Sports Facility Construction

Construction question – residential tennis courts

How long does construction of a single private tennis court take?

Construction periods vary according to

  • type of surface
  • time of year
  • ease of access
  • ground and weather conditions.

We aim to complete all works as quickly as possible without jeopardizing the quality standard of the finished facility.

Taking the specific types of surface the construction periods would normally be;

Colour Coated Asphalt – DOE VISCOUNT 32 & 65

A new court takes approximately 3-4 weeks from excavation to completed black asphalt surface. There is then a further 3 weeks ‘curing’ period before either playing lines are applied to the black surface if you are having a plain black VICEROY court without colour coating or, the colour coating is applied if you are having the VISCOUNT surface. After colour coating, another 3-7 days ‘drying time’ is required (depending on time of year and humidity levels) before a new VISCOUNT court may finally be taken into play. So, an overall allowance of 8 weeks is reasonable unless poor weather conditions cause unforeseen delays. Temporary lines are sometimes applied to allow a surface to be taken into play before colour coating is carried out but extreme care is required not to damage the new black surface in these first few weeks whilst the material remains ‘live’, particularly in warm/hot weather.


Synthetic grass courts will normally be completed some 2 to 3 weeks earlier than colour coated asphalt because it is only necessary to leave the asphalt base for approximately one week before installing the carpet and these courts can then be taken into play immediately following carpet installation saving 2 weeks ‘curing’ and 3-7 days ‘drying’ time.


Acrylic courts such as GreenSet GRAND PRIX are the most ‘weather sensitive’ type of surface to construct and are normally only laid outdoors between mid/late May and late August each year. Curing times on Acrylic materials can vary quite substantially. For example, in very humid conditions, curing times per layer can double and, in dry, sunny, breezy weather, they can halve. Such variations can greatly extend or shorten the programme. It is normal to agree a site specific programme of works with the client for each acrylic project before commencement on site.

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What is the biggest item of plant equipment Doe would normally use?

A large 360 excavator is normally used to ‘cut out’ new courts – ideally a 12-13 tonne machine. A smaller 5-6 tonne machine can be used if access is limited which increases the costs slightly. Smaller plant – twin drum rollers, powered wheel barrows – are usually the largest plant used for resurfacing projects.

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How many lorry movements would there be on a private court project?

A single new court normally requires between 20 and 24 depending on the type of court

  • Low loader in/out to bring/take away the excavator
  • Approximately 10 x 6 wheel tipping lorries to bring foundation stone / possibly take ‘muck away'
  • Normally 2 x 6 wheel tipping lorry visits for VISCOUNT 32 OR 4 lorries for VISCOUNT 65
2 or 4
  • One builders merchants lorry to bring kerbs / ballast / cement
  • Skip lorry – one delivery / usually one collection but may be more depending on site
  • Plant lorry – normally two or three visits to bring / collect roller, power barrows, mixer, site kit
2 or 3
  • One small pick up truck for the colour coating operation
  • OR for grass courts – an additional 2 lorries to bring the carpet and sand

A resurfacing project would normally be carried out without the first two items above saving 12 lorry movements

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Will there be a lot of excavated material to be removed from site?

Topsoil cannot be used in the construction of courts due to its unstable condition (it does not offer a sound base for construction and tends to ‘settle’ over time). Any topsoil will, therefore, either be removed from site (usually at quite substantial cost and to be avoided if at all possible) or, ideally, used to form banks around the court area or used elsewhere in the grounds.

Subsoil does not usually need to be removed from site because courts are often constructed using a method known as ‘cut and fill’ – please see next question and answer.

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What is ‘cut and fill’?

Courts need to be constructed on a uniform ‘platform’ (usually with a 1:120 fall, ideally across the width of the court for pervious surfaces). Most sites are, to a greater or lesser extent, uneven and need to be levelled. To save taking materials off site, the ‘platform’ can be levelled and prepared by taking the subsoil from the high end and compacting it in layers at the low end thus bringing the low end up to meet the high end and vice versa.

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Can residential courts be used for sports or games other than tennis?

Yes, provided certain guidelines are followed for footwear and use. In general use all our surfaces are tough and durable. However, care must be taken not to cause damage to new asphalt tennis surfaces such as DOE VICEROY and VISCOUNT in their first year – particularly in very warm or hot weather before the material has had an opportunity to ‘harden’ thoroughly. Our Care & Maintenance Guidelines give specific information on this type of use and are given to every customer on completion of their project.

The only game which should never be played on tennis court asphalt is Hockey because hockey sticks will damage tennis courts.

We have special ‘Multi-Use’ asphalt – DOE TITAN – designed for School/Playground/MUGA facilities which can also be used on private courts if they are to be used for games other than Tennis.

If Football or Five-a-Side is to be played then Fencing options must be carefully considered. Tennis Court chainlink will not withstand constant hammering by footballs and will ‘belly out’ in time. There are many fencing options nowadays and we will be pleased to advise on the most cost effective solution for your individual requirements.

Grass courts (DOE CASOLON/TROJAN/OLYMPUS) can be used in some multi-use situations and clients may also consider the grass carpets in our football/multi-use and pitch ranges although some of these carpets are definitely not suitable for playing tennis.

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Can we use tennis court surfaces for roller blading or riding bicycles?

As a general rule – NO – not on ‘normal’ tennis court asphalt such as DOE VICEROY and VISCOUNT. However, on some ‘older’ surfaces – 3/5 years+ this type of use is sometimes possible without causing too much damage although we do not recommend it. Acrylic surfaces such as our GreenSet GRAND PRIX may be used for roller blading after they have completely cured some 5-6 months after installation – we will always be happy to advise on your specific installation.


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Why are DOE often more expensive than their competitors?

For several reasons but the major factors are

  • We employ trained staff specifically to supervise the quality and progress of our construction works.
  • We work for the long term stability of DOE with the aim of being here to look after your facility throughout its warranty period and for many years thereafter.
  • We do not want to compromise on the build quality of any element of your project so do not price in the hope that we can “cut corners” if we are awarded a contract.
  • We carry comprehensive insurance to cover all our activities.

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