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Tips on setting up an outdoor play area

Before reading up on these helpful tips for setting up your outdoor play area, make sure you have looked over these helpful guidelines for outdoor playsets.

Evaluate your yard

Before you rush out and purchase the fanciest outdoor playset there is, take a moment to evaluate your yard. You need to note the size of your yard, its flat areas, flood areas, full sun and shaded areas, and whether it has a leach field, before you pick your spot. If your yard is small, then a large playset will be overpowering. Moreover, if you want additional run around, barbeque, or seating space, you may have to opt for a small playset.

Steer clear of sloped sections of your yard for obvious reasons. You may have to choose a smaller playset if your yard is limited by bumpy, uneven areas. If, however, you are dead-set on a larger swing set, then another option would be to landscape a flat area that will be appropriate. This will add to your overall cost, but in the case of a long-term swingset, it may be worth stretching the budget.

Avoid areas exposed to sunshine, especially if you are interested in a metal playset. Not only will the hot sun heat the metal and become dangerous, but children should not be exposed to extreme sun for long periods. In contrast, locating playsets directly under trees may not to a good idea either. Birds will defecate on the playset , not only soiling the equipment, but also those playing on it. A shaded spot, if at all possible, would be ideal for a playset. If you do not have such a location, then opt for a playset that includes a shaded area feature where children can take a break out of the extreme sun.

Preparing the ground

When choosing the location of your backyard swingset, you also have to make sure the ground is ideal. Does it flood during heavy rains or is there enough drainage? Are you planning to put down a safe playground area or is the location adequate for breaking falls? If you are adding wood chips or pea gravel to pad the area around the playset, will it block ground that needs to breath? For example, if you are planning on setting a playset up on a leach field, then covering the ground with padding may be a concern. In fact, placing a playset over a leach field may not be an option at all, depending on its style.

Blocking or sealing the ground area over a leach field may cause damage to the mound by preventing oxygen intake into the soil, as well as evaporation of moisture from the top soil. Additionally, digging posts could pose a problem with underground pipes. If you have your heart set on a location over a leach field, it is highly recommended that you check with your septic company to determine what playset and padding options you have, if any.

Picking a location for your playset should take time and deliberation. In some cases, you may not have much choice. But if you do, take a moment to determine which outdoor playset would best suit your yard, and what spot would be the safest place for installation.

You've thought about why you want an outdoor playset, and where in your yard is the best location for an outdoor play area. Now let's talk materials: Wooden, Plastic, or Metal?