You can hire a contractor to build an outdoor play set on your property, or you can try to figure out the project from scratch—but we don't recommend either approach. The first is expensive. The second is risky: Do you know what constitutes hardware that's strong enough to support a swinging child? That's where this project comes in. It combines hardware that comes as a kit from a reputable company with lumber you source and cut yourself.
We used the three-swing Pathfinder hardware package and wave slide from Backyard City (backyardcity.com; about $600), which had everything we needed for two swings, a trapeze bar, a sandbox, a 10-foot wave slide, and a ladder up to a canopy fort. The kit also includes detailed construction plans, bolts, screws, and brackets. We spent about $350 on lumber and got to work.
Two people can put up this play set in a day and a half to three days, depending on their skill level. But we suggest you take your time and get the kids involved. For them, the only thing better than playing on it may be knowing they helped build it.