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Frequently Asked Questions
Play-a-Round Series

What type of wood is used in Play-a-Round swing sets?

Play-a-Round swing sets, like all CedarWorks outdoor swing sets, are made exclusively from Northern White Cedar. This is the only wood species that meets our discriminating requirements for strength, long life, and no splinters without added chemicals.

How long does Northern White Cedar last?

According to the National Forest Service, Northern White Cedar is classified as "highly decay resistant" and will last up to 20 years untreated. This is longer than any other natural wood species used in swing sets.

Does Northern White Cedar need to be stained?

No. Northern White Cedar will remain long lasting and splinter free without any maintenance required. Over time, the wood will naturally weather to a classic silver-gray. You can leave it be, or sustain its brightness with occasional power washings. It's also possible to apply a stain to achieve a golden color. However, other than color preference, there is absolutely no need to stain or otherwise seal a CedarWorks swing set.

Will Northern White Cedar splinter?

No. Northern White Cedar is the only wood used in swing sets that is naturally splinter free. Even when wood fibers happen to lift up above the smooth sanded surface of our swing set parts, they will bend harmlessly out of the way instead of becoming a painful splinter.

How does Northern White Cedar compare to other wood species used in swing sets?

Northern White Cedar is the only wood used in swing sets that is long lasting and splinter-free without chemical treatments, paints or stains. All other wood species used in swing sets (including redwood, cypress, other species of cedar, and inexpensive pseudo-cedars imported from China) require some form of chemical treatment to increase longevity, prevent splinters, and/or color match various species used in the same swing set. Northern White Cedar on the other hand not only protects your children from unnecessary chemical exposure, it also saves you time and money in the long term. Because we don't have to stain our swing sets to prevent splinters or to make different wood species look the same, you don't have to either.

How long will it take to install a Play-a-Round swing set?

Depending on the model, it should take anywhere from a few hours to a full day for two adults with common household tools. This is less than half the time required for similar sized swing sets sold at big box stores. That's because we pre-assemble the major components such as fences, platforms, roofs, ramps, climbing walls and the like while the big box products come in individual boards which need to be installed one at a time.

What is checking?

Every cedar post and beam has the heartwood at its center, and that's the source of its remarkable strength. The sapwood around the heartwood dries more quickly than the heartwood and sometimes undergoes a process called "checking". This natural phenomenon, which produces separations on the surface of the wood, is common to all wood species. Checking does not pass through the heartwood itself or compromise the structural integrity. We want to point this out so that if you see checking in your beams, you'll understand that your playset is still just as strong and safe as ever.

Can I hire someone to install my Play-a-Round swing set?

Yes. CedarWorks can provide the name of an experienced swing set installer in most areas of the United States. Or, if you have a favorite handyman, a Play-a-Round swing set installation would be a simple project.

Can I customize a Play-a-Round swing set?

No. Play-a-Round swing sets are only available in three preconfigured models. If customization is important for your family, please try our Frolic or Serendipity lines of outdoor swing sets which are fully customizable.

Can I add accessories from CedarWorks Frolic or Serendipity swing sets to a Play-a-Round?

In general, no. You can, however, add any of the standard two rope swings from the Frolic or Serendipity line. These include the kid swing, poly swing, sling swing, classic tire swing, or cedar swing. If you have questions please feel free to call one of our Design Experts and they would be happy to assist.

What are the weight limits for a Play-a-Round swing set?

The swing area weight limits are 200 lbs. for a single user and a 320 lb. maximum load for all three swing positions when used simultaneously. The play deck weight limit is 250 lbs. for a single user and 1,000 lbs maximum total load.

How does Play-a-Round compare to CedarWorks Frolic and Serendipity swing sets?

Like all CedarWorks outdoor swing sets, Play-a-Round swing sets are made exclusively from Northern White Cedar. The major differences between Play-a-Round and our other swing sets are: - Play-a-Round swing sets cannot be customized. They are available in three preconfigured models each loaded with our most popular accessories. - Play-a-Round swing sets have weight limits (see related FAQ) which may prevent some parents from being able to play on them. - Play-a-Round swing sets are made from round wood stock instead rectangular lumber. While the round posts and railings are dimensionally larger than the 2x4s and 4x4s used in competing swing sets, they are not as large as the oversized 2x4s and 4x4s used in our Frolic and Serendipity swing sets. - The Play-a-Round warranty is different than the Frolic warranty and the Serendipity warranty.

How does Play-a-Round compare to competing products from big box stores?

We like to say that Play-a-Round beats the competition fair and not-so-square. Here's why:

  • Better wood: 100% Splinter-free, chemical-free, maintenance-free Northern White Cedar. No Chinese wood imports and no short-lived species such as pine, spruce, fir, or hemlock.
  • Bigger wood: Play-a-Round's round wood vertical posts are larger than competitors 4x4's, and the horizontal rails are larger than their 2x4's.
  • Mortise-and-tenon construction: The wood bears the weight, not the fasteners, so you get a stronger, more durable structure.
  • Easy to install: No sawing, no drilling, and no measuring. Play-a-Round's pre-assembled components mean 50% fewer parts than the big box swing sets, and less than half the time to assemble.
  • Better Warranty: Longer than most big box swing sets with no pro-rating and no run-arounds.
  • Customer service experts: CedarWorks customer service experts are just a phone call away.
  • Made here: All Play-a-Round wood parts are made by us here in Maine or at select family owned saw mills in Maine and Canada.

What type of ground surface should I use?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission ( recommends that all swing sets be placed on loose-fill materials such as wood chips or pea stone. Not only does this improve safety, but you won't have to deal with mud puddles under the swings and mowing around and under the swing set.

How much space do I need for a Play-a-Round swing set?

According to the ASTM standards for residential play equipment, you should allow 6 feet of space around all sides of the set you choose for maximum safety. In addition, the standard recommends that you have a total of 30 feet front-to-back for the swing area. Of course, some judgment should be applied since having a brick wall within the safety zone is different than having a grass lawn the same distance away.

How long will it take to receive my Play-a-Round swing set?

It depends on the time of year and where you live. Normally it will be 1-2 weeks from the order date until the shipment date though during our busiest times it may be up to 3 weeks. It will then take an additional 3 days travel time in the Northeast and up to 10 days to travel out West.

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