Not your father’s bounce house. At least not when he was a kid.

Summer Birthday Parties and kid events here’s how to make them the talk of the town!

Bounce Houses come in all sizes and shapes. Determining which bounce house is right for your party will depend on the space you have available, the age of your guests, and whether your party is indoors or outdoors. From simple character themed bounce houses to giant obstacle courses and slides, there is something available for everyone.

We offer safety information and suggestions for what to expect when renting a bounce house or other piece of inflatable equipment. We are currently offering a bounce house promotion. Your very own stimulous party program to get you going. Check it out.

Choosing the right bounce house company

Most people when shopping for a bounce house rental company look for the company with the cheapest price. This is not necessarily the best idea. Cheap may mean dirty or old equipment. It also may mean that the company you are doing business with has not filed their business paperwork or have insurance. A well run bounce house company will deliver on time or call if they are delayed. They will make sure that the bounce house is situated in a safe and accessible location and has been properly cleaned. They will properly secure the bounce house and make sure it is running properly before they leave.

Cleanliness means that the bounce house is clean and has no off odor. Bounce houses can really stink if they are put away wet. The sour rancid smell is noticeble, but can be removed on all vinyl portions of the bounce house with appropriate cleaners. If your bounce house seems dirty or smells, ask the delivery person to clean it. They should have cleaning supplies on hand. Some bounce houses have rope mesh where surface cleaning will not eliminate the odor. If you find that the delivery person cannot clean your bounce house to your satisfaction, you may decline the delivery. Under these conditions, you should not have to pay for the delivery. If you have paid a deposit in advance, the delivery person may not have the ability to refund you.

Selecting the right piece of equipment

When selecting inflatable equipment for your party, you’ll want to consider the age of your guests. It’s not a good idea to allow a wide range of ages to use a bounce house or using a piece of inflatable equipment at the same time. Smaller children have a hard time bouncing with larger children.

You’ll also want to determine whether you have the space for a particular bounce house. This includes the height of the bouncer. You don’t want to conflict with trees or overhead wires. If you setting up in a building most bouncers are taller than the ceiling height of a typical room in your home. A cathedral ceiling may work, but you will want to measure to be absolutely sure. You’ll also need space around the bouncer to allow for staking or sandbagging. Most bounce house companies do not want there bounce house running into walls or fences. So allow plenty of room considering that bounce houses can sway a bit. Locate the bounce house where little bare foot or socked feet will not have to run over difficult terrain.

If you are renting a water slide or other water feature, you’ll want to be prepared for the runoff. Most water slides require that water run continually. If this water can’t drain away quickly enough you’ll end up a with pool of water which will quickly form into a muddy mess.

Let the company know what surface you plan to set the bouncer on, so that they can tell you if it is appropriate or not. Many companies refuse to set up on sand, gravel, or dirt.

Setting Up and Choosing a Location

You’ll also want to determine whether you have the space for a particular bounce house. This includes the height of the bouncer. You don’t want to conflict with trees or overhead wires. If you are setting up in a building, most bouncers are taller than the ceiling height of a typical room in your home. A cathedral ceiling may work, but you will want to measure to be absolutely sure. You’ll also need space around the bouncer to allow for staking or sandbagging. Most bounce house companies do not want their bounce house running into walls or fences. So allow plenty of room considering that bounce houses can sway a bit. Locate the bounce house where little bare foot or socked feet will not have to run over difficult terrain. Do not plan to place a bounce house or other piece of inflatable party equipment on a slope. They were designed to be operated on level ground. If you don’t have a large enough level area, consider relocating your party to a local park or someone else’s backyard.

If you are renting a water slide or other water feature, you’ll want to be prepared for the runoff. Most water slides require that water run continually. If this water can’t drain away quickly enough you’ll end up a with pool of water which will quickly form into a muddy mess.

Let the company know what surface you plan to set the bouncer on, so that they can tell you if it is appropriate or not. Many companies refuse to set up on sand or gravel. Parking lots are usually fine if there area is free from oil spots that could get tracked into the bounce house. Most bounce house companies provide a tarp to go between the ground and bouncer. They do this to protect their bounce house.

Determine whether you have electricity available for the bounce house blower. Bounce house blowers can be plugged into most 3-prong electrical outlets. Don’t use more than one extension cord and make sure that the cords for water slides are well away from any water. If you don’t have electricity near where the bouncer will be positioned, you may run one extension cord. Usually the bounce house company can supply this. If electricity is not available, most companies will rent you a generator for an additional charge.

How Does Delivery Work?

Even if a setup or delivery fee is charged it often pays to have a company deliver your bounce house. The equipment is heavy and unwieldy. Moving it into position can be a challenge, which usually requires a heavy dolly and a lot of muscle. You’ll also be assured of proper set up if the company representative sets the bounce house up. Some companies offer a discount for picking up and dropping of the bounce house yourself. You’ll most likely need a pickup truck since even small bouncers can be 6 feet long and 2-3 feet in diameter when wrapped properly. You’ll have to rewrap the bouncer, which is an acquired skill to get it as small as it originally came. Weigh the extra cost of having the company set up against a possible back injury from hoisting several hundred pounds into the bed of a pickup truck.

Plan on an extra delivery charge if you require delivery outside of the city or town where the company is located. Companies may also charge for set up on sand, which is very hard on bounce houses, or dirt, which often requires greater effort to clean the bounce house. If a bounce house company fails to deliver a bounce house on time, they may offer a discount on the fee. Make sure that the company has a phone number they can call if they are unable to find your address. Even in the age of MapQuest this still happens.

Ask about the cancellation policy of the company. In particular, you’ll want to know whether they charge for cancelling for weather. Most companies will charge you a delivery fee if you cancel once they get on site even if the problems are weather related. It’s up to you to cancel especially when the delivery is coming from another city or town. Some bounce houses will call to confirm you delivery date and time. If you don’t receive such a call the day before or the Friday before a weekend party date, call the company to confirm your reservation. Reservations can be lost or mixed up.

Do I Have to Pay a Deposit?

This will vary according to where you are located. Some companies require a deposit. Usually this is a set fee or 25% of the rental. Make sure you understand the terms of any deposit and all the fees you will be charged.

What if I Damage the Bounce House?

If the bounce house is damaged, you will be expected to pay for repairs. Don’t allow children to use silly string anywhere near a bounce house. It damages the vinyl and you could be in for a sizable repair bill. Most often problems arise because bounce houses are not properly supervised. An adult should always be visually monitoring the bounce house or inflatable equipment. This is true even for parties involving teenagers. Teenagers are the most likely users to break rules and do dangerous stunts. They often feel that an inflatable slide or other piece of equipment is their opportunity to do extreme stunts in safety. Bounce houses and inflatable equipment were not designed for extreme stunts. It is NOT safe to misuse them.

Your responsibilities

If your bounce house company is insured, that means they are responsible for any accidents where they are at fault either through faulty equipment or improper setup. If they have provided a monitor or referee for the bouncer, their liability is also greater. You are responsible to monitor the bounce house, so any other accidents are your fault. Use common sense. If the delivery staff of the company is attempting to set up your bounce house in a dangerous spot, it’s your job to say something. We’ve seen companies set up bouncers where they would have continually banged against overhead wires. You’re also responsible for removing children and deflating a bounce house if the wind becomes too strong. Don’t operate a bounce house when wind is gusting or steady at 25 MPH or greater. For a complete list of safety suggestions, read our Safety Rules page. No one wants to have children injured at a party, so whether you have company representative monitoring the equipment or not, you should keep an eye on things. It’s just common sense.

Book the party people will talk about for years to come and make your child a hero to his friends! Your very own stimulus party program to get you going. Check it out.