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Budgeting for Your Playground Surface and Equipment

One of the first things many people think about when planning a new playground is playground equipment. They start planning which pieces they want to see in their space and focus their budget on the play equipment.

But as you know, there is far more to a playground than just the equipment. Factors like the design of the space, civil construction, project management and surfacing, are often a second thought but the reality is that they have a very big impact on the overall cost of your playground. So how much should you be budgeting for your playground project? Let’s break it down.


When we talk about equipment this includes all the play items in your playground. Things like slides, swings, spinners, flying foxes etc. It also includes any outdoor furniture like seats and picnic tables.

Every playground project has its own allocated budget and perimeters but as a rule of thumb, we suggest you aim to spend around 1/3 of your budget on equipment.

Another 1/3 of your costs should be allocated to design, civil construction, landscaping, and project management.


Now, when it comes to budgeting for your surfacing, we’re only including the safety surfacing that’s installed after all the groundwork has been done and the equipment has been installed. All those costs are included in the next third of your budget, leaving you with one final 1/3 of your budget to allocate to the surfacing.

We call this our rule of thirds for playgrounds and it’s surprisingly accurate how often playground budgets fit this formula.

1/3 Equipment
1/3 Safety Surfacing
1/3 Design, Civil Construction, Landscaping, and Project Management. 

If you are considering play surfacing options, check out our products page where you’ll find our full range of safety surfacing options, or if you are ready to talk to someone about your project you can contact us by filling in this form or giving us a call on 0800 686 124.