Updated/Fact-Chacked on March 14, 2022 by John
Do you want a trampoline in your yard? Are you worried that your kids might fall off and hurt themselves? Worry no more because you’re about to know how to safely install an in-ground trampoline.
Such trampolines are way safer than traditional ones because if you fall off of them, you won’t be falling from a height. They are also easier to get on and off for young and older people. What’s more, you can install a safety net around them to guarantee that you don’t fall and hit the ground.
In this article, I’ll walk you through all the steps of building an in-ground trampoline, so you and your family can bounce safely together in the lovely atmosphere of your home.
8 Steps to Build an In-ground Trampoline
1. Buy a Suitable Trampoline
You might think that buying a trampoline is the easiest step in building an in-ground one, but I believe it is one of the most critical steps to consider. You must make sure that the trampoline you buy is specially made to be an in-ground one because it can be dangerous to use a regular trampoline and put it in a pit.
In-ground trampolines have different shapes, including rectangle and round. They also vary in how they function as an in-ground trampoline system. For example, some designs are built to stand just above the ground, while others lay flat on the ground.
I recommend you buy a trampoline with vented pads because they allow air to escape and consequently improve the bounce quality. They also prevent parents from getting any headaches from that noisy, squeaky sound that would otherwise be produced with each bounce.
2. Select the Right Place and Measure the Space
Now that you have the trampoline, it is time to see where you’ll place it. It is safe to put it wherever you want, but ensure that it is away from drainage, pipes, low trees and other utility services.
Once you’ve decided the place where the trampoline will go, you have to take the measurements. And the easiest way to do this accurately is to turn over your trampoline frame, put it where you want to install it, and trace the edge using paint or anything. This way, you can dig inside this frame.
3. Excavate the Space
And we’re off to the challenging work. Now is the time to excavate the framed space. You can do this using your hand (difficult and not recommended,) a shovel, or a mechanical digger (highly recommended for its ease and speed.) You should remove any debris, rocks and tree roots as you go, so the hole is clean once you put the trampoline in it.
Like I said earlier, choosing a trampoline that is designed to sit in pits is safer and better to use. If you decide to buy one of these, check the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the height and depth of the hole. But if you’ll use a traditional trampoline anyways, the pit must be as deep as the height of the trampoline.
If you want it to be a few inches above the ground, dig the hole to be a bit shorter than the height of the trampoline. To make sure that you measure the depth of the hole correctly, level it by patting the earth down as you dig.
4. Reinforce the Pit
Good job on the digging! Yes, you’re probably already tired, but you can’t skip this essential step: reinforcing the pit. Why is this step necessary? Because it guarantees that the pit won’t cave in. You can either reinforce it by buying reinforcement systems or make your own system using sheet metal and pressure-treated wood.
The pressure-treated wood should surround your trampoline frame, and you can do this using self-tapping screws. There’s a particular technique to follow, which is putting a row one foot below the top of the frame and then attaching another row within a foot of the above row and so on. And here’s when the sheet metal comes in. Use it to wrap the frame and then use the screws to secure it.
5. Install Ventilation and Drainage
Installing drainage is pretty important because you wouldn’t want the pit to be filled with water during winter. As for ventilation, it ensures better bouncing quality. All you need to do is install flexible pipes from the bottom of the hole up to the surface.
6. Put the Trampoline in Place
Congratulations on finishing all the demanding tasks! What you need to do now is pretty easy compared to what you’ve done. Grab the trampoline and place it in the pit.
Also, use some of the dirt you’ve excavated and put it on its leg so it doesn’t move while you’re bouncing on it. Plus, you must level the ground and pack the legs to ensure that they’re secure. An additional crucial step is adding a few inches of gravel because not only does it help with draining rainwater, but it also helps keep the trampoline in place.
7. Add the Mat
This step is a no-brainer. After installing the trampoline in place, cover it with the mat by securing it to the frame by springs.
8. Install a Safety Net
Adding a safety net is an optional step that I highly recommend, especially if you have little kids. It ensures that no one will fall off the trampoline and hit the ground.
How to Maintain Your Trampoline
There are certain things you should do to keep your trampoline working safely, and these are as follows:
- Cover the trampoline with a weather cover when not in use to protect it from any harmful elements.
- Check the trampoline every time before anyone uses it.
- Make sure your kids aren’t wearing any shoes because being barefoot gives them a better grip.
- Always jump in the middle of the trampoline and avoid the sides.
An in-ground trampoline is a terrific way to add fun to your family afternoons. As long as you make sure you install it correctly to ensure safety, you’ll enjoy an incredible time with your little ones by bringing them every child’s dream right into the backyard!
Mary shares a passion for gardening with her husband John, though she is more focused on growing veg on their allotment at St. Margaret’s Allotments, Durham. Mary also works in the lawn care industry and manages the lawns for the Durham University campus.