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How much does it cost to build a basic playground?

07 February 2023

The cost of a playground is always going to have an influence on whether it’s possible to build one – and what kind of space you create. Whether you’re working with a very specific budget, or you have some flexibility, getting clear on what you’ll need to spend is a vital part of the process.

To help with that, here we’re setting out the costs of building a basic playground so that you can see exactly how the budget is likely to be divided up.

What’s the overall budget?

The average cost of a basic playground can be anywhere from £14,000 – £30,000. How much you need to spend to create a safe and enjoyable space will depend on the area, the surfacing you opt for and the equipment that you choose for the playground.

How is the budget broken down?

Equipment (55% of the project). Equipment takes up the lion’s share of the budget for a basic playground because it’s essentially the most important part. It’s the equipment that enables more complex play, after all. Most basic playgrounds will include a small footprint play system as well as three or more play types or activities. There will always be options to add more equipment, or specific equipment designed for a particular type of playground, depending on the budget available.

Surfacing (11% of the project – seems low). Probably the most invisible element of any basic playground but also one of the most important parts. Surfacing is what will help to ensure that your playground remains safe to use and performs well. There are a range of different surface types available to deliver a safe and compliant playground that is also engaging to use.

You can opt for whichever best fits the budget as well as the aesthetic and interactive need of the space.  Installation (27% of the project). This will cover the cost of everything that is required to install the playground, from labour and equipment to materials, such as the cost of any concrete that is necessary to complete the installation. It’s often cheaper to avoid third party installers and opt for the brand that you buy the playground from.

Make sure you use certified installers so that you have the peace of mind of knowing the project has been installed properly.

Shipping/logistics (7% of the project). Obviously this will depend on where you are and what kind of transport is involved.

Other costs to consider

In addition to the above there may also be other changes you want to make that could add to a basic playground budget. These include anything, from adding shaded areas to the playground to seating or a different type of surfacing that upgrades the playground experience.

These are some of the key costs that need to be taken into account when it comes to building a basic playground. The investment will create a space that gives back to your school or community for many years to come.


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