If you’ve got kids who love sports or if you’re a kid at heart who just wants to have an outdoor space dedicated to playing sports, adding a multi-use sport court to your backyard could be a fun idea. You can make it as simple or as elaborate as you want, from a standard fenced-in court for basketball and tennis to a fancy court system with floodlights for nighttime play. If you want to implement a multi-use sport court, be sure to research all options to settle on the one that’s best for your yard.
Before you get all excited and start building a court, you’ll need to sit down and come up with a list of what you want to incorporate in your sport court. Ask yourself questions such as: How much room am I willing to give up in the backyard? What sports do my kids love to play now? What about sports they may be interested in the future as they grow older and their abilities change? What are the building codes in my town and what are the setback restrictions? What design features do I want the court to have, such as colors, markings, lighting, fencing, and surrounding landscape?
A visit to your local zoning or building department will give you the answers to your questions regarding any permits you’ll need and any zoning restrictions you might face. Generally speaking, you have to take into account wetlands on your property — which you cannot build on — as well as proximity to your neighbors.
Hire a Contractor
Hiring a contractor skilled in building multi-use sports courts is key. There are many companies out there that do this and only this. Sit down with the contractor and go over your requirements and wishes. You’ll find that the most popular court installations are multi-purpose surfaces, allowing for the possibility of playing up to 20 sports, from tennis, basketball and volleyball to badminton, roller hockey and shuffleball. Next up in popularity is the hoop system followed by the rebounder, which allows players to practice their serves, spikes, and volleys on an adaptable vertical surface.
The surface of your court is probably the most important feature in terms of flexibility; you can’t just put down concrete or pavement and call it a day. To avoid knee and other joint injuries over time, you should choose a surface that provides cushioning features to absorb shock — often involving a sub base and base. Any surface you choose must allow for proper drainage and water run-off.
Whether you want a half court or a full court, your contractor will have to tackle the grading and construction of retaining walls as well as fencing and lighting. The flatter the space in your backyard, the less need for grading. Ensure that any surfaces you choose adhere to standards of athletic governing entities, with materials that feature the best in shock absorption, traction, drainage, and the best bounce for a range of sports balls. Some court surfaces can be installed with a UV light stabilizer to guard against fading colors.
Provided you have the space for it, your contractor can build a canopy or enclosure to guard against the elements. However, a good-quality outdoor multi-use sport court will require little maintenance. Your budget and backyard space are the only limits to your imagination. If you can, go ahead and install a mini golf course, putting green, ice skating rink, and built-in trampoline!
This article was provided by Chase Roberts, home and garden expert and design consultant. If you’re planning on building a sport out of existing surfaces, Chase recommends concrete resurfacing in Houston.