A child’s play set is one of the most important investments you’ll make in their youth. Play sets encourage physical activity in a time when obesity and sedentary lifestyles are becoming commonplace. They also stimulate little minds by encouraging imagination and provide a level of fun that most other toys can’t compete with. Today, most play sets feature at least one canopy in their design and many feature multiple canopies. These canopies help protect your kids against excessive UV rays, provide shelter from rain, and increase the longevity of the wood beneath them by blocking some of the harsh elements from it. But canopies wear out, and in some cases they may just not have the look you want. That’s when buying a new one becomes a top priority.
Luckily, buying a play set canopy is a pretty simple process. As long as you follow a couple of basic steps you’ll be able to find the perfect one for your child’s play set. To begin with, decide on the material you’re most interested in buying. This is a pretty simple decision since you’ll only have two main options. If you’re on a tight budget, vinyl is the cheaper of the two. It provides UV protection, resists mold, and sheds water. You’ll certainly want to go with a marine grade vinyl since it’s more durable than other options. The drawback is that vinyl won’t last as long as canvas, will only be available in limited colors, will fade and deteriorate in sunlight, and will have the glossy sheen that some people dislike.
A canvas playset canopy offers a little bit more variety and quality. It’s usually available in more colors than vinyl and will last much longer. Canvas repels water, blocks out UV rays, and is mold resistant as well. It’s also much more durable than other options. Most who go with canvas canopies opt for Sunbrella, which is really the gold standard where canopies are concerned. You’ll pay a little bit more for a canvas cover but get a much higher quality product.
Once you’ve settled on the type of material you want your play set canopy to be made from, you’ll have to decide on a color. As mentioned above, vinyl usually offers very limited options. So will any ‘stock’ canopies. These canopies are usually available in only blue or green and come in precut sizes. A custom play set canopy can be cut to any size and if you go with a canvas material will offer many additional color selections to choose from. If you have your heart set on a specific color, custom will be the option you have to go with.
Size is the next consideration and it’s very important. Stock canopies come in four different sizes, and in most cases you’ll be able to match up your size perfectly. However, if you have a need for an oddly sized canopy then you’ll need to calculate the square footage. Remember the formula “Length Times Width Divided by 144” and calculate in inches. You may send in dimensions as well, but square footage will be needed as well. It’s important that you get your measurements exact when ordering custom play set canopies since you won’t be able to return them for a refund. Measure twice, order once is a good rule to remember.
Finally, keep the method of attachment in mind where your canopy is concerned. There are many different ways to attach a play set canopy but the two most common are either snaps or grommets. Permanent fasteners like staples or screws with washers aren’t generally used in play set canopies. You’ll need to provide the distance between fasteners to the company you’re ordering from to make sure your fasteners will be spaced properly, and you’ll want to tell them which of the two fastener options you want to utilize.
If you’ll follow these very basic steps when ordering your play set canopy you’ll get the perfect canopy with ease. It’s one step in the play set maintenance process that you don’t want to ignore, but it’s thankfully one of the easiest steps in that list as well.