Featuring Darren Toomey, CEO of DuraPlay, Inc.
What should the consumer watch out for when purchasing a poured in place surfacing system?
Look for reputable companies that have been around a while, preferably ones who are IPEMA certified. IPEMA is a third-party certification group for playground equipment and surfacing industry standards. Companies pay to be members and have their products tested on a regular basis. This agency weeds out the "temporary" surfacing businesses. Also, read the fine print of the warranty. Some companies justify higher prices with a "10 year" warranty. However, many times the warranty is prorated starting as early as Year 4 and voided if a yearly maintenance coat is not applied onto the system at the owner's expense during warranty period. Make sure the different surfacing companies bidding on your project are offering the same things. There are a couple of ways that bids can be different. Sometimes projects are put out to bid without the playground equipment specified. When this happens, there can be different fall heights for the play equipment offered by each bidder. This can greatly affect the price of the surfacing because taller play equipment needs thicker surfacing, which is more expensive. In other cases, one bid can be for keeping the same thickness across the entire playground, and another could be for varying the thickness of the surface in coordination with the fall heights of the play equipment. In some cases, this process can shave quite a bit off the bottom line. However, if basing their decision on price, a customer would choose the latter not knowing that the two bids are not comparable. One should also be clear if all bids include freight, or a dumpster for garbage removal. Those two items can add thousands to a bid depending on the size and location of the job site.