A sandbox might be the perfect building project for a beginner - -you just need to make an elevated, simple box and fill it with sand to delight the kids in the family. Incorporating other details can help you make a project that is uniquely yours. Sand is heavy, so take some time determining where your box should go -- you won't want to move it when you are done.
Start with a basic box.Most sandboxes are 4 feet by 4 feet; the cost of materials to build the box are negligible, but the bigger the box the more sand you will need. A 4 x4 box will take about 500 pounds of sand to fill to a good level for playing.
Decide where your box should go. You should position your box in the shade, or create a shade for it as you work. You can also repurpose a patio umbrella to provide shade for your kids.
Decide on the details. Do you need seating? Some kids will happily sit in the sand, while others want a bench or side. One of the most popular online plans for building sandboxes incorporates both a cover and seats; see it here, along with easy building instructions.
Even if you prefer to DIY the plans, you should know if you need benches, a cover or any other details before you begin to build. Determine how tall you want the sides of the sandbox to be, then purchase materials to create a box of the dimensions you need. Your local big box store can cut lumber for you, so you simply need to assemble the box on site. Consider using pressure treated wood or cedar for a longer lasting box.
Level the ground. Dig down about an inch to level the ground that your sandbox will sit on. Line with a garden fabric to prevent weed growth. Build a basic square with any of the extra details you've decided to add. Use exterior construction screws to assemble the piece.
Add the sand: Once you are happy with the box you've made, you can fill it with sand. Bags of sand sold in big box stores are 40lbs each - -you'll need from 8 to 10 bags to fill a 4x4 foot box. You may find that a local landscaper can offer you a better price -- and deliver the sand, too. You'll need a half yard of sand to fill that same 4x4 foot box. Fill, then add toys and other items to create a lasting play zone outside.
Since a sandbox is a very basic square box, it is an ideal beginner's project. Once you can build a sandbox, you can also make raised garden beds, planters and other outdoor pieces -- these all use the same basic shapes and materials. You'll love being able to build something for your home with your own hands -- and your kids will love a new play space, too.