How To Anchor a Swing Set

If you are building a swing set or just installing a ready one, you will reach the point where you need to anchor it to the ground. This is a short but specific guide with pictures which will show you how to prepare your foundation holes.

The guide assumes that you are installing a standard “A-type” swing frame like the one described here. If your swing set uses a different frame, you may need to adjust the hole positions but everything else should be almost the same.

Let’s get the work done now.

Materials and tools you need

Preparing the foundation holes and anchoring a swing set doesn’t require much:

  • A small spade. You will need to dig 4 holes about 16″ (40 cm) wide and deep. A small gardening spade should do the work unless the soil in your garden is too hard.
  • A pail of concrete. You can prepare it yourself using cement, water and sand. If you need help, check here.
  • Eight 10 or 12″ galvanized bolts or an anchor kit. (two for each leg) You will use these to attach the legs to the foundations.
  • Nuts and washers to secure the bolts

A different way to handle the anchoring could be to install the swing before the concrete becomes solid, but using bolts is much better.

Let’s dig the holes!

Step 1: Mark the positions

You should start working on the foundations only after you have built the swing set frame or at least know its exact size. Making a mistake with few inches on the long side is not fatal, but the short positions and keeping both “A” parts of the frame parallel is very important.

Use the spade to mark the positions before you start digging.

Mark foundation holes

Step 2: Dig the holes

You need one foundation hole for each leg of the swing, so 4 holes. Dig them to about a cube with 16″ (40 cm) side. If you live in a place with cold season, you can dig a bit more.

If the soil is too soft dig more or choose a better location for the swing set.

Tamp the bottom and the side of each hole until they acquire enough stiffness.

Dig foundation holes

Step 3: Pour concrete and anchor

Now it’s the time to use the concrete. Pour it in each hole but don’t overfill. The top 1/4 should remain empty. You will put soil and grass in this space so with the time the swing set will look attached directly in the ground.

After 24 hours use the bolts or the anchor kit to secure the legs of the swing set frame to the concrete. This operation may differ depending on the anchoring kits you have.

Pour concrete and anchor the swing

That’s all, your swing set is now secured. You may want to check out the other aspects of building swing sets.

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2 Responses to “How To Anchor a Swing Set”

  1. Christine Says:

    Can you explain how to use the bolts? Thanks

  2. Brian Says:

    Just concrete in the legs of the A-frame. Put a bolt through each leg of the A-frame so that it sticks out slightly. Dig your holes. Make sure each part of the A-frame is level (that is, side to side and across). Once you are confident that it is level, pour concrete in holes and wet. Leave a little space to fill in with dirt, maybe 1/4″. The swing set is complete and anchored.

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