A backyard play set can enhance your yard while offering lasting memories for your family. However, before installing your play set or any play equipment, you must evaluate the available space and prepare the area. This enhances safety while maximizing the fun for your young ones. So how do you find the perfect fit for your backyard adventure playset? Here’s your detailed guide.
Evaluate Available Space
How small is your yard? Which play equipment fits in the small space perfectly? You must evaluate the space carefully, especially if you have a small yard. First, evaluating your backyard space allows you to determine the suitability of installing a playset.
Depending on your choice, a play set has various components to enhance the play experience. This includes a climbing frame, a swing set, or a playhouse. Consider a smaller set if your yard can not accommodate certain play equipment. Ideally, your yard should have enough space for the play set and an additional (around six feet) of clear space for safety.
Select a Suitable Location for the Playset
You should get the play set measurements first before choosing an ideal location for the play set. You’ll usually find this information on the manufacturers’ website. The measurements will help you find a suitable spot for your backyard adventure playset.
When selecting the right spot for your play set, ensure it’s free from large rocks, tree stumps, and roots. Also, there should be no contact with utility power lines, low-hanging branches, or other obstacles. Such obstacles could pose risks to children using the play set.
Prepare the Site for Playset Installation
Once you’ve identified a safe, suitable spot for playset installation, it’s time to prepare the area for installation. Avoid installing the playset without prepping the site, as it may cause safety hazards for your little ones. So how do you prepare your yard for a backyard adventure playset installation? Here are some tips.
Clear the Area
Your yard must be free from debris or objects that may obstruct the area and pose safety risks. Safety should be your primary concern when installing a backyard adventure playset. So, you must keep the area clear and free from any obstacles.
First, if you have overgrown trees or shrubs in your yard, you should clear the vegetation. For this, you should trim the overgrown shrubs, bushes, or tree branches that may infringe on the play set area. Be sure to eliminate any poisonous vegetation or thorny plants that may harm your little ones while they are having fun. You might need tree experts to help you clear the vegetation safely.
Rather than removing trees altogether, you might consider tree shaping so that the branches don’t grow towards the play set area in your backyard. This also adds to the beauty of your yard, increasing your home’s value.
Next, identify and remove tripping hazards such as large rocks, exposed rocks, or uneven surfaces. Then, clear any fallen branches, rocks, or leaves from the area where the play set will be installed. You can use a rake or broom to gather and remove the debris and clear the ground.
If any outdoor furniture, garden tools, or other loose items are in your yard, relocate or secure them properly. This helps prevent accidents or damage during the playset installation. Also, it provides more space in your small yard for a playset installation. Clearing the area provides good accessibility, allowing the children to access the play set easily. It also allows them to move freely and engage in various play activities without any hindrances.
Level the Ground
Your backyard playset should be installed on level ground for stability and safety. The base of the playset tower needs a more even ground to maintain stability. So, you should level the surface if your small yard is uneven.
There are various things you can do to level your yard, depending on its condition. And sometimes, you need professionals for excavation. At a basic level, you’ll need tools, including a shovel, wheelbarrow, rake, string and rope, and a measuring tape to level your yard’s surface.
Start by outlining the designated area where the playset will be installed. Then, measure the slope with a string or laser. Continue removing topsoil from the highest points until you achieve your desired level. You can also rake the soil around until each side is leveled. Use a wheelbarrow to transport the excess soil. Distribute the remaining dirt evenly across the area with the help of a shovel. Then, compact the soil gently with a tamper to ensure durability.
Remember to test the surface for stability. To do this, apply pressure to the ground (walk on it) to ensure it’s stable enough to hold your playset. This also helps prevent settling or playset movement after installation.
Consider a Landscaping Service
If the area isn’t level, even after trying the above steps, you might want to hire a landscaping service to help you out. Landscaping professionals have the expertise and tools necessary to assess the terrain and make necessary adjustments to achieve a level surface.
First, they’ll visit your yard and assess the extent of the unevenness. They’ll examine soil composition, identify grading issues and evaluate the overall landscape to determine the best approach for leveling your yard.
A landscaping service may recommend grading or excavation if the unevenness in your yard is significant. This involves removing excess soil from high areas and redistributing it to fill low spots.
Sometimes, you might need landscaping material such as gravel to level the ground in your small yard for a playset installation. The best thing about hiring a landscaping company is that they know what to do and have the right experience and tools to do it.
Lawn care and prevention are crucial for your backyard adventure playset installation. A well-maintained lawn provides a clean and safe environment for children to have fun. It also promotes a stable and secure footing around the play set, minimizing the risk of accidents and injuries.
Therefore, it pays to regularly care for your lawn through activities like removing debris, trimming overgrown grass, and watering the grass around it. If you’re using a hose to water the grass around the playset, ensure you install a hose clip to stop water leaks.
Additionally, you should consider a pest removal service to eliminate ticks and other pests that could transmit diseases to your children during their time outdoors. You’ll find these pests in grassy and wooded areas of your yard. You can get rid of the pests by regularly mowing the grass around your yard and keeping it short.
Though not considered pests, bees could cause a safety hazard to your children in your backyard. So, before setting up a backyard adventure playset, ensure the area is free from bees. If there are any, consider hiring a bee exterminator to help eliminate bee infestations and prevent bee stings.
If you’re a beekeeper, you should transfer your bees somewhere far away from your yard. Remember, your children will be actively running and playing, increasing the risk of accidental bee stings.
Also, the presence of bees around the play set area could discourage some kids from fully enjoying and engaging in outdoor play activities. And although bees are generally not aggressive unless they feel threatened or provoked, early precaution is ideal for safety.
Other Safety Considerations
If you have an outdoor HVAC system or vents, try to secure them properly and, if possible, keep them out of reach of children. You might want to transfer them away from the play set installation area so that your children won’t reach them when they’re running around playing. You can contact a reliable HVAC company near you to help secure your HVAC units.
If you have a pool within your company and near the yard, consider hiring a reputable pool contractor to discuss safety measures. This can include fencing the pool to keep children away from it. This will help keep your children safe as they enjoy a great time outdoors. Additionally, make sure you install your pool at a place where you’ll still have enough space for your backyard adventure playset.
Keep Your Garage Closed
Kids can be curious at times. They can easily switch from using a swing set to exploring the environment around them. This is why you need to keep everything around your small yard safe for them. You need to ensure that your kids don’t go to places they aren’t supposed to be.
For instance, if you have a garage located just next to your yard, keep the garage door closed at all times. This is because kids can get hurt while in the garage. If you don’t have a garage door yet, consider garage door services to help you keep your garage out of bounce to your kids. You could also incorporate special features such as sensors such that you’re notified whenever someone tries to open the garage door.
Check for Underground Utilities
If your yard requires digging and excavation to level the ground, find out if there are any underground utilities like gas lines, electrical cables, or water pipes. And even if the ground is leveled, you still need to check for underground utilities before installing the playset. This helps prevent accidental damage during the installation process. Therefore, ensure you get in touch with your local utility companies before digging or installing a play set in your backyard.
Address Drainage Issues
You don’t want water standing in your yard, especially where you’ve installed your playset. Therefore, you should address any drainage issues even before installing the backyard adventure playset. How do you address these problems?
First, observe your yard during and after rainfall to determine where the water flows or pools. Look for low-lying areas with standing water. Also, pay attention to areas in your yard where water causes erosion. From there, you’ll know the best solution to address the drainage issue.
For instance, consider installing a French drain to collect or redirect water away from your yard. Remember, the location of the French drain is crucial, as drainage should flow downward by gravity. You can install a French drain if you have the skills and resources or hire a landscape company to do the job.
Also, cleaning your gutters and adding downspouts might help address the drainage issue in your yard. Sometimes leaves and other debris clog gutters, causing them to overflow. Removing the debris might prevent leaking and overflowing. Also, adding an extender drainage pipe to your downspouts can help drain water away from your yard.
Additionally, you could consider amending your backyard soil with organic matter to help improve its drainage capabilities. This enhances soil structure, allowing excess water to move through easily. If you can’t find a suitable solution to your yard drainage issues, consider a landscaping professional to help you.
Consider Adding a Safety Surface Beneath the Playset
Adding a safety surface might also be useful for a backyard adventure playset. The surface minimizes the risk of injuries from falls. You have many options, including wood chips, rubber mulch, and synthetic turf.
However, you should ensure that your safety surface meets safety standards and offers adequate cushioning. Remember, children often climb, swing and play at various heights on a playset. As a result, accidental falls can occur, leading to injuries. A properly installed safety surface cushions the impact, limiting the severity of the injuries and offering a softer landing.
A safety surface can also enhance accessibility for children with disabilities or mobility challenges. It allows them to move safely on their wheelchairs, walkers, or other mobility devices. This allows everyone to access and enjoy the playset without any limitations.
Even with a small backyard, your children can still enjoy a backyard adventure playset. It all boils down to selecting a suitable playset and preparing your small yard for installation. For instance, you must ensure the area is leveled, safe, and accessible for your young ones. Remember, if you can’t prepare your yard for a playset installation, don’t hesitate to request professional help.