Looking to build a DIY pickleball court? We don’t blame you! It is a great way to practice and play pickleball on your own schedule from the comfort of your home. There’s no need to wait for a court to be open at your local clubs.
- Building New DIY Pickleball Courts
- Converting A Tennis Or Sports Court To A Pickleball Court
- Cheapest Way To Build A Pickleball Court
- Final Thoughts
Once you have decided you are ready for a pickleball court right in your home or backyard, here’s what you need to know about how to build it.
Building New DIY Pickleball Courts
There are four main considerations when building out DIY pickleball courts. Let’s take a look at each of these more in-depth.
Dimensions: How Much Space You Need
The first thing that you have to plan for before you can start building your own pickleball court is the pickleball court dimensions and how much space you need. The standard size for an official court is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide.
This sizing includes the pickleball lines, though it does not include the recommended space around the court for aggressive gameplay. With that being said, you’ll likely need a space about 30 feet wide and 60 feet long to begin your pickleball court construction project. If you include fencing, it should not be placed right on the edge of the sideline.
Whether you are building an indoor or outdoor pickleball court, there are a lot of court surfaces to choose from.
Indoor Pickleball Court Surfaces
For indoor courts, polyurethane over concrete is one of the more popular choices as it is durable, easy to play on, and provides a cushion to reduce joint impact. Wood similar to what’s on basketball courts is another option though it can be difficult to install and maintain.
Outdoor Pickleball Court Surfaces
When it comes to building outdoor pickleball courts, the top court surfaces are concrete, asphalt, and clay, with concrete being the most popular.
Concrete is relatively inexpensive and versatile, so the court can also be used for other sports or activities, though it will need a surface coating to prevent frequent repairs and provide a cushion.
Asphalt is also inexpensive and widely available. However, while asphalt is naturally more cushioned, it is slippery if you do not use non-slip court paint and can be extremely hot to play on.
Clay is a unique court surface as it has the most shock absorption, though it causes the ball to bounce differently. Watering the court is necessary to prevent it from drying and cracking, too.
Many people also want to know if they can create an outdoor pickleball court right on their grass. While playing pickleball on grass is difficult, not considered regulation, and requires a different ball and frequent maintenance, the grass is a viable pickleball surface for casual at-home players.
It’s typically an alternative for those who don’t want to hire a contractor and want to minimize the costs associated with building an outdoor pickleball court.
Pickleball Court Kits
There is another court surface option that will work on both indoor and outdoor pickleball courts called court tiles which often come as a part of a full pickleball court flooring kit.
The tiles are made from specially designed high-impact plastic. They create a strong, flat surface that can be used in any weather conditions due to the perforations.
These kits come with everything you’ll need and are easy to assemble by simply locking all the tiles together. Of course, this is on the more expensive side of the multiple options you have for court surfaces.
Pickleball really cannot be played without the proper lines to mark the various zones because the majority of the rules depend on which playing area you are standing in or where the ball bounce occurs.
You should have two sidelines running parallel north & south and two baselines that run parallel in the east & west direction to create the border of the court.
Then, the pickleball net goes halfway in between the two baselines. Many people choose to put a court line where the net goes, especially if they are using portable pickleball nets that way, it can easily be placed in the correct spot.
You need to accurately measure the space to create the non-volley zone. The non-volley line should be seven feet on each side of the net line.
The last line division on the court is to create a right service area and a left service area on both sides of the court. This is called the center, and it gets placed perpendicularly to the baseline in the center and extends up to the non-volley line creating two 10×15 foot service areas.
What you use to create court lines depends on your court. For instance, you may use a court line acrylic paint on concrete, while if you want more temporary solutions, tape or sidewalk chalk will do.
Just keep in mind that if you use tape, there should be some contrast in color so you can see the lines. You’ll often find orange masking tape or a bright green tape designed for courts as its contrasts with most other colors.
If you are going the sidewalk chalk route, use several layers so you can see it, and don’t forget to keep your measuring tape handy to re-apply after heavy rain.
One of the final steps of a pickleball court construction project is picking out the colors. This is where your creativity can shine!
A few considerations you should think about before settling on a color scheme include how the color will affect gameplay in terms of contrast and the environment, the appearance of the court in its surroundings, and what colors are available in the type of court paint you would prefer.
Colors that are too dark may be hot in the sun, while colors that are too bright may reflect lighting. As we have mentioned, you should choose a court color that is very contrasting to your pickleball net, ball, and sidelines, too.
Now, if you go with bold colors in surroundings that are quite neutral, it is going to stick out. This may be a positive or a negative, depending on your preference.
Picking all of the colors is the fun part of the construction, but keep these things in mind, so you don’t have any regrets!
Converting A Tennis Or Sports Court To A Pickleball Court
Rather than build a new pickleball court from scratch, many people opt to simply divide their existing tennis court into four pickleball courts.
If you no longer use your tennis court and solely want to play pickleball, this conversion can be done in a more permanent way using resurfacers, court paint, and sealed tape. However, if you want a more temporary solution, you can convert it with a portable pickleball net and some bright masking tape that easily peels up.
Either way, simply measure out the proper length for the pickleball lines, place one pickleball court in each of the four corners of the tennis court, put up your nets, and it’s game on!
You can, of course, also just measure out one pickleball court on any edge to try it out before you determine whether to do a full overhaul as well.
Cheapest Way To Build A Pickleball Court
The cheapest way to build a pickleball court is really dependent on what you are starting with. Having an existing tennis court or concrete pad that is big enough is by far the cheapest way to build one.
However, if you are just starting with a blank slate, get a quote from a local contractor for the cost difference of various materials to find the cheapest option.
For those on a tight budget, consider whether a grass pickleball court will work with your space.
What is the best surface for a pickleball court?
The best surface for a pickleball court is an asphalt or concrete base with a cushioned surface coating.
How thick should a pickleball court concrete be?
Typically concrete for a pickleball court should be about 4 inches thick and reinforced with rebar.
Can you make a pickleball court in your driveway?
Yes, if your driveway is big enough and relatively level, you can make a pickleball court right in your driveway!
There are a lot of choices when you build a pickleball court. Whether you hire a contractor and go for a regulation-style court, or make do with the grass in your backyard, don’t pass up an opportunity to have your own place to play pickleball!