Can You Put A Playset On A Slope?
Building a playground in your backyard will present many of the same issues as installing any other outdoor structure, especially if your backyard has a slope. This may make building any outdoor form in your backyard very challenging.
Therefore, can a playground be installed on a slope? Installing a playset on a hill without first leveling the ground is possible. However, this is only possible if the garden is either a bespoke playset or a model designed to be put on a slope. In such a case, you won’t be able to install the playground equipment without first leveling the ground below it.
Yards that have been appropriately graded will always slope away from the home to facilitate drainage. This may make installing a playground difficult, but if your yard has a significant slope, this will put the difficulties of establishing a playset to an all-new level. If you continue to read this article, keep reading to see how you may build a playground, even in a yard with a slope.
Why Must a Playset Be Level?
The most crucial reason a playground has to be level is for the children’s safety, and you want any equipment your kids use to play on to be built in the safest manner possible. A playground that is not level poses a risk to the safety of both persons and property, making it a liability.
If your playset is level, it will be stable and more likely to topple over, which is a problem that is compounded by the fact that the majority of playsets are top-heavy.
Your child’s enthusiastic play, a strong wind, or severe weather might topple an unstable playground structure if it is not level. If a playset were to fall over, it might cause injury to anybody who was around, it could cause damage to your property, and harm itself, which would be irreversible.
You and your family are taking a risk by doing this. Still, if your playset topples over and injures another kid or damages a building on your neighbor’s property, you will be held legally accountable for the damages.
If a playset is leveled, the wood and hardware will be subjected to unnecessary stress, which increases the likelihood that the playset will be damaged or may wear out before its time. Because of this, the playset you have will not last as long.
Additionally, if your playground is not level, it will not look desirable in your backyard, which may not be as significant as the safety concerns.
In conclusion, building your playground on ground that is not level runs the risk of nullifying any guarantee that you may have purchased for it. Because they do not want to pay for damage that might have been avoided, many manufacturers stipulate in their warranties that the playset must be put on level ground to be covered.
Playsets Designed for Slopes
Stay calm if your backyard has a slope that is sufficiently steep to make the effort needed to level it seem overwhelming. Many manufacturers of playsets are advertised as being able to be adjusted to suit slopes.
If none of these playhouse ideas suit you or your yard, another option is to create a playset just for you. It may cost less than you think, depending on what you need.
Playsets for Slopes
There is a growing need for playsets that can be installed safely on sloped yards, and producers of playsets are starting to meet this demand. A good number of them are brainstorming potential remedies for this issue. You can only choose from a restricted number of models, but each comes in various styles and may be customized with several different add-ons.
Rainbow Play Systems offers several play structures that may be assembled on terrain that slopes in different directions. These playsets are made using an A-frame construction method, which enables the playset’s support structures to be modified as needed. The legs may be shifted closer together or farther apart to compensate for the yard’s slope.
The fact that there is more room for your children to play underneath the playground is a plus of this design; however, it does mean a more significant footprint on the ground.
The Outback Playsets offered by Wood Play each use a similar design with an A-frame construction to provide a more customizable playground.
In addition, a play structure that does not have an associated swing set will be more straightforward to level simply because the play structure will take up less area on the ground. For many playsets that do not have swings, you would need to level a site four feet by four feet in size.
Playsets that are uniquely designed for your yard are the best way to overcome any obstacles that may arise. The slope of your yard may be considered when measuring and developing the lengths and angles of the A-frames and posts that support your fence.
A customized playground may also use natural features, such as steep hills, by building climbers or slides on the slope and positioning the clubhouse on higher ground. They can even work around the landscaping already in your yard to provide a solution that gives the impression that it has always been there.
Jack’s Backyard offers a photo gallery on its website that exhibits its unique designs. Some playsets they create are created around trees to make them appear like treehouses. These constructions are spectacular in every way.
Paul’s Playhouses offers fantastic do-it-yourself playground designs, and they even offer to construct bespoke do-it-yourself plans if you want them. If you appreciate a good carpentry job, Paul’s Playhouses is the place for you. If you decide on a design made just for you, the slope of your yard may be considered. If you want to construct the playset yourself but do not have all of the information required to draw blueprints, this is a perfect alternative for you to consider.
How to Level the Ground
You can always make the ground where the playground will be placed level if the A-frame structure or the customizable design possibilities do not appeal to you. Leveling the ground is relatively easy but requires a lot of physical labor. Additionally, depending on the slope of your yard, you may need to use heavy machinery and construct a retaining wall.
The whole play space does not have to be level, but having a level surface might simplify putting down a ground covering. When you take the measurements of the space that needs to be leveled, you only need to consider the area immediately beneath the playset in your calculations.
It is essential to keep in mind that you do not want your children to leap out of the swing and tumble down a hill. To ensure that the playing area is free from danger, you must choose an appropriate site and adjust the difficulty level appropriately.
The following steps are what you will need to do to level the ground in your backyard:
- Find the part of your yard that is level and has a lot of open space, then place your shed there.
Make a boundary around the area using thread and stakes. The line needs to be pulled tight and kept at a constant level.
- Utilizing either a shovel or a sod cutter, remove the sod from the whole of the area.
- Dig into the dirt at the highest point and work your way down. You can get rid of the land or move it to the lower end of the area.
- By determining the distance from the string to the soil, you may choose whether or not the area is level.
- It needs to be uniform around the boundary of the space in which you want to install the playset, from one end to the other.
- Check using a level placed vertically down the space’s center to see whether it is level. To accomplish this task precisely, you must lay your group on a longboard if it is short.
- Keep shifting the dirt about or removing it until the area is entirely even.
If the slope in your yard is very steep, you may need to construct a retaining wall to raise the level of the lower part of your yard. While this will require more supplies and time, it is not as tough of a task as you may think, mainly if you utilize interlocking retaining wall bricks. To learn more about this topic, check out the links below.
How to Level the Playset without Leveling the Ground
There is an alternative to leveling the ground under the playset, which is to drop only the locations where the playset support posts will go; however, we only advocate using this approach if there is no other option.
Why This Isn’t the Best Method
This approach will provide a level playset, but it is only advisable to use it once all other options have been exhausted since it has several significant downsides.
This strategy will not work with a playground if the clubhouse is below it.
It may only operate with some of the playset’s attachments, such as climbs and slides, if more digging is required or if the playset itself is not modified.
This approach will also restrict the height of your playset. This could be the amount of room your children have to play beneath it and the overall amount of fun that can be had by being up high.
In addition, and most significantly, a few of the playset’s posts will need to be anchored into the ground, where they will be in continuous touch with the soil and the moisture. This is not a healthy climate for wood, and it will cause the wood to decay quickly, mainly if it is not treated with a wood preservative. The atmosphere is not conducive to the growth of trees.
You may consider it even if encasing the wood in concrete is not suggested because it accelerates untreated wood rotting.
In some circumstances, this may be your only choice, and in addition to the problems associated with rotting, it will result in a playset that is level and will not be likely to topple over.
- Make a mark at the spot where each of the posts will be.
- The A-frame of the swing set should ideally be placed on the ground lower than the rest of the group. This will ensure that the yard’s slope will not hinder the ability to swing.
- The parts that need to be lowered should have a post digger or a shovel used to dig them out.
- Check to see that the playset’s posts will be touching the ground in a manner that is level with each other at each place. To do this, you must run a string from the highest point of the stake, in the lower part of the ground, to the highest point of the stake, in the higher amount.
- Measure the distance from the ground to the string attached to the stake in the lowest location.
- If the distance between the ground and the string at this stake and between the earth and the line at the other stake are identical, and if the cable is level, then the ground at both places is level with one another.
- When you are through building the playground and securing it to the ground, you will need to fill up the holes with soil or some other material that is suitable for usage around a playset. Leaving the hole unfilled would be risky since it may provide a tripping hazard or lead someone to twist their ankle.
Some people may suggest that you save yourself some labor by lowering the legs of the A-frame and placing cement blocks beneath them. Although this is possible, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advises against it since it would create a tripping danger and, even more importantly, isn’t precisely the most sturdy alternative possible.