Building a first class tennis court

Building a tennis court that will play well and last for many years calls for a rigorous proven approach to construction and the use of the best materials in sufficient quantities. The process of construction under the surface of the court is critically important to the court's quality and life. We build to specifications that exceed the minimum standards laid down for the tennis court construction industry. Detailed below is an example of the process that is undertaken in the construction of an average sports surface.

STAGE ONE
The site is excavated by laser controlled machine with a fall in one direction. (a porous Tennis Court is a drain with a finish).

STAGE TWO
If necessary, a perforated plastic pipe is laid in stone to the perimeter to catch water coming from above and extract water from court base. A geo-textile weed barrier is laid on the excavated base

STAGE THREE
Pressed concrete edgings are laid to the perimeter on concrete with stone under, to allow water out to the drain

STAGES FOUR AND FIVE
40 - 20mm Granite is rolled to consolidate at a depth of 150mm.
To clay sites a capping layer of gritty stone is laid to a depth of 100mm to stop the clay shrinking and moving.
Galvanised trapdoor lid net post sockets are set in concrete.

STAGE SIX
Holes are drilled in the ground and the fence posts are concreted all the way down. The edgings are then haunched all the way round so that the fence foundation acts as a pile foundation for the edge too.

STAGES SEVEN AND EIGHT
A 40mm depth of 20mm play base macadam is laid and rolled.
The next day, a 6mm open textured play course is laid by our unique powered straight-edges and rolled to a fine finish.

An acrylic or polyurethane finish is applied on top of the macadam for Pladek, or carpets laid on top for Tenniturf or Sporturf.

Why we use a two-coat Macadam system on Pladek courts…

A two-coat Macadam court costs between £3,000 and £4,000 more to install than a single coat. The reason we lay a two-coat macadam system for a Pladek macadam court is because it is possible to achieve more accurate surface level tolerances than with a single coat macadam system. A two-coat Macadam also benefits from more even compaction, and a better surface finish helped by heat retention allowing more rolling of the 6mm finish.

This is especially important because on a 6mm open graded free draining tennis court macadam, if it is thinner in one place rather than another, will be less closely connected to the other 6mm chippings. This will produce a more open and coarser texture to the surface. This may, in extreme situations, have more friction and grab the tennis ball surface, causing a more upright bounce to the ball than the smoother more dense areas, making a tennis court with a ball height that is unpredictable and much more difficult to play.

Another downside with single coat macadams is that the unavoidable bay (or construction) joints are generally more obtrusive than on a two-coat surface and that of course the macadam is thinner and less strong. Bay joints on all modern porous macadam surfaces can never be completely invisible.

A single-coat macadam tennis court will generally have a life of eight to ten years, whereas a two-coat Macadam may be repainted at seven years, 14 years and even sometimes 21 years.

A macadam resurface generally costs around £8,000 and involves 30 tonnes of macadam being brought into your garden with the obvious downsides of allowing large lorries on to the site.

We will often lay a single coat macadam under a surface such as Sporturf because its scrim, or backing, almost acts as another coat of macadam and gives the same texture all over, even where the texture is slightly uneven. Also, it is possible to level up a base if it has a dip before laying the carpet without the levelling material being discernible through the carpet surface.