Steps For Building a Grass Tennis Court

Last updated on September 25th, 2022

Having a tennis court of your own is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones.  

It’s an excellent way to get outside, enjoy nature, and exercise regularly. And if you’re ever bored, you can always invite friends over and play! 

Here are some essential considerations for building a grass court for tennis. 

1. Preparing The Surface For A Grass Tennis Court 

Before you start laying the grass, there are several steps that you need to take to ensure that it is level.  

Some of these steps are:  

  • Choosing a site for the grass tennis court,  
  • preparing the surface,  
  • choosing a sub-base, and
  • leveling the surface.   

You can also choose a drain pipe that tilts one to two inches. Once these steps are complete, you will be able to start laying the court! 

The first step to constructing a grass tennis court is to prepare the surface. The grass must be removed carefully from the surface of the ground. This procedure should be done in squares that are about 15 to 18 inches in size.  

Ensure that the area is kept moist and partially shaded to avoid damaging the sod. Then, spade the soil to an appropriate depth and level it out. Fill in depressions with dirt. 

Then, it is time to mark the area. Start from the perimeter and work inwards. If necessary, use spray paint to make the lines visible.   

It is important to secure the corner points as they are likely to be displaced by heavy rain storms.  

In addition to stakes, small posts should be driven into the ground to prevent trip hazards. White paint can be used on clay courts to make them recognizable.  

Since grass is not suitable for white paint, you can also use portable white marking tape. 

Once this is done, install the perimeter fence and secure it with cement. Then, bring a layer of synthetic grass and roll it out on the foundation. You can use adhesive and secured tapes to secure the layer.  

Then, the surface of the court is ready for use. It will need some constant maintenance but is well worth it in the long run. Once the surface is completed, you can install the net and play tennis. 

The grass for a grass tennis court should be approximately 19mm high. The shorter the grass, the better the playing surface will be. However, shorter grass requires more maintenance.  

Grass courts require careful maintenance and care. Regular mowing is required to prevent it from becoming too dry. The grass should also be fertilized to avoid the appearance of brown or dry grass.  

If the grass is too dry or has a high moisture content, it can cause a safety hazard for players. If this happens, you should call a tennis court contractor to make repairs. 

2. Choosing A Sub-base 

Choosing the right sub-base is essential for a good surface. A hard, flat sub-base is vital for tennis courts.  

A variation of five to six millimeters is ideal, and the more stable the sub-base, the better the quality of the court.  

A grass tennis court does not cover the imperfections of a sub-base, and any white lines or cracks in the sub-base will be visible. 

Grit, a top layer material, is a relatively inexpensive and foot-friendly option but does take longer to install. 

The choice of the surface depends on the desired surface, site conditions, and engineering.  

  • Asphalt is cheaper to build than concrete, but it is not as durable.  
  • Concrete courts require less maintenance but are much harder and will have a longer life expectancy. Concrete surfaces require a two-component primer and require a higher initial cost.  

Also, they will need to be resurfaced periodically to maintain their uniformity. 

Choosing a sub-base for sand or grass tennis courts can be a tedious process, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for.  

The first step is to determine what type of sub-base will work best for your court.  

A base layer is typically about 14 to 28 millimeters thick and should be about 150 millimeters below the surface.  

The foundation layer will also contain a drainage feature to keep the court stable. 

When constructing a tennis court, sub-base construction is an integral part of the project. Quality sub-base construction will ensure a smooth installation and a great playing experience.  

When choosing a sub-base, you should always choose a company that has experience in building roads. Because the sub-base is similar to a road, it is a good idea to choose a company that specializes in road construction in your area. 

To level the surface, it is necessary to remove all of the existing soil, plane, or tilt the natural sub-soil level and tighten it with a specific roller.  

A minimum of 2.5 tons of material should be installed to keep the sub-base stable. A thin layer of crushed stone can make the surface unstable. 

3. Leveling The Surface 

A consistent and flat surface is crucial to a high-quality grass tennis court. The thickness of the sub-base varies depending on the surface material and the quality of the sub-base.  

A variation of 5-6 mm is recommended. Generally, a stable sub-base will provide a better quality of the surface.  

Artificial grass cannot hide sub-base defects, and they will be visible under the white lines.  

A more affordable and foot-friendly alternative to artificial grass is grit as a top layer material. However, it takes longer to install than artificial grass. 

The first step in leveling the surface of a grass tennis court is removing any existing obstructions. This step is tedious but is crucial if you want to have a great playing surface.  

In leveling the surface of a grass tennis court, the next step is to remove the old turf and overturn the dirt to reveal fresh dirt. This step may expose rocks or other obstructions.  

Raking the playing area will help remove these. 

One simple way to make a grass tennis court more firm is to roll it. This method also helps to prevent loose top dressing material from building up.  

This step is particularly important if you have recently come out of winter. If you live in a freeze-thaw climate, daily rolling your court is the best option.  

Afterward, you can repeat the process until the desired playing conditions are achieved. 

If you don’t want to deal with the mud that comes from mowing the grass, you can opt for a different surface.  

Most tennis courts are made of asphalt, but the colors may be grass green or a combination of red and green. To install the color surface, you will need to flood the court and allow it to drain.  

The surface should be free of any depressions or ridges more than one-eighth inch deep. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. 

After clearing the area, the next step in constructing a grass tennis court is preparing the ground for planting the grass. You should remove any debris and other vegetation, such as trees and rocks.  

You may want to get a pickaxe to dig out large rocks and other debris. After preparing the surface, you must wait for the seeds to grow. If the grass doesn’t grow well, you will have to start the process again from scratch. 

4. Choosing A Site 

The location of your grass tennis court is essential to determining the best playing surface for your facility. The best orientation is east-west or north-south.  

An east-west orientation reduces the glare from the sun. A south-facing orientation allows for more sunlight during the day, but a north-south orientation can also reduce the wind effect.  

The ASBA recommends a north-south orientation as it will provide a balance between early morning and late afternoon sun. 

Choosing a site for your grass tennis court can be a complex process. It would help if you considered local council regulations and any permits you need to build the court.  

You must also take into account any neighbors, as you will want to get their consent before moving ahead. Fortunately, professional tennis court builders will assist you with all of the red tapes!  

The site must have a good slope for proper drainage. The subgrade should be relatively level and higher than the adjacent land.  

In some cases, it may be necessary to install an underground drainage system, according to ASBA guidelines. You can choose from French drains, gravel-filled trenches, and geocomposites.  

A good base is made of asphalt concrete. In addition, the site should be free of trees and other vegetation that could obstruct the drainage system. 

When choosing a site for a grass tennis court, it is important to consider various surface types and play speeds. Make sure your contractor understands the different types of grass and the corresponding requirements for a court.  

Also, you must take into consideration the slope and size of the court. Special considerations include the texture of the surface and the type of concrete finish required for color coating.  

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