We recently installed a mulched area for a swing set. "Get rid of the mud!" was the war cry. No price necessary - just do the work while we're out of town! So we did. You can see where this one is going. The customer didn't give me too much flack about the price - but he wasn't thrilled either. I like having estatic and thrilled customers - not indifferent or disappointed. We installed an 18' x 20' play area, with 4" x 6" x 8' ties, two high - so we could pin the corners and overlap the joints. Much like building a retaining wall, the first course always takes the longest. We pinned the base course in a few places where we knew the upper course would not pin through (didn't want 40 holes through the top course). Bottom line is this... I hate installing these little play set areas because the customer doesn't see the time into the job. The value isn't there for $1,500 or more depending on size, materials and labor. Is there a way to install these type of "structures" more quickly - or is it just a pita? We decided to set up string lines to make sure we were square across the area and we set the approximate level of the top tie with the string line. Since there was no footer/base material, we set close to level, but not perfect. Heck, afterall this is just for a play set. Since we get a call to do a couple of these a year, I'd like to try and do these less expensively if possible. Any thoughts/comments would be appreciated. Thanks.