First thing I want to say is that I spent at least a year researching different playsets and prices with about 2 months reading the reviews posted here before I purchased this set. And it was worth the long wait, what a great find!!
I have three small kids and wanted something quality and that will last, and was willing to pay for it. I've seen the faded, splintered, weak wood sets with limited features at friends and neighbors houses and vowed to not go down that road. Do it right, or not at all. So, upon purchasing this set, I will say that all the complaints about warped wood, incorrect and confusing instructions, and an UNREALISTIC assembly time are definately true. It took me three weeks to put it together a little everyday after work. I had to take things apart after I found out five steps later the instructions were wrong. I had to go to home depot to get more screws and T-nuts. I broke a few 1/8 drill bits drilling at least 30 pilot holes. I would definately recommend predrilling all the boards possible even when not specified because i actually cracked a few boards to the picnic table and rock wall due to inexperience, but not too bad. Also, I was missing two safety handles, and never got them because customer service forwarded me to a special line because I purchased it from Walmart. (Why?) I ended up getting their voicemail. So I gave up, I bought two more, life goes on.
I find that a lot of the complaints posted here are small when you look at the big picture. A great beautiful playset that will last until your kids are too old to play with it. Very satisifed and it was worth the sweat. It's stable, I can stand on it upright (and even swing smoothly along side my kids with only slight rocking-I'm 150lbs), its level, and there are no splinters. I placed a black weed-block tarp under the sand box before filling to keep the kids from digging too deep and sprayed a yearly herbicide through the porch boards to keep grass from growing through, very effective.
When I threw a birthday party ten kids played on it no problem. I removed the see-saw thing and purchased a baby swing for my youngest and I also purchased the tic-tac-toe panel from Wal-Mart, and now it looks like a playset from a park. I plan on purchasing the steering wheel for this summer. Everyday when we came home while it was summer my kids ran to it, and so I got my money's worth.
If your looking for a set that your kids and the neighborhood kids can play on, with plenty of play features, and want quality for almost half the price charged elsewhere for a similar set (believe me, I've researched it) then this is it.
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