You have bought an outdoor swing set or playground for your children and are feeling pretty confident you can put it together because the instructions say it has easy assembly. You decide to look online for a bit of help and realize that most reviews say you are facing a 12 hour job. At this point you may decide that the best course of action to take is to leave everything just as it is. After all the playground is not going to put itself together and you are no longer sure that it is worth the effort.
However it is not going to be long before the kids start to nag about the fact that their new playground is not being built. A bit of extra help can always be useful in situations such as these and this is what this article is here to do.
Before you decide to hire a playset installation professional, you may want to get an idea of what the cost range is going to be. As with anything else, the playset installation cost will vary based on how much work is being put in, from delivery costs to preparing the space around the playground and customizing it.
For most playsets, delivery costs are included in the price you pay for it. Keep in mind that some delivery companies will take it only as far as the front of your house, so it makes sense to plan how you are going to get the (sometimes heavy) boxes to where you wish the playset to be installed.
Prerequisites For Building A New Playground
The space that you have available for the playset is the most important factor that you need to think about when constructing your playset. You need to think about the size of the set and the room that the children will need to play on it. There will need to be enough room for the children to swing and also dismount. You may come across something called the Recommended Safety Zone which is the area that surrounds the playgrund and you should adhere to this as far as possible. Other things to be aware of include electrical wires and tree branches that may be low hanging.
Choosing A Type Of Playground Or Swing Set
You will also need to think about the material that you want the set to be made from. Plastic, metal and wood are the most popular choices. The cheapest option is plastic but this does not necessarily mean that it is the best choice. The color may start to fade in the sun quite quickly and it will also need replacing. Most playground sets that are made from plastic are geared towards toddlers rather than older children.
Metal sets are also fairly inexpensive but the main problem that people have with these sets is that they do not look as good as others. Another thing to consider is that metal can get very hot when the sun is shining on it all day and this may prevent it from being used.
Wood is the most expensive option but is arguably the best choice. It becomes more cost effective when you consider that it will last for many years before needing to be replaced. It is also more suitable for older children and teenagers.
Choosing The Base
Once you have decided on the material for the playground, then you will need to decide on the base. If you already have grass in your garden then you may choose to place the set on top of this. Wood chip, sand and soft tiles are other choices which are available.
Soft tiles have a lot of advantages over the other types of base and as such they are the most expensive. They are easy to install and are non-slip which helps to keep your children safe. They also drain very well which is useful in areas that get a lot of rainfall.
Grass is the cheapest option, especially if it is already in place. However, you need to consider how you are going to keep it maintained. Sand is also an inexpensive option but it can be hard to keep it in the area around the playground as it spreads around the rest of the garden really easily. The final option is wood chip which looks great and comes in a variety of colors. However, it does attract a lot of insects.
Choosing and Customizing The Playset
Some playgrounds can be put together in a number of different ways so that you are able to configure the equipment the way that your children want. It also makes it easier to keep the playground relevant to your children as they grow up. For example, if you have a bucket swing on the equipment when your child is a toddler, this can be replaced with a belt swing as they get older. There are also new things that can be added to the playground that are coming out all the time which are available to purchase separately.
Although it is important for the playground to be fun for your child, it is just as important that it is safe. There are certain things that you will need to check before the equipment is used by your child for the first time.
- None of the edges should be sharp so they need to be rounded off or capped.
- The decks and platforms have something in place to stop a child falling off.
- There are hand grips on the swing chain so that children can’t trap their fingers.
- The paint or wood treatment that is used on the equipment does not contain any dangerous chemicals.
- The wood is free of splinters.
You may also want to check with your utility company that there are no issues from their point of view with the site that you want to build the playground on.
Preparing The Site For The Playground
Preparing the site can be a lot more difficult than many parents imagine. You may have to dig up the top layer of soil and there may be rocks, trees or plants that also need to be removed. After this has been completed, then the ground may need to be compacted. You also need to ensure that the ground is level and not likely to shift at any point. In order to carry out some of this work, then it may be a good idea to call in some professional help.
Securing Permits And Permission To Build
There are some cities that will require you to get a permit before you can construct a playground in your garden. Therefore it is always a good idea to check whether this applies to the area you live in before the playground is purchased because permit applications have costs of their own. If you live in a subdivision, then you may also require permission from the homeowner’s association.
Cost Of Swing Set And Playground Installation
When taking all of the above factors into account, you may decide that the best course of action is to leave everything to the professionals. The cost of installing a playground at your home is likely to cost between $350 and $600, not including the price of the playground itself. The cost may vary, based on playset size, number of parts, customization, etc.
Factors That Affect The Installation Cost
The actual price that you pay will depend on a number of factors. Generally speaking, the more work that there is to do in prepping the ground, the more expensive the installation will be. However, you may decide that it is worth the expense for the peace of mind that it has been constructed properly and safely.