Outdoor Playsets: Are They Worth It?

The benefit of being a homeowner is having the option to enhance your property as you see fit. You may decide to sink some money into making your backyard a more entertaining place. That could mean installing a deck, springing for a built-in grill or putting in an outdoor playset to (ideally) keep your kids busy for hours.

But is an outdoor playset worth the expense? And is it the sort of thing buyers will actually appreciate? Let’s explore.

[Related:5 Backyard Patio Ideas]

How Much Does an Outdoor Playset Cost?

The cost of an outdoor playset can hinge on a number of factors, including the size, layout and features. A simple playset with a couple of swings and a slide is going to cost less than a playset that includes all of those things and also a mini rock wall, monkey bars and more.

The total cost will also depend on whether you’re able to install your playset yourself versus hiring a contractor. You’ll need to account for the cost of securing a permit, which hinges heavily on where you live.

Home improvement website Fixr puts the average cost of an outdoor playset at $500 to $5,000, with most homeowners spending around $2,500. But a high-end playset could easily cost $10,000 — it really depends on what you want.

Pros of an Outdoor Playset

One major benefit of investing in an outdoor playset is the ability to keep your children, or the children of your guests, entertained for hours on end. Also, if you live in an area where your nearest playground isn’t so conveniently located, you can save yourself those hassle-filled trips and send your kids out into your own yard instead.

Physical exercise and a combination of solo play or group activities will teach kids to be creative and foster friendships and teamwork.

An attractive playset that’s well-maintained could give your backyard a nicer appearance. That could come in handy when the time comes to sell your home.

[Read: 11 Popular Home Updates That Are Worth the Money]

Cons of an Outdoor Playset

There are some drawbacks to outdoor playsets you should know about, aside from the obvious one — the upfront cost. There is the potential for children (yours or someone else’s) to get injured while playing in your backyard. It’s a good idea to check with your homeowners insurer to see whether the addition of a playset will increase your premiums due to that added risk.

Outdoor playsets also could require regular maintenance. You may need to tighten loose fittings, repaint surfaces and replace parts as needed. If you’re someone with a busy schedule, you may not want the extra work.

Also, the more space your outdoor playset takes up, the less space you have available for your kids to run around and play sports. You might sacrifice other social activities or landscaping options. Your kids might also, in time, outgrow that playset and bemoan the fact that it’s there.

Finally, an outdoor playset can ruin the grass underneath it. Should you decide to take down your playset as your kids get older, you’ll need to account for the cost of not just its disassembly and removal, but also the cost of reseeding your lawn or installing garden beds.

How Does an Outdoor Playset Impact Resale Value?

An outdoor playset might serve as a means of entertainment for your family. Will you make back the money you spend on one? It depends.

Seamus Nally, CEO of property management software TurboTenant in Fort Collins, Colorado, says whether a playset adds to a home’s value or detracts from it depends largely on its condition.

“High quality playsets that are in good condition can definitely add resale value to a home,” he says. “These can be great selling points for buyers who have kids, grandparents who have grandchildren or people who think they may have kids one day.”

But Nally also cautions, “Old playsets or ones in poor condition can decrease the value of a property, making the entire property look more outdated, dingy or even dangerous. So, if your playset doesn’t look new, it’s usually best to get rid of it before showing the house when selling.”

Erin Hybart, a real estate agent based in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area, says a playset may not necessarily get you a higher sale price for your home. But it may attract buyers with kids, prompting them to choose your home over another whose backyard is devoid of entertainment.

“[Outdoor playsets] often appeal to buyers with children,” she says. “While a playset alone may not significantly increase a home’s resale value, it can be a key factor for the right buyer.”

[Read: How to Build a Fire Pit in Your Backyard: a Step-by-Step Guide.]

Is an Outdoor Playset Right for You?

An outdoor playset may make sense for you if you have young children and want a means of entertaining them in your own yard. It could also make sense if you have a spacious property where it won’t occupy the majority of your yard.

But if you have a smaller lot, you may want to skip the playset due to the limited amount of space it might leave you with. You may also want to reconsider a playset if your kids are already a bit older and may only be interested in playground-like equipment for another year or two.

Ultimately, if you’re going to put in an outdoor playset, do so because you think it will benefit your family — not because you think it’ll lead to a higher resale price for your home. An outdoor playset may result in a higher sale price, but that’s not guaranteed. If your primary goal is to add value to your property, it could pay to put your money into projects that tend to have more universal appeal to buyers, like kitchen and bathroom renovations.

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Outdoor Playsets: Are They Worth It? originally appeared on usnews.com

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