Apr. 7, 2022 | Blog How to Build a Playground | Blog | American Recycling Center

Understand exactly what to expect as you design and build a new playground.

How to Build a Playground 

It’s time to build a new playground, but after a few quick searches, you may begin to realize that there are more steps involved than you had previously expected. Don’t worry! At American Recycling Center, we are here to help make sure you know exactly what to expect as you design and build a new playground. 

Before you get started, make sure that you have developed a team with attitudes and skillsets that will benefit the project as a whole. Once you have your team picked it’s time to begin the ideation phase. 

There are many exercises that you can use to help your team dream up the best possible playground that will benefit the children it’s being built for. 


Determine the Budget for Your Playground

Prior to choosing the playground flooring and playground equipment, it is important to prepare a detailed and clearly-defined budget. The industry rule-of-thumb is to budget $1,000 per child that you anticipate using the park at any given time. 

There are many ways to reduce the total cost of the project, but it is imperative that you don’t cut corners — especially on important materials, playground surfacing, or any elements that can impact the safety of the children. 

One great way to save money is by organizing a community playground build. Not only will this build the community’s equity in the playground, but it will also bring members of the community from many different walks of life together, perhaps for the first time!

Another option is phasing the construction of the playground. This means to separate the construction, and even purchasing, of certain sections or elements of the playground into phases that can be completed sequentially. It is often much easier to raise funding and gather support once the first phase of the playground has been completed and opened to the public!


Choose the Right Playground Surfacing 

The type of surfacing that is chosen is important far beyond its aesthetic value! Surfacing plays a key role on the playground because it reduces the impact that occurs from falling. 

Here are a few types of playground surfacing you might consider.

  • Pour-in-Place Rubber
  • Bonded Rubber Surfacing
  • Interlocking Rubber Tiles
  • Rubber Mulch
  • Engineered Wood Fibers
  • Artificial Turf

With the more cost-effective playground surfaces like engineered wood fiber and rubber mulch, it’s important to note they also require more maintenance and attention over time. Rubber surfacing like pour-in-place rubber, which uses colored or black rubber granules, is oftentimes worth the investment to install. 

At American Recycling Center, we can supply the buffings, black granules, and color TPV granules for any size poured-in-place playground installation. We have selected materials and chosen binders that give our customer’s clients the best results. 


Building Accessible Playgrounds

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 2010 created clear guidelines for renovating existing playgrounds and developing new ones to allow equal play opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities. In addition, the selected surfacing must be of the quality and depth to provide appropriate fall protection below all playground equipment. 

ADA regulations require a specific amount of accessible ground-level playground equipment per all non-accessible equipment. With that in mind, selecting equipment can be incredibly fun! 


To learn more, request a quote from us today. 

Written By: american recycling