If you thought there was no possible way to have more fun in your swimming pool… think again. DIY’ing a waterslide might be just what you need to turn your beautiful backyard oasis into a perfect summer paradise.
Every backyard is different and every pool has its own shape so you’ll need to adapt your plans to the specific requirements of your yard. We’re here to offer inspiration so that you can go out there and create something that fits your pool, your family, and your lifestyle.
Step 1: Decide On Your Slide
It’s time to think big. What kind of slide have you always wanted? What kind of slide have you pictured in your best pool dreams?
There are so many ways to go about adding a slide feature to your pool. Before you get started on the project, think about some options you might like.
- A faux rock wall facade with a slide carved elegantly into it.
- A simple playground-style slide that’s easy to build and fun for the whole family.
- A waterfall slide, surrounded by greenery and flowers.
- A concrete masterpiece that transforms your pool into a prehistoric playground.
Today we’re going to walk you through the construction of a simple playground-style pool slide to whet your appetite for the endless possibilities. So whether you’ve always wanted a slide or are just now flexing your DIY muscles, we got you covered.
Step 2: Make Some Plans
If you already have a hill or slope in your backyard, then you’re ahead of the game. With a natural slope, you won’t need to create any height for your pool slide. If you’re not so lucky, you’ll need to plan to construct scaffolding as well.
Decide how high you want your slide to be and how long the ride will be for sliders. Will you build a straight slide? A C-shaped slide? Or possibly a zig-zag slide? The world is your oyster!
Get out the measuring tape, some graph paper, and a trusty pencil and get to work! Sketch a rough design of your plans, making sure to denote measurements where appropriate.
While you’re sketching, think about who will be using this slide the most. Consider the age, weight, and size of kids and adults in your household or neighborhood so you can plan ahead for safety. While you’re at it, picture any landscaping you may want to construct around your new slide.
Step 3: Go Shopping!
Now it’s time to make your list and check it twice… before shopping for all the materials you’ll need to build your slide. Your list will be unique to your situation and what kind of slide you decided to build, but for our purposes, you should make sure to pick up the following:
- Sturdy wooden beams
- Ground anchors
- Oriented Strand Board (OSB) or plywood
- Astroturf or mini-golf grass carpet to line the slide
- Pond skin/liner
- Wood screws
- Concrete to anchor the base(s)
- A staple gun, hammer, screwdriver, shovel
This is just a basic list of necessities for a simple playground pool slide. Whatever direction you decide to go, your own shopping list will be unique to your design.
Step 4: Construct the Slide Frame
You have your sketch, you have your materials, and you have your dream. Now it’s time to get to work. You can start by digging post holes to secure your slide in now or you can build the frame and secure it later in step 6.
It’s a good idea to start with the scaffolding first and then build the slide base second in order to match dimensions more accurately.
As you’re building the slide frame, make sure to include supports at evenly-spaced intervals along the length of the slide. This will ensure the slide can safely hold the weight of the rider, the water, and the construction materials.
Step 5: Add Layers & Customize
When constructing a wooden playground-style slide, it’s a good idea to add some padding for cushioning along the slide itself. This will give sliders a more comfortable ride. One option is to use a length of astroturf or mini-golf grass carpet since both are made to be used outdoors.
What’s missing? Oh yeah, the slippery factor! You can’t slide down wood or astroturf so it’s time to make this bad boy slick. An inexpensive solution is pond skin or pond liner. You know, the black stuff that is used to line the bottom of a decorative koi pond? That’s the stuff. It’s super smooth, very durable, and won’t break the bank.
Cover your carpet layer with pond liner and use a staple gun to secure it to the wooden beams. (Note: It’s best to pull the liner over the sides of the beams and staple on the outside of the slide. This way, there’s no possibility of staples coming loose and catching on unsuspecting riders.)
Step 6: Secure the Slide
Make sure to position the slide so the end hangs out over the edge of the pool. The goal is to end up in the water, not on the pool decking. Once it’s in place, anchor the base points to the ground or deck around your pool so it won’t move an inch.
The safest option is to fully anchor the slide with concrete footings around each base beam. This can be done at the beginning (or the end) of the project, once your slide is completely in place. Start by digging post holes, placing the base beams, and then filling the holes with fresh concrete.
Step 7: Test It Out
Make sure to test your slide before sending the invitations to your next pool party. Grab a garden hose to wet the surface of the slide, paying careful attention to the water distribution down its length. Maybe even send a sandbag or a large bag of potatoes down the slide to test it out.
Do a safety walkthrough to double-check for anything that might catch or injure a rider along the way. Once you’re satisfied with the stability and safety of your slide, take a ride yourself!
Enjoy Your New Slide!
Depending on your needs, you might want a sturdy pool slide that will last for years or a temporary one for a big summer party. No matter what style pool slide you choose, you’re going to have a great time.
Swimming pools are awesome but swimming pools with slides are even more awesome. A pool slide can add value and years of excitement to your pool for your friends and family of all ages.