How to Build a Backyard Swing

Swing sets are a great addition to your yard, they can be used to relax and unwind at the end of the day.  They are also pretty entertaining for small kids.  When it comes to getting a swing set you have two options, either get someone to come install one or you can put one up yourself.  If you’re fairly handy you won’t have any problems putting in your own you are going to need a few tools and some supplies.

There are really just five basic steps to putting up your swing set.  Once you have the plans, which you can find anywhere online, the tools and materials you are ready to get started. Remember you can use these tools for assembly of swing sets for small yards as well.  Let’s see what you have to do next.

  1. The location. You need to select a good location for the swing set that is safe and stable. Adults and children need to be able to use it safely and the soil that it stands on needs to be solid.
  2. The foundation. You are going to have to dig holes in the ground that will be the foundation for your swing set. Each hole needs to be at least an inch diameter and no less than four inches deep.  If you live in the northern part of the country then you want to make sure that the foundation goes below the frost line.  In the holes you are going to put in concrete to solidify the foundation. While the cement is drying you’re going to put an anchor which will get you started on the next step.
  3. Securing the swing. You are now going to need four pieces of 2 X 4, and you will need to round out the ends.  Next you will have to miter one end of the stocks to the 2 X 10 beam with the opposite end mitered to the anchors of the foundation.  You will need to make a mid point attachment to the leg boards, cut the boards on the horizontal and connect them together.
  4. Assembling the swing set.  Take a pair of leg boards and clamp them together and drill holes in the middle of the leg boards.  You will need to widen the outer end of the drilled hole.  Next you want to create eyebolt holes at the top of the beam and put the top board together, horizontal boards and leg boards.  Once you have all of the parts put together then you attach them to the foundation.
  5. Finish everything off. Once you have the swing set assembled then double check everything and make sure that it is perfect.  Now you want to grab some sandpaper and get rid of rough patches or splinters.  You can also paint the swing set at this point in time.  Bear in mind you will need to prime the wood first.

Now you have your finished swing set…enjoy!

Backyard Pond Fish

There are plenty of homeowners who enjoy having a pond or some sort of water feature in their backyard.  The sound of water is soothing and it can drown out the sounds of passing traffic.  It is relaxing to watch the fish swim lazily by, so water gardens with some fish are ideal.  Putting together a backyard pond and getting some fish doesn’t have to be complicated. You can even brainstorm for some backyard duck pond ideas. Let us show you how easy it is.

Constructing the Pond

Before you go shopping for some fish you need a place for them to live.  Your water garden should have plants covering half to two thirds of the surface.  You can add hyacinths, water lettuce or a different type of floating plants.  You’re going to need to install some sort of filtration system to keep the water clean for your fish.  Don’t put too many fish in the pond, it is still a small space and they need room to live and move around.  Here are some different design techniques.

Types of Pond Fish

The two most common pond fish are goldfish and koi.  Koi come from carp and Japanese breeders used selective breeding techniques to get the koi you see in backyard ponds today.  In the early 20th century koi made their way from the far east to backyard gardens throughout Europe and North America.  You can get koi in a wide variety of colors and these bad boys can grow to be huge.  Koi can reach up to three feet in length and weigh more than 30 pounds.  If you have a proper setup with good filtration and ventilation your koi can last for years.

Goldfish

Goldfish are another popular choice to put in your backyard pond, they are cheaper and easier to maintain than koi.  You can put goldfish into almost any sized pond and you can get them in different colors.  Like koi, there are a couple of different goldfish types you can buy but the most popular are the comet or the fantail.

Predators

While backyard pond fish are wonderful they also make a great snack for predators.  Birds, raccoons and don’t forget the neighbor’s cat are all going to want to catch your fish so you might want to think about putting some type of covering over your pond.  The protection will not only keep out the predators  it can be used to help keep your pond warm in the winter months.

Keeping backyard fish will require some work and maintenance, you need to make sure your fish have enough to eat and the water stays clean and healthy but they are well worth the trouble.