The first pickleball games were played on a badminton court. Pickleball was designed in 1965 by United States Congressman Joel Pritchard and one of his friends for their kids to entertain themselves. Pickleball started as a game with simple, adapted materials, made to use existing sports equipment in a new way.
Just as pickleball was originally adapted from badminton, pickleball courts were also originally adapted from badminton courts. A pickleball court is the same in dimension as a doubles badminton court: 20’ by 44’.
No dollar value stated in this article is a professional estimate. Valuations are based on information provided by landscaping companies. Every property is different and unforeseeable circumstances may cause variations from the prices cited in this article. Consult with a professional before beginning any landscaping or construction project.
A pickleball court is 20 feet by 44 feet. You’ll need to have some paved space behind the baseline for the players to stand to serve and to retreat so they can play long returns. For similar reasons, paved space should extend past the sidelines of the court. Courts, including out-of-bounds areas, extend between 28 and 31 feet wide, and 52 to 64 feet deep. Their total area is around 1,456 to 1,984 square feet.
A pickleball court is a much likelier size to find space for in a backyard than a tennis court. A standard tennis court, including surrounding spaces, totals approximately 120 feet by 85 feet and very few homes
When building a pickleball court, you will need to decide whether to have a permanent or temporary net. Temporary nets are the cheapest option, running from $25 for a basic net that can be bought at Target or Wal-Mart. More expensive temporary nets can cost $350 or more for the strongest and lightest options. Temporary nets will need to be anchored on windy days and breezes and players running into them can move them.
While a pickleball court will typically increase the value of a home, it can be difficult to determine. Sometimes a court will make your home harder to sell, as well. Families with no intention of taking up the sport may not want to absorb the future expense of a large, purpose-built patio. This needs consideration before you decide or not to build a pickleball court.
Outdoor Pickleball Court Cost & Breakdown
A backyard pickleball court in the great outdoors will be the least expensive pickleball court. Backyard courts only need to stand up to a few people playing on it occasionally. A backyard court will also probably not have or need a permanent net. A temporary net can be moved to the side or to the garage when the court isn’t being used to play pickleball. This will allow the pickleball court to be used for relaxing and socializing when it’s not being used for pickleball.
The home pickleball court is a concrete patio that has another surface mounted on it to play a game. While you can play pickleball on sealed or painted concrete, it will generate different bounces than clay or tile. The patio where the court is laid over is an important thing to remember. Patios are not a simple expense themselves and can vary in price from $4.40 to upwards of $16 per square foot.
A popular option for court facing is an impregnated plastic sports tile. This tile can be bought with or without lines already on it. Sports tile is the least expensive option for surfacing a sports court. It’s another $4.00 to $16.00 per square foot depending on the vendor. A tile-surfaced court can be used for many sports equally well, and is a good option for families with kids, who might be using their surface not only for pickleball but also for basketball, soccer, and other sports. Plastic sports tile is one of the best all-purpose surfaces for maintenance as well. The tiles are highly resilient to most forms of damage. As well, when damage does happen to the surface, it can be repaired with minimal expense, as usually only the damaged tiles will need to be replaced.
Even at its least expensive, a home pickleball court with no dedicated fence will be a substantial investment in your home. Its costs break down as follows:
A pickleball court with a gravel base and poured concrete surface, at minimum, should be approximately $4.40 per square foot. $4.40 x 1,467 square feet gives a total of $6,454.80. Sports tile surfacing for that patio should be approximately $4.00 x 1,467 square feet for a total of $5,868. A portable pickleball net from any sporting goods store should cost around $25.00. Adding all this up, the total cost of a home pickleball court at minimum price should run around $12,350.
Most homeowners with enough backyard space to consider installing a pickleball court will want a more versatile and useful space. A serious pickleball player may prefer a clay surface over sports tile. And a fence on at least two sides of the pickleball court will reduce lost balls to the neighbors’ yards and the street or alley. It will also reduce lost time for retrieving balls that have bounced into awkward places in your yard. This can be especially important if the person building the court is older or has impaired mobility. All these factors can increase the price of a pickleball court. Depending on options, your home pickleball court can cost as much as $50,000.
One of the most useful additions to a pickleball court for a Northern climate is a bubble. A “bubble” is a temporary inflatable building that can be erected over the court. It’s heated and keeps snow away, allowing play during winter months without building an expensive outbuilding to house this important investment in your home. A bubble can also mitigate weather damage from freeze-thaw cycles during the winter months and spring. This could also reduce the long-term costs associated with this home addition.
Pickleball is a lifetime sport. Practicing it in the convenience and privacy of your own home is a tempting prospect for the homeowner or future homeowner. The space investment for a pickleball court is also very modest compared to that of a tennis court. Pickleball is typically played on hard surfaces, which must be surveyed and leveled. Homeowners also might need to consult local laws and regulations regarding patios and home sports equipment. But if you can, a pickleball court in your home could be an attractive and valuable addition that will bolster your home’s value in years to come.