Commercial playgrounds are relatively simple in design, the installation of these structures is not simple or easy by any definition of the word. A playground that is not installed correctly is a disaster waiting to happen. So what steps can you take to make sure your playground gets installed correctly?A few weeks ago I had a client call me about purchasing some safety surfacing for a playground project. As we spoke on the phone, I learned that they were opening a new daycare center in town. I asked who would be designing and building the playground? The client responded that her husband, who had no experience in building playground felt confident he was up to the task.

Playground Installation – Experience

Like most trades, when it comes to playground installation, experience is everything. A qualified playground installer should have years of documented experience and a roster of satisfied customer references, with pictures of beautifully crafted playgrounds to boot. Never hire someone to install a playground that has never done so before. Would you trust your new Mercedes to Uncle Bob who just got an awesome new tool set and thinks he is now a master mechanic? Probably not, with the ever growing costs of commercial playground equipment, this too is best left to the pros.

Playground Manufacturers Guidelines

The second most important thing when it comes to hiring a playground installer is making sure he follows the instructions provided by the manufacturer. We have removed and replaced a number of commercial playgrounds over the years. We were amazed to discover how many professionals made amateur mistakes when installing commercial playgrounds. From not putting any concrete in the footers, to skipping on crucial structural hardware, the list is endless. When you hire a contractor to install your commercial playground, request a copy of the installation instructions. Always ask to see the footers before they are filled with concrete, and take a look around to see if anything looks peculiar like protruding bolts, loose components or sharp edges. The installer simply knowing that you might compare his work to the instructions will usually be enough to make sure he or she is cautious and careful while installing your new playground.

Playground Location

The last and perhaps most important thing to consider when hiring a playground installer is where they are located. Most playground installers, and contractors in general offer warranties to build confidence and win jobs, seldom do these warranties ever get honored. By hiring a local playground installer, you are far more likely to get continued customer service, as local reputations are at stake. Try calling someone 1500 miles away to replace a broken panel, my guess is that you will not get a call back.