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Home -- Blogs -- How to Build a Pickleball Court?

How to Build a Pickleball Court?

Benjamin

Executive Manager: Plays a crucial role in strategic decisions and business growth.

Updated: May 24, 2024
Published: May 10, 2024

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in America. This paddle sport, with similarities to tennis, badminton, and ping pong, can be played both competitively and recreationally by people of all ages and skill levels. Building a pickleball court at home, church, community center, or park allows more people to join in the fun game that combines exercise, socializing, and friendly competition. With the right planning, basic skills and tools, and materials, you can create a regulation-sized or modified pickleball court for singles or doubles play.

Choosing the Location

The first step is picking an appropriate spot to construct the pickleball court. You'll need a level space approximately 20 feet wide by 44 feet long for a singles court or 30 feet wide by 60 feet long for a doubles court. Allow extra space on the ends and sides for safety and room to move outside the court boundaries. Consider the amount of space available, intended use, sunlight exposure, wind conditions, drainage, noise levels if near neighbors, and access to electricity and water if desired.

A patio, driveway, or backyard can work for a small home court. Schools, community centers, churches, parks, and recreation areas often have suitable sites for full-size dedicated pickleball courts to accommodate several games at once. Whatever the location, be sure it's on flat ground. Any slopes or uneven areas must be leveled out to avoid erratic ball bounces.

Preparing the Surface

After choosing a spot, prep the ground surface. Remove all grass, plants, stones, sticks, and any debris that could interfere with a smooth playing surface. Evaluate drainage. Fill any low spots with dirt and create a slight slope or crowning from the center to the edges to allow rain runoff.

Compact and pack the soil using a plate compactor or hand tamp. This consolidates the dirt particles to prevent shifting and erosion that could cause depressions or low areas over time. The subsurface should be very firm and stable to withstand the poundings of running, jumping, and balls bouncing during active pickleball games without settling unevenly.

Installing Base Material

With the subsurface prepared, it's time to install a base over the packed dirt. This is also called the sub-base. Options include:

  • Gravel - Spread 2 to 4 inches of gravel over the area and rake smooth. Compact with a roller.
  • Crushed stone - Use a 3 to 4 inch layer of crushed limestone, stone dust or #57 gravel. Compact with a hand tamper or plate compactor.
  • Road base - A 4-inch layer of road base rock with smaller gravel and clay packs tightly.
  • Geotextile fabric - You can first put down a geotextile fabric over the dirt before adding gravel. This stabilizes the base and prevents mixing.
  • Sand - Not ideal as a base since it shifts easily causing low spots. Must be very deep - 6 inches or more.
  • Paver base panels - Interlocking plastic panels create a sturdy base on unstable soils or atop existing grass/dirt. Just lay panels and connect.

The rock base should be 4 inches or thicker after compacting, evenly graded, and sloped slightly away from the center for drainage. This provides excellent shock absorption for the court surface.

sports sheds

Installing Court Surface

Now you're finally ready for the visible court playing surface. This top layer over the base gives the right bounce and traction for pickleball. Common surface options include:

  • Asphalt - Used for many public pickleball courts. Provides consistent ball bounce and is durable and weather-resistant. The downsides are the high cost and installation labor to have pavement poured and smoothed.
  • Post-tension concrete - Long-lasting concrete with tensioned cables inside. This reduces cracking and curling. Color can be added to the concrete. Pricey but needs minimal maintenance.
  • Acrylic or latex-ite sport court paint - Applied over asphalt or concrete. This textured coating provides good traction and consistent ball bounce. Multiple coats of colored paint give a cushioned "feel" to the surface.
  • Interlocking tile - Modular outdoor tiles are installed atop almost any flat subsurface. Tiles click together over gravel, dirt, grass, or a hard surface. Easy DIY installation. Can also use indoor sport court tiles outdoors.
  • Sport court roll-out flooring - Vinyl sheets in rolls are unrolled over the base surface and adhere together. Some have foam backing for extra cushioning. This DIY flooring withstands weather and provides consistent ball bounce.

The playing lines can be painted or applied using outdoor gaffer tape. Let the paint fully cure before playing. Acrylic latex paint bonds best to sports surfaces. Use brighter white paint for visibility. Non-slip pickleball court line paint is also available. Lines must be 2-4 inches wide.

Installing Fencing

Safety fencing around the pickleball court perimeter keeps errant balls contained and adds protection. While fencing is not essential, it helps avoid balls ending up in neighboring yards, gardens, streets, or pools. Options include:

  • Permanent chain link - Galvanized steel fencing 6-10 feet high secured on posts enclosing the court. Can attach windscreens and curtains. It has the highest cost installed but is very durable.
  • Temporary fencing - Mesh or canvas barrier on poles with bases. Set up and remove as needed. Screens help block the wind. Store off-court when not in use.
  • Netting - Strong UV-treated knotted nylon netting attaches to poles or fencing. Allows air circulation. Different heights up to 30 feet accommodate the court layout.

Leave gates or openings in the fencing to enter/exit the court. Allow ample clearance outside court lines so players can move and retrieve balls. Avoid running into fences during play by positioning a safe distance away.

Pickleball court

Finishing Touches

With the court surfacing and optional fencing in place, add the final touches:

  • Benches - Provide seating for players waiting to get into games. Shade umbrellas allow resting in the sun or rain.
  • Lighting - For evening play, install court lighting on poles or buildings. LED is affordable and energy efficient.
  • Storage box - A weatherproof container stores paddles, balls, net, and other gear. Have extras on hand.
  • Rules sign - Post rules, safety guidelines, and court etiquette for new players. Include reserved court times if applicable.
  • Shade structures - Consider shade sails or pavilions to block direct sunlight and allow play during hot conditions.
  • Landscaping - Use trees, shrubs, and plants around the perimeter to help define court boundaries.

With the project complete, you now have an ideal pickleball setup to enjoy for years to come!

Read More About the Event on Our Blog
indoor football field How Much Does It Cost to Build an Indoor Pickleball Court?

If you're considering building an indoor pickleball court, costs can vary depending on factors like size, materials, and location. According to Shelter Structures, a leading supplier of temporary buildings, prices can range from $30,000 to $100,000 or more. Factors like lighting, flooring, and ventilation all contribute to the overall cost. It's important to carefully plan and budget for your indoor pickleball court project.

Contact Us

Make On-Demand Space Solutions Easier, Faster

SHELTER has a great team of skilled architects ready to support your project or Event at any time.

When you’re ready to start your next business, get in touch with us now, and our architects will get back to you with a quote as soon as possible.

Business Email

      [email protected]

Phone Number

      USA: +1 713-386-9281

        CN: +86 13928858552

No.1 Huanghe Section,Songshan Road, Chao Tian Industrial Zone,Shilou Town Panyu District,Guangzhou