When I checked the weather forecast this morning, it predicted a high of 79 degrees – pretty balmy for mid-October in the Midwest. While temperatures this high aren’t typically perceived as “normal” they do mean more time to enjoy the outdoors and a longer growing season. I’m not much of a sports fan myself but I can appreciate a good game of basketball with friends. And during the holidays, when you’ve run out of things to talk about with your family, it’s always convenient to be able to turn to an activity other than potentially awkward conversation. When I saw information online about building a home basketball court, I got curious. Is this something I could tackle myself? I found a few pointers to show me the way:
If you don’t have the room for a full, regulation sized half or whole court, don’t worry. You can make use of the most popular court which isn’t even a court at all! Your driveway. Just install a hoop above your garage or get a free standing one and you’re ready to go. You may already even have enough room for a half court, and if you do, you could then add a surface to or stencil out. But if you do have the room…
2 basketball pole hoops (one for a half court)
Court stencil kit, tile surfacing kit or masking tape and spray paint
Concrete (or a concrete company)
Shovel and a way to compress your soil
1. Determine the Size You Can Build
NBA and NCAA regulation courts are 94 ft x 50 ft while high school courts are only 84 ft long. Divide these numbers in half for a half court and see what you can install, even if it’s just a free-throw lane. Be sure to select a relatively flat surface to make your job easier and be aware of windows in relation to where you’ll put the basketball goals.
2. Purchase The Hoops
Since you’re making a dedicated basketball court, get some dedicated goals you’ll cement into the ground (you can still get ones that have adjustable heights). Just remember to get two if you’re building a full court.
3. Mark the Dimensions
Take four stakes and mark out the dimensions of your court with a tape measure or a surveying level if you have access to one. Tie some rope around the stakes to get a better feel for the size. Also, be sure to leave room for an “out of bounds” so players aren’t stepping off the court and into who-knows-what.
4. Level the Playing Field
Literally. Clear out everything but the dirt within the area you just marked and level it. This requires moving dirt from high areas to lower ones so it’s all smooth and pack it down.
5. Create a Concrete Foundation
When the weather is dry and you have 36 hours to let the concrete set, you can install a concrete foundation. Be sure to install the pole hoops at this time—they need to be placed 1-2 ft into the ground and stabilized with concrete. Regulation height is 10 ft from the ground to the top of the rim. Better yet, you can find a local cement company to do all this for you! They’ll even install the hoops and post sleeves.
6. Paint Lines
If you bought a stenciling kit, this will be relatively painless. If you didn’t, grab your masking tape, spray paint and tape measure and start measuring because you’ll need to paint the following:
The out-of-bounds line, 2 to 3 inches thick surrounding the entire court
The center line horizontally from one side to the other directly in the middle of the court
The free-throw line exactly 15 feet (4.57 m) from the center of the hoop and 12 feet long (you can drop a plumb bob on a string from the center of the hoop and where it hits corresponds to the center, but on the ground)
The free-throw lane, 12 feet by 19 feet (the top of the box is the free-throw line)
Have fun with the colors! Use your favorite team’s colors or create your own “home” team.
7. Consider a Surfacing
Surfacing your court will not only be easier on your knees, but it’ll look so awesome. You might even miss a few seed games because you’ll be playing your own. Modular suspended tile surfacing will hold up to cars (if you’re using your driveway) and will even come pre-painted. Other materials include rubber flooring, custom floors and asphalt.
Make your court your own with any of a few accessories. Paint your own logo or make the court colored. Or look into containment fences. Just a heads up, some of these fences might need to be installed when you pour the concrete, so have a vision before you get started.
Now all you need is to hang the nets, grab a ball and come up with your home team name!
Found at Pro.com
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