All it takes is a little ingenuity and common sense. One way to increase the value of your property while providing your kids with hours of fun is to install an in-ground trampoline.
It will take a little work and one of the tougher challenges will be building the retaining wall to make sure the dirt walls do not cave in on you. To learn how to build your retaining wall, just continue to read our article. It provides the information you need to know about before you start building.
Benefits of an in-ground trampoline
These few benefits may be what finally convince you to install one in your backyard. While it is cheaper to use an above-ground one, these benefits should outweigh the cost and challenges that come from building your own in-ground trampoline.
It is safer- Traditional trampolines stand up to 3 feet above the ground. If anyone falls off they could get seriously hurt if they land wrong. In-ground trampolines remove that factor.
They stay put- In bad storms, above-ground trampolines can easily be blown next door or down the street. That is if they have not been anchored correctly or put away before the storm. You could be liable for damages if you haven’t protected yourself. In-ground trampolines stay put and do not cause damage to your neighbor’s property.
There is more motivation- Because these versions of trampolines are near to the ground and safer to use there is more motivation to play on them. You should get your money’s worth by all the activities you and your kids do on them.
The look of your backyard improves- Above-ground trampolines can be seen as an eyesore, something that detracts from all the expensive landscaping you put in. An in-ground model enhances and complements that landscaping and helps upgrade the look of your backyard.
You get peace of mind- Since these models are safer, you can relax when your children and their friends play on it. Plus, your kids get plenty of fresh air and exercise, making them healthier.
Building a retaining wall for your in-ground trampoline
Now that you are convinced to buy an in-ground trampoline, there is one big challenge you have to overcome. Building the retaining wall and using the right materials.
First, we will tell you how to do it yourself, then provide the options so you can decide which direction you need to go in.
Concrete block construction DIY
While this is labor-intensive it is a solid way to keep your dirt walls from caving in on you. Concrete blocks do not rust, rot or melt and when you add the rebar and the concrete, it is a solid wall.
- Dig your hole to the right depth
- Smooth out the sides of the dirt floor and walls. You want to cut away any protruding roots, stones, etc.
- Lay out the stone blocks and you can go one row at a time. Make sure the number of stone blocks fits perfectly within the dimensions of the hole
- Add your rebar and start mixing the concrete. Once the concrete is the right texture pour it into the holes in the concrete blocks.
- Go one row at a time adding rebar, concrete blocks, and concrete as you need them
- When you have reached the level you need the wall at, stop pouring and let the concrete dry. Do any finishing work that needs to be done like capping off the top of the blocks with a layer of concrete. let the concrete cure and you are done.
Other materials you can use
Wood (including railroad ties)- While this is an easy method to use and it is simple to fix mistakes, wood rots. You will not get the lifespan you need by using wood over metal or concrete. Railroad ties may last longer but they will rot and it is a very labor-intensive option. They are also heavy to move into position.
Concrete- As good as concrete or stone blocks. You would have to build the form, pour the concrete and once the material has cured, you need to remove the wood form. More work than is necessary.
Plastic- Not even worth talking about as this material is not as strong as wood, concrete or concrete blocks. Plus, this option does not hold the dirt back very well.
Aluminum & roof metal- Like plastic, these metals just are not strong enough to hold the dirt in place. They may be cheaper but they were made for other purposes not retaining walls.
Corrugated steel- Very good, strong, long lifespan, and if given the proper treatment during manufacturing, they should resist rust and corrosion. The drawback is that the panels are very heavy but that weight adds to its strength.
Tips to help you build your retaining wall
- Before you build place your weed barrier and drainage system in first.
- When using concrete do the wall in one pour. If you don’t you weaken the structure and ruin the integrity of the concrete
- When meeting this challenge, do not cut corners or costs. the stronger the retaining wall the better and safer it will be. Do it right the first time.
- Add a foot to the diameter or dimensions of the hole. Do not make it the size of your trampoline. That way you have room for the retaining wall, drainage system, and ventilation system.
Wrapping it up
No matter which option you use, you will be faced with some labor-intensive construction. The key is to do it right the first time. That way you should not have to go back take the trampoline out and re-do your work.
Make sure you measure twice and build once to meet all the dimension requirements. Take your time so you do not make any mistakes or mis-calculations.
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