How Much Does It Cost to Repair an Outdoor Play Set?

Typical Range:

$271 - $581

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 22 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated January 5, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average cost to repair an outdoor play set is $426. You can pay as little as $50 to refresh a play set on your own or make a small repair. If your play area has fallen into heavy disrepair and you decide to go all-out on a new playground with a custom play set, poured rubber flooring, and professional installation, you can easily pay $10,000 or more.

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National Average $426
Typical Range $271 - $581
Low End - High End $180 - $1,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 22 HomeAdvisor members.

Outdoor Play Set Repair Prices

The materials you’ll need to repair an outdoor play set will depend on the scope of the repair. Refreshing playground equipment is the cheapest option, while replacing a completely worn out or unsafe play area is the most expensive.

Refresh

As play sets are exposed to the elements, they tend to get dirty. Over the years, your swing set, slide, and other play equipment might accumulate dirt, mold, mildew, and other grime. The area around the playground may also become dirty and overgrown.

In the best-case scenario, you do a relatively good job of keeping the play area clean. This means that you can get away with a deep clean once per year or so to refresh the equipment. Expect to pay $8 to $20 per bottle for an all-purpose outdoor cleaner and $5 to $35 for assorted sponges and rags to get the job done.

If you've neglected your playground equipment for several years, you'll likely need a pressure washer to remove mildew, mold, moss and other organic growth. You can rent one from a home improvement store for about $50 per day or purchase one outright for $100 to $600.

You can clear overgrowth around a play area with a string trimmer and weed killer. String trimmers generally cost $75 to $200 and weed killer costs $8 to $30 per bottle.

Restore

You can’t clean away worn wood, rusting metal, and peeling paint, so you’ll need to invest a little more time and money to restore your play area.

Depending on the level of wear, this process can involve sanding, painting, staining, and tightening and replacing bolts.

Sandpaper costs $3 to $15 per pack, and a simple belt or orbital sander will cost you $25 to $120.

Outdoor spray paint costs $4 to $15 per can depending on the variety, with rust-resistant and self-priming options being good choices for this type of project.

If you have a lot of area to cover, you might elect to purchase high-performance exterior paint for $35 to $100 per gallon and a small paint sprayer for $50 to $200 for easier application.

Stain and sealer for wood costs about $40 per gallon. You can use the same paint sprayer to apply stain or spend about $35 for a roller frame, rollers, and paint brushes.

Tightening bolts costs nothing if you already have the necessary tools on hand. If you’re dealing with rusted or damaged fasteners, replacement bolts can cost $1 to $10 each depending on what you need, and other assorted hardware like screws and nuts can run $1.50 to $15 for smaller bags and boxes.

If the area on which your play set sits is in bad shape, you’ll need to dig or tear out the existing surface and add something new. Rubber mulch is a popular option that generally costs $80 to $160 per cubic yard. Wood chips aren’t as durable, but they’re cheaper at a cost of $30 to $60 per cubic yard. Sand is another cheap option at $5 to $8 per cubic yard, but note that it tends to be messy and difficult to keep clean.

Repair

If your play set has fallen into disrepair, you’ll need to make more significant investments to bring it back to a condition that’s safe for children to use. How much it costs to repair a play set will depend on the material from which it’s made and what exactly needs fixing.

Rotting wood is a common issue with outdoor play equipment due to exposure to sun, wind, and rain. To replace boards, you’ll pay $2 to $5 per square foot for pressure-treated lumber and $3 to $7 per square foot for more durable and attractive cedar.

If your play set is made of metal and you need to repair portions of the frame, you’ll generally pay $3.50 to $6.50 per linear foot for metal piping, depending on the material and thickness you choose. Brackets and braces to hold the frame together can cost $20 to $40 per piece.

Various other hardware you may need to repair on both metal and wooden play sets include playground handles ($4 to $30 per piece), iron swing hangers ($16 to $35 per pair), and tire swing swivels ($15 to $30 each). Replacement chains for swing sets cost $2.25 to $5.50 per linear foot.

Depending on the extent of the repair, you may also need to factor in the costs of heavy-duty tools like power drills and circular saws.

Replace

Sometimes, major parts of an outdoor play set may be so worn or damaged that it’s cheaper or safer to buy replacements or build a new backyard playground.

When it comes to individual pieces, the most common parts you may have to replace include:

  • Canopies - $4 to $200

  • Monkey Bars - $100 to $200

  • Rock wall climbing holds - $30 to $55

  • Slides - $100 to $950

  • Swing Seats - $30 to $50

If your play set has fallen into heavy disrepair, it may make more sense to buy a brand-new unit. The cheapest option is a basic play set made of plastic or metal. These sets typically cost $80 to $200.

Replacing a wooden outdoor play set can cost $375 to $1,000, depending on its size and complexity. You also have the option of purchasing a custom-made play set; the largest and most sophisticated units can cost as much as $6,500.

If you need help with disposing of your old play set, budget $200 to $500 to pay a professional to disassemble and haul it away.

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Outdoor Play Set Repair Installation Cost

To hire a professional to make repairs to your play set, you can expect to pay $50 to $75 per hour.

How long a repair may take depends on the level of damage the play set has sustained and the cost of replacement materials. Smaller repairs may take just a couple of hours and are fairly inexpensive, while replacing an entire play set costs considerably more and can take several days. Because repairs can range from relatively minor to very serious, the typical labor cost to repair a play set is $200 to $2,500.

Outdoor Play Set Repair Cost Factors

The major factors affecting the cost to repair an outdoor play set include the type of repair you need, the cost of materials, and the cost of installation.

Repair Type

Play set repairs can vary in scope and complexity. The most basic repairs aren’t even repairs at all. If you’ve left your play area to elements, it may just need a good cleaning to get it back to near-pristine condition.

On the other hand, your play set may also need more serious repair, ranging from careful restoration that involves sanding and painting to the replacement of individual parts or even the entire unit.

Materials

How much you’ll pay for materials to repair your play set depends on the type of repair and the type of play set you have. For example, plastic play sets generally cost less up front, but replacement parts may be hard to come by and cost a lot of money.

By contrast, wooden play sets tend to be costly to buy, but making repairs is generally cheaper thanks to their customized nature. You can easily replace rotten boards with wood from the hardware store and switch out slides, swings, and other accessories with aftermarket parts.

Installation Costs

If you’re making your own repairs to a play set, you won’t have to pay anyone for installation. Instead, you’ll pay with your own time and effort.

If you hire a local playground installer, you’ll typically pay $50 to $75 per hour for repairs. Pressure washing your play set or replacing a swing may only take an hour or two, but replacing multiple broken boards or fixing structural damage could take a full day or longer.

Cost to Repair an Outdoor Play Set Yourself

Handypeople cost $50 to $75 per hour. So, when you repair an outdoor play set yourself, you’ll save on labor costs.

This can be a smart decision if you have your own tools and only need to make minor repairs. Swapping out a wooden board or replacing a swing hanger are tasks that most DIYers can handle with ease.

DIY vs. Hire a Repair Pro

If your play set has serious or heavy damage, it’s generally a safer choice to allow a professional to look it over and make repairs.

Pros have experience with this type of equipment, so they’ll make faster, better repairs than most DIYers. They also have insight into how kids play and use various parts of the play set. Their trained eyes can spot issues that you might miss, and they can ensure that all their repairs are safe and effective so children don’t get hurt later.

FAQs

Is it worth repairing an old play set?

Depending on the condition of the playset, it can definitely be worth repairing it. If you're unfamiliar with a play set, perhaps it came with a new home purchase, it’s a good idea to hire a professional playground installer to inspect the equipment and detail the feasibility of repair.

How long does an outdoor play set last?

Generally speaking, a well-made outdoor play set can easily last 15 to 20 years. The lifespan of a play set depends heavily on how well you take care of it. Maintaining a play set by keeping it clean and making repairs as needed will ensure your play area remains enjoyable for decades.

How do you preserve an outdoor play set?

Painting, staining, and sealing are the best ways to preserve an outdoor play set. Paint and sealer offer a layer of protection from sun damage and exposure to the elements. But paint doesn’t last forever, so it’s important that you regularly apply new layers to renew the protection.

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