Upkeep costs of private tennis court?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Eph, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Eph

    Eph Professional

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    What are the upkeep costs of a private tennis court? Did it raise your homeowners insurance policy?


    My wife and I are considering buying a home on Nantucket, our top choice has a tennis course on the grounds. While having a tennis court at a pied-à-terre would be a nice addition for a tennis player, I am wondering if the trouble outweighs the benefits.

    Thanks.
     
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  2. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    I had a Har-Tru court at a prior home, had to have it re-done by pros every year, cheaper than re-surfacing a hard court, the frequency of which depends on how much land leveling was done to build it (and what sort of rocks -- which can shift over time -- may have been used for this purpose). I imagine a clay or Har-Tru court on Nantucket could be costly because of wind and weather extremes, which will cause regular damage to those courts. My insurance was not affected by having the court, but property taxes were higher.
     
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  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    What were the annual upkeep costs? Do you know how much it cost to build?
     
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  4. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    I imagine a grass court would not have a lot of expense other than lining it and cutting and rolling which the lawn guy could do. Hard courts need to be resurfaced every few years which is costly, hard tru probably would need to be touched up every season.

    I doubt having a court would raise your insurance cost too much.
     
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  5. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Don't know what it cost to build as it was already there, building costs are very much dependent on how much land leveling needs to be done, as this equipment is costly to own (or rent, if the builder doesn't have his own). Annual touch up was 1500-2000 dollars. Grass court, incidentally, is not going to be done by your lawn guy. To be playable, it needs to be mowed nearly daily. And you don't want to be playing on weeds, so there's plenty of upkeep involved. A friend of mine who went to Princeton told me his eating club had a grass court, upkeep was constant.
     
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  6. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    I suppose it depends on how fastidious one is about upkeep of an occasionally used, private residence court. If it was me, I'd let the lawn guy handle it, weed and feed, etc. If the grass grows out a little bit between mowings, not a big deal, it will play slower and if one gets a weird hop on occasion, it is part of the charm. No lets for dandelions. :)
     
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  7. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Good info, thanks. Just trying to figure out pricing for when I win the lottery. :)
     
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  8. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    All three common court surfaces (hard, clay...red or green, and grass) are fraught with maintenance costs, particularly in an extreme four-season climate such as Nantucket. You might want to look into a synthetic surface...there are many types available to simulate grass or clay. While they may be more expensive to install, the time and money to renew the court playability every year will be significantly reduced. They also should be a joy to play on...softer and easier on the bod!
     
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  9. Eph

    Eph Professional

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    Thanks all. It is a clay surface of some kind, I am not sure which. I will ask the listing agent.
     
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  10. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    If it's clay, you'll need to put the court "to bed" for the Nantucket winter. That means removing the net and all the line tapes (they will buckle over the winter and will be useless if not removed). Also, roll the courts and put down a heavy tarp in a fashion to encourage drainage of precipitation away from the playing surface. If fenced, all the windscreens have to be pulled and stored.

    This all means a big project in the spring to get the court up and playable. This part requires loads of labor AND materials. A friend of mine in Long Island earned extra cash each fall and spring doing that whole cycle for several wealthy estate-owners. I would help out on weekends. Each assignment was a two-or-more week task. That's some ch-ching you will have to lay out if you're not up to it yourself. This is why a synthetic surface winds up being more efficient. There's still some work with those but not nearly as labor-intensive.
     
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  11. Wilson 1986

    Wilson 1986 Rookie

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    as much as I would love my own court and can understand why others would want such a thing, I have no idea why anyone would go for their own grass court unless they had more money than they knew what to do with.
    an old friend of mine worked for several lawn tennis clubs and he said that the upkeep and maintenance was a nightmare and a constant battle with a grass court.
    wouldn't AstroTurf, clay or even tarmac be more suitable for a home court?
     
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  12. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    Many of the "synthetics" I referred to are an improvement over AstroTurf and have a very similar playing characteristic to natural grass with far less labor-intensiveness. They are a bit of change to purchase and install (not a DIY project).
     
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  13. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Just buy a house < 10 minutes from a good club and a nice car. Problem solved.

    I remember reading an article in Tennis Magazine about having a 'home court' - there was a lot of tension between the owners and those they invited over to play.

    Then there was the famous Simpson's episode about having a court in their backyard:

    AA: "Hi, I'm Andre Agassi."
    Homer: "The professional wrestler?"
     
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