Building a DIY pickleball court can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. To create a barebones court and get playing almost immediately, find a 44' x 20' area of asphalt or pavement, mark the lines with sidewalk chalk, and use a portable net.
Planning Your DIY Pickleball Court
Building a DIY outdoor pickleball court can be simple or complex depending on several key factors including your budget, where you live, and what type of court you want.
Do you have the necessary space to build a regulation-sized pickleball court? While pickleball courts are smaller than tennis courts, they are still as large as a doubles badminton court and require extra run-off areas.
You should measure the space you have in the area in which you wish to build to ensure it’s large enough to accommodate a court.
It is also advisable that the playing area be north and south facing to avoid the sun’s interference.
Court Surface Durability
Choose a durable playing surface before deciding on anything else. If you already have a surface to play on, you’ll need to work with what you have.
Outdoor courts must be durable and able to withstand temperature shifts and summer sunlight. Porous surfaces will absorb moisture and can cause cracks, easily ruining a playing surface.
The two most common outdoor court base materials are concrete and asphalt.
- Concrete is easier to maintain, particularly if it has a finish applied to it.
- Asphalt requires regular maintenance but is less expensive than concrete.
Perhaps the area where you will be playing pickleball already has a fence, but if not, this is something to consider.
Fencing is helpful for sports courts because it limits how far the ball can roll. A fence means you will spend more time playing than chasing down the ball.
The ideal pickleball court perimeter fence height is 10 feet. It is still possible to play with a fence as low as 4 feet, but some shots may be hit over the fence despite the best efforts of the players.
Of course, having a fence isn’t a strict requirement. Some creative landscaping can do just as well in a pinch.
A backyard pickleball court can cost less than $500 if you already have an asphalt or concrete surface that is large enough.
If you need to add concrete or asphalt, it can cost between $2000 and $6,000 depending on the materials cost in your area and whether you can do the work yourself.
Either of these options is cheaper than permanent pickleball court construction projects which can range from $20,000 to $50,000 or more and require a contractor.
Basic Setup of Your Pickleball Court
Pickleball courts should measure 44 feet long and 20 feet wide (including the line width).
When setting up your court, it’s ideal for the playing area to measure 64 feet by 34 feet which allows enough space for run-off areas.
Width of Lines
The width of court lines is 2 inches wide. Lines should be a uniform width and painted white.
There are 6 rectangular playing areas on a pickleball court, divided equally on either side of the net.
Both sides should have three areas of play:
- a non-volley zone closest to the net
- a left service area
- a right service area
Each service area measures 15 feet long and 10 feet wide.
The volley line refers to the line dividing the service areas and the non-volley zone. The non-volley zone extends 7 feet from the net to meet the service areas and has a width of 20 feet.
The baseline is the line at the very back of the court, and the sidelines run the length of the court from baseline to baseline.
You can play pickleball on plain asphalt or concrete. You can also choose to add an optional surface coating for a permanent court.
What’s pickleball without a net? Portable nets can be found on Amazon and are inexpensive, easy to set up, and at the correct height for play.
Budget DIY pickleball court
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to play close to home, these tips will get you playing in a snap (without making your wallet cry).
- Find a nearby asphalt or concrete surface (your driveway may even be perfect)
- Sidewalk chalk can be used for temporary markings to outline your court.
- Inexpensive pickleball marker kits are even easier than drawing the lines yourself.
- Add a portable pickleball net, grab your pickleball paddles and you’re ready to play!
Premium DIY pickleball court
If you are looking to create a permanent DIY pickleball court in your backyard, there are a few things you’ll need to do.
Prepare the Area
- If you already have the outdoor space available, you’ll want to powerwash the surface.
- Measure and mark the lines where the court will be.
Paint and Supplies
- You’ll need to purchase acrylic paint to paint your lines, painters tape, tape sealer, and brushes or rollers for application.
- The best paint brands for your DIY pickleball court markings are TCS, Coo-Var, Watco, and Brittania. Many suppliers offer to ship if you don’t have a local store.
- Once you have your supplies, you will want to measure, mark, and tape the areas where your lines will be.
- Before painting, add a tape sealer to the edges where you will paint your lines so the paint won’t bleed beneath the tape.
Time to Paint
- Once the tape sealer is dried, you can start hand-painting your lines.
- You can add a line primer if you want to first, and then paint over it with your line paint for superior, long-lasting color.
- If you decide on a line primer, you will need to let it dry prior to adding line paint.
- To estimate the price, simply add the cost of the paint, tape sealer, and tools along with your labor.
Building a court can be as simple as you want it to be. It doesn’t need to break the bank. All you need is time, patience, and a little money to build that backyard pickleball court that you’ve been dreaming of.
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