This is a question we get all the time from callers to Pickleball Savings. Sometimes from operators of racquet clubs or municipalities. And now more than ever from homeowners in the new Covid-19 stay-at- home world. To professionals who build courts, it’s such a loaded question – and a huge business opportunity for them – so many are reluctant to give you a straight answer. It is like asking a contractor who builds swimming pools how much a backyard pool costs. It depends on what you want! And, those asking the question realize that “it’s complicated,” but still they want some sort of simple answer just to see if it’s right for them and within their imagined budget.
So here’s your answer – about $25,000 per court. It is about the same cost as a swimming pool. And like swimming pools, it can cost less if you stick to just the basics, or it can cost endlessly more depending upon what you want. If you are exploring the idea of having your own outdoor court, let’s breakdown the basics just so you can imagine if it is a possibility for you or not. And for this scenario we will assume that you are starting from scratch, in other words, you do not already have a hard concrete or asphalt surface – which is the biggest component of the overall project cost.
The pickleball court itself is 20’ wide and 44’ in length. But the court’s recommended overall pad area is 30’ wide and 60’ long. That is 1,800 square feet total. Grab your tape measure and make sure you have an area this size which is relatively flat. For this simple explanation let’s assume you have a nice flat area.
Your biggest expense is going to be prepping, framing, and pouring the pad. You can keep this simple with a basic 4” or 6” concrete slab or you can go with asphalt. Concrete is generally easier and more practical than asphalt. You can go with post-tensioned concrete and gel courts like the pros, but again costs rise with deluxe choices. A simple 4” or 6” concrete pad runs about $5 per square foot or about$10,000. That’s at least half of the total project cost. Go with a nice permanent net which runs less than$1,000 and pre-order this early so your concrete contractor can pour proper footers and set your poles. And ask the contractor to keep the cut-lines outside of the inbounds court area to avoid bad hops.
Chain link fence is priced by the linear foot. Assume an average of $25 per foot for a contractor’s materials and labor. A 30’ x 60’ slab equals 180 linear feet so the cost is about $5,000. However, if your court is in the backyard and surrounded by grass then consider not installing fencing to save money.
Instead invest in functional landscaping. Unlike tennis balls which fly across a lawn, pickleballs are lightweight and will stop when they hit the grass – potentially eliminating the need for a fence.
Proper sport court surfacing is worth the investment and makes your court play and look great. The paint is very heavy with grit so it is applied with a squeegee instead of a roller. Lay down a good primer first for best results. There are plenty of YouTube videos explaining how to apply sport court paint but consider hiring a professional to ensure your court looks great. A sport court contractor is approximately$5,000 for materials and labor and worth the investment. This part is worth hiring a professional.
Lighting is a final consideration. The latest LED sport court solutions are worth the investment if you plan to play at night. Hire an electrician to do this. Total cost for one court is about $5,000, and more if the light-package is more elaborate or if your electrician needs to bring power to your court.