How to Install an In-Ground Trampoline

Building a new house is exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. You get to customize everything in the house to make it exactly yours. The downside is everything has to be decided and then there’s this wonderful house with ZERO yard! Unless that’s included in your house price, but we were saving everywhere we could when we built. The other negative is that we live in the desert so there is just sand. So. Much. Sand.

This spring has finally brought some nicer weather and time to get landscaping started. In the backyard, before we could get the sprinklers going to start planting grass, we wanted to bury the kids’ trampoline. (Not completely, just to ground level!) We felt it would be safer having it close to level with the ground, plus it is low profile so then it isn’t the focus of the entire backyard. Lastly, we get some serious winds in our area and this will keep it from blowing away to Oz!

Needing a direction to go, I checked none other than Pinterest for any ideas or tutorials on how to get that bad boy in the ground. The hubby, AKA Mr. Amazing, had some ideas but we thought it would be best to use others’ advice if possible. We found a great tutorial on AllThingsThrify which was very helpful. Using that as our basic outline, we went from there.

The difference is our trampoline is an oval. It measures 14x16 and nothing I found had the same dimensions. So starting with the basic measurements, we made our list. Day one we went to Lowes to buy all our supplies. Our supply list looked like the following:

8 – 12 foot 2x4s (Our trampoline measured 24 feet around the circumference so we thought we were good…haha.)

5 sheets of 8 foot x 26 inch corrugated metal sheets (a little extra to overlap)

3” self-tapping screws to attach the 2x4s to the trampoline legs

We are fortunate to have a tractor of our own so thanks to the sand and my husband’s operating skills, he could dig the hole for us. That saved us the money of having to rent a backhoe to dig the hole and a wet winter had the sand fairly damp so it didn’t collapse. It took him about three hours on Day 2 to dig the hole just shy of three feet deep.

Day three was the big day! We could have combined some of the previous time, but you know busy schedules and all yadda, yadda, yadda. First the hubs and I went out and spent about an hour leveling the hole as much as we could by eye. One of the nice things about all that sand! We did hit some clay, but I digress… Once we were happy with the bottom, we put the trampoline in the hole. Lucky for us, my dad just happened to stop by about that time, so we immediately put him to work. Thank goodness he’s such a good sport.

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After putting the trampoline in the hole, we decided to dig the legs down another four inches or so because it was above ground level a little more than we wanted. One very helpful tidbit of information from the tutorial was to place it a few inches above ground to allow for the movement of air.

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Originally, we planned on pulling the trampoline out of the ground for the next few steps but we were lucky to have room in the hole to work around the trampoline. That was very helpful. The next step was to attach the 2x4s to the legs of the trampoline. This was where things got a little questionable because we started dealing with angles. Working with an oval didn’t help because each leg had a minor change in degrees. Mr. Amazing and my dad cut the boards to match up as shown in the picture and then just adjusted as needed for each leg. The goal was to get a good attachment to the legs to hold the metal until the hole could be back-filled. This was about the time I had to run to the store to pick up more wood because we couldn’t cut them to the exact four-foot measurement we originally planned on and therefore ran out.

Once the top row was attached, they then staggered the boards on the bottom row just to give the metal something to attach to. This was probably the most time consuming part of the project. After the boards were attached, my husband used simple drywall screws to attach the metal to the boards, which went quickly. I climbed under the trampoline before all the metal was attached and back-filled the dirt up next to the bottom of the metal to help support it when we filled the hole back in.

Once the metal was attached, my husband hopped back on the tractor and back-filled the dirt until the metal was completely buried. I helped on the ground with a shovel and rake to compact the dirt back down and try to keep the grade level. All in all we spent about six hours doing the majority of the project and had a finished product before the sun went down.

The kids love having the trampoline low to the ground and I love that it is so low profile. It will also make it safer so that’s a plus as well. The next step in our backyard landscaping is getting the sprinkler system up and running and then to plant some grass which will help keep down the sand. At least, I hope!