An often overlooked aspect of home development is your choice of surfacing solution. Safety, accessibility, durability, and aesthetics should be considered in choices of soft garden flooring, playground surfaces for larger home developments, and public or private green spaces like shared parks or grass garden lawns.
It is important to explore your playground surface options at each stage of outdoor planning in larger housing developments or designing your garden refurbishments. This blog will walk you through the considerations that go into finding the best garden flooring ideas and home playground designs for your project.
Key Considerations for Outdoor Housing Development Surfacing
The ideal surface solution for each project depends on a variety of qualities that need to be taken into consideration to find your perfect match! In Playsmart’s No Quibble planning, installation, and aftercare services, these considerations are built into the process and our advice. With our over 20 years of expertise, you are in safe hands.
The budget allocated to developing your outdoor area should include an eye toward the long-term costs of any surfacing. Selecting longer-lasting surfacing materials with fewer maintenance expenses can reduce total costs which can mean all the difference if you lack funding or staff for surface upkeep and playground repairs.
Flexibility in budget allocation can be helpful in the design and selection process. Some materials require greater upfront investment and extensive groundwork disrupting other development work on your site. Depending on the upkeep costs you are looking for as a private or public housing development, keeping replacements and maintenance low can be more beneficial.
In larger projects, lower installation costs with upkeep limited to heavily used areas like pathways or under playground equipment. While smaller projects like private grass gardens may only require rubber garden mats which can be cheaper but require more regular replacements and repairs.
Evaluating the available space for your outdoor space early in the housing development process is a good way to determine which surface solution is right for you. For example, your initial design ideas for artificial grass and residential landscaping in a larger public park area may not be possible in smaller residential areas that require more solid paving and surfacing. Pathways between buildings, small gardens, or uneven ground require different considerations that can dictate your options for surfacing.
Our surfacing options, particularly JungleMulch bonded rubber garden chippings, are perfect for adapting to whatever space you are looking to surface. Filling in gaps in existing surfaces during refurbishment projects is an opportunity to incorporate new textures, designs, and materials into your outdoor space. Even small spaces can be given unique and quality designs with the correct selection of materials.
Surfacing material selections in public or shared spaces in housing developments should follow relevant accessibility guidelines to ensure full enjoyment of the space by everyone. Slip-resistant, even paving, and wide pathways are essential to promoting inclusivity within an outdoor space.
Wet pour rubber creates a great flat surface for access and can be installed with ramped surfaces to grass areas to reduce tripping hazards. This makes for the perfect rubber flooring for garden play areas with accessible playground equipment that requires safety surfacing considerations and stable flooring.
In new-build housing development, guidelines and recommendations for accessibility and any other requirements may change in the future. Therefore, considering all levels of accommodation possible is recommended early on in the design process. This can reduce issues further down the line that can inflate long-term budgets as adjustments need to be made to widen access to new occupants.
Quick Top Tips for Surface Design for Housing Developers
Creating an attractive and functional outdoor space, garden, or playground that lasts for generations is the goal of housing developers when considering all aspects of their design. Surfaces should be no different in this respect.
Here are some of our top tips for those first steps into choosing which surfacing your new development suits best.
Shock absorbent surfaces are a great investment for any outdoor area as you never know when it is going to come in handy! Under play equipment, trees, or even in sports courts, garden play matting, and safety surfacing shock pad systems can really show a higher level of forethought went into your design.
On playground sites for a variety of age groups, surfacing materials and equipment should cater to their ability levels and provide safety to the appropriate critical fall heights. For more general open space, providing seating and shaded spaces will mean more people will spend time outdoors in the space, improving community cohesion and sociality within the housing development.
Colour and Theming
Creativity should never be forgotten in the utilitarian optimising of surfacing. Vibrant EPDM patterns or more naturalistic rubber mulch colours can tell a story of who your space is for. Themed play areas are becoming more popular among local council public park developments because they bring a new aesthetic to the area and reflect the community and its history.
Vegetation and Nature
Especially when working with a lot of man-made materials in housing developments, incorporating nature into the outdoor space can work to change the feel of the site. Studies have found that people are more relaxed when in the presence of green life, in addition to the ecosystem benefits of vegetation in water absorption and removing carbon dioxide from local microclimates. Surfacing like JungleMulch is perfect for installation as a base for tree surrounds to protect root systems and suppress weeds while looking great without sacrificing durability and longevity.