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Building a Sandbox in Milwaukee?

With two small girls and a new home, we decided to replace the pretty small sand table we’d been using with a proper sandbox. Eight feet square and a foot deep, it should be big enough to allow both girls plenty of room to play without getting on top of each other.

So after I build the frame, and dug out the grass underneath to give it some depth, I considered the problem of how to get sand. Filling a sandbox is not that easy.

First there’s the quality of the sand. Sandbox sand isn’t just any sand. It needs to be washed so that it doesn’t stain clothing too much. It needs to be only fines so that it’s soft. Torpedo sand, which is pretty common has lots of little rocks in it – not really fun to play with.

Second is the fact that sand is very heavy stuff. I needed about 2 cubic yards to fill my box, and that’s about 5400 pounds, or about 10 trips to the quarry in my pickup truck. No fun. I could buy it in 50lb bags, but at $1.79 a bag, plus delivery charges, it costs $193. Yikes!

So we started calling people who could deliver it – just looked up “sand” in the yellow pages. Fortunately, we got a call back from a guy named Dennis Pinter who does this kind of work. I say fortunately, because Dennis was the man with a plan.

Everyone else we talked to was going to just dump the sand in a big pile at the end of our driveway. I would then have to shovel it into my wheelbarrow and haul it back to the sand box. We’re talking about 20+ wheelbarrow loads, and probably 5 minutes to load each one. Then, when the box was full, I would have probably still a large pile of sand to get rid of. The people who deliver it don’t come and take it back 😎

Dennis had a better idea. With his mid-sized truck he just backed into my driveway, tilted the box, and using the small doors in the back of the truck we just dumped the sand directly into the wheelbarrows. He brought one and helped move the sand as part of the deal. He was not the cheapest, but he was by far the best value and still cheaper than bags. Can you imagine what a garbage pile 108 empty bags would be?

After about 30 minutes we’d filled the box with just the right amount, with no big pile left for me to clean up. The sand he brought was excellent as well.

So if you’re planning to build a sandbox this spring and need sand, give Dennis a call: (262) 251-8240. Tell him Steve Duncan sent you.

1 comment… add one
  • jim shane May 30, 2008, 3:49 pm

    Thanks for the advice on Dennis Pinter. I did give him a call for a sandbox i was building. He was amazed that i found out about him from a blog (what’s that?). I told him i just did a google search on SANDBOX SAND MILWAUKEE and this site came up. You were so positive on Dennis that i called. When i first called a few weeks ago, i hadn’t dug out the sandbox – i was just calling to get the details. By the time i called him back last week, he said he got a lot of calls mentioning this blog. He said he should probably rethink his advertising in the yellow pages. He brought his sand yesterday. The whole process was a easy as you mention here. I send that you should give Dennis a call if you are building a sandbox. (or need gravel for that matter)

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