How To Install a Slide off of a Deck

September 24, 2012 — 13 Comments

Sam seeing the slide installed for the first time

Well it has been a long time coming, but we finally have a slide set up off of our deck! I first thought about adding this a couple of years ago, since we don’t have space in the yard for a full swing set. This spring I put a plan together and figured out where to put the sandbox and swing. The only component left was the slide. Then I looked and looked on Craigslist, with no luck. Then summer hit and the last thing on my mind was working out in the yard. Well at the end of the summer I got lucky and someone about a block away put a slide out for the garbage. I drove past it and got very excited. We were on our way to a kids birthday party and couldn’t stop. I thought sure it would be gone by the time we got back, but fortunately it was still sitting there. I walked over and found that it was in incredibly good shape and looked to be about the right height! Then I proceeded to run down the block with it like a silly kid.

Sam testing out the new slide

It has been sitting in its new home for the past month waiting for me to get around to cutting the handrail and bolt it in. This weekend I got tired of the kids asking if it was “nailed in yet” and decided to get it functioning while they watched a movie.

Drilling for the new Carriage Bolts to hold the slide on the deck

The first step after determining the rough location was to determine how I was going to attach the slide. The slide had 2 holes at the top. I decided to reuse these and bolt through the deck. Our decking is 1 1/2″ thick pressure treated wood. This gave us a nice strong material to bolt through. I drilled a small pilot hole at each location to make sure it was a clear shot. I ended up having to shift it over about 1/4″ to miss the joist underneath.

Guardrail after removing the spindles and lower horizontal member.

Next I removed the portion of the guardrail that was in the way. I unscrewed the vertical spindles. Then I took one of them and doubled up the spindles on the freestanding side. Then I used a sawsall to cut the bottom member.

Then I drilled the final larger holes and bolted them in with carriage bolts (the kind that are round and smooth on top). I also used a large washer underneath (to increase the bearing on the wood) and then a locking washer (to keep it nice and tight) and finally a hex nut. I used a 3/8″ carriage bolt. It looked nice and sturdy and I new that the top would cover the slide holes.  I spent about $3 for the bolts, washers and nuts. Pretty good deal!

Finally I had Mr. S. stand on top of the slide to make sure it was nice and tight and I used a wrench underneath to do the final tightening.

Our deck is a little over 5′ off of the ground (a lot of play slides are designed for 5′). So after the top was installed I did a little regrading at the bottom. I also made sure that the bottom of the slide was firmly in the dirt (by about an inch) so that it wouldn’t move.

The slide is definitely a little steeper than it would be on a playset, which makes it extra fast. The kids LOVE it. I think if I had smaller kids I would have added some additional dirt to the bottom.

Here is my rendering from this spring:

Rendering of play area from this spring.

And here is our play area now:

Sam making good use of the “new” slide.

I am pleased to be able to give them areas to play outside without sacrificing a large portion of the yard to swing set. What do you think?


13 responses to How To Install a Slide off of a Deck

  1. You are the best parents ever! That is the coolest kid backyard space.

  2. That is so awesome! Congratulations, it turned out fantastic!

  3. Oh my gosh, what fun! I love seeing it all put together, well done!

  4. Thanks everyone! I will add that it is suitable for adults too, so come on over! Mr. S. tested it out first and I was pleasantly surprised how sturdy it was. I also gave it a spin.

    I was wondering if it was going to become the preferred method of leaving the house, but the morning dew has kept the kids from using it on the way to school. Although Sam used it several times when he got home yesterday before coming in. :)

  5. Please adopt me!

  6. I think that slide is a GREAT idea. I wonder where I can find one to do the same. I am such a copy cat LOL

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’1733574767 which is not a hashcash value.

    • Thanks! I would check craigslist and garage sales. I ended up getting this one from down the street but my neighbor got a whole swingset. The only catch was that he had to come and take it apart.

  7. This play area is fantastic! We must have similar tastes- I’m currently working on my version of that Ana White sandbox, and have that same multi-level deck pinned as inspiration. I was thinking about putting a slide into our deck, but I don’t think I have enough height to make it work. :(

    Well done on it all! Do the kids just love it?

    • Thank Amanda! The kids do really like it. Now that the weather is warm my daughter has been sliding down in the morning on the way to school. I do really like the sandbox too. The sand seemed a little gross when I opened it for the first time a couple of weeks ago, but once I let it breathe and raked out the pine needles, it has been fine I just need to add a little bit more. The only downside is that the kids track in a lot of sand into the house! Although I have to say that the tire swing is the most popular right now. Pretty much everyday now they go and swing for about 10 minutes when they get home before they come in the house. The only other thing I seem to be missing is somewhere to hang from (although my son now likes to climb the lower branches on our tree).

  8. Thanks for posting this. It is exactly what I was looking for.

  9. Perfect! I live in a trailer park and it has new owners that are making everyone take down swing set. This is a perfect way to work around the rules!

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