Learn How to Easily Build a Low-Cost Pickleball Court
It’s not too difficult to create your own pickleball court.
Really, all you need is a hard surface, a pickleball net, and something to mark the lines.
Of course, you need to know the official pickleball court size so that you can build a pickleball court that is close to or the same size.
Pickleball Court Size & Dimensions
A standard pickleball court is a rectangle that is 20 feet wide (6.10 m) and 44 feet long (13.41 m) including lines.
The recommended minimum total playing area is 30 feet wide (9.14 m) and 60 feet long (18.28). The preferred size is 34 feet by 64 feet long allowing for room to move outside the court’s playing area. The recommended total playing area is the same for an indoor pickleball court or outdoor pickleball court.
The court size for singles and doubles is the same.
Remember that the pickleball court dimensions that you use to create your court should provide you with plenty of room to move or stand outside the court so you have plenty of room to serve the ball.
Of course, for recreational play, you can adjust according to the space that’s available to you but try to use at least the minimum size requirements of 20 feet wide (6.10 m) and 44 feet long (13.41 m) inclusive of the court lines, if possible.
Pickleball Court Lines
A pickleball court has lines that are similar to a tennis or badminton court but there are a couple of differences.
The main difference between a tennis or badminton court and a pickleball court is that a pickleball court has a non-volley zone (the kitchen), a 7 ft area that runs parallel to the net on both sides.
Here’s a summary of the court lines and playing areas:
- The sidelines are perpendicular to the net on each side of the court.
- The Non-Volley Zone is defined by the Non-Volley Zone line that is parallel to the net and is 7 feet from the net on both sides of the net and runs to each of the two sidelines. The lines are part of the Non-Volley Zone.
- The service court area is on either side of the center line and includes the centerline, the sideline, and the baseline.
- The centerline is down the center of the court on both sides of the net and starts at the Non-Volley Zone line and goes to the baseline.
- The right or even court service area is on the right side of the court when facing the net.
- The left or odd court service area is on the left side of the court when facing the net.
- All pickleball lines are 2 inches wide
Pickleball Net Setup Guidelines
Here are the USA Pickleball Association guidelines to follow when putting up a pickleball net:
- The net can be made of any mesh fabric that the ball can’t pass through.
- Posts should be 22 feet apart from the inside of one post to the inside of the other post. The maximum diameter of a post should be 3 inches.
- The net length should be at least 21 feet 9 inches from one post to the other. The net height should be at least 30 inches.
- The net should be suspended over the center of the court and the top should be 36 inches high at the sidelines and 34 inches high in the middle.
- The net can touch the court but it should not drape onto the court.
Supplies For Creating A pickleball Court
There are several simple and cost-effective options for drawing court lines. It’s really a matter of deciding how temporary you want the lines to be and selecting the option that will work best for the pickleball court surface.
You’ll need the following supplies:
- Spool of string or carpenter’s chalk to mark the lines before drawing the permanent lines
- Tape measure
- Sidewalk chalk (approx. 2 large sticks per court), OR
- Court tape OR Gaffer Tape (approx. 198 ft per court) OR
- Line-marking paint applied with a marking applicator OR
- Another alternative to drawing the lines is to use these court lines OR these court lines (2 sets per court)
- Pickleball net option#1 OR pickleball net option#2
How To Build a Pickleball Court – Option 1
Put the net up so that you can use the net to create the court lines with the following steps.
Be sure that there is enough room on either side of the net to extend at least 22 feet which includes 7 feet for the Non-Volley Zone (kitchen) plus another 15 feet for the playing area.
Step 1 – Set up the net up
Set up the net, ensuring that you have at least 22 feet on either side.
Step 2 – Measure the start point of the lines
Step 3 – Measure & mark the baselines
Measure 22 feet from the net to the baseline. Mark with carpenter’s chalk . Do this on each side giving you the baseline for the entire court.
Step 4 – Mark the sidelines
Use carpenter’s chalk to connect the sidelines with the baseline on both sides of the court.
Step 5 – Measure & mark the Non-volley zone (the kitchen)
Measure 7 feet from the net into the court on both sides of the court where the sidelines are located. Use a marking applicator to create the kitchen line by connecting the 7 ft marks. Create the kitchen line with the carpenter’s chalk – this is the non-volley zone.
Step 6 – Measure & mark the center line
Starting at the outside corner of where one sideline and baseline meet, measure 10 feet inwards, mark with carpenter’s chalk. Do this step a second time from where the sideline meets the non-volley zone. Use the carpenter’s chalk to connect the two marks and create the centerline.
Step 7 – Create lines that are more permanent
How To Build a Pickleball Court – Option 2
The other option is to start with one end of the court, measure and mark all your lines.
Step 1: Tape the end of your carpenter’s chalk to the ground.
Step 2: Measure 20-feet in a straight line. Mark the ground with carpenter’s chalk.
Step 3: At a right angle to the straight line, measure 44 feet, and mark the ground with the carpenter’s chalk. Use a carpenter’s square to ensure you are making a true straight line.
Step 4: Repeat step 2 and step 3 to complete the four corners of the court so you now have a correctly sized rectangle.
Step 5: Use court tape or chalk to create a 2-inch rectangle for each net post, using the lines from the carpenter chalk as a guide.
Step 6: Measure 22 feet from the baseline and set up a net post. And do the same on the other side of the court.
Step 7: From each corner measure 15 feet towards the net and make a mark. Use the carpenter’s chalk to draw a line. Use court tape or chalk to draw the kitchen line.
Step 8: To draw the centerline, measure in 10 feet at the kitchen line and do the same on either side of the net. Then use the carpenter’s chalk to mark the line to the baseline.
Step 9 – Create permanent lines where you’ve created lines with carpenter’s chalk, using your material of choice ( sidewalk chalk , paint + marking applicator, tape, or court lines )
Options For Pickleball Court Locations
A pickleball court can be created in almost any space that’s at least 20′ x 44′ and is a hard surface – the grass will not work. Here are 3 possible locations to build a court:
An official pickleball court size is 20′ x 44′. These are the recommended dimensions. Most pickleball players don’t have access to a playing surface that can be dedicated to pickleball courts. Or the cost to create the playing surface is cost-prohibitive.
Here are a few suggestions on where you could easily put in court by creating the pickleball court lines yourself:
Think about re-purposing a basketball court, tennis court, or badminton court. Many communities are taking this approach and in some cases, a surface such as a tennis court is multi-purpose and has lines for pickleball as well. These could be indoor or outdoor courts and there might be room for multiple pickleball courts. This is what my local pickleball has done. Use an empty school parking lot that’s not used often. You could probably paint permanent or temporary pickleball court lines. There might even be enough room for multiple pickleball courts. A dead-end street or a cul-de-sac in your neighborhood could do the trick. Your driveway might do the trick.
That being said, because of the incredible growth of the sport, there is more and more permanent pickleball court construction happening.
TIP: When picking a location for your court, and you have a choice, think about the position of the sun and the effects of shadows on the court surface.
Where possible, you don’t want players having to look into the sun.
As a general guideline, avoid putting a court up in a direction that will have the sun low in the sky during the busiest or most likely time of the day that the court will be used.
Of course, you may not have many or any options if you’re using your driveway or an existing tennis court that you are re-purposing.
Bottom Line – How to Make a Pickleball Court
Hopefully, you’ve found this guide on how to build a pickleball court helpful and easy to follow.
Building your own pickleball court isn’t too difficult and really, for recreational play, any hard surface that allows for a reasonably sized pickleball court will work.
Playing pickleball is a great hobby for friends and families.
It’s also affordable for most people.
If you need help selecting a paddle, The Best Pickleball Paddles for Every Budget (And Game), simplifies buying paddles and includes a few great options for pickleball paddles.
For additional information on pickleball court size and dimensions, you can refer to the USAPA pickleball guidelines.
FAQ – How To Build A Pickleball Court
What are the dimensions of a standard pickleball court?
The dimensions of a standard pickleball court are 20′ x 44′ and the recommended playing area is 34′ x 64′ although the minimum suggested playing area is 30′ x 60′.
Can pickleball be played on carpet?
Pickleball could be played on carpet but it’s recommended that the pickleball court surface is a hard surface such as concrete, gym floors, asphalt. In theory, the carpet will be on top of one of these surfaces but typically carpet has a bit of softness to it which will make it difficult for a ball to bounce.
How small can you make a pickleball court?
You can make a pickleball court as small as the space you have available to you but it’s best to have a surface that is at least 30′ x 60′ and is a hard surface. Grass will not work well for a pickleball court. The standard pickleball court dimensions are 34′ x 64′.
What is the cost of a new pickleball court?
The cost of a pickleball court including a portable net system is between $150 and $200. For a temporary pickleball court, you need a tape measure, sidewalk chalk, or temporary court lines. For a more permanent pickleball court, you’ll want line-marking tape or paint.
What is the official court size of a regulation pickleball court?
The official court size of a regulation pickleball court is 34 feet by 64′ according to USA Pickleball. The playing lines of a pickleball court measure 20′ x 44′ but it’s recommended that the larger dimensions are used so there’s enough space to move around and serve behind the baselines.
Why is pickleball so popular in the United States?
Pickleball is popular in the United States because it’s easy to learn, it’s very social, and good exercise. It’s also popular because you don’t need much equipment – a pickleball paddle, a ball, and somewhere to play such as the local recreation center or build your own home pickleball court.
Can pickleball be played on a tennis court?
Pickleball can be played on a tennis court as long as the pickleball playing lines have been drawn. A pickleball court is much smaller than a tennis court and accommodates four pickleball courts. Because pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, multi-sport courts are becoming more common.
Why is pickleball one of the fastest growing sports in the United States?
Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States because it’s suitable for people of all ages, easy to learn and accessible to many people due to the large number of indoor courts, and outdoor courts. Many existing sports courts have also been re-purposed into multi-purposed courts.