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Tips & Tricks

If your yard is currently way out of level you may want to do something about it. You have a couple choices on this matter.

 

You could basically bring in new topsoil and grade your yard, use some other materials to raise the liner so you don't use as much water, or find a new location for your rink.

Grading your yard is the most permanent fix to the problem. It is also the most labor intense. You will have to remove the existing grass (using a sod cutter or killing it), bring in the new topsoil, spread the top soil and finally replant your grass, reseed your yard or bring in new sod. I have gone through this process and I can say that it was A LOT of work. I can not get a bobcat of any kind in my yard due to a wall out front and a fence around the rest of the yard, so when I say "manual" I mean it. To get a glimpse @ the manual process of leveling your yard in preparation for a "more level" backyard rink, see the "Off-season 07" article.

Using some material to raise the liner is a little less intense, but will need to be done every year. You can use bags of sand, mulch or whatever else you may have or need. I use mulch bags to raise the liner. The bags I used for the 06-07 season were spread around the yard in the spring, so this was not an "extra" expense for me. Others have used bags of salt or sand. I have also heard of people using pallets with plywood on top of them to raise the ground. You could also use styrofoam sheets. Whatever you use you want to try to use something that can be reused each year or something you need anyway that doesn't add to the cost of your rink on an annual basis.

Finding a new location is a suggestion, but for most of us our rinks can only go where they are, so not really a good solution. In my case I am using the most level area of my yard and that has an 18 inch slope to it over 30', so another area of my yard would cause me more issues than I am prepared to deal with.

The key to having your rink is to make sure you have a true idea how level or not level your yard is and then find a way to overcome it. Checkout the article on "leveling your rink" as this will prove to be critical in your building process

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