Outdoor Fun: Build Your Own Sandbox in the Shade

by Rick Sprince 03/19/2020

 Photo by congerdesign via Pixabay

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. 

About the Author

Rick Sprince


As a Southport, NC neighbor since 2006 and a long time real estate broker, I am pleased to share some personal thoughts with you.  

As the son of a Naval Academy graduate, I lived in a number of states from California to Massachusetts before settling in the Washington, DC area. After graduating from Virginia Tech, I had a career in sales that ultimately focused on satellite sales with companies including Comsat, Lockheed Martin, Intelsat and British Telecom.  This afforded me the opportunity to travel to allover the US, Europe, South Africa and South America.  While traveling home from a family reunion in South Carolina, my wife and I stopped in Southport to check out the area.  We fell in love with it so much so that we purchased our home during that visit.   Brunswick County is one of the fastest growing counties in North Carolina and my love of golf, sailing and the ocean made it the perfect place to relocate.  

After purchasing our home, I initially obtained both my NC Appraiser's license and real estate license but ultimately decided to focus on real estate because I love working with people.   Finding one's ideal property can be a challenging process that includes geographic preferences, business and pleasure requirements as well as individual and family life priorities. My focus is on understanding your unique set of circumstances so that I can advise you and your friends on the properties that best meet your goals. Selling and buying are two different processes but successful outcomes for both require good communication and negotiation skills. Any real estate transaction can be very stressful which is why my clients appreciate that I am patient, genuine and committed to their success.  If you are thinking of selling your home, have friends or family who may be interested in this area, or if you are just curious about the current market, I would love to talk to you.  

I encourage you to read my customer reviews on Zillow to get an idea of how hard I will work for you, your family and your friends.  http://www.zillow.com/profile/ricksprince/#reviews