Excavation for the sandbox

How to Build A Sandpit Yourself – Guide [DIY]

When children are playing and adventuring outside, they seldom care about excessive luxury. But before the little ones dig around in any hole in the ground, they should get a proper sandpit. Where do you get it from, you ask? You could build a sandpit yourself! This is not difficult and can be done quickly even by inexperienced do-it-yourselfers. In these instructions, we will show you what you need to build a sandpit yourself. And then, we explain the structure step by step.

A sandpit is needed

Sure, a sandpit in the garden is a little paradise for children. But does it have to be an expensive prefabricated kit from the trade? Not at all! In these instructions, we show how you can build a sandpit yourself with a few pieces of wood, screws, and some paint. And who knows: maybe the offspring even want to help? At least that’s how it was with us.

In the beginning, of course, a suitable location must be found. We decided to lay out the sandpit so that the terrace and a fence wall flank it. At 10 x 9 feet, the lawn was removed, and the soil was removed by around 6-inches.

Tools and materials

This is a real DIY project! The aim should also be to only use materials that have fallen away from other work and are now still of direct use. Accordingly, for a sandpit of the envisaged size and location, we put together seven square timbers as posts, four suitable ground hammer sleeves with hammering aid, and ten smooth-edged boards of at least 10 feet in length. We also need rust-proof screws, wall plugs, sandpaper, and two steel angles, such as those used for wallboards. Of course, a good glaze and possibly a wood primer should not be missing.

The tool is versatile. It would help if you had a cordless screwdriver, a hammer drill, a jigsaw, and a sledgehammer. There are also a glaze brush, spirit level, an aluminum straightedge, and finally a square and pencil. Equipped in this way, we should certainly be able to build a sandpit ourselves!

Glaze wood

First of all, it must be ensured that the wood does not suffer from wind and weather. So it is briefly roughened on all surfaces with 120 grit sandpaper and then treated with a glaze. The glaze makes the wood weatherproof but preserves its natural structure. It is advisable always to paint one side of the board entirely, let it dry, and only then paint the other side.

Particular care must be taken with the end grain. This is exceptionally absorbent and, therefore, prone to penetrating water. So here we paint very thoroughly, preferably in three passes. While the wood is drying, we dedicate ourselves to the “construction pit.”

Tip: If you want to increase the durability of the wood further, treat the surfaces with a wood primer at the beginning. The second coat of glaze is also recommended.

Place ground sleeves

Before the actual work continues, the dimensions of the recess are rechecked, and the lawn edges are cut cleanly. Then we can prepare to set the corner posts. The plan calls for the two posts facing the garden to be anchored with ground sockets. The two rear corner posts, on the other hand, can be fixed directly to the adjacent fence wall.

But first to the ground sockets! We place the first of these in one of the front corners, provide it with a knock-in aid, and then sink it into the ground with a sledgehammer. It takes a few hard hits, but it’s not complicated. The finished ground socket can now be used as a fixed point, from here to measure the point for the second ground socket cleanly. Then this ground socket is also knocked in.

Set up the post

In the meantime, the squared timbers that are to serve as posts have dried sufficiently. But they are still too long. So they are measured to a length of 17 inches and then cut to size with the jigsaw. As a trial, the posts can now be put in their intended positions. Then the rear posts that do not have a ground socket need to be set up.

At the upper end of one post, two holes are pre-drilled offset from one another. Then the post is brought into its final position, and the two screws are carefully screwed in until they meet with resistance on the wall. Now you have two nice markings in the wall where the dowel holes are to be made with the hammer drill. After the dowels have been placed, the post can be screwed to the wall.

Note: In our case, the terrace curbs protrude into the position of the post. It is easiest to saw appropriate recesses in the wood. But be careful! The new interfaces must then be glazed again.

From the corner post that is fixed to the wall, you can now easily check the horizontal to the next post with an aluminum batten. It turns out that the post, which is still loosely in its ground socket opposite, is a bit too high. So it is removed again and cut to size by a few inches with the jigsaw.

Only now is the post firmly screwed to the ground sleeve. Then we check the correct alignment with a spirit level and, if necessary, carefully tap the post with a sledgehammer until it is really straight.

Create sidewalls

Two of the corner posts are already permanently installed. So we can stretch the first sidewall between the two. Each of the walls should consist of two smooth-edged boards. The first board is not a problem either; the length makes it exactly. So we screw it to the posts left and right. Stainless screws of size 4×40 are used. They are staggered so that there is still room for screws in the post around the corner.

The second board for this side is, unfortunately, a bit too long. But this is no problem. The natural dimensions are taken over the first board and marked on the wood. Then we cut the board to fit with the jigsaw. After the interfaces have been glazed, this board can also be screwed into place.

The first sidewall is up. However, it still lacks a center post, which is essential for the stability of the construction; so especially for the seat boards later on. Yet, we cannot hammer any into the ground on this site, as the curbs of the terrace are located here. So a post is only provided with corresponding recesses, placed on the curb, and screwed to the center of the sidewall.

The procedure is then repeated for the following sidewall: We use the aluminum batten to determine the horizontal line between the posts, cut the next post to length if necessary and fasten it firmly to its ground socket. But now we first knock in another ground sleeve for the center post, align the post, fix it and only then screw the two boards to all three posts.

Note: While the third side is also created according to this scheme, the fourth side remains without cladding. Because here the sandpit borders directly on the fence wall.

Build seat boards

So far, we have not encountered any significant difficulties. It’s surprising how easy it is to build a sandpit yourself! But we don’t want to praise the day before the evening, because the boards are still missing. These are to be aligned in such a way that, in the end, they protrude one inch over the outer edge of the sandpit.

We prepare the lengthwise cut by temporarily fixing the boards in place with a screw and then taking the natural dimensions from board to board. The miter is also removed and marked in this way. Then the boards are loosened again and cut to size with the jigsaw.

Before the seat boards are added, the fresh cuts must be glazed as usual. Then you can start! The seat boards are screwed on one after the other, the screws being set at regular intervals. Make sure that the screws also enter the side walls below. The distance is best measured precisely to be sure.

On the fourth and last side, we have to change the construction a bit, because we don’t have a side wall right here on the wall. So the seat board is only screwed to the post at first. Then two steel angles are used to attach the board directly to the wall. So this page will soon be done.

Result: playfully homemade

The outer shell for the new sandpit is complete, and it looks nice. There is no difference to a pre-purchased product. The children will have their fun!

Before the sand comes in, it is advisable to line the sandpit with foil. But more is not to be done. It’s that quick and easy to build a sandpit yourself!

Excavation for the sandbox
Fence posts are provided
Smooth edge boards for the walls
Ground-in sleeves for post
emphasize first side of the boards
pay attention to end grain when painting

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