What inspired your project?
It was in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and playgrounds were closed. I had a pile of materials from past projects lying around in my backyard, including my now replaced wooden pergola. We wanted to clean up our yard, but I didn't want to just get rid of everything. I decided to build a safe playground for our son and his friends using all the materials I already had on hand.
Have you made many things before?
Yes, I love doing DIY, and try to do and fix everything myself. I build a lot of things by repurposing materials. I have made outdoor lounges, a mud kitchen, hall table, bar, and elevated dog bowls to name a few. I typically use materials I already have on hand, or taking something apart to make something else with it.
What kind of look were you after?
I wanted to build an inviting playground that complimented the house. I needed to build something that fit my front yard, without taking up all the room. The front yard is fully fenced and so having a dedicated playground to make use of the space just seemed right. The back yard is more for entertaining and it is occupied by our dog.
What were the biggest challenges?
I built the playground own my own, so it was a bit of a challenge to screw and bolt the frames of the cubby together unassisted, and also attaching the swing beam to the cubby on my own, but I got there with some help from my ladder.
The building process
- Bought a second-hand playground for $50 from Facebook Marketplace. The main appeal was the green slide and the metal brackets for the swing support beam, which were still in good condition, unlike the rest of the swing set.
- Dismantled the swing set to use the wood on the new playground.
- Built the frame for the cubby first and secured them together, including the base so that it was solid and sturdy.
- Built the flooring supports and used old decking boards to finish the floor.
- Built the swing beam and attached to the cubby and held the other end up with a ladder.
- Then built the A-frame support to hold the beam up.
- Used old floor boards for the walls of the cubby, and removed the nails and sanded them back before putting them up. Filled in any gaps with exterior wood putty.
- Changed the roof to a flat roof.
- Secured the slides, and cemented in a support beam for the yellow slide.
- Inside the cubby, applied magnetic primer to a piece of marine ply before chalkboard paint so it can be used as a magnetic chalk board.
- Built the climbing wall and sealed it.
- Painted the cubby in colours Monument, Basalt and white.
- Purchased all the playground accessories and installed them.
- The climbing wall was at first made using all rock climbing moulds, but my son was too little to work them out, so I modified it to include the white steps so he could climb up.
I already had most materials on hand from past projects, so I just needed to add:
- $50 second hand swing set
- Bolts and screws, brackets, spray paint, bits and pieces from Bunnings, $60
- Playground equipment (swings, swing bolts, support handles etc), $231
How much did you roughly spend on the renovation?
The whole project cost me just under $350, as I used most of what I had already. I needed a few bits and pieces from Bunnings and the playground equipment.
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