How to build a basic outdoor slide

Written by amelia allonsy
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How to build a basic outdoor slide
Kids will enjoy playtime with their own outdoor slide. (Slide image by anna karwowska from Fotolia.com)

Outdoor playgrounds provide children with a platform to engage in healthy physical activities that are beneficial to their growth and development. If you don't live close to a local playground, you can build your own playground at home. One of the most essential pieces of playground equipment is an outdoor slide. While you can purchase a playground kit and hire an expert to assemble it for you, you can build your own basic outdoor slide. Purchase a prefabricated plastic or metal slide, available at most big-box renovation stores, to eliminate the tough and dangerous work of metal fabrication.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Plastic or metal slide
  • 4 4-by-4 posts, 8-foot long
  • post hole diggers
  • cement
  • 5 2-by-6 framing boards
  • lag bolts
  • ratchet
  • 1-by-4 pressure-treated decking boards
  • galvanised nails or screws
  • concrete slab or landscape paver
  • safety grab bars

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Build a wooden platform to mount the slide. If you have an existing deck, you may mount the slide directly to the deck; otherwise you will need to build your own.

  2. 2

    Dig four two-foot deep holes with the post hole diggers to serve as the four corners of your slide support structure. Fill with concrete and set 8-foot, 4-by-4 posts into the gravel. Cover with 6-inches of top soil when the cement is dry.

  3. 3

    Frame the platform by using lag bolts to fasten 2-by-6 boards between posts to form a square. Add a centre joist with lag bolts. This joist should be perpendicular to the direction of your decking boards.

  4. 4

    Nail 1-by-4 pressure-treated decking boards across the joists, running perpendicular with the centre joist. Leave enough room for drainage between each board. Deck boards should be long enough to completely cover the joists on either side and need to be cut to fit around the corner posts.

  1. 1

    Nail 2-by-4 boards in a square around the bottom and top of the support posts. The top square should be high enough to prevent kids from jumping or falling over the edge, but low enough that parents can supervise children's play.

  2. 2

    Nail 2-by-4 pickets to the top and bottom squares, approximate 3-inches apart to produce a protective frame. Leave enough room on two sides to accommodate a ladder and the width of your slide.

  3. 3

    Build a set of steps by using 2-by-4 boards as stringers mounted to the deck with metal hangers. Fasten 2-by-4 step treads with metal hangers or mitre blocks at each interval to safely support each step of the ladder.

  4. 4

    Use a concrete slab or landscaping paver as a platform at the bottom of the ladder to reduce water damage.

  1. 1

    Use the hardware that came with the prefabricated slide to install it. Usually, this includes a few simple bolts and washers.

  2. 2

    Drill mounting holes on your deck platform to line up with the existing holes in the slide.

  3. 3

    Slide a washer over each bolt, then securely fasten the bolt to the deck platform using a ratchet or screwdriver.

  4. 4

    Install a couple grab bars on either side of the slide to give kids extra support while taking their seat on the slide.

Tips and warnings

  • You won't need to build the deck platform if you have a pre-existing structure, such as a deck or playground equipment where can mount the slide.
  • You can make the platform as big or small as you want, but larger structures may need additional structural reinforcement, such as extra posts or floor joists.
  • Wear safety goggles when working with construction equipment like saws and hammers.

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