Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Using Online Tools to Design Your Play Structure

How would you like this in your backyard?

Or this?

Or even this?

Me too, but it's not going to happen.  The last one is a little more realistic, but alas, still out of my budget. These gorgeous play structures would set us back thousands of dollars, and that's why we're planning on building our own.  (Plus we have an awkward area, so we really need something custom anyway.)

These play structures are all from Cedarworks, and even if they're out of your budget, it's well worth visiting their site.  Cedarworks' has an easy to use design tool, which you can use to tailor your design to fit your space.  Grid lines let you know how big your structure is, so you can figure out what is feasible.  First you pick out a structure, then you can add and subtract a variety of options, including slides, swings, ladders, rock walls, and even a crow's nest complete with a rope and bucket. 

If you're at a loss at where to start, you can browse other customer's latest designs.  Some are pretty wild and I'm doubtful they've all been ordered.  There are also tons of example structures to use as a starting point. You can even view your design in 3-D.

If you're serious about ordering, or just curious how expensive your creation is, you can submit your design for a quote.  I received my quote by email within a couple of days, and a beautiful catalog a few days after that.  

By flipping through the catalog and tweaking various designs on the Cedarworks' site I've come up with several workable ideas for our future play structure.

Image credits: Cedarworks

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