Planning a playground development


If you are currently thinking about planning a revamp of your school playground or adding to your existing equipment, read on – over the next couple of months we’ll be adding to this page to share some useful information, top tips and handy guides to help you along the way based on the most frequently asked questions from our customers. 

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There are four easy steps to getting your dream playground project going, and regardless of the size or scope of your project with Playforce you’ll be assigned a dedicated Customer Account Manager who will help to co-ordinate everything from our head office and ensure your experience is an enjoyable one.


Our first step is to spend time with you, understand exactly what you need and want from your outdoor space and undertake a full technical survey. This initial consultation takes around 1.5 hours in total, and is really important to make sure we have all of the details we need to give you an accurate design and quote.


You should plan to book your free consultation around 2 weeks before your preferred meeting date, and a little further advance during the busy summer term.


This is where the real magic happens. We take everything you've asked us for in the consultation, and bring in our expertise and knowledge to transform it into a design tailored to you. Our design, product and customer service teams will all contribute to this stage to make sure our proposal provides you with the best solution to your brief and best value for your budget.


A typical design and quote pack takes 2-3 weeks to present back to you, depending on it's size and complexity. It's worth bearing this in mind when deciding to book your meeting should you need your designs to be ready to present at a Governors' meeting. 


Once you’re happy with your design, we’ll arrange for your installation to begin, overseen by one of our experienced Contracts Managers to ensure things run smoothly.


As all of our equipment is made to order, specifically for your project, we work on a lead time of 6-8 weeks from placing your order to starting on site.


Please note that in the run up to the summer holidays our installation calendar is often booked further in advance. If you would like to have your installation during this period it's best to let us know as early as possible and to book your meeting well in advance as slots are taken on a first come, first served basis.


Whilst your equipment is being manufactured, your Contracts team will visit you to talk through the installation, double check any last technical or access details and make sure everything is in place for your project. 


On completion, if you have chosen to include this option with your project, we will also commission an independent RPII certified post-installation inspection for your finished play area.

You will also receive our Playforce Care pack to help you to look after your investment for years to come, and most importantly the children can get playing! 


From this point onwards, your Customer Account Manager will stay in touch to ensure you are happy with everything and to assist with any questions or concerns you may have throughout the life of your playground equipment. 



Installations - holiday vs term time

When planning your playground project, it's a good idea to think about whether you would prefer a holiday or a term time installation. There are benefits to both options, so below is a quick summary of three key considerations with each one to help you decide which is the best option for your school.


Term time installations

  • Turnaround time - to get your pupils playing on your new equipment as quickly as possible, we can schedule an installation into the next available slot, without having to book further in advance for a holiday slot. And, if your project is funded by parent fundraising or class activities, or the school council has been involved, this ensures your Y6 pupils can enjoy their new equipment before leaving for secondary school.
  • Contact with the team on site - as the school is open and functioning, there is no need to arrange for a school contact to be available on site through the installation during their holidays. This also means that should any issues or questions arise once the installation starts they can be discussed and resolved straight away.
  • A learning opportunity - one of the main benefits of holding your installation during term time is the opportunity to use the project as a learning opportunity for pupils. Playforce even provides a set of themed learning resources for your teachers to use whilst the installation is in progress. Many of our customers have commented on how beneficial this has been for the children.


Holiday installations

  • Ease of access - with school being closed for the holidays, access to your playground can often be easier, with us being able to access all of the space at the same time. This is great if your project is particularly large, or if we will be working on your only outdoor space.
  • Minimal disruption - whilst there would need to be a representative from your school on hand during the installation, arrangements for movement of materials, working hours and access to welfare facilities are often more easily managed. This may be worth considering should access to the playground be through a building, or in a space where continual access is required for staff, pupils and parents. However, all of our teams are DBS checked and used to working in schools and nurseries day in day out, so will always be sensitive to site specific requirements.
  • A new space for September - there is something nice about starting a fresh year in September; new exercise books, new classes and a new playground! It's a great way to get classmates playing and interacting when there is something new for them to discover together. In addition, many schools hold Open Days in the first few months of the school year, and so having a shiny new outdoor space can only help make the best impression.


So, whether you decide a term time or holiday installation is best for you, be sure to think about this when planning your project and let your consultant know at your first meeting. That way, we can plan your project with this in mind, whether to meet the right timescale or when considering the logistics of the installation. 


If you're ready to start this process now, why not book a free consultation today?