DIY Hillside Slide Step-by-Step Instructions

Our backyard is mainly composed of one large hill, so I knew we’d have to get creative with any playground equipment we wanted to put up for the girls. We’ve had a sliding board for years that we’ve wanted to install somewhere, and when we moved to this house with this particular backyard, I knew the perfect place for it: embedded in the hill! I enlisted my handy husband to turn my hillside slide dreams into reality, and he did such a great job that everyone on Instagram wanted to know how they could do the same thing. A year later, I finally got him to write up DIY Hillside Slide Step-by-Step Instructions! Here it is:

Preparation:

  1. Locate where you want the slide to go, accounting for local zoning guidelines, safety concerns, etc.
  2. Determine how you plan to support the slide
    • We chose Pressure-Treated lumber that can contact ground without rotting.
    • Check local zoning guides for how deep the lumber needs to be engaging the dirt so nothing shifts through the seasons.

Materials:

  • slide [we found ours on Facebook Marketplace for $50!]
  • pressure-treated lumber
  • shovel
  • bolts, washers, and nuts in size to fit top slide holes [hardware often comes included with the slide you purchase]

Optional:

Process:

  1. Mark the area underneath the slide where you need to clear space. 
We scored a line in the ground with a shovel.

2. Remove bulk of dirt underneath slide. It’s important for the top and bottom ends of the slide to sit level with the ground. In our case, we leveled the bottom of the slide first, clearing a landing area of about 1 meter. While resting the bottom on the landing in the location we wanted, we tipped the slide down while looking for the first place it contacts the ground. Clear that area of dirt, and repeat until the slide can sit level at the bottom and top ends.

Notice the bottom right corner of this slide is too high even though the top end is level with the ground. This is probably because dirt has shifted downhill while you worked your way up from a level base to the top.

3. Remove plant growth underneath to prevent future issues with roots, overgrowth.

4. Check progress by laying slide into hole, check for high points where dirt causes slide to flex or wobble. Remove or flatten the dirt from those high points and recheck how the slide sits.

 After clearing a level surface at the top let the slide sit naturally. Placing weight on parts of the slide helped visualize which portions are unsupported underneath. Fill these areas in with dirt, then sit over these points while in the slide.  The goal is to let the dirt make full contact under entire area of the slide without lumps/bumps.

5. Cut wood to match slide width.

6. Screw top wood support to slide using correct fasteners. We used three bolts, washers and nuts in the size that fit the existing holes.

7. Remove dirt to make space for the wooden support at the top. 

8. Optional: Embed stakes that keep top support up as needed.

9. Backfill any gaps underneath the slide to ensure full support along length.

10. Clean up surrounding area of dirt clods, rocks, roots, etc.

11. Optional: Reseed grass to cover any bald dirt areas.

I don’t like how there’s always a muddy patch at the bottoms of slides, so I also added a square of turf to the bottom so that would never happen.

And that’s your DIY Hillside Slide!

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