Playground Budget Breakdown

What does it cost to build a playground?

Paying for play: where to start?

Budgets, location, and equipment of a public playground can all vary. Using our experience in taking commercial playgrounds from an expense report to a complete site, we've laid out our recommendations for your budgeting process so you can handle any surprise along the way!

Allocate more than half of your budget (50-60%) for playground equipment. Expect factors relating to installation to consume the rest of your funds.

Quality, commercial-grade playground equipment can seem expensive, but remember the required standards and regulations are built into that cost. Don't forget about grant opportunities and funding available to you.

Looking to incorporate outdoor fitness into your site? Our guide walks you through the steps.

While the actual equipment can take nearly 60% of your budget, plan for the remainder of your funds to go to the services around the building, installation and shipping of your project. We're also making sure your playground equipment adheres to local safety rules and regulations. Here's a general estimate of what to expect.

  • Playground equipment 60%

  • Safety surfacing 20%

  • Site amenities 0-10%

  • Installation services 10%

Breakdown of Costs Explained

The more intricacies of your playground, the higher the cost. Let's look at the main players that will impact your budget:

Playground Equipment

It's the star of the show! A visually-striking playground made from high-quality materials is the best way to build a site that will stand the test of time. Your choice of wooden, high-density polyethene, or metal materials will affect your budget, and each option comes with its own considerations.

Choosing a strong and durable wood, like Robinia, keeps maintenance costs down and extends the lifetime of the playground. In areas with high wear and tear, or even concerns for vandalism, products made of steel and high-density polyethene would be the best choice, as maintenance costs will remain low.

Installation

You have different options for construction and installation, depending on the complexity of your playground. Working with separate companies can increase costs, whereas working with KOMPAN as your one supplier is a simple way to lower the overall price.

Head to our installation page to learn more about a full-service KOMPAN installation.

Landscaping

Not all playground installations are one-size-all, ready-to-go outdoor solutions. A site often will require extensive landscaping and preparation before playground equipment can be installed. For example, if a playground site is situated on a steep slope, leveling may be required for all or some of the space. Now what do with that dirt? One option is to repurpose it as a small hill on the playground. Children love to run up and down hills after all, and it also eliminates the added expense of dirt removal.

In some cases, there's an old playground at the site, and removing existing equipment will impact the price. If your site is on a hard-soil area, digging can come with complexities. Expect this to drive up costs in ways that are difficult to accurately predict.

Shipping

Don't forget about the delivery of your playground! Freight conditions and the location of your playground will determine your bottom line.

Site Amenities

How do you take a great playground and turn it into an exceptional outdoor space? By considering needs other than play, like comfort and peace of mind.

Create a space where people can connect with their community and enjoy the outdoors. Consider outdoor furniture like tables and benches, bins to keep the area nice and tidy, ample shading, and fences around the playground that serve as safety barriers.

Safety Surfacing

You'll have to look down to truly notice it, but surfacing plays a major part in your playground. Fall-height, inclusivity and accessibility, maintenance, design theme and materials are all factors to consider with play surfacing.

  1. Loose fill - Sand or wood chip has an earthy look and comes with a cheaper upfront cost. Keep in mind that choosing this option will require a yearly refresh. Also, this isn't the average sand you'll find on the beach. It's a specific variety that won't compact, preventing injuries. Likewise, woodchips must be engineered with wood fiber to protect children from fall injuries.

  2. Pour in Place Rubber: With the many colors to choose from, the shapes and patterns formed with the pour-in-place rubber can add to the engaging play on your playground. Have a pod of dolphins swimming alongside a ship or water splashes at the end of a slide. Pour-in-place rubber has the added benefit of making play more accessible to wheelchair users and walking-impaired children, parents, or grandparents. It has a higher initial price, but operating costs, like yearly refills, aren't necessary.

Inspections

Owners of public playgrounds and fitness sites have a responsibility to users and the public to keep their play and fitness areas safe at all times.

At KOMPAN, our commitment to safety goes beyond our product. We also conduct on-site inspections of any third-party manufacturer’s equipment.

Maintenance & After Service

Our KOMPAN maintenance teams worldwide are experienced with any of the after-service work you may need. We offer high-quality service and maintenance agreements, from complete all-inclusive Expert Maintenance agreements to a straightforward approach where KOMPAN will help the customer determine, order and deliver parts. This is an additional cost consideration to bear in mind. Reach out to your local KOMPAN sales team for a free quote on your specific service and repair queries.

5. Breaking down the cost of a playground

Public Parks

Public Parks

Playground products

$158,000*

Installation of products

$40,100*

Surfacing Incl. Installation

$14,000*

Freight

$20,000*

Total

$232,100*

Schools

Schools

Playground products

$98,900*

Installation of products

$17,800*

Surfacing incl. installation

$12,500*

Freight

$10,400*

Total

$139,600*

Kindergartens

Kindergartens

Playground products

$83,000*

Installation of products

$18,000*

Surfacing incl. installation

$10,500*

Freight

$8,800*

Total

$120,300*

House Association

Homeowner Associations

Playground products

$50,000*

Installation of products

$12,500*

Surfacing incl. installation

$7,000*

Freight

$5,500*

Total

$75,000*

*Based on 2022 US pricing (excl. tax) and serves to exemplify what a playground can cost on average – given green field, flat area, surfacing only under products, and no site limitations.

Have questions about planning a playground?

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Want to know more about playground planning?

How to plan your playground project

How to design inclusive playgrounds

Commercial Playground Installation