If you have children, you may have comtemplated buying a swing set, cubby house or monkey bars and you may be thinking to install them yourself. Brands like Cheeky Monkey, Vuly, Funky Monkey, Lifespan or Kidzshack all offering flatpack D.I.Y kits to suit any backyard or budget, but how easy are these kits to install and can or should you do it yourself? When looking into these products you should ask yourself a few important questions before making a purchase to determine wether you should factor getting an experienced assembler to install your new kids play equipment.
Do I Have Enough Space and How Will I Secure It From Falling Over?
This question may be self evident but you would be amazed by the amount of people whom when asked if they measured the area, tell me they didn’t. Things like height of swing from any surrounding objects, extra gap from slides or even the ability to get the packaging to the desired set up area. When researching the most suitable product for you area, you should consider safe area surrounding any high platforms, swings or trampoline. Safe distances should be about 1 metre minimum from any differences in height and where there is any doubt, the Australian standards and regulations state clear guidelines about what is considered safe. All kids play equipment should be set up and installed on level ground or levelled and pegged down to ensure safe use.
How will you secure your new equipment to ensure it doesn’t topple over while someone is using the product? I once installed a simple swing set for a customer and as we discussed the inadequecy of the supplied pegs to hold it down, one of his children started swinging and it fell over on top of the boy! You should never rely on supplied fittings to suit your specific application unless they are from a high quality product (Funky Monkey *cough*), most low end kids play equipment is cheap and nasty. If you have the money to spend, don’t scrimp…..
Do I Have The Tools For The Job?
Most kits come with basic tools, but often require some that you may have to supply (most often, a level). The supplied tools are usually comparable to the price of the purchase and in most cases, they are cheap throw away items that are harder to use than normal tools, ie; short handled spanners and allen keys that round the fittings out. In most cases it is better to use a decent quality spanner, screwdriver or allen key to save you a lot of time, most of these being fairly common in most homes. When it comes to leveling and installing monkey bars, swing sets and play centers that have multiple moving parts, we would definitely recommend hiring a professional if you are unconfident. A competent person can easily align your equipment so that your children can use them safely without fear of hurting themselves.
Do I Have The Competence To Assemble and Install This Play Equipment Safely?
I was recently called to level out a customers Funky Monkey monkey bar set ‘The Mandrill’, which they had completely put together. They told me that they weren’t confident with their assembly/levelling of the product and asked if i could put it together properly. This was my first time putting together this particular set which consisted of three seperate sets of multi-level monkey bars, a cantilevered flying fox, multiple swings, a boxing bag, firemans pole and climbing ropes, this set was HUGE. The more i looked at it i decided that i would have to take the whole thing apart and start again. Now it is important to remember when assembling these sets to read all instructions first and ensure you know where the optional accessories fit before beginning, so you know where all the parts will go and how they fit together (trust me, you don’t want to get to the end and have to dismantle it all again to put one clip on!). I check off all the parts first and then lay them in their rough positions. This helps to have everything close for efficient monkey bar assembly and also to minimise the chance of putting it together wrong.
The Funky Monkey sets all center around the initial monkey bars and contain the same basic kit, which needs to be completely level before moving onto the rest of the set . This may require digging down to ensure that each support post can touch the ground, stand straight and be level. ‘The Mandrill’ monkey bar installation requires nine individual support posts to be levelled and is extremely tricky for even a competent (supposedly) installer. Once the posts are levelled it is important to ensure that every screw is tight to ensure that the whole set stays secured when in use. This involves systematically going around in one direction until each screw is tight. Once the monkey bars are level, you peg them into the ground using the supplied pegs and the included Funky Monkey ‘twirly whirly bars’ which are manufactured to be installed under tension in order to stabilise the whole set. Once fully installed, i personally test each piece of equipment for stability and security (someone has to do it….).
Why It Pays To Get A Competent Monkey Bar, Swing Set or Kids Play Equipment Installer
The amount of time it takes to put together a basic swing set, trampoline or monkey bar set generally ranges from four to twelve hours for myself and i have done dozens, so for the inexperienced these sets may take days to assemble and may require correcting if not installed correctly. It is a good idea to pay someone to ensure that your new set is installed safely and securely in order for your children to get the maximum enjoyment out of their new play equipment, whilst minimising chance of injury. We can prepare the surface, pickup your purchases, fully assemble and provide secure installation of just about any childrens play equipment available. So when researching, it may be a good idea to factor in the extra cost of a professional play set, monkey bar, swing set, trampoline or cubby house assembler and installation. It may just save you more than you will ever know.