In-ground trampolines are becoming more of a trend, and it’s important to understand what you’re getting into if you’re considering adding one to your backyard. The appeal is clear: they are placed into a fitted pit, so they run flush with the lawn, creating what many consider to be a preferable aesthetic. But how much is an in-ground trampoline? The cost of installation can be high, and as with any trampoline, there are safety issues to consider.
While in-ground trampolines may seem like a safer alternative to off-ground trampolines, they can still pose similar risks. As the trampoline company JumpSport reported, in-ground trampolines don't solve all the safety issues associated with trampolines, and can still cause injuries when falling off the trampoline (or, they warn, if limbs get caught between the retaining wall and the trampoline). The Mayo Clinic website suggested that in order to improve the safety of a trampoline, you should use safety nets and pads, make sure only children six and older are using the trampoline, set a rule to allow only one person to jump at a time, supervise your children when they use it, and place the trampoline at ground level and away from trees or dangerous obstacles.
The main benefit of an in-ground trampoline is the aesthetic, as it helps your yard to look neater, and the ability to cover up the trampoline more effectively when not in use. As far as the price tag goes, generally speaking, in-ground trampolines will cost more in terms of installation and maintenance than regular trampolines. For more details, I spoke to Joey Delmore, the owner of Backyard Dreams, a trampoline and outdoor playset supplier based in Denver. He explained that the cost of an in-ground trampoline (which will typically be installed by contractors) will depend on a few factors: “What I see out here in Denver, is it can range from $4,000-8,000, to do the dig, for the proper fit and to do the retaining wall. There are many different factors involved, including the landscaping company, the size of the trampoline, materials, backyard accessibility will dictate the estimate. An average is probably around $6,000.”
On Angie's List, an article explained that some contractors will charge around $2,500 for excavation and installation alone, plus the cost of the trampoline apparatus. Trampoline kits can run up to around $3,500, so the total cost would be around $6,000, just as Joey Delmore suggested.
The cost of in-ground trampolines can even vary depending on the type of soil in your yard. According to CapitalPlay, clay-based soil may lack the ability to retain and absorb water, so that a drainage system needs to be installed. You may also want to consider the accessibility of the trampoline, as trampolines require routine maintenance. Trampolines Today advises that in-ground trampolines require maintenance just as above ground trampolines do. It may even be more difficult to maintain, as you will need to lift the trampoline out of the pit to check the underside of the apparatus for rust, wear, and damage.
When considering an in-ground trampoline, keep in mind that the cost of installation and equipment will be significantly greater than an above-ground trampoline, with similar maintenance requirements and safety risks. If you like the look of an in-ground trampoline, the best way to determine whether it would work in your yard would be to contact a local in-ground trampoline supplier and contractors. And maybe ask your pediatrician for some safety tips, too.