with mulch or soil.
  • Put mulch or soil under the swing set for ground cover, using nine inches of mulch or one foot of sand or fine gravel.

How to Anchor A Swing Set with Tie Downs

  • Position the swing set exactly where you want it to stay. Be sure it is not too close to anything like fences or trees. Also, make sure the slide is not in the direct sunlight because they can get very hot.
  • Hammer a stake right next to where you want each leg to be. You will need a partner to help you by holding the leg while you hammer each hole.
  • Make sure there is a hole at the bottom of each leg. If not, use a 3/8-inch drill bit to make holes about an inch up from the bottom of each leg for the tie-downs.
  • Push the anchor into the ground at a 45-degree angle, using a metal bar or screwdriver for leverage.
  • Wrap the metal collar around the leg and connect a chain from the collar to the leg with a bolt. Do this for each leg.
  • Make sure the tie-down and the legs are connected securely by the chain and collar.
  • Cover each leg with soil or mulch
  • You can cover the rest of the play area as well. Use 12 inches of sand or fine gravel or nine inches of mulch.

How to Anchor A Swing Set with Rubber Blocks and Stakes

  • This set is just for rustic lumber swing sets, not metal.
  • Be sure the swing set is in the spot you want it to be and is not directly in the sun or too close to any structures or trees.
  • Use a stake to make a hole next to each leg.
  • Attach the rubber block to the bottom of each of the legs with the steel lag bolts included in the kit.
  • Insert the ground stakes into the holes you made next to the legs.
  • Attach the stakes to the rubber block to secure them to the ground.
  • Make sure the stake is completely pushed into the ground, so nobody trips over it.
  • Cover the ground with a soft material like mulch (nine inches) or sand (12 inches).

Related Questions

What is the best material to use as ground cover for the swing set area?

You can use many different ground covers. We will share the most common ones and their pros and cons.

Pour in place rubberIt is wheelchair accessible.It requires the least maintenance.Safest option of all.It is the most expensive.The thickness depends on the swing set height.It typically requires professionals to install, which costs even more.
Rubber matsYou can get them in many colors.They are wheelchair accessible.They are easy to clean.Very durable and strong.They are more expensive than loose ground covers.It may not look as good as other materials.You may need a professional to place them.The thickness depends on the swing set height.
Shredded rubberIt is a nice “green” option because it is made from recycled materials.The product does not decompose like wood or mulch.You have to get more (up to 20 inches) than you would with the other types of loose material.You have to rake it often to keep it in place.It costs more than natural coverings.
Wood chips or mulchIt is environmentally friendly and biodegradable.It is fairly inexpensive.Pets do not usually dig or play in the material as much as the others.It may attract bugs in warm damp areas.Absorbs moisture and will freeze in cold weather.It has to be replaced every two years.
Pea gravel or sandThis is the least expensive.It is natural and environmentally friendly.It is not wheelchair friendly.Gets hard and compacted when wet.May blow away in dry, windy weather.Certain animals may use it for a litter box.

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How long does a swing set last?

Depending on the type of swing set and what it is made of, a good swing set may last from 15 to 20 years or more. A quality wood swing set lasts longest, while a plastic set will only last about five years.

  • Wood is the most durable, lasting more than 20 years. However, you do need to take care of it. It has to be stained and sealed regularly and checked for insect invasion. Certain woods are better than others, with cedar being the most popular.

Vinyl swing sets can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance. However, it does not need as much maintenance as wood swing sets.

vinyl set is actually a wood set covered with vinyl so you get the best of both materials.

  • Metal lasts for up to 15 years depending on how well it is made. The cheaper the material, the less time you get to use them. Even the best-made metal will rust too, so that has to be taken care of as well. And metal slides can be extremely hot in the sun.
  • Plastic swing sets are typically small sets made especially for toddlers. It is affordable and safer than a full-size swing set in most cases. However, it does not last as long as the others since it will crack, bend, and warp. That is why houses are not made out of plastic, after all.

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Patricia Oelze
Patricia Oelze

I am a DIYer who loves writing about anything home-related. When I am not writing, you can find me studying for my PhD in Psychology, photographing nature, and swimming at the lake with my grandkids.

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