Budgeting & Playground Cost

Building a new playground requires careful planning and budgeting. While buying playground equipment is a huge part of developing a new play area, it doesn't make up the entire budget. There are other important factors for determining playground cost, such as safety surfacing, installation, freight costs and site amenities. Not sure where to start? We have compiled a list to help walk you through the best ways to budget for a new playground project.

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Play Equipment

In large part, your budget will be determined by the number of children using the playground at a given time.  To understand how much a playground could cost, a general rule is to budget for about $1000 per child. So, if you expect 50 kids to use the play area, you should budget for about $50,000.  The playground development costs should then be compared to the project budget. If development costs exceed the budget, it is almost always better to devise a plan to phase in the project over a period of several years rather than reducing the scope of the playground.

Safety Surfacing

This portion of the budget will cover preparation of the site and installation of safety surfacing (such as engineered wood fiber or shredded rubber). The type of surfacing material may have a tremendous impact on the cost of the playground over its life cycle.  Some surfacing types —  like engineered wood fiber — require simple and minimal yearly maintenance. Others may require little to no maintenance, such as rubberized surfacing options. Yearly maintenance for surfacing may be as simple as refreshing and spreading the supply of wood fiber under the structure to revitalize the effectiveness of the surfacing attenuation. 

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Installation is another expense to plan for when creating a budget for your new playground. Installation of a playground includes: basic site preparation, playground installation, and surfacing installation.  One factor that has an impact on the cost of installation is the site itself. Sometimes the location of your playground will need to be cleared of subsurface rock. Depending on your local/regional landscape, it is typically a good idea to plan for these costs.

Freight Costs

Freight costs will vary depending on the Play & Park Structures products being ordered and the shipping location in proximity to our manufacturing facility in Fort Payne, AL. Contact your consultant to get an accurate freight estimate for your project’s budget. 

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Site Amenities

It should be noted that site amenities are important but can be costly additions to the playground project. Important site amenities to consider include trash receptacles, benches, tables, grills, and bicycle racks.