How to Build Your Own Tennis Court

DIY Tennis Court: How to Build Your Own Tennis Court?

Have you ever considered the idea of having your own backyard tennis court? It is not as expensive or difficult to install than many people think, and in some cases it can be done with just one person working on their project. However there are several factors that should consider before deciding this route: The type and size – how much space does my yard offer me? What is my budget? What surface and size court do I want, hard or clay?

Questions You Should Ask Yourself

What Is Your Budget for this Project?

How much money one can spend on their tennis court depends largely on what type of materials that they want to build the court out of. If it is just a casual match with friends once in a while than your budget can be smaller than someone who wants to be able to play professional matches all the time.

What Surface? – Clay or Hard Court

The surface of your court will depend on what kind of court that you want. If you are hoping to compete with professionals then you should consider building a clay court, but not anyone can afford this. Some people build a hybrid court that offers both clay and hard surfaces. Always remember to consider the court surface when choosing your yard size because you don’t want it to be too small or too large for what you need.

Is Your Yard Big Enough?

The important thing to consider when deciding how big of a court you will need is The Right-Sized Court. Think about the surface type and what kind of court you want when deciding how much space your yard offers you for this project. The right sized court will be a surface that is not too small, but it won’t be so large that you can’t afford the space.

How Many People Will Need to Help? or Do You Have a Service Provider in Mind?

Another important factor is who will be helping with the project, if anyone at all. Someone who wants to do everything themselves may have a small budget, but if they are willing to hire out the labor it can be an affordable and rewarding project. If you don’t plan on spending anything than make sure you get help from friends and family when building your court.

How do I Make Sure that the Court Will Fit in My Yard?

The answer to this question is always, measure twice cut once! Measure each side of your yard and verify that you have enough room for your court. If not than find an alternate location or take measurements for other possible locations. It is important during this process to keep in mind the different widths and lengths of your court. The plans for this tennis court can be found here: DIY Tennis Court

Types of Tennis Court Surfaces

You can decide what kind of surface you want at your new backyard tennis court. If you are hoping to have a professional standard court than having a clay court is the way to go, but if it is just for casual play then there are also synthetic and hard courts.

Clay Court

The most labor-intensive option is a clay court. This will involve removing part of your lawn and bringing in sand and clay to cover the bare ground. After this, you’ll need to use a drag, similar to a sled with spikes on it to create grooves of different depths in the dirt. The ideal depth is around 2-5 inches deep depending on what kind of surface you want.

Hard Court

If you think this is too much work than consider a hard court surface. This requires 100% of your yard and can be made of concrete or asphalt. After pouring smooth cement over the entire patch, use a large roller to create an even surface for playing on. It may take several days before it is ready for play but it will be worth it!

Synthetic Grass Court

If you want a surface that is easy to maintain than consider synthetic grass. You can choose from many different grades and colors so it’s important to do research before deciding which one you will buy. Even though this option requires the least amount of maintenance, it may not be as durable for high-level tennis play.

Why Build Your Own Tennis Court in Your Yard?

There are many reasons that someone may choose to build a tennis court in their yard. If you want an easy way to get involved with the local community or stay active then this is a fun alternative to going to the gym, especially if you have family members who love playing too! A court can be a great place to meet new neighbors and friends as you share this fun pastime.

This is also the perfect opportunity to bond with your family members by working together to enhance your property. Building a court can be an inexpensive way to increase the value of your home and give you more space that is usable for recreational activities like playing tennis.

Moreover, having a court at home will help you feel relaxed each day. There is something special about being able to take your work stress out on the tennis ball and have fun with your family in the process.

What Do You Need To Build Your Own Personal Court?

Building tennis courts require a lot of patience and elbow grease. You need to find at least 120ft x 60ft space that’s not going make your current lawn or yard messy, then get it as close perfectly level with the ground for tennis balls will never begin rolling anywhere on this court!

A slope should be easy enough but when I say “perfectly”, think about how even one tiny bump could send things off into an unpredictable direction – which means you’ll want flat land here too if possible so no matter what happens everything stays put instead of rolling or bouncing off your court.

You will need a shovel, sod cutter, drag, level, string line & stakes, large roller and a backhoe if you have one available. The average cost for these items is around $550 so be prepared to spend this much money and potentially more – the larger the yard the more digging there will be and the more area you’ll want to cover with a hard surface.

How Much Does It Cost On Average?

The price that you pay for building your own tennis court will depend on many factors such as location, labor costs and how much digging needs to be done in order to clear out the land. Building a good concrete base surface to play on will generally cost around $3-$5 per square foot so you’ll need at least 120ft x 60ft space to build a regulation-size court.

This will cost around $7,500 with simple digging and leveling of the land for this size court which is actually very affordable when you consider that many people spend money on gas driving to public places just to play tennis. It is also much cheaper than building a public court at your local park or recreation center – not only that but you will also have the satisfaction of knowing it is your very own personal tennis court!

In the end, you have to add the costs of a fence, maybe some lighting, a tennis net, painting the court and painting lines on it. These would cost around $1,000-$2,000 dollars.

How Much Time It Takes To Build a DIY Court?

A tennis court can take around 10-15 days to build depending on the weather and terrain of your yard. Time also depends on how many people you have working on this project with you.

If I were to divide the labor into different parts throughout the completion of the job it would be as follows:

1. Preparing the ground & seeding – 2-3 days

2. Making a clay base, tamping it down and grading it out – 5-6 days

3. Laying down your hard court surface (if needed) 8 hours per day until it is finished. This will vary if you have a contractor or not to install the hard court surface for you.

4. Laying down your clay base and painting the lines – 2-3 days

5. Painting the court – 1 day

Here is an illustration:

1 person working for 15 days = 15 hours per day (9am – 7pm) for 5 consecutive days in a week = 75 hours x $15/hour = $1,125

2 people working for 15 days = 15 hours per day (9am – 7pm) for 5 consecutive days in a week = 150 hours x $15/hour = $2,250

As you can see, hiring workers to do the job may be expensive sometimes for some of us so it might be a better idea to work the land by yourself and save some money if you really want to have a DIY tennis court at your home.

Preparing Your Yard For A Tennis Court

A clean and smooth surface is the most important part of having a well-built tennis court. Clearing out any vegetation or rocks will be essential for leveling the land to make sure your hard court will last as long as possible before it begins to crack and break down.

Preparing your yard can take anywhere from days up to weeks depending on the amount of land you have to work with. You’ll want to mow or burn off any tall grass on the surface and clear out unwanted growth on the perimeter away from the court as well.

If there are trees growing on your yard, you will need to remove them before digging up your yard so be sure to think about this ahead of time before you start to break apart your yard.

Digging The Foundation For Your Court

The initial phase of building a tennis court is not too difficult but it can be hard on the back for some people with heavy digging, moving rocks and leveling the land in general. Be sure to wear protective eyewear when doing any kind of digging or cutting work outdoors.

A typical court will require at least 12 inches of clearance below the surface so if any trees are growing on your property, you may want to remove them before beginning to dig up your yard. To begin digging you will need an industrial strength shovel and leveler. Levelers can be rented from local building stores like “Lowes” or “Home Depot.”

Start by digging around the perimeter of your future court. You will want to dig down 8-10 inches using your shovel to break through any large roots or rocks that are in the way. Remove all rocks, gardening equipment and other objects from your yard which you find along the way.

Once you have dug down 8-10 inches, use your leveler to smooth out the surface and make sure it is completely leveled across the entire face of the court.

Make sure that you don’t miss any spots when leveling your land! A small hole will cause your tennis court to crack quickly.

Ensure that you remove all of the grass and other vegetation.

To avoid having anything growing up through your court surface or into your newly laid piping underneath it for years to come. If needed, rent a sod cutter which is an inexpensive piece of equipment that will make this job much easier on you.

After you have dug out your site, remove any rocks or roots that are in the way.

The digging alone will take 1-2 days to do this depending on how deep you need to go. After these items are removed, start leveling out your site until it is perfectly flat – all of the time and effort here will make for a solid court surface to start building your DIY tennis court on.

4. After you have leveled out the ground using a skid loader, compact the soil with a roller until it is completely flat and hard – this will take 2 days to do.

5. Place stakes in 4 corners of your site with string attached connecting them together to create your outline for your tennis court. Drive some nails into the stakes in order to create your boundary lines for your tennis court’s design layout.

Constructing The Concrete Surfacing For Your Tennis Court

Once you have built up your site with about 6 inches of concrete, it’s time to begin building the actual tennis court surface itself.

Before You Begin Building The Court Surface

For the base layer of your court, you will need to have a standard concrete paver supplier bring out three separate shipments of concrete materials in advance. Set up an appointment with them ahead of time so they can assist you when it’s time for delivery.

Be sure to call at least 2-3 days in advance when ordering your materials to ensure they are there on time.

Finally you have all the addons, installing a net, setting up lights, a fence, painting the court and painting lines on it all in all should take between 1 to 3 days depending on the amount of workers you have working.

It is important to set up your court at least a full 24 hours before painting it so that concrete can cure properly.

Tips For Building A Tennis Court

Work out your budget

Before you start your project. Make a list of supplies and materials that you will need before beginning the process, to get a good idea of what it will cost you.

Make a list of all the supplies, materials and equipment needed before you begin, this will give you an idea on what it will cost to complete – budget accordingly.

Choose your site carefully

You can’t underestimate the importance of getting a good spot for your new tennis court. A 120′ x 60″ area is recommended so you’ll have enough room to expand, but keep in mind that it may not always end up being exactly this size once construction starts! You should already know what obstacles are going around or near where playing fields will go before making any decisions about them – remove anything unnecessary now instead of waiting until things get worse than they need too (like removing trees).

The Standards of construction

Some tennis courts may require a technical drawing and submitting it for approval to the local governing body who can provide you with all of the specifications required. A standard tennis court measuring 20 feet by 44 feet, with a minimum of 9.5 inches for the base layer and 4 inches of play surface.

The Dimensions Of A Tennis Court

Court dimensions are 78ft x 27ft

Width: 27 ft (8.23 m) or 36 ft for doubles

Length: 78 ft (23 m)

Height of net: 3.5 ft (1.07 m)

Location near home is preferred- if the location chosen is not convenient for spectators to view matches, another court should be used instead

Choosing the right surface

The surface chosen will affect the cost of construction, so it is important to choose one that fits your budget. There are three types of surfacing materials, the most common is asphalt (cheapest), concrete (most expensive), and rubber surfaces (in-between).

The surface chosen will also affect the playing qualities of the court. Concrete has traditionally been used for this purpose, but in recent years many tennis clubs have opted to use decibel levels of play by using a rubber surface instead.

The most popular choice is asphalt- it is the cheapest, but it will require more maintenance later on. Rubber surfaces are becoming more and more popular as they offer a compromise of price, shock absorption and durability.

Seek professional advice

It is a good idea to seek the advice of a specialist on these matters, as it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Many companies offer professional installation services at affordable rates, so be sure to ask around before making any decisions.

Tennis Court Maintenance

After construction is completed your court can be used immediately. However, you will need to do some ongoing maintenance in order to get the most out of your investment.

Daily

On a daily basis try and sweep off any debris on the surface of the court, this keeps things dry and prevents weeds from growing. There are commercial products available for purchase or items found around the house can be used- kitty litter, sawdust and salt.

Weekly

Try and hydrate your asphalt court during the hot summer months- this will make it easier to maintain as there will be less cracks. Commercial products such as Slag (this can be found at hardware stores), or a thin layer of sand can be used for this purpose. You should also sweep off any debris that has been removed from the court.

Monthly

It is a good idea to apply a thin layer of sand on asphalt courts, as this will help make them easier to maintain and give players a better playing experience. You can also use a commercial product for this purpose – be sure not to apply too much or you’ll end up with a sand pit.

Every few months

You should try and apply a thin layer of oil on your asphalt court to prolong its life, especially during periods of high traffic – this will help prevent cracking from occurring so often. You can use either motor oil or commercial products for this purpose. Also sweep off any debris that has been removed from the court.

Which Surface is Best: Clay, Hard, or Grass?

Choosing the right surface for your court is very important. There are many things to consider such as:

-The surrounding area of the yard; trees, grass, hillsides and other obstructions will affect how much sun reaches certain areas through out day.

-Your budget; clay courts tend to be more expensive than hard courts due to the amount of work it takes to maintain the court.

-Constant use; how often will you be able to play or practice? If not very often, then perhaps your time and money would be better spent on a grass or hard surface with artificial lighting.

-Tournaments & Activities: What types of activities are scheduled for your yard, will you have time to put the court in for certain events?

-Maintenance: Clay courts require constant maintenance, which can be costly. Hard surfaces are around $5 per square foot with installation, and grass is about $3 per square foot. A tennis court requires almost 7,000 feet of sod plus sand base for clay courts.

-Space: Think about the amount of room you have in your yard. Obviously, you need enough space to put up a net and mark off lines (lines can be 1/4″ rope or paint lines), but keep in mind that you need space for footwork practice behind the baseline, which means more court real estate.

-Suitability: Do you have clay in your soil? If so, then clay courts are much cheaper to install. If not, there are many alternatives for your court surface.

The most suitable surfaces are hard courts which are commonly made of asphalt or concrete.

How to Draw Your Lines

120’ x 60′ isn’t the only size of the court that can be used. You’ll need to paint a 120″x60″, but what if you want something different? Well, there’s no limit when it comes down to Colors! The best part about our homesite tennis courts though – besides being able to use them all over-is each one has its own personality and style so they’re really perfect for you depending on how much Money you have or What types preferences are.

The pristine playing surface measures approx. 120′ long and 60′ wide, which gives you plenty of leeway if you have a minimum of 120′ x 60′ of space to work with.

To position your lines precisely, start by laying out the net at the 39 ft mark in the court’s middle.

The doubles spaced line should be 39 feet long and 4.5 feet wide.

The doubles sideline should be at least 78 feet long.

The length of each ad court and deuce box should be 21 feet by 13.5 feet.

Installing the Net

Installing the net is a nice finish to your whole DIY project and can be very fun. You have a great video here explaining how to do that easily from the guys at Do It Tennis, explaining it greatly.

It is important to place the net in a static and stable place so it will be in place for long years instead of having to worry about it moving around after a couple of months.

Find A Contractor

It is always good to have a contractor carrying the project, they are the best at this job and they know how to handle all the machinery used during the construction process.

There are many companies that can do your project or you can call some yard owners around you and ask if there is anyone who would like to help you building your home tennis court.

It is essential to hire a contractor with experience in this type of work, they will save you time and money by doing the job quickly.

Remember that with your contractor you can split the final price according to your budget and how much materials you already bought before starting the construction process.

Final Thoughts

Remember that home tennis courts are very important for the sport, they keep you healthy and give you a special outdoor activity to enjoy with your family. Also, always ask help from professionals if you don’t know how to do certain things next time. Good luck!

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