How Much Does it Cost to Build Your Own Basketball Court

A well designed and well built basketball court can have a wide price range. The minimum price tag for an outdoor court seems to be in the $5 500.00 area however if you were to do most of the work yourself you may be able to cut that down a bit. 

The type of material being used for the flooring and its location is the main factor in determining price. An indoor, full court, hardwood floor on top of concrete is going to be far more expensive than a half court concrete pad in your side yard. 

Don’t forget that when making decisions on your courts design, to consider the Cost Per Use Analysis from Chapter 1. 

There are a number of pre-building costs that should be considered as these types of expenses can quickly increase the overall price tag of your court. 

Permits

Many municipalities require homeowners to apply for permits to build these type of larger structures. Make sure you check with your city office prior to contacting a builder or beginning any work. This helps ensure you aren’t breaking any rules that may result in fines or the tearing down of work already in progress. 

As an example, construction permits at my local office are approximately $100.00 but this will vary by area and municipality.

Clearing Land

For a half size court your looking to clear a minimum 60 feet by 40 feet for an outdoor court. You can expect to pay anywhere between $500 to $2 000 per acre of land for a lightly wooded lot depending on the company. This means small shrubs, very thin trees and brush. A more heavily wooded area with lots of mature trees will cost substantially more. Your going to be seeing estimates between $3 000 and $6 000 per acre at least, for these more dense areas. 

If we overestimate on our half court area and opt to clear a space 65 feet x 65 feet we come up with 4225 square feet. Converted to acres that’s approximately 0.1 acre. So for a lightly treed area that would cost about $200 to $600 though there may be a higher minimum charge especially if they have to take away the trees. When ready, have a tree removal company come and give you a full estimate.

Excavating

If you’re building a court alongside a new home, getting the excavating crew to dig the court area at the same time as they dig the foundation of the home can provide substantial savings. The same can often be said for digging a swimming pool. Combining projects allows for a more efficient timeline as well. 

The excavation work will be done similar to that of a driveway where asphalt is laid on top of gravel creating a raised surface. It can also be excavated similar to a patio area where we would dig down 12 inches plus and backfill with gravel then concrete. 

There are a number of suitable ways to accomplish this and much of the process will be determined by your contractor and location. 

Tamping and Leveling

A solid foundation that allows moisture to escape and protects from small changes in grade is a key element to the longevity of your court. If you are simply laying a patio area on top of various sizes of gravel, ensure that the tamping is thorough and that you have ample depth of gravel acting as protection. Too much is better than too little in this case. 

The cost of laying the gravel and tamping to create a solid base will vary depending on the cost of gravel in your area. As an example, in my area the cost of gravel is approximately $1.50 to $2.00 US per square foot. 

General Labor

The amount of labour it takes to complete the task of laying hardwood properly, pouring cement or excavating plays a major role in the overall cost of the court. It will take far longer and require far more man power to lay each piece of hardwood, sand it and seal it that to have a crew pour a pad of asphalt or lay some form of quick-click sports flooring. 

Climate Control

Heating and cooling an indoor area the size of a basketball court is no simple task. Proper air flow, moisture control and temperature adjustment are essential to the longevity and comfort your court can provide you. 

Talk to an HVAC professional in your area about ERV/HRV systems and other suitable options for your gym. It’s important this step be completed by a competent professional. Heating and cooling a gym is a bit different than heating and cooling a home as you are creating a lot of excess heat as you exercise and you want the room to be able to compensate and regulate for that. 

Lighting

Lighting is in my opinion, one of the more important aspects to a solid and usable indoor or outdoor court. Being able to play in the evening can really add to the enjoyment of owning a private court and increase the amount of use your court can get. 

It can take a lot of energy to light a large indoor court and can be even harder for an outdoor court. Luckily with the development of high efficiency LED flood lighting a lot of the cost of running larger lighting units has fallen sharply. Consider incorporating a timer into your lighting system so that your lights go off after your in bed in the event you forget and leave them on. 

What should we be looking for in a lighting system? Well some of that depends on what sports you would like incorporated into the court. For example, if you want to be able to play basketball as well as hockey, pickleball, badminton or volleyball you need a broad spectrum light that will evenly illuminate the court without leaving darker areas. Notice in the photo below the shadows and uneven light distribution. We want to do our best to limit these potential distractions.

We also want to ensure bright lighting that will allow the players ample time to react. A tennis ball for example is small and when traveling quickly across the court may be difficult to track and see if your lighting is poor. A tennis ball also travels a bit high at times before returning to the court. You want to make sure the ball will be well illuminated while flying in the air as well so that each player can react to its trajectory. 

When dealing with lighting specifically designed for basketball we want to add in hoop area lights that really illuminate the net. We want to get rid of any shadows caused by odd placed lighting that may make shooting at the net difficult. 

Don’t forget to plan your lighting in a way that makes your playing space inviting and fun. Additional lighting for pathways to your court or speciality lighting for seasonal holidays can be a great addition and make your court even more appealing and attractive.

Flooring

There are many different flooring options whether you decide on an indoor court or an outdoor one. Here are some pricing ideas that may help with your decisions and planning.

Synthetics

Synthetic surfaces such as rubber or polymer based tiles have come a long way over the last number of years. The price associated with them has come down a fair bit in the same time period, making them a more economically feasible option. 

That being said it can still cost upwards of $30 000 to install a polymer surface over a full size court. 

Concrete Surface

Concrete runs somewhere in the $1.30 to $2.00 per square foot range for the material itself and another $3.00 to $9.00 for labour. Concrete will last a very long time however it can be very hard on your knees.

Asphalt Surface

Asphalt is slightly more expensive for the material (although the price has been increasing as of late) and is around $4.00 to $5.00 per square foot right now. Labour for this type of work is a bit cheaper running around $4.00 to $6.00 on average. 

Asphalt or blacktop can be hard on your basketball and will leave your hands very dirty after playing. 

Asphalt is a bit more forgiving on the knees than a concrete playing surface would be. 

Hardwood

Maple hardwood is the traditional flooring used in gyms around the world but it is not a cheap option. The wood itself can run from $4.50 per sq foot to $7.20 per sq foot. Installation is not easy either which drives up labor costs. They can run anywhere from $4.00 to $10.00 per sq foot.

Vapor Barrier

When using hardwood flooring it is always important to offer some sort of protection from moisture that may seep through future cracks in concrete. Normally a hardwood gym floor would actually be two layers of wood laid in opposite directions so there is additional protection and cushioning. This may not be necessary for a home court. If you do opt for the traditional it can also mean some additional expense for the underlying wood. 

Basketballs

The cost of a high quality basketball can range from $50.00 for a composite ball to $150.00 for a leather pro ball. If you’re going to be investing all this money in a home court, don’t skimp out on what may be the most important piece of equipment. The ball itself. 

Check out our favorite, reasonably priced basketballs here:

https://ballercoach.com/training-guides/the-best-outdoor-basketball/

Basketball Hoops

Choosing the right hoop for your court is no small task. Some serious time and consideration should be put into making this decision. Here are some things to consider while looking for the right hoop. 

In-Ground Hoop

Stability is the key to a solid, secure and long lasting net. An in-ground hoop is going to offer you the most accurate playing area once your lines are down as it is fixed and won’t move with the ball pounding against it. You can be as hard on these nets as you want (within reason) and not have to worry about them standing tall and strong for many years. 

Fixed or in-ground outdoor hoops often use a wooden or metal backboard and are the type commonly found in parks. These have a nice enough feel to them when you shoot. A wood backboard tends to be in the middle of the price range between plastic and plexiglass.

Indoor courts more often choose the plexiglass or tempered glass backboards for their looks and stability. They can take a real beating and still look great after many years of use. They tend to be a fair bit more expensive than their wooden counterparts. 

There is a large selection of these hoops including ones that are height adjustable to allow people of different levels and heights to enjoy. But let’s be honest here, the real reason adjustability is so great is that it allows those who can’t dunk on a 10 foot net to live out their NBA dreams on a 9 or 8 foot adjusted net. 

Portable Hoop

Portable hoops almost always have built in height adjustability. These stand alone units often include a large base that can be filled with water or sand to give the hoop its stability. They tend to use plastic as the backboard material in the manufacturing of cheaper versions and this can be frustrating to shoot on at times. There can be too much movement as the ball contacts the board giving a less than desired trajectory to the ball. 

The wonderful thing about portable hoops is their ability to be moved as desired. If your court is going to be doubling as a garage or a party area, the ability to move the hoop out of the way at times may prove very useful. 

The best practice for choosing a portable net would be to go with a large backboard made of something other than plastic if possible and do not cheap-out in this area.

For more info on choosing the right basketball hoop visit: https://ballercoach.com/shoe-guides/cheap-basketball-goals/

Mounted Hoops

Mounted hoops are nice options if your limited on space. They can be mounted on top of the edge of a garage or on a wall. The downside to this approach is that there is little to no room under the net. If you are running at the net you have very little room to stop before hitting the wall or garage.

This option is fairly inexpensive as it does not need a post to help support it when mounted to a wall. If you need a support bracket for mounting on a roof than the price will go back up. 

Backboard Size

Backboards come in a variety of sizes ranging anywhere from 44 inches (110 cm) to 72 inches (182 cm). If your looking to save some money it is possible to build a decent backboard yourself. Just make sure it is thick enough to provide the ricochet needed to let the ball fall properly into the net. This will be a trial and error exercise. 

Netting

Chasing loose balls through the grass can get annoying after a while and why do it when you can add netting to your court that can save you the hassle and protect windows, cars and other items nearby. 

Sports netting or perimeter netting as it is sometimes referred to; is a thick mesh that can be strung between two poles to keep the ball inside the court area. Most often this mesh is made of high density polyethylene with properties that help protect it from UV rays and harsh weather. 

Prices vary but expect to pay somewhere in the neighbourhood of $150.00 for a 10×35 foot section. These nets are quite easy to install if the posts are pre-installed by your contractor. 

Quick savings tip: Building your court between two large trees may also help allowing you to tie the netting to them. This would eliminate the need for netting posts and also provide some shade. 

Protective Padding

Safety should always be at the top of anyone’s mind while taking on any sort of project. There is no exception here. Running head on into the basketball hoop post or the wall behind it can put a quick end to any game. Protect yourself, your family and your friends by incorporating protective padding wherever it is called for. 

Padding can be quite expensive so you may want to protect the most vulnerable areas first such as the hoop post. 

A standard 2×6 foot wall pad sells for around $50 to $75 on average. A hoop post pad can vary widely from $75 to $200. 

You can also get padding for around the backboard itself and if you are in the habit of lowering your net frequently this could end up being an important option. These tend to run a similar amount to the pole padding. $100 to $200.

Increased Land Taxes

Many cities and municipalities use the square footage of a home to calculate in part, the taxes billed to that particular residence. By adding an indoor court to your home you may be adding a large amount of square footage to your home as well and you may see a large jump in taxes the following year if the city is made aware. Talk to your local municipality office to determine the yearly impact an indoor court may have on your pocket book. 

Though outdoor courts are often exempt from taxes, it is definitely a good idea to check with your local bylaws officer to see if there are any road setbacks or space requirements that you need to meet to begin a project in your area. 

If you have neighbors nearby there may also be noise bylaws that a court may infringe upon. 

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