Whether you’re a large family with ample outdoor space or a community looking to make living more exciting for the dwellers, there are numerous advantages to having a playground. Children and adults alike would greatly benefit from the physical activities and social interactions that are commonplace on playgrounds. However, simply having ample space is only the first step on the journey of setting up a playfield. There is still a great deal of planning and execution to be done and you’d have to choose between different alternatives along the way. One of those choices would be how you wish to install your outdoor playground equipment.
The different forms of outdoor playground equipment methods
There is no stressing the fact that playfield amenities bring a different kind of spark to play. From the downright exciting swings all the way down to some extremely terrifying roller coasters, you are never short of options when looking perfect equipment for your playground or recreational park. Once you identify the perfect equipment, you should know you have three installation methods to choose from, namely:
- Self-performed installation
- Supervised installation
- Professional installation
As the name implies, self-performed playground equipment installations refer to the kinds of installation made by the person who bought the equipment. If you invite some other person who is not a professional to help you handle the installation, it’s still a self-performed installation. Although it’s the by far the cheapest method of installation, it is also the riskiest and the least advisable, in most situations.
When you install your playground equipment by yourself, it’s very easy to install wrongly, particularly if you have very little experience in that line of work. Installation errors could easily jeopardize the safety of the users as well as the lifespan of the machine. Furthermore, most companies do not offer an installation warranty for self-performed installation. You would be responsible for any fault that arises from the installation process. Luckily, the warranty on the playground equipment remains valid even if you opt for a self-performed installation. As long as the fault does not arise from the installation process, the manufacturing company would be responsible for fixing the fault.
If you decide to go for a self-performed installation for your outdoor playground equipment, you should take note of the following points:
- The driver of the delivery truck is not mandated to help you offload the equipment. If you’ll need any specialized tools for the offloading, you would have to obtain it yourself
- You should ensure the installation area is free of tree stubs or rocks that could affect the stability of the equipment
- Since you’ll be responsible for the whole installation process, you should contact local utility companies so they can inspect the site ahead of time. You’ll need to ensure the installation area is not disrupting water and gas lines, irrigation pipes, and other related utilities.
- Even if the installation is on a private property, you should still consider consulting the Consumer Product Safety Commission and American Society for Testing Materials to ensure you’re covering all the necessary regulatory bases.
Although the self-installation option seems fairly easy on the eye, it just might be the most tasking of all the available methods. It is advisable that you should self-install only the simplest of playground equipment because a lot of things could go wrong with the method.
This is the kind of installation that’s handled by the expert. Professional installers are usually manufacturer certified and insured and you can rest assured you’ll get a top-notch service. If you are setting up anything close to a standard playground design, professional installers would best serve your purpose.
When you employ professional installers, you can trust them with all the stages of the installation process. They would be in charge of offloading from the delivery truck, assembly of the equipment, surface preparation, the installation proper, and then clean-up. They would also contact the local authorities to ensure the area marked out for the installation is not interfering with any utility line.
Usually, professional installation comes with a one-year warranty and you have the additional advantage of time and efficiency. They also have the technical know-how and experience that comes from working on various outdoor playground equipment installation projects. No matter the size or complexity of your playfield equipment, you would surely find a professional that would seamlessly handle the installation. Needless to say, a professional installation would be much more expensive than self-installation but the assurance of quality service is more than worth the cost.
This is a compromise between the self and professional installation methods. It’s cheaper than professional installation but more expensive than self-installation. With this method, you’ll still be doing most of the work, albeit under the supervision of a certified installation professional. The method is perfect for small communities that are looking to set-up a playground.
Volunteers from the community can come together to do the hard work while the professional gets paid for guiding them and ensuring the playground equipment is properly installed. The contribution from volunteers creates a sense of ownership and could help drive patronage as well as ensure a good maintenance culture.
Ultimately, the best installation method for your playground would depend on personal factors such as the size of the playground, the amenities in question, your budget, and personal preferences. However, you can hardly go wrong by trusting professionals with your playground equipment installation project.