Australian households have different makeups with the majority occupied by two adults with children. The next most common form of household is the lone person, closely followed by couples without children, and then there are single parent families.
However, they all have one thing in common: they enjoy their outdoor spaces for many varied activities like entertaining, playing ball games, relaxing and exercising.
All kids play, it’s an essential part of childhood and growing up where they learn to develop social, physical and emotional skills. Landscapers can provide a play space with areas for quiet, natural, creative, active and stimulating play.
Safety comes first in our site considerations. To begin, when deciding where the play area should be located, separate the play area from any vehicular access and remember that the arc of the sun is lower in the winter months. Sandpits are best sited against a fence or in a corner to avoid them being used as thoroughfares and disturbing others at play.
TIP: Advise your clients that the proposed construction is relatively temporary because children grow out of this phase of their life in a few short years, so always offer the adults free advice about what you can design and construct in its place in five years’ time. They will appreciate your forward thinking and you will have another quote in due course.
There are a number of considerations for play equipment such as its design construction, installation and maintenance; all of which can be sorted by visiting the Standards Australia website: www. standards.com.au. If quoting to install a larger playground in a pre-school facility, primary school or day care centre, utilise the excellent information available from the Dept. of Education and Training in your State. For instance, the SA Dept. of Education publishes an excellent Playground Maintenance Check List.
Everyone enjoys a trampoline at some time in their life. Although they are often sold with enclosed netting, think about sinking it flush with its surrounds to lessen the likelihood of injury if the child falls off; this allows you to exercise landscaping skills surrounding the trampoline with impact-absorbing material and the look is far more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Consider the age of the users. Large ‘traditional’ trampolines aren’t suitable for little ones under six years old because they have a bigger bounce and are required to be higher from the ground. Find a spotaway from obstructions such as fences, buildings and other play equipment and free from hanging obstructions like trees and washing lines.
In-ground trampoline installation usually takes less than a day and there is no need to construct retaining walls once the pit is dug because most trampolines havethem built into the frame. For a 3m x 2m trampoline the hole depth only needs to be 80cm. Make sure you cover all the springs and steel frame with safety pads because they help to protect bouncers as well as spectators. Choose a version with thick padding and weather proofi ng and it’ll last longer too.
TIP: Always think about sharp edges, corners and crush points (for example, moving parts in chains, which might crush little fi ngers); trip hazards like tree roots, tree stumps, rocks, concrete footings and garden borders; protrusions and projections like bolt ends and hooks; everywhere and anywhere when carrying out the project.
If your clients want to improve their short golf game or just have lots of family fun a synthetic grass putting green is the answer. In fact, it is perfect for any situation requiring a premier all-weather surface, which looks, feels and plays like natural turf – but without the associated levels of wear, maintenance and need for water.
This facility could incorporate and complement current or planned swimming pools, spas, tennis courts, or landscaping features in multi-dwelling sites such as apartment complexes, retirement villages, resorts and caravan parks. Routine maintenance is normally confined to occasional brushing and rolling, depending on usage.
For the standard green a high-quality 20mm pile synthetic grass with double backing for extra strength, and with non-directional construction (like real grass), will allow the ball to run smoothly. Some people choose a dense nylon grass instead of polypropylene grass because it needs less infill. Typically, landscapers quote about $18,000 including accessories, for a 25 square metre synthetic grass putting green, which largely depends on site conditions and client demands.
Lawn bowls used to be for older Australians, but now there are bare foot bowls competitions and social events at clubs across the country. Bowls Australia has an exciting participation product called Jr. Jack Attack, aimed at bringing the sport of lawn bowls to kids around the nation. Because bowls is an emerging sport in schools, Jr. Jack Attack is designed to enable kids to participate in an engaging format, which is both fun and inclusive. Importantly, it can be conducted on a range of surfaces including greens, carpets, concrete, wooden floors and just about anything else that is flat.
Kid’s play sets available nowadays range enormously in style, size and price. One such company Vuly has lots of choices. Downstairs in the sandpit or sleeping upstairs in the cubby – turn the children’s play set into the ultimate wonderland. Play sets have endless combinations, some even offering exercise add-ons.
Cubby houses remain an eternal drawcard to a playground. Prices range from $200 to $2000. Search: Cottage Cubby Houses, Elevated Cubby Houses, Toddler Play Houses, Play Kitchens, Slide Attachments, Play Tents and Tepees and see for yourself.
No matter what the aspect is, the addition of an outdoor gym and shower could be a winning suggestion. Half the battle of going to the gym is – well – going to the gym.
At home, you don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing! Even better, having a home gym means you don’t have to adjust the equipment to meet your fitness requirements every time. You just use the machine, knowing that your full body workout is customised to your needs.
For customers on a budget, you could install three pull-up bars at different heights, a reverse incline bench, parallel bars and two metal rings attached to a pole that look not unlike netball rings (for an alternate pull-up perhaps?) and a balancing beam. For the older members of a household everything is geared towards gentle movement, leg swings, leg presses, squats and a stationary bike. Equipment options include push-up bars, sit-up benches, step-up planks, vault bars, chin-up bars, and stepping squares. A rowing machine works most muscles in the body and is always a challenge for everyone.
Wheelchair friendly workout options are also plentiful.
TIP: Soft flooring keeps things easy on the knees.
Given our smaller residential block sizes these days, how about a half-size court to play on? The Sports Construction Group has nailed it. Its Cricket Pitches include a synthetic surface, stumps and retractable netting to stop balls from flying over the fence into the neighbour’s yard.
Although the ideal size for a home tennis court is 33.5m x 16.2m, The Sports Construction Group says your client should consider 30m x 15m, and they may even think about going as large as 36.5m x 18.2m if they have the space, which is the international size. The average cost to build the court from start to finish including dirt work, post tension slab, fencing, lighting, surfacing andaccessories, is about $70,000. They can be constructed in a variety of surfaces including acrylic paint and synthetic grass. For those without other players to hand, you can install hit-up walls – great for practicing your forehand or backhand.
Your client may enjoy a netball court based on the same principles. Or what better way to get the family outside than to install a backyard basketball court? If you want to play with just a handful of people, it is easier to cut the court in half and only play on one end. The court can be used by everyone, as a team, one on one or even by yourself to ensure those skills become permanent when playing. It can be tailored to the size of a backyard from 45 square metres up to full size courts. People continue to utilise their outdoor areas for longer periods for many reasons. This provides landscapers an opportunity to create niche markets and see people’s dreams realised by introducing new and innovative pastime concepts into customers’ outdoor spaces from their balcony to their backyard; in ways not seen in the past.