Built the way things used to be.
3822 Augusta Hwy, Gilbert, SC

Durability—Compare the size of the beams, posts, framing and roof - we use FULL SIZE top grade treated lumber! Each playset is treated with our special Carolina Mocha semi transparent stain/sealer before assembly.

Safety—All the high places have walls! Increased swing spacing to 30 inches! All edges are routed, rounded and sanded. Composite hand rails standard. Composite decking optional.

Price—The best value on the market!

Customization—Explore the pictures of variations for each model on the corresponding pages. A Carolina Backyards playset is built to fit your needs, budget, yard space and slope! Factory sets are designed for a flat yard - have you noticed all of the unlevel playsets in your neighborhood? Carolina Backyards playsets are built to fit your slope and are installed LEVEL AND PLUMB.

Appearance—Carolina Backyards playsets nestle quietly in your backyard - no flashy colors and roof tarps that detract from the natural setting of your backyard.

Service—We are here to work with you in order to provide a custom playset that fits your child's needs, your budget and schedule. Adding slides in the future or upgrading your playset to fit your growing child is as easy as a phone call. We value our customers.

Warranty—Your Carolina Backyards playset is built to last as long as your child is living with you! We provide a 5 year warranty on the structure to cover any wood pieces that may "go astray.” Wood will weather and sometimes do funny things, but your playset will remain structurally sound. Minimal maintenance will keep it looking good.

Buy Local—Every set is handmade from scratch in our shop near Lexington, SC.

Carolina Backyards playsets are built to last until your children are no longer children. Like all wood products they will weather, but the structure will remain solid.

Yes. Unlike the competition, one of our largest units on the display yard is our "weathering model".
It was built in February of 2012 and is fully exposed to the sun and elements. Customers can see how well an un-maintained Carolina Backyards playset holds up to the elements.

Yes, we routinely meet customers at their home to discuss options and placement.

For units exposed to direct full time sun, you may see the stain begin to break down on places like the roof surface and ramp surface in a couple of years. Longer for shaded playsets. Like all wood, the more protection (stain) applied, the happier it is. Regardless, of how well you maintain it, the structure will remain sound.

This is normal and common with all large dimensional lumber and does not adversely affect the strength of the member. A check (dimensional split) occurs as the wood dries and shrinks. The check often exposes un-stained wood which makes them more noticeable at the onset due to the color contrast. Eventually the inside of the check weathers so it is not as noticeable. Checks are visible on all of our display models.

Checking does not adversely affect the strength or integrity of the membe. Here's a little background on checks:

When PT pine starts drying out, it can develop "checks" which look like splits or cracks in the posts or boards.  This is not an uncommon.  Actually, the wood is shrinking slightly, a natural seasoning (drying out) of any piece of lumber.

When post dries, the outer surface (sapwood) shrinks faster than the inner heart of the piece, and something has to give.  For this reason, posts have a natural tendency to develop a V-shaped check towards the center. The result is the familiar "check" which is technically neither a split nor a crack. Depending on the weather and the season your structure is installed, checking may occur right away, or might wait for warmer weather. 

We are here to keep it simple! You may call us, or visit the shop and we'll work with your particular situation. If you know exactly what you are looking for, we can set up an install time. If you need help with placement, options, and design, we'll be happy to schedule an onsite appointment, which usually happens within a few days for those who are in the Midlands. For long distance customers, a few photos of the yard or a Facetime call usually works. In most cases, a schematic will be provided with itemized pricing, dimensions and a photo of a similar unit for your review.

Our playsets are built from MCA pressure treated pine purchased locally from Ed Smith Lumber in Gilbert – further supporting our local economy. MCA (micronized copper azole) is a newer, safe treatment process using a copper solution as a preservative to ensure that your playset will last many years in the harsh outdoor elements. Every hand-selected piece of wood is evaluated for grain structure and clarity, so it can be utilized in the best way on your playset. After the parts are cut, each piece is rounded, dried, sanded and stained with our special Cabot brand “Carolina Mocha”. This time consuming process turns a stack of mundane treated lumber into a beautiful Carolina Backyards playset.

What is pressure treatment?
Pressure treatment is a carefully controlled process of pressure and vacuum cycles within an enclosed cylinder. The process forces preservatives deep into the cellular structure of the wood, forming a chemical bond that resists decay and attack by insects. This bonding process, known as "fixation," locks the preservative into the wood, making it highly resistant to leaching or dissolving.

What preservatives are used?
The most commonly used preservatives for treating lumber for residential use are ACQ, MCA and Ecolife. Over a million decks and countless other outdoor structures are built each year using Southern Pine lumber that has been treated with these preservatives.

Is treated Southern Pine safe?
Perfectly safe. You can play barefoot on it, build garden beds out of it, use it to lie out in the sun, or eat a picnic. Treated lumber is a nontoxic product that only frustrates termites and fungus. We use MCA treated lumber. MCA (micronized copper azole) is a newer, safe treatment process using a copper solution as a preservative to ensure that your playset will last many years in the harsh outdoor elements.

Where can treated lumber be used?
You can use treated lumber indoors or outdoors, anywhere durability and resistance to decay are important. Most building codes require the use of pressure treated or naturally resistant wood species in components that will come into contact with concrete, masonry, or exposed soil. Its decay resistance makes it ideal for subflooring in kitchens and bathrooms. It is also highly recommended for outdoor applications – for gardens and walkways, playgrounds and decks.

Contact us, we move our playsets all the time. Have moved one three times for a customer!

Our lumber is provided by Ed Smith Lumber, another local, family owned business here in Gilbert. Once they deliver the top quality lumber, we select, cut, pre-drill, round and hand-sand it all into playset parts. The parts are set out to dry before they are pre-stained with our special Carolina Mocha blend of Cabot stain. From there the parts are packaged and assembled as your new playset.

Carolina Mocha is a custom blend of Cabot brand stain that we developed. It is exclusively available at Ed Smith Lumber in Gilbert, SC. Also, Olympic (available at Lowes) has a color that is very close called "Light Mocha" if you are never close to Gilbert.

All of the parts are prepared and pre-fabbed at the shop before delivery. Most residential playsets can be installed in one day. The standard "Fort" takes about 4 hours while the standard "Skyscraper" takes about 6 hours on site.

Western Red Cedar: It does not warp, shrink, or check nearly as much as  Pressure-treated pine. Pine boards can warp and shrink as quickly as one month after installation.  Cedar boards will have a much nicer appearance after 10 years compared to a pressure treated pine pergola.

Western Red Cedar usually comes from British Columbia, Washington state, and Oregon state.  It can be 50-80 years old.  Cedar lumber costs more than the fast-grown southern yellow pine, but it is well worth the extra expense in many cases. 

Most pergolas can be installed in one long day. All the pieces are cut, notched, stained, etc. at the shop before delivery so installation is essentially "assembly".


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