We know that you’ve probably got lots of questions, we always try to help where we can and below are the most frequently asked questions with answers. If we’ve missed anything or we can help further please let us know through the website here.
Do we have to build it ourselves?
No, unlike almost all other play equipment companies, Playways install and build all the products we make. This means that you don’t have to. We prefer to know that your children are playing on something that has been built and installed to our requirements and specifications. All our products are handmade to order. Components tend to be heavy and awkward, and require experience, skill and appropriate tools and equipment to assemble. You may be a competent DIYer, even so we prefer to do I ourselves. Very occasionally we can supply for self-assembly, this is generally only available when shipping overseas, and where skilled personnel are employed to carry out the assembly.
Do I need to do any ground preparation?
Other than general ground clearance there is no preparation required. We can work with slopes, and changes in levels. We have clever solutions to most problems so preparing concrete bases etc is not normally required. We do like to know what we are dealing with before we get on site so normally a home visit is a good idea if you think there may need to be preparations. We like a clear site for ground based products such as playhouses. Platform products normally can be sited on most ground levels. We will work around most small issues on site.
How long will it take?
The whole process normally takes between 4 and 6 weeks. We will arrange a home visit if needed and once the design has been confirmed it will be built in our workshops. Once ready for installation we will be in contact to arrange a date. Typical builds take one or two days on site. We will always try where possible to work towards birthdays or other special occasions. We do get busy at Christmas so it’s always better to contact us sooner rather than later. There are times in the summer when we may get particularly busy and again would encourage you to act sooner rather than later.
What colours can I have?
We have a wide variety of colours you can choose from. Please see our colour chart for details. You can choose colours for trim such as rails and doors, you can also choose colours for outside of the playhouses. Where playhouse internals are painted we usually use a neutral cream for the walls and white for ceilings.
Although we are specific about the makes of paint that we use we can colour match most major paint manufacturers schemes, therefore if you have used a particular Farrow and Ball colour elsewhere in your garden we can carry that colour across to the playhouse. Cedar shingle roofs are naturally brown/red when new and will fade back to a silver brown overe a period of months. Non shingle roofs are normally green. Most attachments are green, but some are available in other colours as well.
Do we have to have what we see in the pictures?
No. We build from scratch, we can design and build whatever you want. Most of our designs have come from a custom project in the first place where we have subsequently taken that project, given it a name and presented as a particular model. We are always up for a challenge, we can adjust sizes, layouts, components. We can make castles, ships, playhouses in any size and shape.
I see swing seats that are too old for my young child can we start with a toddler seat and change it to a flat as they get older?
Yes, or to a trapeze, or climbing rope, or nest seat, or tyre swing. We can access a huge variety of attachments and accessories from a number of different play part manufacturers.
Do we need safety surfacing?
Not all play equipment needs safety surfacing, although in many cases it can be a beneficial to safety, and also peace of mind. We have many solutions that we can use, such as wood chip, rubber chip and grow through rubber mats. We also work with companies that provide astroturf, with shock pads underneath and fully bonded rubber playground surfaces.
What aftercare is required?
All of our products are designed to be in an outdoor environment. The timber is pressure treated and painted with an external grade paint where applicable. Bare wood should be treated with a proprietary wood preserver after 2 to 3 years, painted wood may also need touching up after this time. We will always tell you what paints we’ve used, and can advise where o source them.
We guarantee our products for 3 years. We generally do not find that there are problems of any sort after installation, either immediately or further down the line in time. We always endeavour to resolve problems, this helps us in the future, and ensures that our customers remain satisfied.
Do we need planning permission?
Generally speaking we do not find that our play installations require planning permission.
We are not planning experts and would always suggest seeking professional guidance if you have concerns in this area. In our experience regional planning departments vary considerably in their interpretation and application of the planning guidelines within the town and country planning act.
We aim to make the whole process of garden play equipment as straightforward and trouble free as possible. We do make site visits, the advice we offer is based as much on experience, pragmatism and common sense as it is on our interpretation of the planning guidelines.
We would always encourage you to consider your neighbours when building garden structures, and will always endeavour to advise if we think that something we may build for you will impact your neighbours and others around.
Our terms and conditions refer to this matter in more detail and explain respective liabilities in this area.
We do not provide links, there are many sources of information on the internet. Useful search terms maybe: Planning guidelines, Planning permission, Garden platforms, Permitted development, The town and country planning act.
We are happy to engage with garden designers, architects planning consultants and the planning authorities.