Can A Swing Set Be Moved? (Or Is It A Recipe For Disaster…)

Cartoon of Steve and text header

Disclaimer: I have put together one swing set from scratch, and that was a few years ago when I was helping a friend.

It caused a lot of arguments!

Moving itself is stressful, combine that with trying to shift a swing set and anxiety levels might go through the roof.

So can a swing set be moved?

Let’s take a closer look…

Can A Swing Set Be Moved?

Most swing sets can be moved, whether that be to a new location in your yard or to a new home entirely. It could well be a stressful process though, so you want to consider if the hassle is worth it or if you should just buy a new swing set when you are settled into your new home. If you decide to move it the key is to clearly label and store separate parts and take lots of photos before you disassemble the swing set!

Relocating a Swing Set: Key Things to Consider

The bottom line is yes, pretty much any swing set can be moved, but the question is, is it worth the possible time and hassle of moving it?

Or is buying a new one easier?

If you have a swing set you want to move, ask yourself these questions first:

#1: What Type of Swing Set Do You Have?

Wood swing sets are definitely more difficult to move than metal swing sets.

They tend to be heavier and more complicated.

The one disadvantage a metal swing set has though, is that often they are concreted into the ground.

And if that is the case you will need to break the concrete and free the structure which might be a pain.

It goes without saying that the larger a swing set is, and the more parts it has, the more difficult it will be to move.

This leads to the next thing you need to consider…

#2: What Condition is the Swing Set In?

Whilst metal swing sets will rust, which can be a pain, it generally isn’t as much of a hindrance as rotting wood.

Your swing set might look fine from afar, but what you might find once you attempt to move it, is that the timber has rotted where it touches the ground or has sunk into the ground.

Take a closer look and if there is any rot, consider how serious it is, are there parts that need to be replaced,  is reinforcement necessary or are you better off buying a new swing set?

Another issue that can beset both wooden and metal swings, and which can be a real annoyance, is if the bolts are rusted.

If they are, then removing them to disassemble your swing set can be very tricky.

Try spraying all bolts with a corrosion solvent, and leaving them to sit for an hour or so.

This should help loosen any stubborn bolts before disassembling.

RELATED ===> Buyers Guide: The Best Swing Sets on the Market

#3: What Are Your DIY Skills Like?

Nuts and bolts in workshop

If you are proficient in DIY, then the thought of disassembling and reassembling a swing set probably won’t intimidate you too much.

If you are a complete newbie to the scene, it might be rather overwhelming.

Consider your own skill levels, and whether you have any friends that can help you. Alternatively, there are companies that will take it apart and reassemble it for you (scroll to point #5 for more on this).

#4: How Far Are You Moving It?

Typing ‘can a swing set be moved’ is quite a broad question.

Some people will be looking to shift a swing set hundreds or even thousands of miles across numerous states, whilst others will just want to know if they can move their swing set a few feet from one side of their garden to another.

If you are just moving a swing set across the yard, then generally you won’t need to disassemble the entire thing.

You could probably get away with taking off the main parts (ie slide and swings) and enlisting the help of a few friends to quickly shimmy it to its new position.

However, if you are moving across the country, then the likelihood is that you will have to disassemble your swing set entirely.

#5: What Costs Are Involved?

Perhaps the most important aspect if you are thinking of moving a swing set, is the various costs.

If you need to completely disassemble the swing set, there is no denying it will be a bit of a pain. So consider:

  • How old is the swing set and what condition is it in?
  • If it is fairly old and not in great condition will it be less stressful to buy a new one?
  • Is there an additional cost with the removal company (if you are using one) to move the swing set?
  • Or will you have to hire a van/truck to move the swing set?
  • Can you hire someone to assemble it for you?

I have never moved a swing set with a relocation company, but various sources online say the cost to move a swing set can vary at anything between $100 and $1000, with $300 being suggested as an average cost.

Either way, if the thought of taking down the swing set and then putting it back up again raises your blood pressure, I would first of all:

  • Get an estimate for someone to move it and put it up for you.
  • Consider the condition of the swing set and how much buying a new one would cost.
  • Weigh both options up against the potential stress of doing it yourself.

Then make a decision!

It is difficult for me to say what is right or wrong here, as everyone’s individual circumstances are different, so you need to do what feels right for you.

Moving a Swing Set to a New Home: How To Do It

If you have decided you are going to bite the bullet and move your swing set to your new home, then I presume you have established there is a good spot in your new place for it?

You have? Good!

Then proceeds as follows:

Step #1: Inspect For Damage

Inspect the swing set for any damage in the form of rot or rust. 

Consider how serious it is and treat the rust with a rust-preventative coating like POR 15 or use some rust bullets.

If wood is rotting, treat it with a stain or sealant and/or buy some 2 x 4 read to reinforce any weak spots.

Step #2: Prepare For Moving!

Take as many photos of the assembled swing set as possible. From all angles, of all joints, etc. Go on a real photo blitz!

Buy any hardware you need. Replacement nuts and bolts, a socket set, duct tape, a hammer, etc.

Buy a whole lot of freezer bags, sharpies, containers, etc, so you can clearly label and store the various nuts and bolts and small parts and know what is what.

Label all parts of the swing set, so you can quickly and easily work out which go together.

Organize a flatbed truck etc, if needed.

Step #3: Start Work

Any stubborn nuts and bolts will need to be sprayed with corrosion solvent such as WD-40, and left for around 24 hours to help them loosen.

Remove the largest parts first, these will usually be the slide and the swings.

Slowly and carefully disassemble the rest of the swing set bit by bit.

Use the containers/freezer bags to keep all parts together and make sure they are clearly labeled.

Fasten each bag of parts to the piece of hardware they attach to, to make it quick to assemble when you get to your new home.

Step #4: Move Home!

You are now in a position to load everything onto the removal vehicle and head off to your new home.

Then you have the small matter of assembling your swing set at the other end.

And of course, sorting out the rest of the stuff you have moved!

Moving A Swing Set Across the Yard: How To Do It

If you have the slightly less stressful task of moving a swing set across your yard rather than to a whole new yard, you will still want to follow some of the basic advice listed above.

But instead of taking the whole thing apart, you will need to figure out exactly how far you are moving your swing set and how many people can help you.

Because the likelihood is, that with enough (wo)manpower, you won’t need to disassemble a huge amount.

Now obviously you don’t want to damage your back, etc, but it might be that you just need to remove the heavier and more cumbersome parts of the swing set.

These will tend to be the swings, the slide, any monkey bars or ropes, etc.

Once they are taken off of the main structure, hopefully with a bit of help you will be able to lift it and maneuver it to the main spot.

Or take a look at the video above as well!

Beforehand though I would still:

  • Inspect it for damage and treat it or prepare to treat it when it is moved to its new spot.
  • Take lots of photos.
  • Have at least a few freezer bags and containers to separate the various parts from each other.

If you or your friends have a dolly to move the swing set that might make it easier. If you are enlisting a number of friends to help you lift it just make sure you aren’t trying to lift too much with too few people.

Also, make sure you and your kids definitely want the swing set in the new spot, you don’t want to have to move it back again a few months later!

Final Thoughts

Infographic explaining Can A Swing Set Be Moved
Click infographic to enlarge.

The answer is yes, a swing set can nearly always be moved one way or another.

The real question is, is it worth the stress, hassle and cost of moving it? Or would it be easier to just buy and assemble a new swing set when you get to your new home?

A lot will depend upon the type of swing set you have, the condition it is in, what your own DIY skills are like and whether there will be an added cost of moving the original swing set.

You need to weigh everything up and decide what is best for you.

If you do decide to move it, make sure you spend a lot of time planning the move and labeling all the parts and storing them in clearly marked containers.

Oh and be prepared for a few arguments and swear words both as you take it down and as you put it back up at the other end!

Good luck!

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