1. Sports - What Sports Do You Want to Play?
To a large extent, what you play will determine the size of court you need. As many as 15 games can be played on a standard mid-sized multipurpose game court. Shifting from one to another is typically very easy and fast.
If basketball is your family’s primary sport, a 3 point line may be important. At 19 ½ feet from the rim, a full 3-point line requires a court at least 25x45 feet to allow a player to shoot from behind the line.
A court size of 30x60 feet allows for full court volleyball. The basketball hoop is often placed in the middle of the 60 foot side and used as the volleyball net post. This configuration allows for half court basketball with full court volleyball and other net sports on the same court.
Your court size is all up to you. You can create the best backyard environment possible with a few other considerations:
- How old are your children?
- What sports are they currently involved in?
- What sports do you see them playing in the future?
- Do you play sports as well?
2. Space - How Much Space Is Available for Building a Court?
- Generally a court cannot be built inside your property’s setback lines
- Setbacks vary by town and zones within each town
- Some towns limit the amount of lot coverage allowed by zone
- Most towns consider non-permeable surfaces as “coverage”
- Many courts are built on asphalt or concrete
- Courts can't be built over septic systems
- Most towns will not allow a court to be built near wetlands
- The largest flattest space will require the least amount of preparation
- The court should be placed far enough from large trees that roots will not be an issue
3. Permits - Do You Need a Permit to Build?
Your town may require a permit to build your dream court, so:
- Start Early — getting the proper permits almost always takes longer than expected
- Involve Your Contractor — our contractors will help you navigate the process
- Find Your Property Site or Plot Plan — it can tell you a lot
4. Contractor - What Contractor Should I Use?
Building a court is a unique major construction project in your backyard. Choosing the right contractor is critical.
- You cannot afford to use anyone unlicensed or uninsured
- Your contractor should provide you with drawings or plans
- Contractors should help with permitting process
- Ask to see their work — experience matters
- Ask how many courts they have built
- Ask them if this is their primary business or a sideline
- Check them out
5. Access - How Will the CourtBuilder Access My Backyard?
- Most fencing can be taken down and put back up to allow access
- If you are using concrete as your base, a pump truck can be used to reach the court site from a reasonable distance
6. Sub Base - How Will the CourtBuilder Prepare the Sub Base?
The contours of your property will determine the amount of work required to create a large flat area.
- Sod will be stripped away
- The court site will be leveled, often with a “cut and fill” (dirt will be moved from one end of the court to the other to level out the surface area)
- If there is a large change in elevation from one end of the site to the other, a retaining wall may be necessary
- Courts collect and direct a lot of water, so drainage must be considered
- If drainage is required for your permit, it will be installed first
- A crushed stone base of 4” is put down and compacted
- Then the site will be ready for the base of your court to be built
7. Base - What Will CourtBuilders Use for a Base?
The base is the hard flat surface where your court will be built.
- Generally bases are built with concrete or asphalt, though other options exist
- Concrete done right is permanent and will not require any maintenance
- Asphalt will deteriorate with repeated freeze thaw cycles and at some point will require repair and maintenance
- Compacted base (made by layering smaller and smaller stone and compacting the layers) will be permeable and requires some maintenance
- Modular bases require no concrete or asphalt and are very permeable
8. Athletic Surface - Why Is a Modular Surface Better?
Concrete or asphalt can be painted to look nice, but the surface doesn't provide any cushioning. Many people apply acrylics to these surfaces, but they offer only a very small layer of protection. Modular surfaces, on the other hand, are designed and engineered to absorb shock and allow water to safely pass through them and flow off the court. They keep athletes safer and ease wear on your body.
9. Manufacturer - Who Manufactures My Court?
It's important to know your manufacturer is the very best. Make sure you know the answers to these questions:
- Where is the product made?
- What sort of quality control processes do they have?
- How long have they been in business?
- How many courts do they have installed?
- How do they look after a few years?
- What is their distribution strategy? Who sells, installs and repairs?
10. Warranty - What Are the Different Warranties for Different Surfaces?
Things can go wrong with any surface. Be sure to read the fine print on any warranty to ensure yourself a long, happy relationship with your new court.
- Generally there are no warranties on paint
- Acrylic surfaces may offer some warranty, but not long, as acrylic must be reapplied every few years
- Modular surfaces offer a range of warranties, often 10 years or more
- Has the manufacturer been in business longer than their warranty period?
- Really, read the fine print