If you want to play basketball with your friends or kids the least you need is a basketball hoop. To take things to the next level, though, you can make your own court. The benefits of that are obvious and will allow you to play ball any time you feel like it, especially if it is near your home. In this article I will give you some of the best tips on how to build a basketball court and take you through the needed steps for the process.
Building a basketball court starts with figuring out how big it has to be. Standard dimensions would be something along the lines of 90 by 50 feet. Next, you have to lay out a foundation such as concrete which can later on either be left like that or supplemented with an additional surface such as a rubber flooring. Once you are done, add the line markings using spray paint and masking tape. Finally, add your basketball hoops and it’s ball time!
Unlike what most people think, making a court isn’t the hardest task in the world. In fact, if you decide to go with a concrete foundation only, the process is fairly simple. That, of course, if your court isn’t NBA-sized. My advice is to aim for something smaller since the goal of the whole thing is probably not training a professional team on it but simply have fun.
Before we go through the stages of making a basketball court, let’s list out the things you have to prepare before starting. There is nothing worse than running to the store ten times during a building process.
Things You Will Need
Before you get started, make sure you prepare the following items:
- Basketball hoops
- Masking tape
- White paint (either spray or regular one)
- Tape measure
- Concrete materials (sand, cement, water, buckets, etc.)
What many instructional articles won’t tell you is to do the most important part of the process – bring friends! Seriously, bring someone, as this process can be hard and lengthy if you decide to do it on your own. The especially hard part is mixing the concrete and carrying it from your mixing point to the court ground. That reminds me to give you one very important tip. Create your construction ground next to the court. Don’t pile your materials far away. Make sure the process happens at the same place as you won’t have to move as much and/or go through the newly made court.
Now, let’s start with the steps you have to go through…
Figuring Out The Size
The very first thing you have to do is figure out how big you want your court to be. There are a couple of things to consider when figuring out your ideal size:
- You will need to leave space beyond the boundaries
- Take the basketball hoop pier footing into consideration
Apart from the size you will need to consider the positioning of the court. Make sure that the terrain is even. If it isn’t exactly even you can even it out placing the soil from one place to others which are lower. If it is your driveway and there is an incline, then just go for a one-sided court with just one hoop.
Once you figure out your ideal court size, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Choose The Right Hoops
Choosing the hoops for your court can be a hard task, especially when there are countless of models flooding the market right now. Built-in hoops are a good permanent solution but are very hard to remove once you build your court, in case you want to use them for another court. Wall mounted and portable basketball hoops are your best options, in my opinion. If you are not sure about which portable system to get, I suggest checking out this Buyer’s Guide on the topic.
Take their height and overhanging into consideration and make sure they won’t eat too much of your court (if you’ve made it smaller than usual).
The Base Materials
After you finish picking the right size for your new court, the next task is to figure out what will be the base (ground) material. My suggestion is to use concrete as it is the most durable and also the cheapest material. If done correctly this is the solution which will last you the longest.
If you chose to build a big basketball court, the easiest way to handle the concrete foundation is to hire a local concrete company. They might even have experience in these kinds of things. If not, make sure you give them the correct sizes and dimensions of everything. They also might want you to get the post sleeves (if you plan to put build-in hoops) and/or fences or gates.
Make sure that the concrete floor has little to no sloping if possible and try to make it at least 3 inches thick.
What Are The Alternatives?
A good alternative is asphalt. It typically is less expensive to lay out than concrete and is softer and smoother than concrete in general. Again, if you can’t handle the process, hire a company to do it for you.
Another great option is compacted stone, as it is super cheap and easy to work with. It is also the easiest option to remove on a later stage if you decide to relocate your court.
If your patio seems good enough you can even leave it like that (for a half court, for example). Just make sure you test out the bouncing of the ball first, in order to see whether it will be good for a proper game.
Paint The Lines
Now it’s time to use the masking tape that you prepared from the beginning of this process. There are a few lines that you will have to take care for:
- The free-throw line – 15 ft from the hoop and 12 ft wide
- Out-of-bound line (base line) – 2 inches thick line which surrounds the entire court
- The center line – goes through the middle of your court from end to end. If you built a half court than this line is the same as the out-of-bound one
- Free-throw lane
You have to tape both sides of each line following its full length. Once you do that, spray the pain in the middle and let it dry before removing the masking tape. White is generally the most preferred color, although you can use any other color as long as it is nicely contrasting and easily visible.
Maybe Add An Additional Surface
Adding a surface besides concrete will make the court look better, feel better, and will hurt your knees less when you fall on it. Suspended tile surface is a good alternative and won’t burn a hole in your pocket. It will also withstand cars going over it if you plan to turn your driveway into a court. Some other great options are:
- Rubber surface
- Asphalt (as mentioned)
- Custom surfaces
- Wooden surface
Accessorize Your Court
Nothing makes a court feel yours like your own logo on it. Maybe you have a neighbourhood team that will train there – pain that logo instead. After that, just install the nets on the hoops and it’s ball time!
Pro Tip: Repaint the lines once every few weeks as they will fade fast if left out in the open. Weather conditions plus people constantly stepping on them wears them out way faster than you would think, trust me.
Some Last Tips
Make sure that your hoops aren’t near any windows or you might have to pay for some broken glass later on.
Don’t forget to leave holes for the hoops and fences when you are creating the foundation. Otherwise, you will have to drill those holes when you are done.
How much does it cost to build a basketball court?
Usually, the most expensive part is the basketball hoops. I suggest getting portable ones, as you will be able to take them inside your garage during winter, or at a storage unit to prevent theft. You will also be able to use them for another basketball court any time you want unlike the built-in hoops. Models such as this Silverback NXT portable hoops can cost you a couple of hundred dollars. Multiply that times two and you get a starting price of more than a thousand dollars just for the hoops. The rest of the materials aren’t as pricey apart from the cement. All in all, if you go for the most budget version it shouldn’t exceed 2-3 thousand dollars.
How big should a basketball court be?
Ideally, it should be 90ft by 60 ft. NBA courts are 94 by 50 feet, while the international ones are 91.9 by 49.2 feet. When you are making one for your hobby needs you can make it way smaller. That will allow faster games and games with fewer people in general.
Is the NBA court bigger than college?
In general, there are three types of courts:
- High school courts
- College courts
- NBA ones
They all have a unique 3-point arc but overall the NBA and college courts are the same size, while the high school ones are a bit smaller (84 by 50 feet).
Some Final Words
Once you get your basketball court done, all that will be left for you to do is play and improve your ball skills. I hope that my steps on how to build a basketball court have been helpful and thorough. If you got any questions you can use the contact form on my site or any of the social media pages to reach me!