I did a lot of research before finally purchasing this playset. If you are on the fence about buying this playset you should know that it is very good quality for the price. Keep in mind it's in the $500 range and not the $1500 range. We installed our playset about 2 weeks ago and my 3 year old daughter loves it and plays on it everyday (weather permitting of course). I will echo much of what other reviewers recommended..but here are my tips for installing this playset successfully:
1. Open all boxes and inventory pieces/parts
2. Coat all wood pieces (front and back) with two coats of polyurathane. I used Cabot polyurathane made for outdoor use. I brushed the sealant on versus spraying it. You can do either, but I thought brushing it allowed me to apply the sealant in every crack, grove, etc.
3. Once the wood pieces are dry, measure, sort and label them. My husband and I did this in about 30 minutes and we labeled the pieces with painters tape. Once we had the wood pieces labeled we organized them according to the phases in the manual.
4. I also sorted all of the hardware and put the hardware for each phase in plastic baggies and labeled the baggies phase 1, phase 2, etc... This took an hour or so but was well worth it!
5. Three adults working on this playset was just enough. My husband and father-in-law assembled everything while I read the instructions, prepared for the next phase and handed them tools, hardware, and water (maybe a beer or two). We assembled what we could in our garage but eventually had to move out onto the lawn once we started constructing the fort. It took us about two days to assemble the playset and another day or so to prepare the ground under the playset (removing sod, filling in with pea gravel and edging). The directions are very easy to follow and very straight forward. Two drills on hand are a must and as everyone else has mentioned pre-drilling is a good idea to prevent any splitting that may occur...but this is stated in the directions as well. Overall we are very pleased with this playset. If you seal it, take your time assembling it, plan for a safe area to place it...then you will have a great playset for your little ones to enjoy!
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