How to Build a Giant Slide
Giant slides can be made from a variety of materials. You can purchase plastic tubing designed for water slides or you can choose a more budget-friendly corrugated sewer pipe. Typically sold in 20-foot lengths, this pipe makes a fun and safe slide since it's fully enclosed.
Provide riders with scraps of carpet to pad the bumps created by the corrugated materials and make sure the landing pit is large and soft to avoid injuries when riders exit your giant slide. Always have your slide inspected by a professional to make sure it's safe.
Things You Will Need
- Post hole digger
- 4-by-4 posts
- Scrap lumber
- 2-by-6 lumber
- Lag bolts
- Joist hangers
- Galvanized screws
- 2-by-4 lumber
- Tile spacers
- Corrugated drainage pipe
- Tin snips
- Post bases
- Foam blocks
Depending on how high you make your giant slide, you may need to build additional platforms for landings into your staircase. You can eliminate the need for a ladder by attaching your slide directly to a second level deck on your home.
Contact a professional to make sure your giant slide is properly constructed and safe to use.
Talk to your local governing agency for building permits, codes and restrictions before you build a giant slide. Not doing so can result in legal and financial penalties.
Decide the location and size of your giant slide platform. Dig holes at each corner, digging down at least 6 feet. Fill the holes with 1 foot of gravel for drainage. Tamp the gravel with a tamper and fill the hole 3 feet deep with cement. Let the cement dry overnight. Insert 4-by-4 wooden posts into the holes and fill the holes with cement. Put a level on each post and adjust until the bubble is centered. Brace the posts with scrap lumber until the cement is dry.
Screw in the frame for your deck flooring at the height of your choice. Screw 2-by-6 boards to the outside of your 4-by-4 posts at the appropriate height. Use lag bolts to secure the framing to the posts.
Hang joist hangers on the deck frame by screwing through the joist hanger and into the deck framing, using galvanized screws and a drill. Hang 2-by-6 joists, inserting the ends into the joist hangers. Screw through the joist hangers and into the joists to secure them in place.
Install your 2-by-4 decking over your joists. Set the decking so it's running opposite the joists and screw through the 2-by-4 boards and into the joists with galvanized screws. Put tile spacers in between the 2-by-4 boards when screwing them down to form a gap that allows water to drain through and not sit on your decking. Remove the spacers when your decking is completed.
Add 2-by-6 boards on two sides of your platform 42 inches above the deck floor. Position these on the outside of your 4-by-4 posts. Screw through the 2-by-6s and into the 4-by-4 posts. Install the railings using 2-by-4s and running them vertically. Make sure the distance between each is no more than 4 inches apart. Screw through the 2-by-4s and into the 2-by-6s.
Build the stairs that lead to your platform. The size and slope of your stairs will be dictated by your local building codes. Your stairs need to be at a gentle slope for easy climbing and each riser should be approximately 7 inches high with each step being 3 feet deep. Go to your local building store and purchase one prefab stair riser to use as a template for building the stairs for your giant slide.
Install your stairs using joist hangers on both sides of the stairs. Screw the joist hangers into the decking floor joists and slide the stair edges into the joist hangers. Screw through the joist hanger and into the stair edges to secure them in place.
Install your corrugated drainage pipe across from your deck. Pull the drainage pipe up and onto the deck and screw through the pipe and into the deck, making sure you're drilling into a joist. Cut the upper half of the drainage pipe with tin snips. Cut the upper half off of the pipe, stopping about 2 inches before the edge of the deck.
Install 4-by-4 posts on either side of the stairs and on either side of the drainage pipe slide. Use post bases screwed through the deck and into the floor joists and set the posts into the post bases. Screw through the bases and into the posts to secure them in place. Add the vertical 2-by-4 railings on both sides of the slide and the ladder.
Screw a 2-by-4 that extends across the opening and above the slide at about the 4-foot level. Pull the draining pipe back and over the 2-by-4 and screw through the pipe and into the 2-by-4 to secure the slide in place.
Position your drainage pipe slide the way you want it. For long runs, put a curve in it to slow down the speed. Build braces for your slide at each turn, using 4-by-4s that are set in cement just like your deck corner posts. Use two 2-by-4s screwed into the 4-by-4s to brace the slide.
Cut away the top half of the slide at the end of the slide. Cut away at least 2 feet so the rider knows they're about to exit the slide. Fill the landing site with foam blocks at the end of the slide to cushion the fall when people exit the slide.
The Drip Cap
- Giant slides can be made from a variety of materials.
- Screw in the frame for your deck flooring at the height of your choice.
- Screw through the joist hangers and into the joists to secure them in place.
- Screw through the 2-by-6s and into the 4-by-4 posts.
- Make sure the distance between each is no more than 4 inches apart.
- Screw the joist hangers into the decking floor joists and slide the stair edges into the joist hangers.
- Install your corrugated drainage pipe across from your deck.
- Pull the drainage pipe up and onto the deck and screw through the pipe and into the deck, making sure you're drilling into a joist.
- Add the vertical 2-by-4 railings on both sides of the slide and the ladder.
- Build braces for your slide at each turn, using 4-by-4s that are set in cement just like your deck corner posts.
Angela Roe is a freelance writer who specializes in writing online articles, including topics as diverse as home improvement and decor, crafts, ballroom dancing, sports, fitness and business interests, as well as marketing and research, and business associations. She also provides SEO copy to industry-leading Web-content providers.
- Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images
- Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images