I will be building a backyard playground this spring.
I have been searching online and most of what I find is "free plans"
I was planning on using pea gravel as a base, but I want to make sure
I have proper drainage.
I was planning on leveling and digging down some with my tractor.
Installing all of the poles
Putting down a heavy layer of plastic
Timbers around the edges to contain the gravel.
Then filling with pea gravel.
But I think I need to add something for drainage.
I don't want to have mulch that rots.
The reason for the plastic is to allow me to remove the rock at a
later date, but then again this isn't probably an issue.
BARK mulch will outlast you...All the public playgrounds around here are
constructed the way I outlined above..If you have your mind already made up
, why did you ask for advice ?? Put down your plastic and peastone and get
back to us on how it drains...
I agree. First, using plain sheet plastic will prevent water from
draining. Landscape fabric, also plastic, is permeable and allows
drainage. I hate pea gravel, from the days in the playground - it
raises dust and gets scattered all over. Shredded cypress mulch is nice
and fine, stays down pretty well. Needs to be replaced or replenished
every couple of years - nice and soft. Occ. sliver? Safer than
timbers. How about the interlocking rubbery flooring? Outdoor carpet
Why the plastic? It seems that is what creates the drainage problem?
Sand BTW is safer when kids fall (and they will at times) but has it's own
problems as local 4 footed thingies that go 'meow' find it and then you get
kids with worms and such (grin).
Rather than making a huge litter box for wandering felines, best do
some research on how school playgrounds are done. There might well be
some systems within your budget that would work well and last a long
time without more than cursory maintenance. For openers, how about
Astroturf or some of it's variations? The grounds management folks at
your local school system could have some good ideas, too, even if it
is pointing out mistakes they made, (if any).
I've had very good results with grass. It gets bare spots under the swings,
but that's just the way it is.
I bought a "kit" from a lumber store (and all of the lumber, of course).
From my experience with two girls using it the hardware that comes with it
is too wimpy. Forget about using 5/16" bolts and get 1/2". Install the
posts (including the A frame, if you have one) in several hundred pounds of
concrete. Get some good quality heavy-duty swing hardware that is meant for
a real playground and attach with 1/2" bolts. Also get some 800 pound chain
for the swings and forget about the small chain that comes with most
backyard swing sets. Don't use anything smaller than 4x4s for the
structure. If it calls for a 2x6 brace use a 2x10 instead and four bolts to
attach it instead of two. If you have boys then you might have to beef it
up a little more ;-)
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