How much does a playground cost in 2024?

You’ve been given the job of planning a new playground or you’ve been wondering for a while how much does a playground cost …

Moduplay Team

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This article will help you on both of those points. We will also discuss The 5 Types of Play Spaces, the various kinds of play equipment available and the other aspects of building a play space that will affect the cost of the final project. Because it’s so hard to define what a Play Space is, it helps to understand there are broadly 5 types of play space that fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Traditional Play Space – common in parks and schools with required soft-fall areas
  2. Traditional Play Space with Landscaping – play equipment integrated with landscape elements
  3. Landscape Integrated Play Space – fully landscaped play areas with traditional and bespoke play elements
  4. Bespoke Play Spaces and Play Structures – built for a specific project and play experience
  5. Nature Play Space – minimal man-made play elements with a focus on interaction with nature

In this article we will focus on the costs of a Traditional Play Space.

A Traditional Play Space generally consists of several main elements of cost:

  1. The play equipment and play elements
  2. Installation of the play equipment and play elements
  3. The soft-fall surfacing and edging
  4. Various ancillary items (shade, fencing etc)

There are some main contributing factors to the cost of building a playground which you also need to consider:

  • The complexity of design – open designs with low-cost items of play equipment can appear “cheaper” than intense and more complex designs with more expensive items of play equipment included
  • Material of manufacture – stainless steel and aluminium playground equipment is generally more expensive than steel and plastic play equipment componentry
  • Fixtures and fittings – well-engineered specialised playground industry connections and fasteners are more expensive than generic methods of fixing that are widely available
  • Coatings and finishes – highly durable coatings and surface finishes that guarantee a long lifetime of use are more expensive than raw finishes or low-cost paints
  • Coastal locations – commercial playground equipment set to be installed in a high-corrosion environment needs to be made of special materials and high-grade coatings that will last. These are more expensive and add to the cost of the playground.

A traditional playground that you would see in a public park could cost anywhere from AUD$50,000.00 to over AUD$500,000.00.

A typical Traditional Playground like this (below) would be around $125,000.00 for the entire project including the other elements we mentioned like soft-fall surfacing and shade.

How much does a playground cost - Public park playground

Some of the larger Design and Construct Playground Projects we have completed can cost up to AUD$2.0m for playgrounds like this:

The largest playgrounds can cost above million AUD

Large destination playgrounds are becoming more common but most are not that large and neither do most playgrounds cost that much. To help you budget for your new playground and understand how much they cost, here’s a series of playground designs that match budgets from between AUD$25,000.00 to $50,000.00 and upwards. For the purposes of this article, we are only including the playground equipment as a kit price. Delivery and installation and all other extra parts of the project such as soft-fall and shade etc would be an additional cost. There is further information on the cost of those items below or you can reach out to our team for help.


Budget closer to $48,000.00 +GST This size playground will often be seen in a school or a small neighbourhood park. (Australian dollars 2024) Approximate kit price only – GST, delivery and installation at additional cost

Smaller school playground cost under 50k AUD

Playground budget $50,000.00 – $75,000.00

Budget closer to $60,000.00 +GST Local parks and primary schools will often be seen with playgrounds of this scale and cost. (Australian dollars 2024) Approximate kit price only – delivery and installation at additional cost

Playground-Cost-IMG10

 

Playground budget $75,000.00 – $100,000.00

Budget closer to $97,000.00 +GST Bigger suburban parks and larger school playgrounds will often have playgrounds with this budget and level of activity. (Australian dollars 2024) Approximate kit price only – delivery and installation at additional cost

Bigger park or school playground with price above 75k AUD

Playground budget $100,000.00 – $150,000.00

Budget closer to $134,000 +GST Regional playgrounds in many local councils across Australia will often be of this scale and cost. (Australian dollars 2024) Approximate kit price only – delivery and installation at additional cost.

What is a Playground-Cost

Playground budget $150,000.00 – $300,000.00

Budget closer to $250,000.00 +GST Playgrounds with significant budgets of $150,000.00 plus will normally be destination playgrounds that are well-known in the area. (Australian dollars 2024) Approximate kit price only – delivery and installation at additional cost.

Final Playground Cost

If you’re wondering how much a playground costs, it’s important to consider various factors.

  1. Site preparation
  2. Delivery and installation
  3. Soft-fall surfacing
  4. Ancillary items – shade, fencing, landscaping etc

Site Preparation

If your site is not already flat and clear you may need to allow for the cost of removing old structures, trees or gardens. If it is a sloping site and the new play space requires a flat area you will need to allow for excavation and levelling of the area and possibly removal of excess spoil. These costs can vary considerably so speak to our Project Design Team for an indication of these costs.

Design and Installation

The location of the site will govern the cost of delivery and installation. As a guide only you can allow approximately 25% of the kit price for installation. This is a guide only for budget estimating and can vary up or down. Delivery is also variable and you should check with the Project Design Team for accurate costs.

Soft-Fall Surfacing

All public playground equipment in Australia with a fall height of more than 600mm needs an approved soft-fall surface installed underneath it. There are 2 types of soft-fall surfacing – organic or inorganic. This refers to whether the material on the playground is a natural by-product or man-made. Organic soft-fall materials include bark chips, mulch and sand. Inorganic soft-fall materials include pour-in-place rubber crumb (AKA Wetpour Rubber), synthetic grass with cushion underlay or specialised rubber matting systems. Organic soft-fall products are generally much cheaper than inorganic. The choice of soft-fall material significantly impacts the final cost of the playground.

Playground soft-fall border edging

Soft-fall material under play equipment normally needs a border to retain it and make it easy to maintain. Border edging can be constructed from timber, concrete or brick pavers.
The cost of soft-fall surfacing on the playgorund and border edging varies greatly depending on the type and quality chosen. Our Project Design Team can assist with exact pricing on soft-fall surfacing and border edging. Contact us here. So when you’re considering which soft-fall is best for your playground, you need to think about:

  1. Softness – What is the softest option you can use given the location?
  2. The environmental impact – Is the product an environmentally responsible choice?
  3. Cost – Does your budget fit the product maintenance?
  4. Design Opportunities – Do you want to include shapes, colours or designs in the surface to enhance the play area?
  5. Ease of Maintenance –  Do you have a maintenance plan?

An appropriate guide to costs of soft-fall surfacing and border edging:

TypeCostThese are not Moduplay prices.
These are generic industry rates
as a rough guide in 2024.
Inorganic soft-fall (man-made)$280m2 – $550m2
Organic soft-fall (natural)$90m2 – $120m2
Timber border edge$90m – $150m
Concrete border edge$150m – $250m

Ancillary items – Shade, fencing and minor landscaping

To make a Traditional Playground a great place to play often requires adequate shade structures, fencing for protection of the children and parents and minor landscaping works to enhance the environment. Minor landscape works can include small garden areas, sandstone blocks, seating and minimal pathways. Obviously, these all add to the cost of the playground. As a rule of thumb, you can get a good idea of how far your budget will go with the different scope of the works based on the following table:

If your project includes:Your budget will split approx. as:
Equipment and organic soft-fall2/3 equipment, 1/3 soft-fall
Equipment and inorganic soft-fall½ equipment, ½ soft-fall
Equipment, inorganic soft-fall and shade/minor landscape works 1/3 equipment, 1/3 inorganic soft-fall, 1/3 shade/minor landscape works

By now you should have a good idea of the cost of building a playground, you are aware of the broad categories of playground types and what needs to be included in a realistic budget for a playground project. Our Project Design Team is ready to help you bring your ideas to life with your new playground design. Our Playground Designers have experience in the whole of project design, making sure every aspect of the playground and the costs has been considered during the Playground Buying Journey.

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