Playground Building Contractors South Portland ME
RL Sanborn Masonry
Coastal Maine Interiors
South Portland, ME
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EcoMaids of Casco Bay
Willing to Live Well: The Playground of My Imagination
When I was a little boy, my father said he was going to build me a playground with a swing set. He didn’t. I wonder if that somehow shaped my desire to be a contractor deluxe? After a few weeks of no swings, I took a box of popsicle sticks and built my own version. I even took my mothers nail polish and painted it up. I managed to tweak my father and anger my mother all in one swoop.
So when Blaine and Sari came a knocking for me to help them put up a playground for their son, Kieran, well, I almost busted out those old popsicle sticks for a model of what I wanted to build.
Playgrounds and play yards are only limited by your resources and your imagination.
We were working with a rough budget of around 3K, so I had to take into account as to where Kieran is now and where he’ll be in three-to-four years, so that we can maximize his play experience without having to re-do it all over again.
Once you have your budget in mind, it really pays to know your child. Are they adventurous? Do they like to climb? Dig? Swim? What about water? In Kieran’s case, let’s just say that “fear” might as well be Sanskrit. It wasn’t part of his world. So we had two challenges. The first was building something that would keep him interested, the other one, being safe.
We decided to build a few unconventional structures into Kieran’s rough and tumble world. When we sat down over a few grilled brats and some of Blaine’s home brews, by the second swig, we all looked at each other and almost on cue said, “rock wall.”
Building your own backyard rock wall isn’t that difficult. We decided to build the rock wall onto the back of the house. We used very sturdy 2x6’s as a frame, with heavy duty joists. Attaching the frame onto the house added extra support as well.
Once we built the frame, we attached exterior grade plywood. We finished the plywood with a wood stain and a non-skid additive for a little extra gripping.
Now we attached the climbing holds. Climbing holds are typically are made of a grippy polyresin or urethane mix, come in a variety of shapes and sizes We secured them to the wall using surface bolts that are fitted into steel T-nuts driven into the plywood panels. It helps if you pre-drill holes every 6 or 8 in. and fit them with T-nuts before attaching the panels to the framework.
Once the wall was in place we added the holds. You can add other holes as well in case you want to swap in new ones to create new challenges. We also installed an outdoor foam pad at the base of the wall for safety.
Once we had the climbing wall in place, we decided to add a few more related activities.
We actually built a little zipline back there as well. We had some leftover 2x6s and used them.
We built a platform with three steps so that ...