Swing Set Removal Guide

These days, swing sets come with every modification imaginable, not to mention they are infinitely safer. My sons swing set comes with, multiple swings, monkey bars, two slides, a little house, a three-story rock wall, two canopies, a telescope, a Mr. Fusion, and a flux capacitor.

Putting the thing together requires the intellectual genius of the engineer who built the Hoover Dam.  It took me hours and hours, well let's be honest, months, to finally finish assembling the damn thing. I was even able to stash the extra parts at the bottom of the trash can before anyone could ask me what they were for. And it was all worth it to watch my kids' faces light up every time they played on it.

But that was ages ago. Those same kids only get excited now when I give them money or tell them I upped their data plan. And the behemoth swing set sits unused and unloved in my backyard.

My kids, like yours, have outgrown it and so, it's time to find something else to do with it. We’ve come up with a few options to make the most out of a once beloved family toy.


mother and childrens playing around swing set

If your swing set is irreparably broken or damaged then getting rid of it is the way to go.  If it's old and unsafe there’s really nothing else for you to do other than remove it or repurpose.  Luckily demolishing a swing set it is a lot easier than putting it together was.

Demolition is one of those things that make adulting worth it. You get to crush, smash, destroy and annihilate things. The more adult toys or tools you have at your disposal, the more fun you get to have.  If you are really succeeding at this adulting game then you have a tractor, a front loader is best but you can make do with any Caterpillar you have access to. Just mount up and crush the playset like a bug.

Maybe you have a chainsaw that you haven’t played with, I mean used, in a while. Start that sucker up and go to town.

If you're unfortunate enough that you lack these basic machines then you will have to go about demolition day in a more primitive form. You need some boring though useful tools; things like hammers and wrenches.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good wrench set but there is just such a fundamental joy that comes from smashing things.

Simple Swingset Removal

demolishing tractor

Who doesn't own one of these?


At AZ Junk Removal, we offer comprehensive demolition services that take the hassle out of dismantling and disposing of old swing sets. Our experienced team handles the entire process, from dismantling the structure to clearing up the debris, ensuring you can enjoy a beer in peace as we do the hard work. We take pride in our commitment to safety and professionalism, ensuring that your yard is left clean and ready for your next project.

In addition to our demolition services, we also offer dumpster rental services that perfectly fit your needs. Our 10-yard dumpsters are the ideal size for an old swing set, providing ample space for all parts and debris. With easy drop-off and pick-up services, we make the disposal process seamless and stress-free. Whether you're revamping your backyard or simply getting rid of an old playground structure, our dumpster rental service provides a convenient and efficient solution.

For the DIY method, before you get started, take a close look at the playset - you may have put it together but that was hundreds of beers ago. Refamiliarize yourself with how it is assembled. Also, take note of any damage or rotting. If the wood is rotten then you might have an easier time breaking it apart rather than unscrewing all the joints.

Take a minute and evaluate just what you might be getting into; if you’re sure you want to tackle this project yourself then review our quick demo guide to learn exactly how to crush that backyard eyesore into smithereens.

How to Demolish and Remove an Old Swing Set

wooden swingset

A wooden playset is more challenging than tearing down a metal one. They are usually bigger than metal ones and come with more parts and accessories. That means more pieces to take apart. Then once you have finished demolishing it, you have a variety of materials to dispose of.

Watch the full tutorial on YouTube

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Rust Doctor or WD-40
  • Wrenches
  • Hammer
  • Cordless drill
  • Socket set
  • Case of beer


This is going to take a while so get ahold of Uber Eats and have them deliver three servings of hot wings in about two hours, you’re going to need the sustenance to reboot your energy and your determination. You should also set up your trash bins or Bagster® to toss debris into as you go along. It will save you a ton of time on the back end.

You’ll want something on-hand to load up all the debris.


Hit those screws and bolts with WD-40, Rust Doctor, muriatic acid, whatever you have on hand, and let them start working while you take on the accessories.


slide removed

Remove all the large plastic add ons. Although it seems like this might be the simplest thing, it’s actually the worst. The slides are like your journey through puberty, awkward and never-ending. You’ll need to remove a thousand bolts and screws before you’ll be able to cast them aside. It's also a two-person job because of their size and shape. It's hard to hold them in place long enough to get all of the bolts out.


Once you’ve finished removing all of the tunnels and slides, you’ll have to repeat the whole process again for the rooftop, assuming it's a plastic shade cover. If it is made of wood and is part of the playset frame then leave it for now.


Wooden Swing Set Demolition step 5

Next, work on the swings, removing them from the crossbar; you’ll also need to get rid of the trapeze, glider and anything else attached to the swingset crossbeam. Then, find the rope ladder and set that thing on fire, or just remove it and toss it with the other parts in the trash bin.


After you’ve gotten rid of the accessories, head up the ladder and remove the screws that hold the swing crossbeam in place. You’re going to want a buddy to help hold the beam in place while you work on it. Watch your heads though, because, hopefully, the crossbeam will drop like Jackie Smith’s football career after Superbowl XIII, as soon as you’ve removed all the bolts. Once it’s down you can go after the rest of the swing frame, dismantling any support beams.


Swing Set Demolition step 7

Next, you’ve got to hit the playhouse itself. There will be large blocks of wood all over this thing that will give you a challenge. If there is a lot of damage or rot to the wood you might have an easier time sawing through the wood rather than trying to take out the screws.

If not, the first thing you should do is remove all of the railings and walls. You might have to remove the plastic window frames and metal brackets to get everything off the playset frame. About the time you're done with the siding, your hot wings should be arriving. Take an extra long break to rejuvenate and prepare yourself for the final stretch. Then make sure your cooler is stocked with enough beer to get you through the finish line.


Now, you need to work your way through the playhouse deck. Some playhouses have an open floor to allow for a sandbox or other such nonsense, which means the deck is in the middle of the frame instead of on the ground. As you smash your way through the mid-level deck, the integrity of the frame is going to diminish. Expect that it is going to fall over and be ready to move out of the way. Don’t try to catch it, just let it go. That means you should double check that none of your little ones are running around. Safety first.

Hopefully, once it hits the ground it will splinter into manageable pieces. You might even be able to ditch the tools and just tear the thing apart with your bare hands. A sledgehammer might be fun too. Just destroy the thing until the pieces are small enough for you to easily carry out.

The deck will probably be the most difficult part of your deconstruction regardless of where it is placed, though a mid-level deck will be a bit more tricky.

If the deck is at ground level, the frame supports should drop one by one as you dismantle each joint. After that, all you have to do is haul off the parts, piece by piece and you’re done.

DIY Metal Swing Set Demolition

metal swingset

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • WD-40
  • Wrenches
  • Screwdrivers,
  • Hammer

Things You May Need for Added Fun

  • Broad sword or an angle grinder
  • Bolt cutters
  • A cutting torch and/or a reciprocating saw


Begin your siege by lubricating all the joints with WD-40 or some Rust Doctor, this will make a real difference when it's time to start removing bolts. If you have some extra time; let the joints soak in the WD-40 for an hour or so, maybe even spray them again and leave them for another hour before you get started. It will loosen up the bolts that have been rusting for decades, which will mean an easier demolition job for you.


“Fake news folks.” — This vintage ad circulated the internet in 2014 claiming to be one of the original advertisements for WD-40. When it was posted on WD-40’s Facebook fan page, the company responded with “AWESOME”. Click the image to see the full ad.


While the Rust Doctor does its work, start removing any accessories, like swings, slides, trapezes, and gliders. There can be any number of add ons, you probably have at least two slides and half of dozen other attachments. Set these aside and out of your way, because only a fool would leave them lying around to trip over.


Next, you can choose one of two paths. Either get a buddy to help you lay the frame on its side or start removing the bolts that hold the frame together. Tipping the frame onto the ground will help you dismantle the rest of it. The rusted bolts are going to require some serious muscle and it will be easier to deal with if you don’t have to balance on a ladder.

Either way, by now the Rust Doctor will have done the best it can and you can use your wrench set to start removing bolts. If they won’t budge then it's time to get out your reciprocating saw or angle grinder and cut right through the bolts.


When you’ve finished dismantling the frame, grab all the plastic pieces and toss them in your blue bin. That should leave you with only metal scrapes, the pieces of your defeated foe can be sold for cash at the scrap yard or you could haul them off to a recycling center. The entire siege shouldn’t take you more than a couple of hours and a few beers.

Celebrate your victory with a turf ‘n turf dinner, that's a 16 ounce T-bone and 24 Porterhouse. Also, whiskey and a cigar. Enjoy it, you’ve earned it.

Of course, we have a lot of experience dealing with unwanted playsets, so dismantling one is routine for us.


If you feel like you might want to just take a pass on the whole demolition job thing, you can Give us a call..

We will dismantle and haul off the entire set, and we’ll even clean up before we go. To top it off we’ll sort all of the pieces and take everything we can to a recycling center instead of hogging up valuable landfill space. It's a quick job for our expert junk removers, give us a call, and your set will be gone before you know it.

If a part of you still wants to take part in the day, then you can watch from your lawn chair while enjoying an ice cold beer. You can even give us an encouraging shout every now and then. It will be a whole lot easier and a lot more entertaining.

Cost of Removing a swing set

how much does it cost?

Depending on the method you choose, the cost of getting rid of an old swing set will vary. Below is a breakdown of your most common removal methods and their average costs. 

MethodEstimated Cost
DIY Disposal$250-$400 (dumpster rental)
Professional Hauling$250-$500
Light Demolition$400-$600
Donations or ResellingPotentially Free (minus transportation costs)
Refinishing or RepurposingVariable (cost of materials or professional services)
Dumpster RentalStarting at $250

DIY Disposal

If you're up for the challenge, dismantling and disposing of the swing set yourself is the most cost-effective method. Your cost mostly comes down to your personal time and the method you chose for disposal. The most popular option is renting a dumpster.  You can expect to pay around $250-$400 for a small 5-yard  to10-yard dumpster which is ideal for any swing set. You can also consider looking into buying a Bagster Bag from your local Home Depot, but this is really only an option if you have a small swing set. 

Remember to factor in transportation costs if you need to rent a truck to haul the parts to a scrap yard or recycling center.

Call a Junk Removal Company

For those who prefer to sit back and let professionals handle the job, expect to pay between $250 to $500 for a professional hauling service. The price can fluctuate based on the size and complexity of the swing set, as well as the company's pricing structure. If you're looking for a swing set pick up in Phoenix, call us at 602-799-4181 for a specific quote.

Light Demolition

If you're looking to get rid of a large swing set, or possibly salvage some of it to repurpose, but don't have the tools or ability to do it yourself, hiring a professional for light demolition services may be worth considering. The average cost for this service is around $400-$600, depending on the complexity of the project. Our demolition services start at $399 and can tackle more than just that old rusty swing set; from sheds, pergolas, hot tubs and more.

Donations or Reselling

Donating your swing set or selling it online could potentially save you any disposal costs. However, keep in mind the possible cost of transporting the set to its new location, which could potentially outweigh any savings.

Refinishing or Repurposing

Lastly, repurposing or refinishing the swing set can transform it into a usable feature in your yard, saving the costs associated with removal. However, costs can still accrue for any paint, materials, or professional services required.

Other Things to Do with an Old Swing Set

kid playing around swingset


If you're very sentimentally attached to your swing, it might be easiest to donate it; knowing that other kids will play and love it as you did will help you to let go. There are several non-profit organizations who would be grateful to take it off your hands. Start with charities or churches. Both of which will make great use of your donation. You can also contact day care centers, women’s shelters, neighborhood parks, or schools. With a little time and patience, you are sure to find someone to love your old swing set.

Along the same lines, you can find a family to give it to. Maybe your niece or a godson has young children. Perhaps even your neighbor. Chances are you probably know someone who has little kids who would love a new swing set.

Sell It

If you're not sentimental just penny-wise, then selling might be your first choice. You can polish up the swing set and put it in a yard sale or post it on Craigslist, Facebook or eBay.

Refinish It

fresh coat of paint can go a long way in revamping an eyesore into a play yard feature. Some white paint with pink accents can turn an old playset into a baby girl's dream house, while a few well place nautical additions can turn it into a pirate ship. A little creativity and some hard work will make your set like new again. Transforming it in the eye of your kids into a new wonderland to explore.

Repurpose It

With a bit of creativity, you can come up with a lot of new things to make out of an old swing set.

Chicken Coup
transform an old backyard playset
Arbor Transformation
transform into planter

Click on the image to see more ideas on Pinterest for creating your own green playset.

Kido Workstation

Maybe your kids are the sentimental ones, and they can't bear to let it go if that's the case you can convert it into an outdoor hangout or homework area. Add some seating and lights, a few tables and maybe a cooler, to keep snacks in, and your kids can spend time outdoors while finishing up their school work.

Relaxation Station
another repopurse idea to transform a swing set into a relaxing station

Another simple upgrade is to remove the child swings and replace them with hammocks or a beautiful wooden porch swing.

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  1. Googled tools needed To assemble a swingset. This came up. Thoroughly enjoyed the read!
    LOL!!! Thanks for making my day✌️

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backyard junk, diy, donate, junk pickup

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Brad Thomason is the owner of AZ Junk Removal, a seasoned professional with decades of experience in the moving and junk removal industry. With an acute understanding of how people acquire and dispose of items, he established his company in 2001, serving the Phoenix, Arizona area with exceptional junk removal services. Throughout his career, Brad has witnessed the exponential growth of the city as new communities, businesses, and retail centers continue to develop.

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With his wealth of knowledge and commitment to providing top-notch service, going with Brad Thomason is the clear choice for all of your junk removal needs in Phoenix, Arizona.


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