DIY Sand Box, Horseshoe Pit & Dog Run

With the gorgeous central coast summer weather quickly approaching, it’s time to start considering how you want to spend your summer days. Getting out and getting active is not only super fun but also extremely beneficial for both our mental and physical health.  At Troesh Coleman Pacific in Nipomo we have put a few simple step by step projects that will be a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends all summer long!

Install a sand box for the kids

There are a few things to consider before jumping right in…

-Location and size: You need to pick a nice location, preferably a semi-shaded area without many overhead branches or falling leaves (less clean up and maintenance) or a space with adequate room to install a shade structure to protect from UV rays. Try to pick higher spots in the yard rather than low spots as you’ll want good drainage to avoid any water from accumulating. Also, it’s best to stay away from high traffic areas to minimize tracking sand outside of the play area and into the home etc.

Containment: You’ll need to decide how you want to contain your sand pit. When it comes to choosing your border, you can get creative with the type of material you pick which allows you to give your sand pit a personal touch customized to your design appeal. Rocks and cobbles, small logs or tree stumps, and wood planks or boards are just some of the great options. Troesh Coleman Pacific, Inc. offers a variety of beautiful hardscaping materials that would be great choices for any design.

Step 1: Mark out the area where the box will go. You can get creative with the shape or keep it simple.

Step 2: Dig out the sand box area to your desired depth, we recommend 4 to 6 inches. It is best to have a slight slope to allow for better drainage. Make sure you check for gas and utility lines before you dig!

Step 3: Line the play area with landscape fabric (available at Troesh Coleman Pacific, Inc.) to suppress any weed growth and to prevent the sand from sinking into the dirt.

Note: The next step you take will depend on what material you are using to contain your sand.

If you are using wood planks or boards that necessitate being partially buried you will need to put them in place at this time.

Step 4: Fill in the hole with plaster sand. Troesh Coleman Pacific, Inc. is a local supplier.  

Step 5: If you didn’t already put your border in place, you can do so now. Simply line the edge of the play area with the material of our choosing (rocks/cobbles/logs etc.) You can cut away any excess fabric that may be exposed.

Step 6: Enjoy the outdoors while keeping the kids distracted for hours!

Build a Horseshoe Pit

When it comes to making a horseshoe pit you can keep it simple or get as complex and creative as you’d like by adding backboards and pitching platforms around the edges, etc. Here’s a guide on getting started with the basics. You can use various materials to contain your horseshoe pit, including cement blocks or old railroad ties, but the most popular choice is lumber. A standard horseshoe pit should be no smaller than 31”x 43” and no larger than 36”x 72” with the center stakes 40’ apart. Of course, you can adjust it to whatever you wish if you’re not concerned with meeting regulations. Once you have figured out your desired configuration you can start working on the pit.

Step 1: Assemble your boxes using fasteners appropriate for your chosen material.

Step 2: Mark the area where your boxes will be permanently positioned.

Step 3: Dig out enough ground to allow your boxes to be partially buried and to allow for adequate depth in your pit, about 4”-6”.

Step 4: Line your empty pits with landscape fabric (available at Troesh Coleman Pacific, Inc.) to prevent any weeds from making their way in.

Step 5: Put your boxes in place. Make sure they are at the desired distance and properly in line with each other.

Step 6: Set your stakes. You’ll want to place them at an angle leaning slightly towards each other.

Step 6: Once you have your boxes and stakes properly positioned, you can now fill in the pits with plaster sand. This variety of sand is a common choice and works well in this application. Troesh Coleman Pacific, Inc is your local supplier.

Step 7: Invite your friends and family over and get to playing!

Upgrade or Install a Dog Run

Did you know synthetic turf is great for dog runs? And, it’s much easier to install then you might think! With a bit of preparation and reasonable amount of labor you can have an exquisite area that even the dogs will be impressed with!

Step 1: Prepare your area. You’ll need to put down a base layer about 4”-6” thick. This may require you to remove some existing material to accommodate this depth.

Step 2: Fill in the area you prepared with base material. Class II Road Base from Troesh Coleman Pacific, Inc. is ideal as it allows for drainage while being extremely cost effective.

Step 3: Compact the base material using a vibrating plate, ensuring the surface it level.  

Note: You do not want to skimp on preparing the base. Proper preparation will ensure sufficient drainage and increase the longevity of your dog run.

Step 4: Lay a thin layer of beach sand on top of the base. You don’t need much, about.25” will be sufficient, but you must be sure you’re using this exact type of sand. Compromising on quality here will jeopardize your project; make sure you’re doing it right the first time by using the proper product. This layer is intended to eliminate any remaining dumps and ensure the surface is nice and smooth prior to laying your turf. You can find this type of sand at Troesh Coleman Pacific, Inc., your local retailer.

Step 5: Lay your turf directly on top of the sand, making sure you have it positioned exactly where you want it.

Step 6: Fasten down the outer edges of your turf using landscape staples, also found at Troesh Coleman Pacific, Inc.  

Step 7: Top your secured turf with a light dusting of the same beach sand. This helps to bring your turf to life and keep it secure to the ground.   

Step 8: Open the gate to the dog run for your dogs to enjoy!

For more information on these projects or any other ideas you might have, please contact our office 805-922-9993.  If you want to come down and talk to one of our staff members we are located at 2280 Hutton Road in Nipomo, right along the Santa Maria River.