I LOVE this EASY DIY Swing Set Frame. Build a 4×4 swing set frame in just AN HOUR. This A-frame swing set is strong enough for adults & kids.
Easy DIY Swing Set Frame
Hello, hello, hello! I have a super quick and easy backyard project for you all today. This weekend I finally built my kids the DIY Swing Set they’ve been asking for lately.
And, it was amazingly easy, guys. In fact, I was able to finish this swing set build in about an hour, by myself.
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This swing set is extra sturdy too. It’s heavy enough and strong enough for adults to safely swing on. Just be sure to buy swings that are strong enough to carry the weight of an adult.
This wooden swing set frame is built with metal A-Frame Brackets I ordered off Amazon and Pressure Treated wood from my local hardware store.
It was a pretty budget-friendly project too. I spent about $275 on everything I used on this Swing Set, including the 3 swings and swing set hangers.
In this Easy DIY Swing Set Build post I have the full build steps, materials list, how to video, AND answers to tons of common questions to help you get this build done!
Table of contents
- Easy DIY Swing Set Frame
- Can You Build Your Own Swing Set?
- Is it Hard to Build your own Swing Set?
- How To Build A Swing Frame From 4×4’s
- Steps to Build a Swing Set
- Is it Cheaper to Build your own Swing Set?
- How Much Does it Cost to Build a DIY Swing Set?
- Is a 4×4 Strong Enough for a Swing Set?
- Is Pressure Treated Wood Safe for Swing Sets?
- Can I Paint Pressure Treated Wood?
Can You Build Your Own Swing Set?
Yes, in fact, most swing sets will have to be at least partially constructed by the buyer. Unless you hire someone to do it for you, instead.
There are so many ways to build your own swing set. You can design and build your own swing set from scratch. There are always tons of plans available online.
You can buy kits online that include wood. Order huge over-the-top swing set and playhouse combos. Or, do what I did and just buy A-Frame Swing Set Brackets that make building your own swing set easy.
I built this swing set in less than an hour, by myself, with minimal tools. You can too!
Watch this video to see how easy it is to build your own swing set at home. Scroll down for build details and answers to common questions.
Is it Hard to Build your own Swing Set?
It is not hard to build your own swing set when you use A-Frame Swing Brackets. These metal brackets are an easy way to build a sturdy swing set without having to cut angled legs.
And, you won’t have to do any complicated joinery or cuts either. All you have to do is slot the wood into the metal brackets, then install the Lag Bolts.
I was able to build this heavy-duty swing set in just an hour, working alone. The swing set brackets I used come with the hardware needed to build the swing set frame.
I bought the lumber at my local hardware store. Lowe’s and Home Depot also sell the pressure-treated lumber I used for this project.
Anyone comfortable with using a power drill and a saw can build a swing set. I only needed help when it was time to lift the Swing Set Frame into place.
Even then, it only took 2 adults to lift the wooden swing set. You can see how we did that in the video above.
How To Build A Swing Frame From 4×4’s
- Heavy Duty Swing Hangers (I bought 3 Pair)
- 2 Heavy Duty Swings
- A-Frame Swing Set Brackets with Hardware
- 40″ Swing Saucer
- 1 – 12′ Long 4×6 Pressure Treated Post
- 4 – 9′ Long 4×4 Pressure Treated Posts
4×4 Swing Set Plans – Tools Needed
- Power Drill with Drill Bits (various sizes)
- Socket Wrench Set (various sizes)
- Socket Wrench Drill Bit OR Ratcheting Socket Wrench OR Adjustable Wrench
- Circular Saw, Jigsaw, OR Miter Saw
If any of the written steps below are confusing, watch this short video to see how to build a swing frame from 4×4’s and swing set brackets.
Steps to Build a Swing Set
Here’s a quick step overview. The detailed steps are below.
- Cut the swing set posts to size.
- Attach the Swing Hangers to the 4×6.
- Install the A-Frame Swing Set Brackets to the 4×6.
- Attach the 4×4 posts to the A-Frame Swing Set Brackets.
- Lift the Swing Set Frame into place.
- Hang the swings and ENJOY!
Cut the Posts to Size
Start by cutting your 5 Swing Set posts to size, if needed. Cut your 4×4 pressure treated posts to 9′ long.
I used a 10′ long 4×6 on my Easy DIY Swing Set Build. But, I think the spacing between the swings would have been better if that post was 11′ or even 12′ long instead.
Make sure to make nice straight cuts on the ends of your posts.
Attach the Swing Hangers
Then mark the spacing for the swing hangers. I used a pencil and a speed square to mark the spacing on my 4×6 post.
Be sure to make the marks and install the hangers on one of the 4″ wide sides of your 4×6, if you are using the same Swing Set Brackets as I used.
Swings should 18″ away from each end of the 4×6 post. AND, I spaced each set of Swing Hangers 18″ apart. I used 3 sets of Swing Hangers on my post.
On my 10′ long post, that left me with the 3 swings spaced 15″ apart.
Now, most swing sets recommend spacing swings 12″ to 16″ apart, at a minimum. But, you can always increase the spacing to ensure children won’t bump each other if they start to swing side to side.
I would prefer to have 18″ to 20″ spacing between swings. So, to get 20″ between swings. You’ll need an 11′ long 4×6. You could also go with a full 12′ long 4×6 post if you plan to use one of those oversized or wide swing in one spot.
Install the Swing Hangers using the Lag Bolts that come with the Swing Hangers.
Predrill the holes with a drill bit slightly smaller than the Lag Bolt. Don’t forget to use the washers with the Lag Bolts.
You can see how I installed the Lag Bolts in the video above.
Attach the A-Frame Swing Set Brackets
Once the Swing Hangers are installed and the Lag Bolts, also called Lag Screws, are tight you can install the A-Frame Swing Set Brackets.
Attach the brackets to each end of the 4×6. Make sure that the brackets are installed with the leg posts facing out.
The Swing Set Bracket uses Lag Bolts too. The holes for the Lag Bolts need to be predrilled with a slightly smaller drill bit.
If you aren’t sure which size drill bit to use, google the size of your Lag Bolt to see recommendations.
Make sure that you install the Lag Bolts on each side of the brackets on both ends.
Attach the 4×4 Posts to the Brackets
Then, install the 4×4 legs, one at a time. Be sure that the top of the post is touching the metal framing inside the A-Frame Swing Set Bracket.
When that post is touching the metal, that means that the 4×4 is helping to carry the weight of the 4×6.
If the 4×4 isn’t making contact with the metal, then only the Lag Bolt on that leg is carrying the weight of that heavy 4×6.
Again, predrill for those Lag Bolts and don’t forget the washers.
Lift the DIY Swing Set Frame into Place
Once all 4 of the 4×4’s are installed, you can lift the swing set frame into place.
It is heavy and awkward, but my husband and I were able to do this together without too much trouble.
You can slowly shimmy the swing set backward and forward by inching one post along at a time. You can see what I mean in that video too.
Make sure to get the swing set where you want it that day. It will start to settle into the ground as it is used and with exposure to rain.
Once those posts settle in an inch or two, they’ll be harder to move.
Is it Cheaper to Build your own Swing Set?
Yes, building a swing set will almost always be cheaper than buying a similar swing set.
The full Swing Set Kits, including wood, available at Home Depot and Lowe’s cost easily hundreds more than just buying your own Swing Set Brackets and lumber.
I spent about $275 on my large DIY Swing Frame, including the Swing Set Brackets, lumber, swing hangers, and 3 swings.
Compared to Similar Wooden Swing Sets
As a comparison, check out this Full Wooden Swing Set Kit with 3 types of swings included. It’s almost the exact same price as I paid for my DIY Swing Set.
BUT, that kit swing set is made with just 2×4’s. So, it can’t handle the weight of most adults. In fact, it can’t support anyone over 115 pounds.
AND, that kit swing set is only 6′ 10″ high. The one I built is about 8 1/2″ high. So, my kids can swing a lot higher on the swing set I built.
My DIY Swing Frame is also a much heavier frame than the kit swing set that is just made with 2×4’s. That means my swing set frame is too heavy to bounce around, even when my kids are swinging high.
Although, if an adult over 200 pounds tries to swing high, I can’t guarantee they won’t get movement. I don’t, but someone heavier or stronger might.
So, to be extra safe, you can always add Swing Anchors to hold the swing set legs down.
Compared to Similar Metal Swing Sets
As another comparison, here’s a 3-Swing Metal Frame Swing Set that also cost around $275.
That metal frame is lighter than wood. So, it can’t handle heavier kids or adults.
And, the height on this metal swing set is only around 6′. That means older kids that like to swing high will find this swing set kind of boring.
Be sure to think about the height of any metal swing set and the age range of the child it’s best-suited for before buying.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a DIY Swing Set?
I built my 3-Swing Wooden Frame Swing Set for $275, including the cost of the swing brackets, 4×4’s, and swings.
The cost of your DIY Swing Set Build will vary. Some states or countries have higher lumber costs. Or, you might want to use Redwood or Cedar instead of Pressure Treated Pine. That will add onto the cost.
Your swing set cost will also go up if you alter the design to add a slide, climbing wall, or other additions.
Is a 4×4 Strong Enough for a Swing Set?
A 4×4 is strong enough to use as leg supports for the frame of most swing sets.
You can also use a Pine 4×4 as the top beam. But, if you use that 4×4 as the top beam, add a middle bracket and post support if the top beam exceeds 10′.
I recommend using a 4×6 along the top of the swing set frame, when possible, and 4×4 posts as the legs.
A 4×6 top beam would provide extra strength. You can use a 12′ top beam to support swings without a middle bracket and post support.
Is Pressure Treated Wood Safe for Swing Sets?
Pressure Treated wood is safe to use for swing sets and outdoor play structures. Manufacturers stopped using dangerous chemicals, like arsenic, in pressure treated wood in 2004.
Pressure Treated wood is also a lot more budget-friendly than the redwood or Cedar that is also available in most stores for exterior DIY projects.
Can I Paint Pressure Treated Wood?
Yes, you can paint pressure treated wood. But, most pressure treated lumber available in hardware stores if freshly treated. That means it’s still pretty wet.
Sometimes you can even tell how damp it is just be touching it. You should wait a few months after buying it to paint it.
Three months should be long enough for pressure treated wood to dry out.
After that, you can paint the wood with exterior grade paint. Preferably one that is made for decking, so that it is also non-slip.
The same is true for Exterior Stains. Wait 3 months before staining.
If you can find Kiln Dried Pressure Treated wood, you are probably safe to paint it right away.
That’s it for my Easy DIY 4×4 Swing Set Plans!
Looking for more DIY Ideas? You can see all of my DIY Outdoor projects here. Add some more fun to your backyard with How to Make a Kids Climbing Ramp or Rock Wall.
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Feeling inspired? That’s it for this Easy DIY Swing Set Build on a budget! Let me know if you have questions.
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