Build a Playground Cost

How much does it cost to build a playground?

Having a safe and effective backyard playground is a wonderful thing for kids. Not only will it help them to remain physically fit, but studies have demonstrated that a playground encourages problem-solving and creativity too. For the purpose of this discussion we will look at the costs and requirements of building a full-sized playground on a residential lot.

Is this a DIY project? According to, the consumer who assembles a play set on a properly prepared yard will save around 11% of the costs associated with hiring professionals to do it instead. It should be remembered, however, that site preparation is going to be somewhat labor intensive, and if it is tackled on a DIY basis it is vital to get some assistance. Because of this it is recommended that a playground of the size discussed here be professionally installed.

Cost breakdown

The modern playground project will include:

  • Site preparation -
    • Clearing and grading of the plot - this might include brush and sod removal at a cost of $1800 per acre;
    • Laying out of play area - the play area is going to have to be predetermined in order to know where footings might be required and where sand or other materials such as wood chips will be added; and
    • Installing foundation - a playground doesn't usually have any sort of poured foundation, but during the grading process a base will need to be created using hand grading and gravel or sand. This costs around $2.35 per square yard when done professionally.
  • Play set - playground equipment of the commercial variety is widely available for anyone to purchase, but this is not required for home use. The average price for a solid wood play set with several swings, a fort, ladder, slide and base area is $1,800 installed. It is important to do some comparison shopping and choose from only those that offer manmade or chemical free wood, durable plastic seating and slides, and guarantees about the anticipated life span of the equipment.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Safety surfacing - instead of installing sand or another softer surface, many parents are opting to have "kid" tiles put into the base of the playground. These are an average size of 2'x2' and can be used as a permanent outdoor flooring. They do, however, come at a higher price and average around $50 each.

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Cost to build a playground varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Arvada, CO
Auburn, IN
Augusta, GA
Aurora, IL
Austin, TX
Bakersfield, CA
Baltimore, MD
Bridgeton, NJ
Clinton, NC
Dallas, TX
Decatur, GA
Delavan, WI
Dothan, AL
Downey, CA
Elgin, TX
Everett, WA
Fort Worth, TX
Fresno, CA
Georgetown, OH
Jacksonville, FL
Katy, TX
Kennewick, WA
La Fayette, GA
Leesburg, VA
Long Beach, CA
Lorain, OH
Los Angeles, CA
Louisville, KY
Mcdonough, GA
Memphis, TN
Montgomery, AL
Ocala, FL
Oklahoma City, OK
Opa Locka, FL
Oxon Hill, MD
Portland, OR
Richmond, TX
Richmond, VA
San Antonio, TX
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Scottsdale, AZ
Sheridan, CA
Snohomish, WA
Sykesville, MD
Syracuse, NY
Union, SC
Watertown, NY
Wichita, KS
Williston, FL

Labor cost in your zipcode

Methodology and sources