How To Build A Basketball Court At Home

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For most of us, having our own basketball court at home is little more than a dream. But, with today’s materials and construction techniques it can be “a dream come true”. Imagine walking out the back door and onto your own court for a quick workout or just to shoot a few hoops with your friends. No more waiting for court time at the gym or the local park. It’s easy to get started planning the new court. Planning Your Basketball Court

  • Location: There are a couple of items to think about when deciding on your court location and size. The best locations will be away from windows, glass doors, and other hazards. Make certain to leave space beyond the court boundaries or ramps so players do not step off the slab during play.
  • Measure how much room is available in the backyard or side yards. Is it enough for a full size court or half court? To get a better picture of how a basketball court will fit in the yard, take several wooden stakes and string, mark off the corners of the proposed court, and pound the stakes into the grass or dirt to see what size court is feasible for the property.
  • Size: The dream court would be a NBA/NCAA double hoop basketball court with a 94' × 50' play area. An NBA single hoop half court would require 47’ x 50’. There are smaller size options, too. If the driveway is the only space available, there are good court solutions for that as well.
  • Several options for court sizes which all allow stripping for free throw lines and 3-point arcs are: NBA 94’ x 50’, NBA half court 47’ x 50’, high school full court 84’ x 50’, high school half court 42’ x 50’, minimal full court 60’ x 46’, minimal half court 25’ x 46’.
  • Remember to add 3-feet to all sides for space beyond the court play boundaries.
Ready for Planting Finished Product

Basketball Court Surface Materials Once the dimensions of the court are decided, it is time to plan what surface material the court will have.

  • Poured concrete is the most economical surface. Unfortunately, it’s hard on elbows and knees during play.
  • A better solution for the court surface would be new modular sport flooring tiles. They are interlocking tiles 12” x 12” and ¾” thick. Most manufacturers have them available in a broad range of court colors. And, they are easy to install and manufactured to withstand the weather.
  • The concrete slab for the new basketball court needs to be a minimum of 4” thick and planned so it is above the grade of the yard to keep water from pooling on the court. Check with your local building department to determine if you will need a construction permit for this.
  • Dig the foundation for the concrete slab. Now is the time to set the forms. Purchase 2” x 4” lumber for the forms and stake in place, taking care to keep the form square and level.

How To Install A Basketball Hoop This is a good time to locate the pole for each basketball hoop. The location will vary depending on the size of the court.

  • An NBA court locates the hoop 4-feet from the end of the court play area. The pole should be set at least 18” deep in the slab. Cross brace with stakes and forming lumber to get the pole vertical. Check the pole with a plumb bob or level. Read the hoop manufacturer’s instruction for any additional specifications required.
  • Pour the slab and allow one week for concrete to cure. Poured concrete should be kept wet or watered twice each day to allow a slower cure and stronger surface. If the basketball court will have a tile surface, install the tile now.

Striping The Basketball Court There are complete court striping kits available from several manufacturers. If your budget is tight, you can do it yourself. First, locate a template for your particular basketball court. There are many templates to download on the Internet for NBA, College, and High School courts. Next, you will need a 2-inch paint roller, chalk line, painter’s masking tape, and a solvent based paint intended for concrete or asphalt. Basketball court lines are usually 2-inches wide. Mark the corners, snap chalk lines, mask off the edges and roll each line. It may take two or three coats to cover the surface. Don’t forget about lighting for night play. Lighting systems for night play need fixtures that deliver 1500 watts or greater to properly illuminate the court.

Last Updated: January 9, 2012
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About Bill Washburn William "Bill" Washburn has a BA in advertising from the Art Center College of Design and has taught at the University of Southern California and Northrup University. Writing from a well-connected studio in the rural foothills of the west coast, he is a frequent speaker at local art associations and has published numerous articles discussing periods of art history and the fundamentals of drawing and painting. William is a master gardener who grows his own culinary herbs, organic heirloom vegetables and a variety of fruits. He writes frequently about his gardening experiences on his website Pioneer Dad. He is an accomplished advertising writer, fine art painter, and art director with more than 20 years' experience. 

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