Frequently Asked Questions - Wooden Playsets

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Wooden Play Set Guide - Frequently Asked Questions

We have written a comprehensive guide to us, our playsets and their install, care and maintinence.  These are a selection of the most commonly asked questions.  Please if these do not answer your question please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to answer your query as quickly as we can.

General Questions

Q: What kind of wood do you use?
A: Our playsets are made from Cedar. It is a strong wood that is resistant to decay and rot. It is NOT pressure treated with chemicals. It is treated with a water-based solution that is both environmentally safe and kid-friendly.

Q: Do your products include wood?
A: Yes. All our products come with all the wood and hardware you need to build the product. All you need is the tools and your favorite beverage.

Q: For what age range are your play sets made?
A: The ages range from 3-10 years old.

Q: Do you have a catalog you can send me?
A: Our playsets are shown on our website, and there is a vast amount of product information listed there. We publish promotional literature, but the main product information is shown on our website.

Q: I lost my assembly manual. How can I get a copy?
A: Please email us with the make and model of your playset and if it is one we supply then we will do our best to get one emailed to you.

Assembly Questions - Site Prep and Assembly

Q: Can I use sand or mulch for the base of the playset?
A: Sand, mulch, and other soft materials are great for the ground under the playset area. However, the playset should NOT rest on these materials. You should make sure the ground is level and then use paving stones or other solid materials as the footers for the playset. You must also secure the set with stakes provided. Once the playset is securely resting on these solid footings, then you can surround it with your favorite soft material.

Q: How much area is required for the playset?
A: We recommend a 6 foot perimeter around the set and above it for maximum protection against interference with other yard items.

Q: How do I get started assembling the set?
A: We STRONGLY recommend taking out all the parts and laying them on the ground or garage floor before you assemble anything. Match the parts with the parts list in the manual and mark them. This will also help you identify any parts that might be missing. Once everything is laid out, then begin assembling step by step from the manual


Making It Last

Q: Do I need to stain the playset after I get it?
A: We suggest you treat the wood once each year. Not only will this keep it looking nice but will also help it last as long as possible.

Q: What kind of stain should I use?
A: We used a water-based treatment when we made the products. You can use a water-based or oil-based stain at your discretion. However, once you switch to oil you will not be able to return to water-based from that point forward. Your local home improvement store will have plenty of options and suggestions for you.

Q: What else should I do?
A: We suggest you check bolt tightness and all hardware periodically to ensure everything is in proper order.

Warranty and Parts

Q: What if a part is missing?
A: If you find that a part is missing or parts are broken, please contact us immediately with the part number, the playset model (name) and your complete address. We can respond quickly with replacements if you give us all the details.

Q: What is the warranty on your playsets?
A: The warranties vary by playset and brand. Most playset details pages show the warranty information for that product. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Q: I have an older playset. Do you have parts for it?
A: In many cases we still have parts for older playsets that we have supplied. Please contact us with your information and what you need. We'll get back to you with part availability and pricing information.

Q: Some of the wood is cracked. Is this normal?
A: Yes. Cedar is naturally resistant to decay and rot. However, surface cracks can develop as it weathers and this is perfectly normal. It does not affect the strength of the wood.

Shipping Questions

Q: How long will it take to get my playset?
A: It will normally take 1-2 days to process you order, clear payment and prepare you item for dispatch.  Before we can dispatch your playset we need confirmation of a delivery day from you. The more contact information you supply us the quicker we can get your playset delivered.  Order to delivery time vary's from 3 days to approximately 7 days, but this is down to you. 

Please note: If you choose to order an accessory and a playset, the playset will ship via courier and the accessory parcel service. Although we try to time the products to arrive at simliar times, sometimes they may arrive on different days.

Q: Can I ship a playset on next day delivery?
A: We do our best to meet your needs.  If you can contact us before 12pm (Monday - Friday) we will do our best to pick, pack and dispatch your playset on next day delivery.  There is normally a small additioal charge for this service.

Q: Are items always in stock?
A: We do not display inventory levels on our website, but if you can see the item listed then it should be in stock.

Q: How big are the boxes?
A: Of course, it depends on the playset or product. Our smaller playsets come in two boxes. The larger ones come in up to 6 boxes! They are all 92" long and most are 22" wide. Box height varies from 3" to 9" or so. Playhouses and picnic table boxes vary from this. Accessories are in boxes that fit the size of the product. 

Please Note: Modular and Backyard Adventures Systems aren't boxed.  They are picked to meet your order specification and they are loaded delivered by either a courier or on the pallet network.

Q: If I order more than one product will they all arrive together?
A: Probably not. This is because playsets ship from a different warehouse than accessories, etc. So just like Amazon and others, you may get your shipment at different times separated by a few days or more.

Accessories and Options

Q: Can I use options from other manufacturers?
A: We do not recommend using accessories from other manufacturers. This is because we do not know the extent to which they have been tested for strength and weight, etc. Any modifications or changes you make to your playset are at your own risk.

Q: Can I install the slide and ladder in different positions?
A: In many cases the positions at which you install the slides and ladders are interchangeable but not always. We suggest you follow the directions and assemble the playset as described there.

Q: Can I leave off the monkey bars or switch the position of them and the swing beam?
A: It dempends on the system. We do not recommend changing the way in which the Selwood Products playsets major components are assembled. This includes attachment of swing beams and monkey bars. Any modifications such as these are at your own risk.  The Backyard Adventures Systems are modular and can be specified to your needs. Please speak with one of our customer services advisors if you have questions on these systems.

Q: Can I buy a different slide or swing for my set?
A: Yes, In many cases you can purchase spiral slide or a toddler swing for your set. However, not ALL slides work with all sets. Until we complete an accessory application matrix on our site, please don't hesitate to email us with your questions so we're sure you order the correct accessory.

Purchasing Questions

Q: What is the difference between the various brands on your site?
A: We import a number of playsets under different brands so that it offers our customers the variation from one manufacturer versus another. They are all manufactured by us using the same wood and quality processes.

Q: How is Backyard Adventures different?
A: Backyard Adventures is our specialty line of playsets. These sets are configured so you can "design" your own with multiple towers, tunnels, "racing" slides and much more! They are awesome! We sell them through a network display sites accross the UK to offer you the ULTIMATE playset, check out the Backyard Adventures website and visit the site nearest you.

Pricing Questions

Q: Why is your website price higher/lower than other sites or local stores?
A: Like everyone else we use a standard method to price our playsets. We believe the pricing of our products is very competitive and do not think you will find true 'like-for-like' products at cheaper prices.  If you do we would love to hear from you.

Please Note:  Other reasons for pricing indiscrepancies can be because some resellers choose to charge more but include shipping whilst others charge less but shipping is added on top of the product price. Also remember to ask about the after sales service you are being offered.  This may not initially appear important, but it will suddenly become a higher priority if your set arrives with missing or damaged pieces!

Q: Does your price include shipping?
A: Delivery, or the majority of the delivery price, is often included in the price of our items. We may charge a small delivery charge, but this will be specified on the product pages, and if often only a tiny percentage of the actual delivery costs.  Highlands and Offshore locations often incur a delivery surcharge.

Q: I am in mainland Europe. What are the prices for your products in Euro's?
A: We do not convert the prices on our UK website. We have a European website and our products are all shown on there in Euro's.


Q: Do you charge a restocking fee?
A: We charge a 2% Admin/Transaction fee and can charge the original delivery charge. This is what is charged to us by the banks when your transaction is processed.  We are happy to take you item back (see our returns policy) but do not want to loose money if you change you mind.  The playsets are heavy, large, and cost a lot to ship back and forth. We want you to be satisfied, but we do not want you to purchase without being absolutely sure this is what you want.

Q: What is your return policy?
A: We are happy to take items back but it is up to you to ensure they are returned to us in their original packaging. Our full terms and conditions explain very important purchasing, shipping, and return policy information to which you must agree before we can ship your playset.

Q: What if I bought my products from another retailer?
A: Then you should contact the company from who you purchased your playset for return policies and information. We will not accept any returns that do not correlate with our invoicing and payment records for the playsets. If you ship us something without our prior authorisation, we will refuse the shipment and it will come back to you at your expense.

Q: How do I return something?
A: Call our Customer Service number and speak with them about your problem.  Due to the nature of the products, often damages or missing items can easliy be replaced and there is no need to send the item back.  If you have changed you mind then please make our customer services team aware and they will notify our warehouse ready to accept the delivery.

Maintenance Questions

Q: How should I maintain my set?
A: A playset is a large wooden structure that requires maintenance. There are many customers whose playsets last for years as a result of simple steps taken to ensure the wood's longevity. The wood on your Adventure Playset comes with a thin coat of stain that provides uniform coloration. Stain does not protect wood, however. Most customers have the best results when they sand and stain their wood then seal it with an oil-based sealant. In order to maintain your warranty you must maintain the wood and inspect it monthly. Remember, stain is for color and sealant is for protection.

Q: What do I do when a bracing element breaks?
A: Bracing elements break when the playset becomes unlevel. As a playset settles, its center of balance can sometimes shift placing an undue amount of tension on a single area. When a bracing element cracks, it's time to check the set monthly for levelness. Take a level and ensure that all areas of your playset that are supposed to be level are level. If the ground is not level, dig out the high ground with a shovel. Make sure all of your hardware is loosened and then re-tightened uniformly afterward to accommodate the leveling changes made. Test it out with swinging and let us know if you need any further help.

Q: My playset is swaying. What should I do?
A: As a playset settles, its center of balance can sometimes shift placing an undue amount of tension on a single area. When a bracing element cracks, it's time to check the set monthly for levelness. Take a level and ensure that all areas of your playset that are supposed to be level are level. If the ground is not level, dig out the high ground with a shovel. Make sure all of your hardware is loosened and then re-tightened uniformly afterward to accommodate the leveling changes made. Test it out with swinging and let us know if you need any further help.

Q: The end ladder is not straight up and down. What is wrong?
A: Nothing is wrong. The end ladder does not form a 90 degree angle. It has an angle to it.

Q: My wood appears to be cracking. Is that a problem?
A: No, expansion and contraction of wood due to weather changes will cause slight cracking (technically called checking) and distortion. These are natural characteristics of wood and do not affect the structural integrity of the playset.

Q: My 2x4 boards do not measure 2"x4". Why not?
A: It has been common practice in the U.S. to use the rough-cut dimension from a sawmill to describe the width and height of a particular piece of lumber. Many retailers, designers, contractors and manufactures utilize this description with a common and accepted knowledge that the actual size will vary from this description. Our sets are designed using the actual dimension. This ensures the sets will be assembled properly and be safe for the recommended use.

Q: How often should I re-stain my playset and what should I use?
A: The playset should be checked at least once a year depending on the weather. Lightly sand any rough areas and re-stain the set with a waterborne transparent stain.

Q: My playset is leaning. What should I do?
A: Using a level, check the fort horizontally from the bottom of the playset to the top. Start by verifying that the baseboards are level. If you have high ground, dig it out. Move higher now, checking every tier for levelness. When checking the floor, ensure that the center of the floor is as level as the outside edges and the four corners. Check to ensure that tarp assembly is level. Check the swing beam/monkey bar brace, the rungs on the deck ladder, and the rungs on the rock wall. Check to see that the rock-wall brackets are level. Check to see that the fort angle brace brackets are level with each other.

Once you've checked the horizontal levelness, it's time to check it vertically. Check all uprights, wall slats, tarp uprights, deck ladder rails, rock-wall rails, and verify that they are straight. Once the fort is horizontally and vertically level, tighten the hardware to ensure it stays that way.

For the monkey bars/swing beam portion:

Check to see that the ground beam is level. If it is not, dig out the high ground. Check that the two green plastic angle brace brackets are even with each other. Check the rungs and beams of the monkey bars for levelness. On occasion, the monkey bar or swing beam will lean into the fort causing the assembly to become unlevel. Once it is level, tighten your hardware down uniformly and make sure it is staked to the ground.

Q: I need replacement parts. How can I order them?
A: If you just got your playset and it is missing parts, please e-mail us the exact part numbers. We'll send the replacements to you.

If you have an older playset we supplied then you can often still purchase parts from us, but you need to know which brand name made your playset, the name of the set and ideally which part you need.  then call our customer services team and they will do their best to help.

Q: How can I best prepare for our new playset so it stays sturdy and firm for years to come?
A: The most important this you can do to keep your playset from moving around is to ensure it remains on a very solid base. Many people try to put the set on the grass but it's rare that a yard is perfectly level and without bumps. Or, they use a soft material such as mulch or sand and the set can actually make undercuts in the material which opens up the chance for movement. We suggest you take a look at these areas where the foot boards of the playset will rest. If necessary, install some paving stones and set the playset on them, then anchor it.

About Us

Q: Where are you based?
A: We are a national company.  We have mega display/sales sites in Surrey and Essex, and satilite sites in Suffolk, Midlands and Cheshire.

Q: How long have you been in business?
A: We have been retailing playsets from the worlds biggest manufactuers since 2002.  We are now probably the UK's biggest independant playset retailer.  This is down to our fantastic prices and excellent customer services.

Q: Where can I buy your playsets?
A: The vast majority of our sets are sold through our website.  We also have display sites located throughout the country where customers come to try before they buy.  These sites specialise in the larger modular Backyard Adventures systems and may not display playsets under £1000.  Further information on these sites and what they are displaying is on our website.

Q: I want to sell your products. Can I be a dealer?
A: We have programs for resellers, both stores and online. Please contact us for more information.

Q: Your products are made from wood. Do you protect the environment?
A: Yes we do as environmental preservation is very important to us. First, we participate in the Sustainable Forest program which means that four saplings are planted for each tree removed to make our sets. Also, we use a water-based treatment on our wood as we prepare it for boxing. The treatment looks great, it is environment-friendly, and is non-toxic for our kids.


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