From health and safety to planning permissions, there’s a lot to think about in the initial stages of designing a new school playground. Chief among these considerations are the finances. Check out our tips to make your playground cost-effective, without sacrificing quality.
1. What to include in the budget
Before work begins, you need to draw up a full project budget. This will determine the scope of your project and, ultimately, its success.
These are the most common expenses which should be factored into your budget:
- Preparation: Gaining the relevant permissions, and practical considerations such as lighting and access.
- Playground surfaces: This includes everything from clearing the site through to freight costs for delivering materials.
- Products: What playground equipment will your site feature? How will it get there? Where will it be stored, and what are the installation costs?
- Materials: This should factor in both construction and any landscaping materials.
Ongoing playground costs for after the build is finished should also be taken into account. Knowing how often the equipment and surfaces will require maintenance will eliminate any nasty surprises further down the road.
2. Consider your playground’s purpose
With so many options on the table when it comes to equipment, surfaces, and designs, it’s important to have a firm idea of the intended purpose of your playground.
These considerations should include the ages of the children using the playground, how many of them there will be, and what sort of play you want to promote. For example if you want your playground to nurture cognitive development alongside the normal health and social benefits, this should be reflected in your product choice.
The balance of open space to equipment in the play area will also dictate how it’s used and, of course, safety is important to any design.
The ratio of equipment to open space will impact on how the playground is used.
Whatever the purpose of your playground, there are heaps of options when it comes to funding, and doing your research will really pay off.
As well as obvious avenues such as local government or community grants, modern alternatives such as crowd funding provide other ways to make your playground more cost effective.
Working in the education sector means you already have a lot to juggle, so you want to ensure that building your new playground goes smoothly. Playrope has years of experience working with schools and daycare centres to provide playgrounds that meet their budgets and expectations, walking you through the process from start to finish. For more information, get in touch with Playrope today.