How much does a Residential Playground cost?

When considering the costs associated with your playground, it is important to think about the two main aspects to cost: 1) the initial purchase and installation cost, and 2) the ongoing maintenance and lifecycle cost.

We’ll start by exploring the initial Purchase and Installation costs. Right at the cheapest end of the market, you can purchase playground pieces from the internet, that are likely to fit the following points:

  • Delivered to you in kit form, with some DIY Assembly required
  • Not designed to be fixed into the ground permanently – might have option for a removable ground stake on some items
  • Likely to last for 2 or 3 seasons’ use
  • Mainly plastic construction, potentially some timber framing and metal fixings
  • Designed for light use only, for two to four children to play on, up to 6 or 7 years old

You can find simple swing sets for less than £200 (Plus delivery), and more elaborate climbing multi-play units (including swing, slide, climbing fort) for under £1000 (plus delivery)

This type of equipment does serve a purpose, however, you may want to look at options that are more durable and will last longer. Outdoor play equipment will likely take a bashing from both the weather and children! Many of the budget options are not designed to last more than a year or two and may not live up to your expectations. Timber can decay, coated steel can rust and plastic parts can become brittle.

Its also important, particularly when looking at timber constructed items, to look at the size and specification of material used. For example many products use round timber less than 100mm diameter and it is not always sanded to play-grade specification.

Where there is more budget (and space) available, bespoke-designed playgrounds can be installed in gardens or residential land. The following points will apply:

  • Designed to suit your unique requirements, for example, including a tree house, or incorporating embankments or other landscape features
  • Manufactured, delivered and installed by a professional team, with framework fixed into the ground, using concrete or other permanent method
  • Likely to last for 15-20 years, or longer with good maintenance regime, and replacement of certain parts
  • Mainly timber or metal construction, with stainless steel or other rust-resistant fixings
  • Designed for heavy use, with space for five to ten or more children to play on, and will also support the weight of adults too

The cost of professionally designed and installed residential playgrounds can be between £1,500 for a slide and swing combo, up to around £30,000 for a large structure with multiple swings, slides, climbing ropes, monkey bars, climbing fort towers, connecting bridges, sand pit, playhouse etc.

What drives playground cost up?

What drives playground cost down?

The following factors will influence the price:

  • Larger play structures use more material and installation time, therefore cost more
  • Removal of waste from site (for example, earth dug up to form foundations for structure) can cost up to £100 per tonne. If there is somewhere on site to deposit earth and other bio-degradable waste (like timber off-cuts), then this will save money
  • Type of structure material – hardwood timber costs more, and will last longer than soft-wood play grade timber
  • Stainless Steel slides cost about three times as much as Plastic slides
  • Safety surfacing adds cost. Bark or timber chips to a depth of 300mm is one of the cheapest initial methods of adding safety surfacing, however this method will require either digging out of sub-surface to create depth, or erecting edging material to contain the loose-fill material. It will also require topping up and raking over from time to time.
  • One of the most expensive ways to create safety surfacing is Wetpour – this has the appearance of tarmac, but has a spongy, bouncy impact-attenuating surface.
  • Safety surfaces are not a legal requirement when installed in domestic private gardens

So how much does a residential playground cost from MacVenture? You can start by viewing our range of case studies, which all show a guide price. Or, if you prefer, you can contact us with your design ideas and we can create an accurate quote for you. As we operate mainly in the areas between and including Yorkshire, North Wales and the Cotswolds, travelling and accommodation costs for our installation staff might also affect the price if your installation is outside these areas. Alternatively we could recommend you to another playground company in your area.

How much does Residential Playground Maintenance cost?

Before you have your beautiful new playground installed, you will need to consider the ongoing cost of maintenance. The items most likely to need attention from time to time are the moving parts, such as swing hangers and brackets, which contain bushes, and the shackles. Other moving parts might be climbing nets or wobble bridges. As the metal parts move against each other, some wear will occur over time, so periodic monitoring is essential to know when to replace parts before they break. As a guide, a whole swing set (hangers, brackets, bushes, chains/ropes, shackles and seat might cost up to £100. This is a relatively simple job to fix, so usually you will be able to carry out the work yourself to save cost.

As your play equipment gets older, it will need monitoring for corrosion in the structural parts too, for example if timber posts are set into the ground. If rot/damp sets in and begins to weaken the structure, posts might need to be replaced in the ground. This is a more expensive job that requires training and skills to do correctly, so it could cost up to £1500 to get this sorted depending on the size of the post, difficulty of removal and location of the playground (see MacVenture’s areas of operation above). However properly treated timber posts would be expected to last at least 10 years, often substantially more.