If you’re taking on the task of building a playground in your backyard for your children, there are several things you need to consider before you ever begin the actual building process. First, you have to decide on the playset itself. Consider whether you want to buy a full set, or if you would rather select certain pieces so that you can customize the playground more. You should really take your time with this step and think about how much space you have and what your kids will actually get use out of. For example, younger kids love sand pits, but as they get older they are probably going to enjoy things like swings, climbing walls, and slides.
Second, you have to consider what you’re going to use as a base. Your kids are going to be running all over the playground and having a good time, and you want to make sure your playground is resting on a solid base so you don’t have to worry about the playset shifting and potentially hurting your kids in any way. The best material you can use as a base to make sure your playground is sturdy and stable is Virginia fill dirt.
Virginia fill dirt is used for many construction purposes. In fact, it might even be what was used to help create the foundation of your house. Fill dirt can also be used for highway maintenance, filling inground pools, and land grading – so you know it’s a reliable material. Fill dirt is vastly different from the dirt that is already in your backyard. This is because the dirt in your yard contains what is called organic matter. This organic matter is what helps support the growth of your grass, but is what also makes it unsuitable for supporting your playground. Organic matter breaks down over time, and as it does the volume of the dirt changes, which can result in shifting of the dirt. Shifting of the dirt could cause shifting of your playground. Fill dirt is taken from below the top layer of dirt so that it contains no organic matter. You know this for sure because your Virginia fill dirt contractor will have screened it to ensure no organic matter is present. Fill dirt lacks organic matter, so it can be tightly compacted and you can trust that it’s going to stay sturdy and stable. For more information about fill dirt and to schedule your Virginia fill dirt delivery, reach out to a Virginia fill dirt contractor.
1. Site Preparation
You need to decide where your playground is going to go and exactly how big it’s going to be. Make sure that you’re choosing a location that is suitable for a playset. For example, if you’re adding swings, make sure the playset isn’t too close to a fence or any trees. You also want to be sure the playground is a safe distance from roads or driveways, is within easy view of the home, and is free of dangers such as electrical wiring or low hanging trees. It’s also important to take into consideration if your backyard has any rainwater flooding problems. If you’ve noticed areas of your yard collecting water, this probably isn’t the best place to put your playground.
Once you know where your swing set is going to go, mark out the location on the grass. Most people prefer their playground to have a rectangular shape as that is what is common, but you could elect for a more circular or square shape. Choose what accommodates your playset and yard the best. Next begins the process of making sure the ground is level. If you have grass, this includes removing the grass. This is where your Virginia fill dirt comes into play. You want to spread it out over the entire area and add additional dirt to any lower points so the entire area is level. Next, you want to make sure to compact the dirt. This could be as simple as stomping over the entire area.
2. Build The Playset
Now that you have a great foundation for your playground, you can begin assembling the playset. Be sure to consider the location and placement of each piece to make sure that it’s as safe as possible. For example, if you have a slide, you want to make sure the slide doesn’t end right in front exposed tree roots. It’s always better to err on the side of caution, so if you have found that you’ve made your playground a little too small, it’s better to leave out a piece of the set rather than place it somewhere it could be unsafe. You want to make sure that every piece of the playset that you put together is solid and stable to ensure that it lasts the test of time. You don’t want your swing set falling apart and becoming a danger after just one year of use.
3. Add Soft Material To The Ground
Now that you have a solid foundation of fill dirt, you’ll probably want to add another kind of material over the area so your kids aren’t just running around in the dirt. It’s also important to consider what they are going to land on in the unfortunate case that the trip or fall. This could include things like sand, mulch, wood chips, or even soft rubber tiles. Simply place your choice of material on top of the fill dirt. You might want to consider placing down a tarp first to help ensure that the materials don’t get mixed up. The tarp will also act as a weed barrier so that unwanted plants don’t start to grow in the middle of your playground.
4. Outline The Playground
If you’ve gone with a material like sand or wood chips, you are probably going to want to build a perimeter around the area to keep the loose material contained. This can be as simple as using some 4×4 blocks of wood. You can use 7” pole barn nails to pin them to the ground and prevent shifting.
Now that your playground is sturdy and safe, all that’s left to do is let your kids enjoy it!