Business Overview

Outdoor garden rooms, pools, and kitchens have become more popular and more grand in recent years, and this trend of suburban outdoor living has now reached the playset industry. An increasing number of parents are purchasing custom playsets for their children -- and they’re paying significant sums for the playsets. For business owners, this trend represents both immediate and sustained opportunity.

Custom playset businesses are often included in the broader category of Outdoor and Sports Gear, which the Denver Post reports is a $2.9 billion industry that’s remained over the past couple years. Donald Hoffman, who owns a custom playset business, notes that his sales have slowed a little as the housing market has slowed down. The customers who are ordering swing sets from him are getting larger and pricier ones, though.

Who is this business right for?

Many business owners who start custom playset businesses enjoy woodworking and being outdoors, which makes creating swing sets in backyards a natural choice. Gabriel Millan says that the smiles kids have when they see a new swing set is another added bonus for him, and it likely is for most other business owners.

What happens during a typical day at a custom playsets business?

Custom playset business owners and employees spend a lot of their time building playsets and installing those playsets. When not actively constructing or putting together a playset, business owners pick up supplies and help customers custom-design their playsets.

What is the target market?

Parents are the target market for a custom playset business. Most customers are parents who have discretionary income and live in suburbia, where backyards afford space for swing sets.

How does a custom playsets business make money?

A custom playset business makes money by selling playsets. Sometimes an installation fee is charged as a separate cost, and sometimes it’s included in the price of a playset. In a few cases, customers may choose to install a playset themselves so that there is no installation fee.

What is the growth potential for a custom playsets business?

Most custom playset businesses have a single location where they make playsets. Some businesses offer installation only throughout the local area around their workshop or factory, while other businesses partner with playset installers so they can serve customers throughout the Continental U.S. (and occasionally Canada, Alaska and Hawaii). A few businesses grow to have their own stores throughout the U.S.

CNY Playsets in East Syracuse, NY is a typical small custom playset business that serves the surrounding community. Swingsets Lancaster offers delivery and installation throughout the Continental U.S., and Adventure World Playsets partners with dealers in several states.