How to Build an Inground Trampoline: The Ultimate Guide

Introduction

Everyone loves the thrill of bouncing on a trampoline, soaring through the air, and feeling weightless for a few glorious moments. But let’s face it: trampolines can be an eyesore in your otherwise well-maintained backyard.

That’s where an inground trampoline comes into play—literally! It’s sleek, less intrusive, and can be a fantastic DIY project for the weekend. So, grab your tools, and let’s dive into how you can create your very own inground trampoline!

What You’ll Need

Before embarking on this DIY project, you’ll need to gather some essential materials and tools:

  • Trampoline Kit (preferably one designed for inground installations)
  • Measuring Tape
  • Shovel
  • Spirit Level
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Safety Gear (Gloves, Goggles)
  • Cement (Optional)

Preparing the Area

Measuring and Marking

Your first task is to decide where your trampoline will go. The chosen spot should be free from overhead obstacles like trees and power lines. Once you’ve picked the perfect location, measure and mark the area using stakes and string to match the size of your trampoline.

Digging the Hole

This is where the real work starts! Time to roll up your sleeves and start digging. The hole should be slightly shallower at the center compared to the edges, to accommodate the trampoline’s frame and springs.

Pro tip: Keep some of the excavated soil nearby. You’ll need it later to fill gaps.

Trampoline Installation

Setting up the Frame

Setting up the frame is a pivotal moment in your trampoline installation journey. Think of it as the skeleton that’ll support all the fun times ahead! First, lay out all the frame parts according to the manual. Snap-fit or bolt the sections together, ensuring each joint is secure.

Use a spirit level to check that the frame is even; an uneven frame can lead to bouncing issues and wear and tear later on. Don’t rush this part—taking your time now can save you from future headaches. Once the frame is stable, you’re ready for the next steps: adding the springs and mat!

Adding the Mat and Springs

After setting up the frame, it’s time to attach the mat and springs, the components that will put the ‘jump‘ in your trampoline! Unfold the mat and place it within the frame. Begin hooking the springs onto the mat’s grommets, then attach them to the frame’s hooks or rings.

It’s essential to distribute the springs evenly—start at one point and then go opposite, like you’re tightening lug nuts on a tire. This ensures balanced tension across the mat for a safer, more enjoyable bounce. Double-check all springs are secure before taking that inaugural leap.

Checking for Level

One often-overlooked step in trampoline installation is checking for level. But trust me, it’s crucial. An uneven trampoline can lead to awkward bounces and may even pose a safety risk. After assembling the frame and adding the mat and springs, grab a spirit level to check if your trampoline is even.

Place the level across different sections of the frame to ensure uniformity. If you find any uneven spots, you can either adjust the ground beneath the frame or use shims for minor adjustments. Take your time with this step; it sets the stage for a safer bouncing experience.

Adding Gravel and Sand

The addition of gravel and sand beneath your trampoline is essential, especially for inground models. Why, you ask? Drainage. Water accumulation under your trampoline can lead to issues like rust and even affect the bounce quality over time.

After your frame is set up and leveled, add a layer of gravel for water to drain away easily. On top of the gravel, place a layer of sand to offer a softer base and further assist drainage. Make sure both layers are evenly spread for maximum effectiveness. By adding gravel and sand, you’re not just setting up a trampoline; you’re ensuring its longevity.

Safety Guidelines

Let’s talk about safety, the cornerstone of any backyard fun. Always ensure that your inground trampoline has adequate padding and a safety net if possible. Regularly inspect it for wear and tear, and adhere to weight limitations as specified by the manufacturer.

Optional: Cementing for Extra Stability

If you live in an area with strong winds or just want added stability, you might consider cementing the trampoline frame in place. To do this, you’ll need to create cement molds around the legs of the trampoline and let them set for at least 48 hours.

Conclusion

Building an inground trampoline can be an exciting yet challenging DIY project. However, the fun and aesthetics it brings to your backyard are well worth the sweat and hours put into it. Keep in mind the safety guidelines, and you’ll have a bouncing good time!