For those with kids, you want your home to be a fun place for them to hang out. Sure, they will have their study spaces for homework, but physical activity is just as important. After the long winter we’ve had, you want to get them outdoors, building your own basketball court is a great way to do that.
Playing sports in the driveway is fairly common for many families. For the casual basketball players, this can be a good spot to set up a net. Freestanding basketball goals are widely available for such purposes and are easy to move as needed. If you’re so inclined, you can even find court layouts online for painting on the lines. This option is best suited for those with smaller homes or budgets. But if you have space in your backyard for a basketball court, that is even better. Playing basketball is best suited on a level surface, which a driveway doesn’t offer. Plus, there is always the risk that the ball can roll out into the street. If you decide to install a court in your backyard, you will need to determine how big you want to make it. Full regulation basketball courts are 94 feet by 50 feet, while high school gym ones are 84 feet by 50 feet. Typically, most homeowners have space for a half-court. Either way, measure the area you have available. Mark the space off with stakes or spray paint to let you see the space you’re working with.
Now that you know where you’re putting your basketball court, you will need to choose a playing surface. Typically, this means laying down concrete or asphalt, but these days you can find flexible sport surfaces that are made out of recycled rubber. Both concrete and asphalt are cost-effective, though asphalt has lower impact and increased cushioning. That can make a huge difference to the dedicated basketball player. A flexible sport surface comes in wide range of coloured tiles allowing for customization. The surface stands up under performance and is low maintenance. Depending on your budget that could be the way to go. Of course, in order to play basketball, you will need a hoop. The game got its name when the inventor, Canadian Dr. James A. Naismith, used a peach basket. You won’t have to use something so rudimentary for your game, however, as there are a number of basketball goals out there for you to buy. Serious players will like ones with a glass backboard and that is installed straight into the ground. Freestanding basketball hoops are good for those who may want to use the surface for various purposes so that they can move it around. Those are typically filled with either sand or water in the base to keep it stable. The playing surface and the hoop are the basics for building your own court, though accessories like scoreboards, benches and storage are also useful.
Once the space and materials have been chosen, now is the time to get to work. You may want to hire someone to lay down your surface, especially if you create a full court. But, if you want to save some money, you can do it yourself. Since you’ve already marked off your area with stakes, you can start digging. Remove the sod along with any rocks and sticks. Pack down the dirt to create a level surface. Before you pour the concrete, ensure the weather is dry for the next few days. It will need to cure at least 36 hours before you can play on the surface. During this time, you will need to set in your hoops, if you go with that kind. If you’re putting in a flexible surface, it will need a concrete base to stabilize it. Once the concrete is dry, you can paint on the lines. And then you’re ready to play!
By Meagan Dieroff