Are you considering building a new playground for your school, park, or outdoor space? If so, you probably wonder what to expect during the consultation process.

At MRC, we understand that building a playground can be daunting, especially for first-time buyers. That's why we've put together this guide to help you prepare for your playground consultation and make the process as smooth as possible.

Consider Your Budget

Before you start browsing playground equipment, it's essential to consider your total budget for the project. On average, 40-60% of your budget will go toward the playground equipment, while the remainder will be used for freight, site preparation, installation, and safety surfacing.

As a helpful tip, our partner GameTime suggests budgeting around $1,000 per child. This means the average commercial playground equipment costs between $15,000 and $50,000. If you're looking for a large playground with inclusive features or a custom design, you should set a budget closer to $150,000.

Browse Product Catalogs

Once you have a budget in mind, take some time to browse our product catalog and gallery and choose some of your favorite playgrounds and products. Remember that the cost of commercial playground equipment typically depends on the size and type of structure. Larger structures, like climber towers, will cost more than smaller structures, like swings. Other factors to consider are the nature of use, material, installation, and maintenance.

Think About Safety Surfacing

Safety surfacing is an important aspect of any playground, and it's crucial to consider what type of surfacing you're interested in and can afford within your budget. Loose fill options like engineered wood fiber (EWF) and rubber mulch are the most affordable but require the most maintenance.

Unitary systems like poured-in-place rubber, rubber tiles, and synthetic turf require little maintenance and are much more accessible than loose fill.

Plan for Playground Removal

If an aging playground is already in the area where the new playground will be installed, consider whether your team can remove and dispose of it or whether you'll need your playground partner to handle this task.

What to Expect During the Consultation

During your playground consultation, you can expect to discuss the following:

  • Assessing the Available Space: Knowing the total space for the playground helps tailor the design to fit your area.
  • Budget Confirmation: Reconfirming your budget ensures that the playground plan aligns with your financial constraints. Age-Group Focus: Determining if the playground will cater to toddlers (2-5 years), older children (5-12 years), or both is crucial.
  • Play Space Type: Deciding between an inclusive play space that accommodates children of all abilities or a traditional setup can affect cost, installation, community impact, and more.
  • Thematic Elements: Adding a theme can enhance the play experience and make your playground unique.
  • Installation Logistics: Discussing site access for installation crews and any potential challenges is vital to keep your project moving smoothly.
  • Color Preferences: Choosing colors that complement your setting, whether vibrant and colorful or more natural tones, can create a cohesive space.

You may also want to ask your playground specialist your own questions, such as:

  • Is this the best place to build a playground?
  • Is the surface safe?
  • Is there enough clearance around the equipment?
  • Does any equipment put children at risk?
  • Is your playground appropriate for children?
  • How often should my playground be updated?
  • What should I do if something breaks on my playground?
  • What else do I need in my park or playground for my visitors?

Our design consultants aim to make the playground consultation fun and educational. No question is silly, and we want to answer your questions thoroughly. Your consultation is completely complementary and can be done in person or remotely.

What Happens After the Consultation?

Following a consultation, your design consultant will bring your project information back to a project manager who works in a CAD-based design program to finalize your playground design. We supply our customers with full-color renderings of the play space and a fly-through video rendering when requested. These designs are all done free of charge!

Let's Get Started

We hope this guide has helped you feel more prepared for your playground consultation. Our team is dedicated to helping you create the perfect play space for your community. If you have any questions or are ready to schedule your consultation, please don't hesitate to contact us.