How to Install an Inground Trampoline

by Team HomeServe
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Inground Trampoline Installation at a Glance

  • Tools & Materials: Retaining wall, trampoline kit, shovel or backhoe, drainage pipes, level
  • Step 1: Dig hole
  • Step 2: Create retaining wall
  • Step 3: Plan for drainage
  • Step 4: Level
  • Step 5: Backfill
  • Step 6: Attach jump mat

An inground trampoline offers plenty of benefits, the most significant being a more aesthetically pleasing appearance than a traditional above-ground model. When you install a trampoline in the ground, it becomes a seamless addition to your yard. However, you should remember that, while it might look safer because it's not so high off the ground, the same safety precautions must be taken to keep your kids safe when using the trampoline.

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If you're considering an inground trampoline for your backyard, take a look at the installation process below.

Can You Put a Normal Trampoline in the Ground?

While it might be tempting to just purchase a regular trampoline and move ahead with an inground installation, this is not necessarily the best way to go. You’re going to want to purchase a kit specifically designed for inground installation to make sure the final result is safe to use. A trampoline that is specifically designed for inground use comes with vented pads that improve the bounce of the trampoline. It’ll also likely come with the retaining wall that is the correct dimensions for your product.

It’s possible to sink a normal trampoline, but you'll need to buy the appropriate materials to adapt it for inground use. This guide only covers how to install an inground trampoline kit.

How Deep Do You Dig for an Inground Trampoline?

When digging for your sunken trampoline, the hole should have a diameter that is 1 foot (30 centimeters) wider than the trampoline on all sides to allow for proper ventilation under the frame. The depth of the hole depends on the size of your trampoline. For a 12- or 14-foot (3.5- to 4-meter) trampoline, for example, dig a 3-foot (1-meter) hole. For trampolines that are 8 to 10 feet (2.5 to 3 meters) in diameter, a hole that is 2.5 feet (.75 meters) deep is sufficient.

Before you can dig a hole in your yard for the trampoline, you should get the area blue-staked to ensure you're not going to hit or disturb any water or electrical lines underground. You can do this by calling 811, which is the U.S. national call-before-you-dig number.

Put the trampoline in the most level area of your yard. Ensure there will be a minimum of 3 feet (1 meter) of clearance around the trampoline to keep it away from obstacles like fences or other hard objects. By choosing the most level area to install the trampoline, you can avoid the added costs and hassle of building additional retaining walls to prevent flooding or water pooling.

Do Inground Trampolines Attract Snakes?

A common problem with inground trampoline pits is that they act as the perfect den space for snakes. In some regions, this might not seem like a huge problem, but people living in areas with large or venomous snakes should take some precautions to deter snakes from nesting underneath their inground trampolines.

Maintain your yard to avoid creating areas that attract snakes to your home in the first place. Declutter the space and ensure the grass surrounding your trampoline is always neatly cut. Consider purchasing snake traps and placing them in your yard — but make sure kids or pets won't come across them and injure themselves. The best choice for a snake trap is a glue trap.

You can also consider snake repellants like mothballs and sulfur to place around the trampoline. Avoid harsh chemical repellants if you have kids or pets. Remember that snakes are often more scared of you than you are of them, and vibrations will scare them away. If you frequently use and maintain your backyard, it's less likely that snakes will take up residence underneath your trampoline.

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Inground Trampoline Installation

Sinking a trampoline into the ground is a relatively straightforward process. Your inground trampoline kit likely came with a set of instructions, plus we’ve broken down everything step-by-step. Here’s everything you need to get started:

Things You’ll Need

  • Retaining wall
  • Trampoline kit
  • Shovel or a backhoe
  • Perforated drainage pipes
  • Level

Step 1: Dig the Hole

Assuming you've already called 811 and you're sure the area’s safe to excavate, it's time to dig your hole. Ensure it's the appropriate diameter and depth for your chosen trampoline. Depending on the size, using a shovel may be an impractical choice. If you can accommodate one in your yard, it might be easier to hire someone with a backhoe to dig out the hole.

Step 2: Create a Retaining Wall

While some people might choose to pour a permanent concrete retaining wall, many inground trampoline kits come with a non-permanent retaining wall that will be easier to insert into the hole and remove in the future.

Step 3: Plan for Drainage

When you're putting in your retaining wall, you should also be thinking about drainage. If water pools under the trampoline or in the pit, it can cause damage and rust. One of the easiest things to do is lay down perforated drainage pipes to direct water away from the pit. If you can, drain water into a storm drain or gutter.

Step 4: Level Your Trampoline

When you put the trampoline frame into the ground, it's important to ensure it's completely level. To achieve this, you need to use cinder blocks to prop the legs up to the correct height.

Step 5: Backfill the Hole

With the inground trampoline kit assembled and level in the ground, it's time to backfill and compact the soil. The dirt on the outside of the trampoline frame should be level with the ground, and the dirt on the inside should slope towards the center for drainage.

Step 6: Attach the Jump Mat

With the trampoline frame assembled and in the ground, it's time to attach the jump mat and springs.

When performing an inground trampoline DIY installation, be sure to follow all the manufacturer's assembly trampoline instructions for your safety. If possible, purchase a proper inground trampoline kit for the best and safest results.