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Tips for Maximizing Your Custom Playground Investment On A Budget


Creating a custom playground can be an exciting project, promising hours of fun and activity for children. However, budget constraints can often make it challenging to bring your vision to life without compromising on quality and safety. Here are some practical tips to help you maximize your investment in a custom playground while staying within your budget.

Plan Meticulously

Before you start purchasing equipment or hiring contractors, it's crucial to have a detailed plan. Define your budget clearly and list out all potential expenses. Research different types of playground equipment and materials to understand where you can economize without sacrificing durability and safety.

Choose Multifunctional Equipment

Opt for playground components that offer multiple functions. For example, a climbing structure that also serves as a fort or a slide that doubles as a climbing wall can provide more play options without requiring additional space or significantly higher costs. This approach not only saves money but also maximizes the play area.

Leverage Community Resources

If you're building a playground for a school or community, don't hesitate to reach out for community support. Local businesses and service groups often provide sponsorships or donations as part of their community outreach. Check out Play 4 All, a service for Cunningham Recreation customers at no additional cost. This program can help you build awareness about your project and connect with potential funders/partners.

Consider Building in Phases

If your budget is limited, consider doing your playground project in phases. Work with a playground supplier who knows and understands this concept. They will layout a complete design and divide it into phases over a certain time period that works within your budget. It is necessary to explain this upfront. Many play structures can easily be added on to, or freestanding pieces like swings and climbers can be added to the play area at a later date.

Consider A Supervised Community Build

If your budget cannot cover a full installation, your organization could consider a “supervised community build.” Many companies have a small team or a supervisor, that can come and manage a volunteer playground build. This can save you money, if you have the volunteers to do so. Plus having someone knowledgeable in playground installation is an added benefit for compliance and liability issues.

Opt for Natural Looking Safety Surfacing

Instead of expensive playground safety surfacing, consider a natural looking safety surfacing like engineered wood fiber (EWF). This material is less expensive initially and can blend more aesthetically into the surrounding environment. In time, you can upgrade to a higher quality type of safety surfacing such as poured-in-place rubber or synthetic turf, but in the meantime still be compliant and accessible.

Seek Professional Advice

Even on a budget, it's worthwhile to invest in professional advice, especially for the playground's design, layout and equipment selection. A professional can help you maximize the use of space and ensure that your playground meets all safety standards and required guidelines.

Monitor and Maintain Regularly

Once your playground is up and running, regular maintenance is key to prolonging its life and ensuring safety. Regular inspections and prompt repairs of any wear and tear can prevent bigger expenses later. Cunningham Recreation has partnered with Playground Guardian to offer full-service safety and maintenance solutions. It’s the best way to keep your playground safe and well-maintained!

Plan Your Budget-Friendly Playground Today

By implementing these strategies, you can create a safe, engaging and budget-friendly custom playground that will delight children for years to come. Remember, the best playgrounds are those that offer great play value, not necessarily the ones with the highest price tags. To discuss your project in more detail, contact Cunningham Recreation today. We can help bring your vision to life — and at a cost you can afford!