The Charette Project

Michael Scherotter's Digital Playground

Building a Playground

  Alex on the Ladder

3/27/2005 - This weekend I started building a playground for my two boys in our backyard. After researching many brands, we found that the Sunray Premium Playground 2005 at Costco would fit our space and our budget. I had prepared the site with four French drains and yard fabric. I will put 6-8 inches of playground fiber on top that of once I erect the playground. I got the five boxes and slide home on Saturday in a U-Haul truck and started assembly. By the time it started raining on Sunday afternoon, I had gotten to step 8 of 28. My older son, Alexander is so excited, he can hadrly wait. He wants to help, especially with the ratchet. I expect it to take a few more weekends. The Sunray customer support is very helpful but they are not open on the weekends when most people are building the playgrounds.

4/3/2005 - I just finished building the playground! It had very straightforward instructions and was fairly easy to build. It took me just about 20 hours to build over two weekends. As you can see in the photos below, Alex wanted to play in the playground before it was done, though the instructional video cautions you against that. He loves it! Here is what I learned in the process:

  • Print out the PDF of the instructions from the company's website so you have two sets of instructions, one for the steps and one for the part labels, or else you will be paging back and forth too often.
  • The boxes are layed out in no specific order and many parts are not labeled,so in each step you will be gathering wood from many different boxes and measuring often.
  • Alex ClimbingTo assemble the second side of the roof, put the roof runners in once you have three roof boards in place. Unless you have a cherry-picker, it will be impossible to screw the roof runners in otherwise.
  • Just having a helper find parts and put screws in the pre-drilled holes will speed things up.
  • Damp redwood smells wonderful!
  • I ran out of the #40 Wafer Head Screws ( I needed two more)
  • I ran out of the #61 Lag Bolts (I needed two more)

Next weekend I will build the surround and fill the are with 6 inches of wood chips (playground fiber).

If you have any questions about the playground, go to this forum.

Steps 1-28 of Building the Sunray Premium Playground 2005

Building the Sunray Premium Playground 2005



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