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Old 05-11-2009, 05:21 AM   #84
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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Lightbulb Has anyone constructed their own clay court?

Originally Posted by AndrewD View Post
Back in the 'old days', when my mother was growing up in Queensland, despite a serious lack of funds, it seemed as though every other property had a tennis court. All it required was a bit of ingenuity, some hard work and a willingness to take functionality over aesthetics. I see no reason why you couldn't do the same today.

Mainly they used dirt courts (it being very hot year round in Queensland) but the process was similar. Find a suitable spot, strip it, roll it, mark it and play.

Yes, the bounces wouldn't have been perfect but who cares? I'm sure most of us have, at one time or another, played on courts where the surface hadn't been laid properly, that were cracked or maybe even on a bit of an angle BUT we put up with it because we were just happy to be playing tennis.

If you're interested in the Classic Clay, have a read of equinox's opinion in this thread (post #26)

As he plays mainly on en tous cart (Australian dirt courts), he has a very good base of comparison.

The cost to have a clay court installed professionally is discussed throughout. Too pricey for me. However, Andrew D. and a few others discussed the option to install it yourself, if you have the time, will and can afford the basics. From my understanding, a lot of the cost is labour. I intend to supply as much of the labour as physically possible.

I'm located in Eastern Ontario, Canada, near the Great Lakes. Moisture isn't an issue here. Further, the house purchased has two drilled wells. One of which is not being used and can supply 4L/minute. It could be used to water a clay court.

Last Friday, we had our backyard graded. I asked to have a 60' x 120' court base graded to zero degrees facing N-S graded in the process; with the premise that a tennis court might be installed. No compaction was done and there is no drainage tile/piping installed. The land is elevated about ~ 1 m above the water table, so I am hoping drainage will not be an issue. Cedars surround the court, so wind will not be an issue.

There's an excellent article published by Kenneth Welton, Building Clay Tennis Courts. It was written back in 1929. Yes, it is a little outdated, but the engineering principles could not have changed that much. Is there anyone out there that could provide professional advice on the next steps after the base has been laid?
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