Ice Rink Construction

Ice rink construction needn't scare you off this year. Because building your own backyard ice rink can be simple, especially when the pre-construction decisions are made. See Build Your Own Ice Rink for more information.

This Ice Rink Construction page will take you step by step through backyard ice rink construction using a rink liner.

If you've decided you want a refrigerated ice rink, click here, or contact us for more information.

If you like the idea of year round synthetic ice rinks, click here, or contact us for more information.

Build a Backyard Ice Rink

We promised you that ice rink construction is simple. It is!

  • You'll first locate the level space in which you will place your ice rink. Note that a little slope is okay, and you can compensate for it by using taller framing boards on the lower side of the space. If the slope is substantial, then spring and summertime are great for clearing and leveling the space to within a few inches of slope.
  • Begin building your ice rink by framing the perimeter of your ice rink with 2x6 boards, or wider, up to 2x12 boards. You'll fasten the boards together with inexpensive metal framing plates. If you'd like, you can angle the cuts on the boards at any angle that best frames your location.
  • Water is very heavy, which makes the joints between the boards the weakest areas of ice rink construction. You can strengthen the perimeter with rink brackets, either homemade or commercially constructed. You can even use 1'x2'x16" landscaping spikes or rebar pounded into the ground to support the boards.
  • Once the perimeter is set up, it is time to lay out the plastic rink liner. This job will be easier and more fun when two people work together.
  • Two considerations: First, ice rink construction is fastest and easiest when you purchase a rink liner that will cover the entire rink in one piece. Plus include a few extra feet in both length and width so you can cover the boards with the plastic as well.

    Seriously, this one choice will keep you happy all winter long. If the ice softens in the middle of winter, a 1-piece liner with no leaks means you'll be right back out on the ice the minute the rink re-freezes.
  • Second is timing. Lay out the lining just a day or two before the weather drops below freezing for good, meaning 3 days in a row. This is so that leaves and debris don't blow into your ice rink. If some do, remove them before adding water. (Dark leaves under the ice tend to soak up the sun's rays and soften the ice...not a good thing when you want to skate on that ice.)
  • Once you've smoothed the ice rink liner across the space and up and over the perimeter boards, secure the lining to the outside of the ice rink. This can be accomplished by a few staples, by some strategically placed rocks pinning the plastic to the ground, or both.
  • You no doubt consulted the weatherman carefully, possibly even repeatedly, during this process! If he or she was prescient, the weather will soon drop well below freezing. It's ice-time! Turn on the hose and let 'er rip. Fill the space 1-2 inches at a time allowing the layers to freeze before putting in the next layer.

Depending on the weather, your rink should be ready for skating in around 3 days!

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