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Backyard Sports

Q&A With Neave Athletics

Designing an outdoor basketball court with Flex Court tiles

  • Custom Flex Court with University of Maryland insignia and multiple rebounding nets.
  • An elevated backyard Flex Court basketball court built by Neave Athletics.
  • This single-lane court by Neave Athletics fits comfortably into this small backyard and also includes a rebounding net.
  • Neave Athletics built this single-lane court on top of a wood-composite deck in a small New York backyard.
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Long gone are the days of simply setting up a hoop at the edge of the driveway…those at-home pickup games can now be dressed up to match any type of landscape! For homeowners thinking about building an outdoor basketball court, there are as many options out there for design and construction as there are ways to win a game of HORSE.

We caught up with Corey Bittner, a landscape designer with Neave Group Outdoor Solutions in Wappingers Falls, New York, and asked him a few questions about the design process and the Flex Court system the Neave Athletics division uses to create fantastically fun outdoor sport courts in their clients' landscapes.

LandscapingNetwork: What size courts can you build?
Neave Athletics: We can custom design and build Flex Court outdoor basketball courts in any size. Our smallest court was 20’ x 20’, and our biggest installation was a double tennis court coming in at 108’ x 120’. Our most popular sizes are 25’ x 30’ and 30’ x 50’ - but every installation really is custom.

LandscapingNetwork: Where are the courts installed?
Neave Athletics: It really varies from property to property. We do recommend, however, that clients have courts installed close to the house so they don’t have to walk far to play on the court, and so they can keep an eye on their kids.

LandscapingNetwork: What are the maintenance requirements compared to more traditional playing surfaces like concrete and asphalt?
Neave Athletics: These Flex Courts require next to no maintenance. Just a couple of things: In the fall, clients need to blow any leaves and debris off the court to keep them from decaying and building up between the tiles and the concrete pad. And every few years, they'll need to touch up the painted lines on the court.

LandscapingNetwork: How do these outdoor basketball courts stand up to extreme weather and precipitation compared to traditional asphalt and concrete?
Neave Athletics: Flex Courts are made from all-weather tiles that stand up to rain and snow better than any other surface. Because the water can go right through the tiles, clients can play on the surface immediately after a storm. And, during hot summers, the surface temperature of Flex Court tiles is up to 50 percent lower than that of traditional outdoor basketball courts.

LandscapingNetwork: How do clients maintain their courts during the winter?
Neave Athletics: Clients can leave the tiles out all winter (some will even shovel their courts off and play all winter). Others will have us put up temporary walls and install liners - we use the NiceRink system - then flood the court to skate on it or play ice hockey.

LandscapingNetwork: What happens if one of the tiles gets damaged?
Neave Athletics: Damaged tiles can easily be removed and replaced. We always give clients extra tiles when we install a court, so they can make their courts good as new if needed.

LandscapingNetwork: How much impact will these playing surfaces have on joints and muscles compared to traditional outdoor basketball court surfaces?
Neave Athletics: The design of the tiles creates a court surface that's very forgiving. Some of Neave Athletics's clients say they can play for up to twice as long on these surfaces than they can on regular hard courts.

LandscapingNetwork: Can you resurface old courts with Flex Court?
Neave Athletics: Plenty of clients hire us to resurface old, unusable backyard basketball courts with the Flex Court surface. It brings life back to any old court!

LandscapingNetwork: How much can these courts be customized with lines and logos?
Neave Athletics: We can paint all types of sport lines on these Flex Court outdoor basketball courts. For games like tennis and volleyball, we install a 2-inch tile to create straight lines that never need to be repainted.We can also airbrush any logo, family crest or other name onto the tiles before they are installed - Flex Court outdoor basketball courts are completely custom designed!

LandscapingNetwork: How are the courts lighted?
Neave Athletics: We have several different lighting styles available, but we recommend to most clients a single 1,000-watt metal halide light, which adjusts easily and distributes light evenly.

LandscapingNetwork: Do you install fencing around the courts?
Neave Athletics: We can install both metal chain-link fencing or nylon containment-netting systems. The netting is more popular with our clients because it's softer and more inviting. If our clients choose chain-link fencing, we often won't install it all the way around so the court doesn't look like a big cage.

LandscapingNetwork: Can you install tennis backboards or rebounder nets?
Neave Athletics: Yes! We install them directly into the fence line or onto the fence.

LandscapingNetwork: What accessories can be installed around the court?
Neave Athletics: Benches and seats are great accessories for these courts, and recently, we've had clients interested in water features. We love to recommend gazebos, pergolas and other shade structures to give players breaks during summer games. Small seating areas around the court make it a destination for the day instead of an isolated part of the backyard.

LandscapingNetwork: Is it safe to use the courts for other purposes, like entertaining or other sports?
Neave Athletics: Absolutely. The Flex Court surfaces are great for tables and tents when throwing parties, and we've used Flex Court tiles in the past for roller-hockey rinks as well.

LandscapingNetwork: What can clients do with their courts after the kids grow up and don't use them anymore?
Neave Athletics: Clients can remove the tiles and install bluestone, pavers and other materials to create a new patio, or they can create accessory parking areas. Besides that, not much can be done apart from excavating and starting from scratch.

LandscapingNetwork: Are there any situations where a court cannot be installed?
Neave Athletics: Our only limitation is town regulations. And in some cases, we have to install a smaller court than the clients want because of site restrictions or budget. But beyond that, anything goes!

LandscapingNetwork: What’s a range on what these courts cost?
Neave Athletics: A typical installation can cost anywhere from $10,000 to more than $100,000 when you add up excavation, a gravel base, concrete pouring, the tiles and any accessories. For clients who want to install tiles over existing surfaces, price ranges from $3,000 to $30,000.


A guide to having your own basketball court installed

Dimensions & info on installing a backyard tennis court

Check out this WA property with a full size basketball court

Return to Backyard Games & Sports

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