When working with a playground equipment supplier, it's important to have a list of questions on hand. This way, you can start important conversations early and develop realistic expectations for the course of the project. It can take several months for the playground to be complete, so it's important that you're prepared to make the best decisions.
The success of your project depends on the experience of the playground specialist you work with. Choose a company that has ample experience in the industry, certified installation crews and free design services. Below are the key questions you should ask your playground equipment supplier to ensure a safe, durable and attractive playground.
Is this the best location to build a playground?
You'll need to pick a spot for your public park or playground. If you're updating an existing playground, you'll already be aware of the location and its limitations, if any. But if you're currently searching for a great site, there are a few things to be aware of.
For example, choose a level ground in a highly populated area, preferably nearby other amenities like schools, libraries and outdoor trails. While shade is nice, you probably don't want too many trees, as this will be a lot to maintain and can make your design more difficult. Also consider potential hazards such as ponds, lakes and baseball fields.
Is the surface safe? What is the best surfacing material?
Chances are, you'll need some type of surfacing to make your playground safe and compliant. Concrete and grass are not acceptable surfacing materials. Rather, you'll want to choose something like engineered wood fiber, shredded rubber mulch, interlocking rubber tiles, poured-in-place rubber or even artificial turf.
There are pros and cons to each surfacing material, as well as different price points depending on your budget. The surfacing you choose depends on how much you want to spend and how often you want to maintain it and how future budgeting looks for upkeep.
What type of equipment is best for my age group?
Think about the ages of the children who will be using your playground. Public playgrounds typically appeal to a wide range of ages, while preschool, elementary and church playgrounds may be more specific. Your playground supplier can point you in the direction of which equipment is best for your age group.
If you are planning to accommodate many ages, your playground specialist can also help you divide your playground into different sections. This way, you can have an area for older kids to play while keeping the little ones safe.
How often will the playground require maintenance?
Playgrounds require a lot of maintenance no matter how durable the equipment is. You'll need to have a maintenance schedule to ensure the equipment is being checked and maintained through all four seasons. The park may also need to be cleaned after heavy rains or snow, and the surfacing must stay at a certain depth to protect kids from head injuries.
Getting on a maintenance schedule now is the best way to ensure your playground equipment is properly cared for and your investment is protected. We also recommend updating equipment every 10 to 15 years, depending on its material, usage and condition.
What should I do if something breaks on the playground?
If there is an issue with your playground equipment, you should know what to do. Quality playground equipment suppliers will be able to help you. They'll likely tell you to call the number on the sticker on the equipment.
Cunningham Recreation carries high quality commercial playground equipment from reputable product lines like GameTime, Lappset and Yalp Interactive. Each manufacturer has its own guarantees to protect your purchase.
These are some of the key questions you should be asking your playground equipment supplier. To learn more about updating an existing playground, or building a brand-new recreation space, contact Cunningham Recreation today.