A tennis court can be a great addition to any home, especially million-dollar homes in Florida. If you like being active and healthy, a home tennis court can also enhance your property’s value for resale. In Florida, swimming pools in backyards are common, but there are fewer homes with tennis courts, so they’re a luxurious feature.
This article will look at some of the things you need to consider when planning to install a tennis court on your property.
Tennis Court Basics
First, when planning to build a tennis court on your property, you need to take care of some basics. This includes setting your budget, determining where to build, and researching the laws in your area.
When creating your budget, don’t forget these items: in addition to construction costs, you need to plan for windscreens and backboards, a freestanding rebounder, the tennis net system, possibly a storage shed, seating, and the costs of upkeep.
Your actual budget will depend on several factors, including the type of work that needs to be done to prepare the court surface. Some excavation will be required to prevent the court from shifting and cracking because of natural movements of the soil layers underneath it. Other variables include the type of surface you select, the quality of the lighting, and extra features mentioned previously.
Research Your Local Ordinances and HOA Rules
Your community may have municipal ordinances or your homeowners association (HOA) may have CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) that restrict or prohibit the construction of a tennis court on your property. There also may be a restriction as to the type of court surface. In addition, your HOA may dictate fencing (maximum height) and lighting (hours of use). A big issue for many Florida property owners is the set-back, or how close to the property line the tennis court may be located. Some communities have a set-back of 20 feet.
Don’t start construction until you have the answers to all of these questions. Consult with a knowledgeable property law attorney to verify what’s required to build. You’ll also most likely need to obtain permits from the city.
Plotting the Court’s Location
Assuming you’ve received the proper approvals from the community and HOA, you’ll need to determine precisely where your property boundaries are, so that you can comply with any set-back restrictions. You may need to hire a surveyor for this. One best practice is to try to have your court oriented to run north and south—that way neither player will have the sun in their eyes. You’ll also need to allow for some space around your court. The average annual rainfall in Florida is 54 inches across the state, with more precipitation in the summer. Consider drainage, so that you won’t have to walk across a marsh to access the court or wait for the surface to dry to play a match.
Selecting the Court Surface Material
The surface of your court is an important decision. A significant factor in your choice may maintenance, as this cost, along with installation, can vary substantially. Provided there are no restrictions on the type of surface you can install in your neighborhood, know that grass courts are usually the most expensive, followed by clay courts, then cushioned surfaces. In fact, a grass court can cost ten times more than a clay court to install, with a cushioned surface running much less. And the maintenance for a grass or clay court might cost several thousand dollars year.
Choosing Fencing and Lighting
You don’t want to spend the majority of your court time chasing down balls, so you’ll need a fence. This should be one of the last steps because your construction crew will need access with their equipment. A standard chain-link fence is preferred for enclosing a tennis court because they make the installation of windscreens much easier. (Windscreens can provide shade and privacy—and they keep balls from getting stuck in the fence.) The installation of backboards let you practice by yourself by providing a hard surface that returns balls. With the proper approvals, tennis court lighting should be installed at even intervals on both sides of the court area.
Installing a tennis court can be a great feature for your property. With some preparation and planning, you’ll be able to enjoy family matches and entertain guests, while improving your home’s value.
Consult with knowledgeable professionals, such as an attorney, surveyor, architect, and tennis court contractor to make certain that your court is installed correctly.