When buying a climbing frame, the very first factor you need to decide upon is which material would you prefer your new play equipment to be constructed from: metal or wood.
Here at Wicken we aim to stock quality outdoor play equipment to cater for differing needs of individual families. We have a range of both metal and wood climbing frames listed online, and have developed this buyer's guide to help you choose which type is most suitable for your children.Appearance If your new climbing frame is going to be right in the middle of the back garden in full view of the house, or when you are sitting on the patio, you are naturally going to be concerned about the appearance. It's pretty much impossible to make a large piece of equipment blend in, but at least wood is a more sympathetic look, that weathers and tones down over time. Typically wooden climbing frames use natural coloured plastics on accessories which helps the overall appearance remain in keeping with the garden.
While metal climbing frames may start off as a neutral grey, or gentle green, their appearance does not improve over time like wood does.
Strength And Durability Climbing frames constructed from wood tend to be stronger and more durable than their metal counterparts. Wood does not lose any of its structural integrity as it weathers, whereas metal can corrode. The durability of the frames is reflected in the warranties that come with each product. Typically a metal frame will come with just a five year warranty, whereas wooden frames tend to come with ten years.
Environment Since wood can be sustainably harvested, wooden climbing frames are the more environmentally-friendly choice. Look for manufacturers who are registered with the Forest Stewardship Council, such as Plum, as FSC membership indicates and ethical approach in creating their products.
Price This is where metal wins out, as metal climbing frames tend to be cheaper.Which Is Better Wood or Metal? After reading all the reasons why wood is a better material for climbing frame construction than metal, you may be wondering why we bother to stock metal climbing frames at all. Metal climbing frames are bet suited when they won't be needed for a long time. You can expect to get at least five years use from a metal play frame. In that time your child may have outgrown their play equipment, or you will have moved house. Actually metal frames tend to fair better when taken down and reconstructed during a house move, so that's another point you might like to consider.
Metal frames work really well for climbing frames for little children. They make a great starting point for back garden play equipment, and if in a couple of years your child is ready for a more substantial climbing challenge, you can upgrade to a larger wooden frame.
If you are looking to make a one off purchase of a climbing frame to last throughout childhood, then wood is a good option. Metal is the best option for a smaller frame for a young child, if you have a limited budget, or you are planning a house move in the near to medium term.