If you are a basketball enthusiast or a basketball-loving family, building a backyard basketball court can be a dream come true. But if you are not careful about your court project budget, the cost can also be a nightmare. Understanding what costs go into your backyard basketball court can help you create a budget you can afford and the right financing options for you, such as a credit card or a loan.
Where to begin?
I’m sure you’ve got some questions, how much does it cost? Is it worth the cost for a backyard basketball court, or should I look into indoor courts with hardwood? What is the average cost to build an outdoor court per square foot? What should I expect to pay for a multi-sport full-court per square foot? How do I decide my court size? Let’s get started breaking down what it takes and the cost to make outdoor basketball courts and help you figure out what you want to build in your backyard!
How much does an outdoor basketball court cost per square foot?
For some, a concrete slab and a basketball hoop may be enough. If you want a premium basketball outdoor court or a sports court that can double for things like a tennis court, you might need to hire a contractor. Other people may think about a hardwood court indoors or a backyard court, but here we’re going to focus on breaking down a backyard basketball court. The total cost for the construction project varies depending on what materials are used, site preparation needed, zip code, and the specifications you choose. Jake Angrisano of Matéflex breaks down the costs of each component of backyard courts.
Matéflex doesn’t pour concrete, so you’d need to hire a contractor in your zip code to do it. According to Homewyse, this will cost roughly $7 to $8 per square foot. That means a half basketball court (47 by 50 square feet) may cost up to $18,800 to pour. A whole court (84-94 by 50 feet) may cost up to $37,600 to pour. You may need to prepare the backyard where you want to build, which will increase the cost to build.
For a basic backyard basketball court, Matéflex’s basic polypropylene tiles are one square foot each and cost $3.90 apiece. A half-size court would cost $9,165. And the tiles for a whole court would cost $18,330. The number of tiles needed may also vary for full-size courts depending on what size you choose— high school courts or more professional courts will affect the cost to build the outdoor court. It all comes down to the per square foot breakdown of each size court.
The cost of your basketball hoop, according to Angrisano, will depend on how big you want the backboard and the hoop extension to be. “The outdoor, adjustable, permanently installed hoop cost can range anywhere from approximately $1,000 to $1,750,” he says. Double the cost for full courts, which will bring it to around $3 000.
It costs $300 to paint the game lines for a half-court. This cost goes up for full-size courts and goes up more for sports courts. The size of your court will also affect what you should expect to pay.
Matéflex charges $350 per day for labor and an extra $300 per day for travel. However, you can save a lot of money by investing some sweat equity into your court and doing it yourself.
“The installation timeline depends on the size of the project, number of game lines, and a few other variables,” says Angrisano. “However, four workers should be able to install a full-size basketball court in a single day.
The size of the court significantly affects the cost to build. An NBA full-size court is 97 feet by 50 feet. The average cost for this is $46,000. Building a half-size court measures 42 to 47 by 50 feet, and junior full-court measures 84 by 50 feet. Keeping the size down is a way to significantly cut the cost as it keeps the amount of square footage and materials lower.
Basketball court costs by size
Obviously, the larger the basketball court, the more you will have to pay. Here is a rough estimate of the cost of building basketball courts of different sizes.
- A standard NBA/NCAA full-size basketball court (97 x 50 feet) will cost you an average of $46,000.
- For a high school full-size court (84 x 50 feet) expect around $41,500.
- A junior high full-size basketball court (74 x 42 feet) will come to approximately $31,000.
The costs can drop considerably if you are willing to settle for a smaller size. Here are some estimates for smaller options.
- NBA/NCAA half-size court (47 x 50 feet) = $23,000.
- High school half-size basketball court (42 x 50 feet) = $21,000.
- Junior high half-size court (37 x 42 feet) = $15,500.
- 3-on-3 court (30 x 30 feet) = $9,000.
The location that you live in may also affect the cost of the basketball court. For example, if you live in Hawaii, there will be fewer companies and materials for a court versus living in Florida. The cost will be higher if there is less competition amongst contractors and suppliers in the area. It may also cost significantly more to get materials shipped by air or boat instead of delivered by truck in the continental United States.
If you want to go with more than the basic options to make your court projects high-end or a sports court, you can add additional features or upgrade the materials. Some potential upgrades Angrisano notes include:
- A full 72-inch glass backboard
- Extra game lines for other sports (e.g., tennis, volleyball, badminton, etc.)
- Adjustable net system for other sports
- Premium tile and other materials in place of base material
- A sport court or multi-sport court- half-court or whole court
In total, a basic half-basketball court will cost you roughly $30,000 to install. The cost can keep adding up with upgrades for the space.
Tips for saving money on an outdoor basketball court
Building an outdoor basketball court is not a cheap project, but there are things you can do to bring down the cost of building in your space.
The main way to cut costs is to do some or all of the construction on your own. The biggest portion of the concrete installation, for example, is the labor costs. Doing it yourself can save you thousands of dollars on this home improvement project.
Also, Matéflex allows you to buy its tiles without the installation cost. You can even paint the lines yourself. The more you do on your own, the cheaper it’ll be.
Matéflex isn’t the only outdoor basketball court contractor out there. There may even be several local contractors that can do the job and lower the cost to build per square foot. Use your zip code to help you find more contractors for your court. Before choosing one, compare multiple options to ensure you’re getting the best quality and the best deal. There may also be local places that sell the concrete, base materials, tiles, and other necessary things to transform your space into a backyard court while cutting the cost.
Cut the upgrades
An easy way to cut down on the cost is to cut down on the court’s upgrades. This could be as simple as not using premium tiles or opting out of extra game lines for other sports. If you want to upgrade your court in the future, make sure to only cut upgrades that can easily be changed in the future, such as adjustable netting for other sports.
Planning your basketball court or sport court
This backyard project is costly from the start of the concrete slab. It just goes up as you add the tiles and other material costs. A budget is a must for a home improvement project like this. You may need to breakdown the cost of building and focus on the average cost per square foot to help determine what kind of court you choose and what else the court may need.
What do you want?
Now that you’ve got an idea of costs for your court, what is your price range? Time to figure out if you want a half-court, a whole court, or a sports court? If a full court, a junior high court, or a high school court? What about the materials cost for the court? Are you going to upgrade the tiles or use something other than concrete? Half courts are the cheapest, but what is best for your family and backyard? What is the average cost for your project? How many square feet will it be? Planning this first is crucial for making a budget for basketball courts.
When do you want it?
Do you want to build your court in the spring, so it is ready to be used all summer long? Or do you want to build it in the summer to help avoid the higher chances of rain? Figuring out when you want to build it and communicating with the contractors and the other people making the court possible is a must. The timeline is also affected by financing. Getting an idea of when the court is going to be built is crucial.
How will you do it?
Now that you know the components involved to create your playing surface and their costs, such as the concrete, tiles, and other base material, how will you get to shooting hoops? Will you cut the cost by doing the site preparation yourself? Will you be pouring the concrete or hiring someone to make the sportbase? How will this impact the court’s budget?
Financing your outdoor basketball court
Even if you do most of the work on your own, building an outdoor basketball court may cost thousands of dollars. If you don’t have that kind of cash lying around, you’ll need to think about your financing options to create the perfect court for you and your family. Consider the following options.
Apply for a personal loan
A personal loan is another good option. You can apply for your loan at a bank or credit union or compare offers at online lenders. Your safest option is to get an unsecured personal loan, which doesn’t require collateral and usually charges a fixed interest rate. Personal loans come with different rates, fees, and requirements, so check out the best personal loans to ensure that you choose the best option for you. You can minimize the cost of interest payments if you choose the shortest loan term. Just make sure you can afford the payments.
If your credit is middling, you may be unable to qualify for an unsecured loan with decent rates. If that’s the case, consider a secured loan to help with the cost of building your backyard court. By pledging your assets as collateral, you can get approved for a loan even without good credit. Be aware that secured loans’ variable interest rates may fluctuate over the life of the loan. And if you default on the loan, your possessions will be on the line.
Use a credit card
If your credit is good, you may qualify for a large enough line of credit to cover the cost of your backyard court’s base material, tiles, and other necessary costs. Some credit cards even offer introductory interest-free periods — usually six to 18 months. This lets you avoid interest while paying off the costs over time. Just be sure to finish paying off your credit card before the grace period is up. Work this into your timeline if you open a new credit card to finance this project. After it ends, interest rates will spike.
Looking for a credit card to finance your new court? Compare your options and read reviews of our top picks here.
Building a basketball court is an exciting project for families of all types! Maybe you’re a seasoned DIY-er ready to roll up your sleeves and lay the concrete for your projects. Or maybe you’re a basketball purist looking for a contractor to construct a competition-quality basketball court. Whatever your preference, the right financing option could mean the difference between debilitating debt and basketball bliss. Compare loan options, consider credit cards, and make the choice that’s right for you and your family.
Ben Luthi is a personal finance writer and a credit cards expert who loves helping consumers and business owners make better financial decisions. His work has been featured in Time, MarketWatch, Yahoo! Finance, U.S. News & World Report, CNBC, Success Magazine, USA Today, The Huffington Post and many more.