Are you thinking about installing a tennis court in your backyard? Good news: it’s not that hard if you consider all the information provided in this guide. But first, you should understand the basics and know how much it costs to build a tennis court.
Tennis courts offer unique features to your home and are a great way to get some exercise. A home court installation costs around $25,000-30,000 and up. There are multiple factors to consider when building a tennis court, including the site’s preparation, lighting, fencing, and net system.
Your court can be designed in any style you want, with different types of surfaces and details that will make it look exclusive. However, this project is expensive and requires regular maintenance and wide space.
In this article, we’ll tackle the average cost of a DIY tennis court, the cost of labor, and the factors that influence a tennis court’s installation. We’ll also discuss the regular maintenance costs of tennis courts, improvement costs, benefits, and drawbacks of having home courts, as well as the different tennis courts’ surface options.
What Is the Average Cost of a DIY Tennis Court?
Lately, building a tennis court generally costs $25,000 to $30,000. But if you’re looking for a subtle court with a quality artificial surface, $40,000 to $55,00 would be a reasonable cost projection. Finally, if you want a high-end court, you’ll spend as much as $100k.
The building process depends on the selected surface, dimensions of the court, and other features. You will spend more on leveling the ground, backfilling the drainage, and other works to achieve a flat surface.
An ordinary French-Open-style clay court with floodlights naturally costs more than a standard artificial hard surface without bells and whistles.
Factors to Consider When Installing a Tennis Court
The main factors to consider before installing a court are the site’s preparation to make it attain proper shades and a flat and drain surface. Know the type of surface you should use and the level of maintenance involved. Tennis courts also require lighting, fencing, and hitting walls for practice. Finally, think about your designs, suppliers, and net system.
- Site preparation
Before installing a tennis court, you must excavate the ground and remove trees and all structures that bring dirt. Leveling the ground involves additional cost for work. Also, areas with stagnant water require underground drainage.
The standard size of a tennis court is 60’ x 120’. The land where you’ll set your court must be stable and flat. Avoid installing court-facing sunlight and pick a north-south alignment.
- Type of surface
The four best choices of a tennis court’s surface are dirt, grass, concrete, and clay. The optimal tennis court installation is done with darker colors to boost the visibility of the ball during the game and be away from the strike of the sun.
- Climatic conditions
Ensure that the surface you select complements your climate. Concrete tennis courts develop surface cracks when experiencing high temperatures during the day. When that happens, the sudden drop of temperatures at night results in the concrete expanding.
Hence, concrete tennis court surfaces are suitable for places with a cool climate. Meanwhile, clay courts are appropriate in wet conditions since they quickly absorb water. Finally, grass courts are best in hot climates as they depend on artificial watering methods.
- Maintenance capability
Every tennis surface requires different maintenance. Clay courts need high maintenance since you have to keep them moist. Therefore, you must have an ample supply of water.
Meanwhile, concrete surfaces are the simplest to maintain and are ideal if you are looking for low-maintenance tennis court surfaces.
- Performance level
It’s essential to know the performance level of your players to learn what type of tennis surface is suitable for them. For example, amateur players should choose clay surfaces. Considering they are slow, the gradual movement of the ball gives them a chance to reach on such surfaces.
The optimal height of lights in tennis courts is 20 ft. above the ground. Today, some lightings focus on the court only, thereby not illuminating nearby areas.
The essence of fencing is to keep the ball within the court. The ideal height of the fence is 10’, and the materials must be discussed by the tennis court installer in advance.
Areas that receive harsh sunlight require proper shade. Thus, you must install concrete and paver slabs. If the place is windy, build a windscreen for fair play.
- Hitting wall
Another factor to consider when installing a tennis court is hitting walls. Although it’s not essential compared to other aspects, it is best for practice and warm-ups. Retaining walls also perform this purpose.
Landscaping, fencing, lighting, backboards, windscreens, and scorekeeping tools are suitable if you want to play anytime without bothering with weather conditions.
The more designs of tennis courts you manage, the less you’ll spend. However, the more work and time you’ll need.
Select a supplier that provides high-quality and environmentally friendly products with low cost and innovative designs.
- Tennis court accessories
To play a tennis match, you need a net specifically made for playing tennis.
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Average Labor Costs of Tennis Courts
The average labor cost to install a tennis court is between $10,000 and $15,000, regardless of the chosen surface. Whether you’re using asphalt, clay, concrete, or grass, the labor cost will be added to the cost of the materials.
The laborer should have experience in the installation of a tennis court and spend time doing so. For hard courts, the surface must be cured for 45 days before applying an acrylic coating. Then, cure it again before using your court.
Once you’re done installing the court, you must set up fences, paint lines on the ground, and finish up the landscaping. This is where homeowners decide whether or not to add seats, backboards, scorekeepers, and other features.
Average Maintenance Costs of Tennis Courts
The maintenance cost for the tennis court is about $3,000 per year, depending on the condition of the court, materials used, and climate. Indoor courts and regions with mild climates require lower maintenance costs.
On the other hand, outdoor courts that go through several seasons involve higher maintenance costs. You will spend particularly more money to maintain surfaces such as concrete or grass, while courts that use acrylic or rubber need small cash and attention.
Below are the most common tennis surfaces that require maintenance at different costs.
A tennis court with a grass surface requires high maintenance as it should be consistently short, weed-free, and healthy. It requires frequent watering, mowing, and extra care.
- Synthetic grass
Synthetic grass requires less maintenance than regular grass. All you need to do is use a leaf blower to remove the debris from the surface.
Asphalt requires resurfacing every few years since it cracks and gets damaged as it ages. The court can create tiny divots or puddles, known as birdbaths, that need to be fixed.
It’s also low maintenance. Concrete is more durable than asphalt and only needs occasional resurfacing.
Clay is one of the tennis surfaces that involves the least maintenance. But, since it’s light and the wind can blow it, it needs regular raking and brushing.
This surface has the lowest maintenance requirement. It only needs constant cleaning and little attention.
This tennis surface is simple to maintain. Rubber needs regular sweeping to prevent debris from making tiny holes in the material. Wash and paint it every year to keep it in the best condition.
Improvement Costs on Tennis Courts
The cost of a tennis court improvement is approximately $22,000. It varies according to the project’s style you choose and the size of the court and depending on whether it needs renovation or repairs. Besides, the value of other upgraded features depends on the materials used and the designs. A digital and high-end scoreboard is costlier than other types of scoreboards but is worth considering.
- Tennis court removal
It costs about $6,000 to remove a tennis court before building a new one. The duration and cost depend on how hard it is to remove it and on the materials used. Plus, some courts need leveling, resurfacing the ground, and planting of grass if the court is not yet installed.
Only professionals should remove tennis courts. Besides, adding fencing, landscaping, seating, and other features drives the total cost up.
- Tennis ball machine
A tennis ball machine approximately costs $500 and provides balls when you play on your own. A ball machine and tennis tutors are available in various designs. Pros prefer high-end tennis ball machines, but homeowners, and particularly beginners, can find affordable, good products.
Although it’s not essential to spend money on this equipment, it does amplify the entertainment on the court.
- Resurfacing a tennis court
This task will cost you $3,000 on average for a usual court size, but it can reach up to $10,000 for large courts and extensive repairs. It includes checking the court for any damages, filling the cracks, and re-applying coats of acrylic. After repairing the damages, it’s time to apply the top coat of paint and new play lines.
Most hard courts require resurfacing every four to seven years depending on the maintenance practices and the usage of your tennis court.
- Adding tennis windscreens
It costs around $200 to install ordinary tennis windscreens. Those lessen the impact of the wind while you play, and you’ll be able to control the ball. It gives you the chance to play despite unfavorable weather.
Windscreens come in various sizes and designs and add up to your expenses.
- Tennis court scorekeeper
The average cost of a scorekeeper is about $300. You can install one if you want a professional court. There exist electronic and mechanical types of scorekeepers, and they come in various sizes, designs, and at different costs.
However, upgrading with a digital and high-end scorekeeper will cost you more but will be worth it.
- Tennis court seating
You will have to spend about $800 on tennis court seating. Such seating comes in various designs of benches and chairs. The cost varies depending on the seats’ style. If you’re on a budget, you can omit this equipment.
However, with a tennis court seating, you can rest between matches instead of walking into another sitting area or going back to the house.
- Tennis court lighting
The average cost of installing tennis court lighting ranges from $800 to $3,000. The cost varies on the type of outdoor lighting you choose, the number of lights, and the type of lights power. The need for an electrician adds up to the cost.
Yet, there also are affordable lights, like solar lights and light fixtures. Lightings offer you the chance to play even early in the morning, in the evening, or when it’s shadowy.
- Tennis backboard
Installing a tennis backboard costs about $4,000. It gives you the chance to play even if you’re solo, in which case the surface returns the ball. It comes in several shapes and sizes. Choose a backboard that fits your court, with a fabricated style that stands out and adds a feature.
- Tennis court bubble cost
It cost around $6,000 to build a tennis court bubble. Some homeowners prefer to install those instead of fences as they protect the court from debris and enclose the area.
It’s another feature that’s not crucial compared to other tennis court parts. Yet, it makes the game more enjoyable, even in bad weather.
- Tennis court landscaping
Expect to spend $1,000 on landscaping. However, the cost varies based on the features you select. If you’re on a budget, you can skip this project. But, it turns the tennis court into a great outdoor and more enjoyable area.
Landscaping includes planting grass, trees, and shrubs around the court. It requires extensive preparation. For instance, the land needs to be cleared from trees, debris, or any structures that may hamper the installation of the court.
Benefits of Backyard Tennis Courts
The greatest benefit of having a tennis court in your backyard is the proximity of the court. You don’t have to take a few steps away from your home and you can play anytime. Therefore, it allows you to improve your skills, relieves stress, and adds value to your home.
Here are the top 13 benefits of having a backyard tennis court on your property.
- Great way to get exercise
You don’t have to enroll in a local club to play tennis. Besides, this sport supports body fitness, thus saving you from being a couch potato and improving your health.
You don’t have to go to other places to play or to join a tennis club. You can play anytime as your court is located right outside your door.
- Available 24/7
You can play early in the morning or late in the evening and don’t have to wait for court time.
- Builds social skills
It enhances your skills, the way you interact with others, and boosts closeness together with your friends and family when playing.
- Strengthens family bonds
Friendly matches bring families closer and allow them to spend time together on the court while enjoying the competition.
- Develop sports skills
It gives the athlete a big chance to hone their skills in tennis since they are free to play as long as they want.
- Community ties
Tennis shatters the barrier and invites for a friendly game.
- Stress relief
It’s scientifically proven that exercise reduces stress.
- Lessens depression and anxiety
Any form of exercise stimulates positive feelings in the body.
You don’t have to transport your kids to another place to practice and play their favorite sports.
- Add value to your home
It’s the highlight feature for prospective homebuyers. Therefore, it’s a fantastic idea to put up a tennis court before you put your property on the real estate market.
- No planning permission required
You don’t need any planning permission to install a tennis court in your backyard. Indeed, you don’t need to undergo an overlong process to verify your plan unless you add floodlights, which can affect your neighbors.
- Impressive to your property
It’s a perfect way to impress your family and friends and a great social area where you can enjoy yourself.
Drawbacks to Backyard Tennis Courts
On the other hand, installing tennis courts in your backyard presents several disadvantages. For instance, it is very expensive, requires strenuous maintenance, may lead to injuries if you keep on playing on your home court if you haven’t trained properly. Besides, it requires wide space as the average size of a tennis court is 60 ft. x 120 ft.
- Requires regular maintenance
Tennis courts require orderly maintenance, especially the surface area, to remain in optimal condition.
- Needs wide space
It takes a considerable amount of space. Indeed, the average size of a court is 60 ft. x 120 ft. long. Thus, homeowners with less than 1.5 acres cannot install tennis courts in their backyards.
- Seasonal sport
Tennis is a seasonal sport played in cooler climates. Therefore, homeowners are likely to give up space for a few months before using it again when the weather allows it.
- Very expensive
Aside from the cost of the tennis court parts and equipment, you’ll spend a similar amount if you want an improved court. Plus, you should count the cost for regular maintenance.
If you keep playing on your tennis court although you’re amateur or haven’t trained properly, you’re likely to suffer several injuries considering it’s a fast-paced sport that demands a lot from your body.
Also read this article about how much a sport court could cost you!
Tennis Court Surface Options
There are four main types of tennis courts: hard courts, clay, synthetic grass, and natural grass. Each surface has distinct qualities that affect the player’s style of play and natural ability. Therefore, you should choose the type of surface that best suits your style and advantages you in your next tennis match.
Hard courts are constructed with asphalt or concrete bases and are often coated with acrylic.
- Low maintenance
- Cleaner to play on than other surfaces
- Customizable surface pace, from slow to fast play
- Best for multi-sport courts
- Best for indoor and outdoor courts, in any climate
- Drain and dry off quickly after the rain
- Can be a little harder on the body and joints compared to clay and grass courts
- Requires occasional maintenance
This type of surface is very famous in Europe and South America.
- The softest surface
- The easiest surface on the body
- Slows down the ball and offers higher bounce than other surfaces
- Suitable for baseline players
- Requires a lot of maintenance
- Needs a lot of water on a regular basis
- Makes the game slower
- Synthetic grass
Synthetic grass is usually filled with sand. It helps stand the blades of grass up and offers a solid surface to rebound the ball on.
- Soft playing surface
- Cooler surface in hot weather
- Requires you to broom and add sand.
- Can pose issues with mold
- Natural grass
Natural grass is the surface that tennis was originally played on.
- Reduces stress on the knees
- Fast-playing surface
- High maintenance: watering, mowing, fertilizing, top dressing
- Slippery and dangerous when it’s raining
- Unpredictable gameplay
We’re excited for you to have your very own tennis court. It will turn your home into an impressive property by only spending $25,000 to $30,000 and up. Plus, you can customize your tennis court based on your style.
You can add more special features, like landscape, benches, and fences. Although, it will of course drive up the cost. However, it’s a great way to have some daily exercise, strengthen family bonds, and create an enjoyable backyard.