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Backyard Tennis Court: Build the Perfect Home Court (2023)

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tennis court in backyardYou’ve been thinking about it for a while now. Building a tennis court in your own backyard. I get it – the local courts are always so crowded, and you’re craving that daily access.

Constructing a home tennis court is no small feat. Zoning laws, site prep, dimensions, surfaces, fencing…so many factors to weigh. But with the right planning and prep – and yes, budget – your backyard can become a private tennis haven.

A place to gather with friends or family anytime for fast-paced rallies, leisurely volleys, and post-match cocktails on the patio.

The process takes vision, work and investment. But for a dedicated player like you, it will be so worth it.

Key Takeaways

  • Check regulations, orientation, dimensions, and site conditions before starting construction.
  • Select the tennis court surface that fits your climate, budget, and playing preferences.
  • Prioritize proper drainage, traction, and cushioning for safety.
  • Routine maintenance like pressure washing and resurfacing is required to maintain the court in good condition.

Planning Your Tennis Court

Planning Your Tennis Court
Before breaking ground on your backyard tennis court, check your zoning laws and HOA regulations to ensure construction is allowed. Next, evaluate the size and conditions of your yard to determine if there is sufficient space and optimal orientation.

Having an open southern exposure is ideal for sun positioning throughout the day. With the proper due diligence and siting, you’ll be ready to begin your backyard tennis court project.


You’d better review the zoning laws and HOA rules before constructing your new sports court to ensure it meets all setback requirements and doesn’t violate any prohibitions. Belonging starts with understanding and respecting your community. We’re all in this together.

Site Assessment

Before progressing too far in planning your new sports area, check that the site has adequate space and the appropriate slope and soil for construction. After heavy rains, rake the site level and assess drainage. Ensure there is sufficient room for fencing, lighting, and ball machine storage.

Thorough assessment of the site upfront prevents issues and controls costs when installing your tennis court surface later.


If you place the court like sundial needles, orient your new tennis area north-south for the best angle to keep the sun out of players’ eyes while serving. When planning, consider drainage, wind breaks, seating options, and irrigation access.

Shade structures become essential. Focus on player comfort and community connection.

Tennis Court Dimensions

Tennis Court Dimensions
You’ll find standard tennis court dimensions are 60 feet wide by 120 feet long. When planning your backyard court, take into account this size along with room for a 20-foot clearance on all sides.

The playing area inside the baselines is 36 feet by 78 feet, so with the extra room, a regulation court takes up a total of 100 by 140 feet. Knowing these measurements will help you evaluate if you have sufficient backyard space.

Take time to measure properly, and don’t forget allowances for fencing, windscreens or landscaping that would further reduce the open area. With good planning using the standard dimensions, you’ll create the perfect court layout tailored to your property’s unique size and shape.

Tennis Court Surfaces

Tennis Court Surfaces
When choosing the surface for your backyard tennis court, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of hard versus soft playing options. Grass and clay courts provide a softer, more forgiving surface, but require more maintenance.

Concrete, on the other hand, makes for a hard, consistent playing field that needs less upkeep but can be tougher on the body. Ultimately, the right tennis court surface for your home comes down to budget, climate, and playing style preferences.

Hard Vs Soft Courts

Hard courts provide faster play but can be tough on your joints, so consider installing cushioned acrylic layers if opting for asphalt or concrete.

Regularly groom, water, and surface clay courts for consistent bounce. Allow grass courts to recover between uses and aerate periodically. Har-Tru clay needs annual cleaning and top-dressing. Daily brushing and wet rolling maintains consistent clay feel.

Soft court surfaces like grass, clay, and Har-Tru provide a more forgiving and comfortable playing experience. But they require intensive, regular maintenance to keep their playability and feel consistent.

Hard courts with cushioned acrylic overlays are a lower maintenance option that helps reduce joint stress while still allowing for speedy play. Ultimately, the court surface choice involves balancing playability, feel, and maintenance requirements for your needs.

Grass, Clay, Concrete

When choosing court surfaces, balance speed with comfort. Concrete and asphalt play faster but can be tough on joints. Clay and grass feel gentler but need daily grooming and watering to maintain consistent bounce and feel.

Consider installing cushioned acrylic layers on hard courts. Or opt for soft surfaces like Har-Tru clay or grass if you can commit to the intensive maintenance required. With planning, you can find the ideal court surface that fits your play style, budget, and maintenance capabilities.

Tennis Court Costs

Tennis Court Costs
Greetings. Warm up those serves and groundstrokes! For building your personal backyard tennis court, first assess your budget, quality desires, and playing needs. The foundations require decisions on asphalt, concrete, or other surfaces. Fencing, lighting, and accessories impact expenses.

Hiring a knowledgeable contractor helps translate your tennis dreams into reality.

With smart planning, you can construct a court matching your game, lifestyle, and resources. Now gear up and envision leaping for overheads, sprinting for drop shots, and celebrating aces on your own private Wimbledon grass or Roland Garros clay.

Let’s strategize to build your ideal tennis environment and facility. The court awaits your grit, passion, sweat, and championship dreams.


Cause money don’t grow on trees, consider asphalt over post-tensioned concrete to save some bucks initially. The rubber soles should hug those smooth blacktop dreams just fine, but be ready to reseal cracks in the asphalt regularly like a doting gardener tending to her prized petunias.

  • Acrylic surfacing helps reduce ball heating.
  • Cushioned underlay adds comfort underfoot.
  • Windscreens block sun glare during play.
  • Automated scoring eliminates manual tracking.

Ultimately, the surface material comes down to budget and maintenance plans – a quality asphalt or post-tensioned concrete court built properly will serve backyard ballers for years to come.


You’ll want to add accessories tailored to your gameplay. Install shade sails or windscreens to reduce glare from the sun. Perimeter fencing keeps stray balls contained. Seating and scoreboards boost the social environment.

Asphalt soaks up less warmth than concrete. Focusing on comfort and convenience, these add-ons elevate the backyard court experience.


With tennis court construction costs ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, hiring an experienced contractor is key for ensuring quality workmanship and staying within your budget. Carefully select a reputable firm that specializes in tennis court installation, not just general landscaping.

Visit past projects and seek referrals from satisfied customers. Compare competitive bids and thoroughly inspect licenses, insurance policies, and credentials. Be sure to factor in costs for geotechnical consultation, site preparation, and professional court installation, as this intensive project is not one recommended for DIY.

Clearly communicate your specifications and timeline expectations. Their specialized expertise ensures your home tennis court will be constructed properly.

Building Your Tennis Court

Building Your Tennis Court
Gear up to construct your personal Wimbledon right at home! Start by grading and preparing the site, then decide between asphalt, concrete, or other surfaces. Carefully mark lines and install the net to complete your backyard tennis oasis.

Site Preparation

  • Check drainage and grade the area for proper runoff
  • Conduct soil testing to assess compaction needs
  • Verify contractor qualifications and experience
  • Obtain any required permits and ensure regulatory compliance

Select and prepare the location meticulously, evaluating the entire yard’s contours and square feet of space. Proper site preparation is crucial yet often an afterthought, easily doubling project costs if neglected.

Don’t cut corners here even if more expensive initially. Correcting issues later under the court is extremely difficult, especially once subjected to continuous impact and extreme temperatures.


Pick the best surfacing based on your budget, climate, and playing style. Concrete offers durability but asphalt’s more forgiving on joints. Opt for materials providing the court crown height, optimum playing speed, and shock absorption you prefer.

Compare installation and annual maintenance costs too. Some surfaces like grass or clay need more upkeep. Ensure the contractor properly grades and crowns the sub-base for good drainage before applying acrylic layers, concrete, or asphalt.

Prioritize your budget, joints, climate, maintenance needs and playing style as you select the ideal tennis court surface. Your contractor should prep the subsurface correctly before applying the final material for optimal playability and longevity.

Lines and Markings

Swing a racket on your new court using crisp lines and vibrant colors to define boundaries and enhance play.

  1. Use stencils for consistent margins and widths with 2-4 inch options.
  2. Employ painter’s tape masking techniques before rolling on durable, acrylic-based permanent paint.
  3. Select eye-popping hues like Electric Blue that dry tack-free in 4 hours for fast turnaround.

The right lines and markings establish court dimensions, boost visibility of space and ball bounce, and elevate your playing experience. Choose paint colors and application methods that optimize function, aesthetics and cost.

Net Installation

Get that net in place. An outdoor court is not complete without it. As a professional, ensure proper tensioning for optimal play by installing galvanized posts with quality nets that feature reinforced headbands, side pockets and center straps.

Position and anchor expertly, allowing for bounce back and adequate run back while getting players closer to a Wimbledon feel. Now volley fiercely, serve rockets, and chase each ball unrelentingly, as your court comes alive.

Maintaining Your Tennis Court

Maintaining Your Tennis Court
Pressure wash and seal the surface regularly, whether it is concrete or asphalt, to remove debris and rejuvenate the top layer. Resurface every few years to renew worn acrylic coatings. Stay on top of filling any cracks that develop to prevent further deterioration.

Taking these simple maintenance steps will extend the life of your court and keep the surface smooth, safe, and ready for play. Make it a habit to routinely check for any needed repairs. Schedule proactive maintenance like pressure washing and sealing well in advance.

Follow through with resurfacing on a regular timeline rather than waiting for the court to become overly worn. Addressing cracks right away keeps them from expanding into bigger problems. Consistent care will maximize your investment in the court and enable enjoyment of the space for many years to come.

Pressure Washing

You’ll want to pressure wash your court regularly for proper upkeep. Leaving dirt, debris, and stains causes uneven bounce. Grab the power washer, crank up the PSI, and thoroughly spray the surface, lines, and fence.

Cleaning your court this way enhances playability – and we know you aim to keep things shipshape.


You’ll be glad you resurfaced that puppy when the ball bounces true as new. My buddy Sal redid his last spring and can’t stop raving about how it’s juiced his game. As your contractor, I recommend resurfacing every few years to remove overgrowth, repair early cracks, eliminate streaks, prevent algae, and control weeds.

Rejuvenate your concrete, clay or asphalt with a fresh coat of acrylic surfacing for grippy, uniform play you’re after.

Crack Repair

Don’t let those cracks creep across your court – nip them in the bud and keep your surface smooth as silk. Small cracks can turn into big problems if left unattended. Fill asphalt fractures with polymer crack filler each season.

Use concrete caulk on cement cracks before they spread. Level low spots or gouges with patch mix. A few handy repairs now prevents major court surgery later. Keeping your surface sound takes some tender loving care, but it’s game on when your court plays like new.

Tennis Court Accessories

Tennis Court Accessories
You’ll want to evaluate options for lighting, windscreens, and a hitting wall as you outfit your new backyard tennis court. Proper lighting allows for evening matches and solo practice while windscreens reduce wind interference and hitting walls provide a surface for solo drills.

Select accessories that align with how you plan to use the court, factoring in costs along with your priorities for convenience and performance.


Nearly a quarter million Americans go to the emergency room for sports-related eye injuries annually. Getting struck in the face by a fast-moving tennis ball can inflict serious damage if precautions aren’t taken.

Lighting is crucial for nighttime tennis. Install lights 20 feet high surrounding the perimeter, outside the court fences to prevent ball damage. LED bulbs are long-lasting and cost-effective. Automating on/off times allows for convenience.

Position lighting to minimize glare while optimizing visibility across the court.


Place windscreens around your court to shield play from disruptive cross breezes. Strategically position durable windscreens secured by ground anchors to provide the ideal balance of wind protection and airflow across grass, clay, or hard court surfaces.

Opt for UV resistant screen materials with reinforced frames that can withstand your area’s typical wind loads. Well placed wind barriers enhance your game by reducing annoying gusts without overshadowing your court or negatively impacting natural surface airflow.

Hitting Wall

Install a hitting wall in your backyard court to enable solo practice sessions and sharpen your strokes. Strategically position durable plywood against the fencing near the net for easy self-feeding of balls.

Add padding to prevent ball damage. Equip the practice area with a ball hopper, timer, and storage cart. Mimic actual court lines and dimensions when constructing the wall. Keep costs low by doing the installation yourself.

Tennis Court Safety

Tennis Court Safety
You’ll want to consider both traction and cushioning as you select surfacing materials for your new backyard tennis court. Applying a non-slip coating, like Fixall Skid Grip, will help prevent slips and falls, especially when the court surface is damp.

Opting for acrylic cushioned layers over the asphalt or concrete base can help absorb impact, reducing joint strain. With the right combination of traction and cushioning, you can create a safer backyard tennis court optimized for recreational play and athlete longevity.

Traction Coating

Apply Fixall’s slip-resistant coating to ensure safe footing across your court’s surface, allowing play to carry on without disruption. Proper slope, site drainage and traction reduce injury risk. Anti-slip paint mitigates moisture and debris on clay or asphalt.

You will gain confidence bounding across the court, with traction secure on grass or clay.


You’ll gain comfort by cushioning your joints on soft courts, lessening impact while still building skills. Clay cushions joints, yet provides grip for movement. Grass absorbs shock, but needs an even slope.

Seek proper drainage or materials like cushioned acrylic layers. Well-maintained surfaces ensure safety during competitive play.

Choosing Tennis Balls

Choosing Tennis Balls
Selecting Wilson’s US Open balls can deliver consistent bounce and feel for recreational play on your hard court. Carefully choosing the right tennis balls for your backyard surface is key to maximizing enjoyment and playability.

  1. Ball Felt – Softer felt grips the court for control while harder felt has higher bounce.
  2. Internal Pressure – Higher pressure makes balls play faster off the strings.
  3. Size – Larger balls are slower for beginners while regulation size creates true bounce.

Test different balls to find the rebound and spin you prefer on your court material. Whether asphalt or concrete, opt for a ball that complements your playing style and creates the responsive connection you seek with each rally.

Tennis Court Rules

Tennis Court Rules
Well met, friend. Let us go over some key tennis rules regarding scoring and serving to ensure proper play and etiquette on your new backyard court. With a solid grasp of these fundamentals, you will be ready to take the court and enjoy fair, fun matches with family and friends.


Mark well your service boxes lest glory evade your grasp.

Keep rally scores and match wins simple with tennis’ unique scoring. The server’s score is called first. Win points on your service with aces and skillful groundstrokes. Rally patiently from the baseline and approach the net at the right times for winning volleys.

Double fault and lose serve? Tap your strings, refocus, and battle on. Win 6 games for a set, claim 2 of 3 sets for the match. Stay gritty through deuces, changeovers, and tiebreaks. Hoist the trophy when the final point is won.

Points Terminology
0 Love
1 15
2 30
3 40
4 Game


You still have service in hand, so toss the ball high and swing cleanly through it. Position your feet shoulder-width apart behind the baseline with a sideways stance facing the deuce court. Hold the racket loosely in your dominant hand and adopt a relaxed continental grip.

Toss the ball straight up about 12-18 inches in front of your body and make contact slightly in front at the peak of the toss.

Aim diagonally for the service box, brushing up the back of the ball with an arcing motion as you extend through contact. Clear the net with inches to spare and land deep in the box to set up the next winning point.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the pros and cons of hiring a professional contractor versus DIY installation?

As a landscape architect and pro, I’d advise hiring a professional contractor. They know the regulations, have the proper tools, and experience for quality work you’ll love using. DIY seems cheaper initially, but believe me, it’s worth engaging an expert. You’ll be much happier with the end result and avoid headaches later on.

How can I make the court blend in aesthetically with my backyard landscaping?

Curving borders using trees, shrubs, and flower beds help soften the straight lines of a court. Neutral fencing and surface materials can integrate cleanly into the surroundings. Thoughtful design respects the existing backyard while still fulfilling dreams of having a home tennis court.

Careful placement of plantings and landscape features helps a court blend into the natural flow of the yard. Strategic gaps in fencing allow views through to lawn areas. Earthy beiges and greens for court surfacing tend to recede visually.

With creative planning, your tennis court can feel like a natural extension of the landscape.

The goal is a design that respects the backyard while accommodating your passion for tennis. Blend natural shapes, neutral colors and thoughtful placement to integrate your court seamlessly into the existing aesthetic.

What are some creative alternative surfaces besides concrete or asphalt?

You could consider Har-Tru, a clay and crushed brick surface that has a classic, rustic vibe. Or opt for artificial grass to complement the surrounding landscaping with a lush, natural aesthetic. Grass offers a softer feel underfoot than hard courts too. Just ensure proper drainage and base construction for any alternative surface.

How close can trees and other structures be without interfering with play?

When designing your backyard court, trees and structures should be at least 20 feet from the court perimeter. This allows ample space for playing around the edges without obstruction. Position trees and fences as far back as your yard allows for maximum playability.

Are there options for building a tennis court on a sloped yard?

There are options. Consider terracing to create flat areas or building retaining walls before installing the court surface. An experienced contractor can advise on the best approach based on the slope and orientation.


You’ve covered all the bases for building your personal backyard tennis court from planning to construction to upkeep. With the right contractor, surface, and accessories like lighting and windscreens, you’re sure to ace your first serve on opening day.

But a home court is about more than the technical details and dollars spent; it’s a lifetime investment that brings fun, fitness, and quality time with loved ones. As the great players know, success comes down to heart. So build your court with passion and determination to enjoy every volley, and you’re guaranteed to have a home court advantage.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.