Creating an exciting new play space for your childcare center requires a lot of planning and consideration, and the early stages of planning can sometimes leave you with a whole lot of questions. In this article, we help answer one of the most popular and important of these questions: How much does a new childcare playground really cost?
The cost of a playground that is properly planned includes things like:
- The design of the space
- Establishment and de-establishment of the site
- Any demolition, demolition and site preparation that might need to happen
- Installation of services like power, water, drainage etc.
- Adding any retaining walls
- Incorporating pathways and bike tracks, decking and other carpentry
- Safety surfacing and play features
- Creating sandpits and adding water play features
- Installing shading as well as internal and external fencing
- Planting and landscaping
With all these things in mind, the typical childcare playground costs anywhere between $350 and $800 dollars per m2.
Now, let’s look into some of the factors that can play a role in driving this price up and down.
The two key factors here are:
- Access and the condition of the existing environment; and
- The ratio of natural lawn to other surfaces required
Let’s break these down a little.
1. Access and condition of the existing site
The quality of access to the space and its condition will affect the price of your project. If the space is hard to get to, or there are many things to repair and take care of, it might mean extra work for the installation team. When looking at the space where you want to build the new playground, there are a few questions you need to be asking that will influence the final cost of your space.
- Are there existing structures and surfaces that need to be removed and disposed of?
- Are there drainage issues that need to be addressed?
- Will there need to be retaining walls built or replaced?
- Are there existing trees and roots that need to be worked around?
- Are there services running under the space that will need to be allowed for?
- Is access ok for trucks and equipment?
- Will pedestrian access need to be worked around during the build?
- And finally, will the project need to be completed in stages?
All these factors will play a role in driving your costs up or down.
2. The ratio of natural lawn vs other surfaces required:
Deciding on your surfacing early on in your planning process can help you get a better idea of the price of your playground. Figuring out the ratio between natural lawn and any other surfacing will help you budget accordingly and start thinking about the different elements that can be brought into your space. Here are some things to be considering:
- Are we having separate areas for various age groups? If so, what size do they need to be?
- Do we want to include a bike circuit in the space?
- How many sandpits do we need, can we combine them into one, and do we want it raised or level to the ground?
- Have we considered how to reduce sand travelling around the play space?
- What level of water play are we looking for and have we considered drainage?
- How are we going to include a natural lawn without it turning into a mud-pit or dust bowl?
- Are we having fixed equipment or creating an open flexible set-up area?
- Are we wanting swings? They have a large fall zone and will need safety surfacing installed.
- Do we want to include topography play and build some mounds with slides and tunnels?
- If we are including mounds, what are we covering them with? – natural grass quickly turns to dirt.
- Have we mapped the flow through the play space and catered for all the high wear areas?
- Do we need a hard surface area for messy play and/or carpentry play?
- Do we need to factor in a fire escape?
- Is shade going to be required?
- Has gardening and planting been considered along with the play types and placement?
- Does this need to be an inclusive and accessible play space?
As you can see, there are a lot of elements to consider when budgeting for your playground and a lot of these can have a large impact on the final price of your project.
We want to help you make an informed decision, so you don’t get any nasty surprises along the way. To make sure you are well prepared, take some time and check which of these will impact your space, and if you want to talk to someone or get further clarification on any of these, feel free to give us a call on 0800 000 334 or flick us an email.