How Much Does It Cost to Build a Swing Set or Playground?

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Reviewed by Andy Kilborn
Updated January 11, 2022
Family playing on a backyard playground and swing set
Photo: Rob and Julia Campbell / Stocksy / Adobe Stock

The average swing set installation cost is about $475 for labor, plus the cost of the equipment—which can be anywhere from $1,000 to $6,500 or more

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Your kids are probably dreaming of a place to climb, swing, and let their imaginations run wild—why not give it to them? 

A swing set installation cost can range between $330 and $660 depending on the complexity of the build and whether you need to level your yard. You’ll also see significant price differences based on whether you buy equipment or DIY it.

How Much Does Playground Installation Cost Near You?

Your swing set installation cost can vary based on where you live. Here are a few average costs for different U.S. cities:

LocationAverage Cost
Miami$530
Boston$470
Chicago$410
New York City$560
Denver$810
Houston$690

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Playground Yourself?

Before you consider DIY-ing to save on your playset cost, note that these are extremely heavy materials. Ideally, you’ll have at least two to three strong friends helping you out—along with plenty of drinks and snacks. Professional playground installers near you can take over if the job isn’t feasible to tackle on your own.

“If you have the right tools, experience, and help, a DIY playset is definitely an achievable weekend project,” says Andy Kilborn, owner of Andy’s Handyman. “However, if you are short on any of those items, it’s worth it to hire a professional.”

Lumber and Supplies

Your lumber costs will depend on your design. Pressure-treated lumber generally goes for $2 to $5 per square foot, while cedar costs between $3 and $7 per square foot

You’ll also need a few basic supplies. Here’s what you may need, along with some average costs:

SuppliesPrice
36-inch nail stakes (10-pack)$60
Spud bar$40
Circular saw$70
Eye protection$3
Protective earmuffs$3
Power drill$60
Post hole digger$60
Wheelbarrow$50
Sledgehammer$40
Tape measure$5
Vice grip$35
Total$426

Playground Equipment

If you’re building your own swing set, there are plenty of á la carte options for equipment. Here are a few ready-made pieces to feature in your new swing set:

EquipmentPrice
Slide$100 – $950
Monkey bar kit (bars and hanging hardware)$100 – $200
Rockwall climbing holds pack$30 – $55
Swinging rope$10
Flag$10 – $20
Tarp / canopy$4 – $200

If you’re a crafty (and careful!) DIY-er, there are a lot of opportunities to get creative with your playground installation using raw or salvaged materials. These can be very cheap if you know where to look, but remember to put your creation through rigorous testing before having the little ones use it. You might also need an additional safety inspection to ensure it’s structurally sound for the kiddos.

If you’d like to take on a simpler playground DIY first, consider building a mud kitchen

DIY Swing Set Installation Cost

Your swing set assembly cost depends on how many kids will be playing at one time. Most homeowners opt for two swings, which you can usually get in a pack for about $50 to $60. The price for a single standalone swing is around $30 to $50, with toddler bucket swings costing between $25 and $80 each.

If you want a complete swing set that includes the structure with it, you might pay anywhere from $100 to $700 for a two-swing set.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Playground Surface by Type?

When figuring your swing set installation cost, one thing you’ll need to consider is the soft surface underneath. After all, falling is an inevitability when you’re a kid, so it’s essential to provide something to absorb the impact.

Rubber Mulch

Rubber mulch costs around $120 per cubic yard, with costs ranging between $80 and $160 per cubic yard. Though it’s a pricier choice, rubber mulch offers a soft fall surface that won’t rot or wear like wood chips. Note that it’s also used for landscaping, so be sure you’re getting a variety that’s certified as a playground safety surface.

Poured Rubber Surfacing

Poured rubber costs $16 to $25 per square foot, or about $144 to $225 per square yard, but you’re getting your money’s worth. Aside from being satisfyingly squishy, it offers great impact absorption. It’s also slip-resistant and less messy than other options, especially after a rainy day.

Wood Chips

Playground mulch, which is a mixture of soft wood chips, goes for around $45 to $60 per cubic yard. While it costs less than rubber mulch, it can double as a buffet for insects like termites and ants. It’s also likely to rot and require replacement much sooner. Unless you’re captivated by the nostalgia factor, it’s wise to go with more modern rubberized surfaces.

Sand

Sand is around $5 to $8 per cubic foot, or $15 to $40 per cubic yard. It’s an economical playground surface that does a great job of absorbing impact. However, it also does a great job of getting everywhere, so that’s a con to consider.

Grass

Playg round in the backyard of home
Photo: Stuart Monk / Adobe Stock

Grass is obviously free if you have it already, but it’s not the safest option if one of the kiddos loses their footing. You’ll also need to make sure it stays free of sharp objects and any “presents” your dog might leave behind. Plus, any grass in high-use areas (like below swings and slides) can quickly turn to dirt—and, when it rains, mud.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Playground by Brand?

Different brands carry pre-made playsets that may or may not include installation costs. Below are a few of the most popular choices and what their price could be.

Gorilla Playset Installation Cost

Gorilla Playsets offers a wide range of jungle gyms that can be anywhere from $1,200 to $6,500. Professional installation can cost between $200 and $500. If you purchase from this brand, they’ll turn you to preferred installers that already know their way around the products—which could potentially save you time (and money, of course).

Kidkraft Swing Set Assembly Cost

KidKraft playground equipment goes for around $1,000 to $2,800. This also includes professional assembly and installation, so that’s a major bonus.

Rainbow Playground Installation Cost

Rainbow Play Systems are a highly customizable option that generally goes for between $1,500 and $4,000. Depending on the complexity of the design, your professional playset installation cost could be anywhere from $250 to $600.

Playset Installation Cost Breakdown

When determining your playground installation cost, you’ll need to consider labor prices, materials, and playground surfacing. You’ll also need to think about leveling your yard if it needs it, and any permits you’ll need for building.

Labor

Your swing set installation cost could range anywhere between $150 and $900, depending on who you hire for the job. Some brands, such as Kidkraft, will include installation with purchase.

Materials

Pre-made playsets can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $6,500—or possibly more if you’re doing something custom. For a DIY build, you’ll need to factor in roughly $450 worth of tools and supplies, plus the cost of lumber and individual pieces of play equipment.  

Playground Surfacing

Playground surfacing can cost anywhere between $15 to $160 per cubic yard, or up to $225 per square yard if you go with poured rubber. Plain wood chips cost about half the price of rubberized mulch, though they’re prone to pests and won’t last nearly as long. Sand costs roughly one-third as much as wood chips and is the cheapest option by far, but as mentioned before, it gets everywhere.

Cost to Level Your Yard for a Playset

If your yard has lots of hills, brush, and other obstacles, you may need to budget another $1,200 to $4,200 to level it out. The area will require clearing, grading, and possibly a new layer of topsoil before building can take place.

Permits

Depending on where you live, you may need to spend between $400 and $1,100 to obtain the proper permits for your playground. Not all cities will require one, so be sure to check out local laws before moving forward.

What Factors Influence Your Playground and Swing Set Installation Cost?

Your swing set installation cost can vary widely based on labor costs in your area, as well as varying costs of equipment. Other cost factors include:

  • Playset brand

  • DIY-ing vs. hiring a pro

  • Playground surfacing costs

  • Whether your yard needs clearing or leveling

  • Building your own playset vs. purchasing a premade playset

  • Any additional accessories you add

FAQs

How long will my playground equipment last?

The average lifespan for a playset is around eight to ten years, but you can probably make it last to 15 years with good weather conditions and proper maintenance. If you’re purchasing a pre-made playset, some brands offer warranties for up to 25 years—long after your kiddos are grown.

How much do playground repairs cost?

The average cost to repair playground equipment ranges from about $280 to $520. Prices vary based on the type of repair you need.

Do I need to anchor my playset?

Yes! It’s always a good idea to anchor your playset. Even though they’re heavy, it doesn’t take much wind to blow one over. Anchoring everything to the ground makes it a lot safer for your kiddos.

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