Are you looking for a DIY solution that will not only improve your backyard but also provide lots of fun? One of the more challenging yet rewarding things you can set up and build is your own roller skating rink.
Why a roller skating rink? Well, if you’re a big fan of skating and don’t always have the energy to head out or you want to impress the kids (and visitors too), then this could be a great choice! In this simple yet comprehensive blog post, you’ll learn how to build a roller skating rink in your backyard without the help of professionals.
Getting Started With Your Skating Rink
Before we get hands-on with all the details of this project, it’s recommended that you collect all the necessary materials and supplies before you begin. Gathering all your supplies and equipment ahead of building your roller skating rink can help to make the job much easier.
Required Supplies and Equipment
Below is a list of all the supplies and equipment you’ll need to create a DIY roller skating rink in your backyard. These are fairly common items and can be found in online stores like Amazon or at your local hardware store.
- Laminate flooring (or another type of flooring, see below)
- Wood screw
- Measuring tape
- Varnish or paint
- Portable roller skating floor
- Heavy-duty construction adhesives
- Shovel or trowel
- Protective sheet or mat
The shovel will come in useful when you’re digging out parts of your backyard where you intend to build the skating rink, and having a level can be incredibly helpful while constructing your rink to ensure that every surface is even.
It’s best to also ensure that you don’t damage the flooring in your backyard while you install the rink — it’d be helpful to use a protective sheet or mat during the process. Because there are various types of materials that can be used to create roller skating rinks, it will also help if you quickly determine which suits your needs.
There is a wide range of flooring for you to choose from, all of which can be used to make a skating rink, such as plywood, tiled floors, vinyl, or concrete. Experts recommend that you choose flooring that won’t just look great, but that will also provide good traction and grip while people are skating.
In this aspect, wood is an appropriate choice since this type of flooring will provide a good grip while being soft enough for accidental impact. There will be minimal damage to both the floor and the skater should an accident happen.
In addition, wooden floors are easy to maintain and keep clean, making them a great choice for DIY home rinks.
Clean the Area
It’s important that you clear out any big objects or pieces of furniture around the area you wish to build your roller skating rink.
It can also help to get rid of obstructions like trees around your property — these can present a hazard and may fall over and damage your roller skating rink or even knock over children if they’re too close.
Another step that shouldn’t be forgotten is cleaning up debris after you complete the construction of your roller skating rink. Doing this will help to prolong its life and maintain stability, as well as provide your children with safety while they play.
Stain and Waterproof Test
It’s beneficial to measure the area where you want your rink to be, then check a map to locate the closest drainage ditch or waterway and place a marker on the ground where you’ll put your rink. It’s important to clear out any debris from this area, including branches, leaves, and other organic materials that may obscure your view of where the rink will be placed.
When building outdoor rinks, using treated lumber is a suitable solution. If not, be sure to cover exposed wood using paint or polyurethane sealant after to provide protection against staining and weathering.
Step-by-Step Guide To Building a Roller Skating Rink
Now that you have everything set up and ready to go, here’s the step-by-step guide for building your DIY backyard roller skating rink. Take note that the whole process may take a few hours to complete!
Step 1: Decide on the Rink’s Location
If you have a big backyard, you might have plenty of space to work with, but it’s recommended that you choose an area where the ground is even to save you from having to even it out yourself.
This step is probably the most crucial because if you get it wrong here, you may end up with an unpleasant skating experience.
Step 2: Leveling and Flattening the Area
As mentioned, there’s no denying that roller skating is safer when done on flat and smooth surfaces — so you’ll want to provide a level and flat surface to ensure everyone’s comfort as well. The proposed location of your rink will need to be free from anything that can cause trips and falls, such as soil, twigs, pebbles, and rocks.
If you don’t have a large enough flat area in your yard, you can use your shovel and level tool to fix this.
Step 3: Decide on the Dimensions of Your Roller Skating Rink
When you’re deciding how big your roller skating rink should be, think about how many people will be on it at once, along with the amount of space you need. Common sizes people go for include 8 ft by 16 ft or 16 ft by 40 ft, depending on how much room you have and what your intentions are.
If you’re looking to have family or friends over to host a roller skating get-together, you may want to consider space for access roads and parking to provide easy access to the outdoor rink in your backyard.
Step 4: Design Your Roller Skating Rink
Sketching out your plan is beneficial for your DIY project since it can help to map out how your roller skating rink will look before you even get started. This step will help you to visualize what the final product will be like and can be used to motivate you further during the building phase.
There are various designs for you to choose from when it comes to building a roller skating rink. Depending on your needs and how much space you have to work with, you can create a rectangular, square, round, or oval design.
Step 5: Setting Up Your Rink
Below are the steps you need to take to get your roller skating rink set up and ready to go.
- Mark where you want to build your roller skating rink in your backyard.
- Gather your plywood or your preferred choice of flooring for your roller skating floor.
- Lay all your plywood or flooring throughout the surface of the marked areas for roller skating.
- Apply your varnish and allow it to completely dry off before you use your skating rink.
- Optional: Lay down some portable roller skating flooring to cover the surface of the area. Depending on the size of your skating rink, this can be a quick and easy step and shouldn’t take longer than an hour to complete.
Will Wooden Floors Get Ruined by Roller Skates?
While it might be common to think that roller skates can ruin wooden floors, the answer is actually no. It’s true that some wheels can damage wooden floors if they aren’t properly used, but most kinds of roller skates won’t have a negative effect on wooden flooring.
Even if a roller skate might look like it can damage your wooden floor, if you ensure that its wheels are both clean and smooth before you skate, your floor should be fine. But, if you’re not careful, toe stops may leave marks on the floor so make sure to do a small test on a piece of the floor that’s hidden from sight.
Can You Build a Backyard Rink if the Ground is Uneven?
If you have to work with uneven ground, one way you can fix this is to use a tarp or some other kind of similar material that will cover the desired areas in your backyard. Next, fill it up all at once with water to help it level out.
Use hot water if you have access to it — lay down the first two inches of gravel then top it off with an inch of cold water and then flood it. Do this process two more times while using hot water, before you finish using gravel.
For the best results, make sure that you collect the right supplies and tools for your DIY project. Be sure to clear out all debris from the area you want to use for your roller skating rink and to make sure that there are no obstructions in or around your space.
Your job will also be much easier if you gather all the needed materials for your roller skating rink ahead of time, which includes a tarp, plywood, and more. Doing this will ensure that your assembly comes along smoothly.
Finally, make sure that each piece of your roller skating rink is in the right place before you wet them down and stain them. You can also protect your new roller skating rink using weatherproof materials once it’s complete.