Build A Backyard Pickleball Court For More Bookings

Build A Backyard Pickleball Court For More Bookings

Here’s a niche you may not have considered: Pickleball. It’s the fastest-growing sport in the US, so a backyard pickleball court could well bring in extra bookings, and who couldn’t use some extra bookings?

To put this niche into perspective, around 35% of the US population travels with their pets. To cater to the demand, around 28% of Airbnb listings are pet-friendly.

But 14% of the US population have played pickleball in the last 12 months, yet there are probably less than 100 rentals that have a pickleball court in the entire country.

That’s untapped demand right there!

What is pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddleball sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is played on a court that is similar in dimensions to a doubles badminton court.

The game is played with a perforated plastic ball, similar to a waffle ball, and paddles larger than ping-pong paddles but smaller than tennis rackets. Pickleball can be played as singles (one player per side) or doubles (two players per side) and is known for its accessibility to a wide range of ages and skill levels.

Why build a pickleball court at your rental?

As I said at the beginning of the article, pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the US (for the third year running). 35.5 million Americans already play the sport – 14% of the population has played pickleball in the last 12 months, and those people go on vacation.

Why build a pickleball court at your rental?

Not many Airbnbs or Vrbos have pickleball courts, so you’ll stand out from the crowd, and you can snag bookings from pickleball enthusiasts looking for a vacation rental.

AND, you can charge more!

Backyard pickleball court cost

So, what’s it going to cost?

A pickleball court installation can range from $6,800 – $9,100 (according to versacourt.com); others tell me that you could pay up to $30,000 – so it will cost you more than a hot tub but less than a swimming pool (without the maintenance and health and safety issues), depending on the overall cost.

There will be some things to consider…

Do you have room for a court?

A standard pickleball court size is 20′ W x 44′ L, with a 36-inch-tall net system.

The two most common pickleball court sizes include an additional outside boundary to the court. You’ll generally need to allow either 28’2” W x 52’8” L or 31’7” W x 64’6” L.

Land Preparation: Excavation & Grading

Constructing a pickleball court demands a perfectly level and firm base. The challenge and potential major expense of your project could lie in flattening the area, given the numerous factors involved.

  • How big is the space that needs to be excavated?
  • Who will do the excavation…you, your landscape company, a concrete company?
  • Can the space be easily accessed by equipment?
  • Will any retaining walls need to be constructed?
  • Will any drainage issues need to be addressed?

Court Surfacing & Assembly

Surfaces are available from companies like Flexcourt, and they come in a wide range of colors.
Some companies can include logos into the surface.

Court Surfacing & Assembly

Subsurface: Concrete, Asphalt, or Other

The optimal foundation for a pickleball court consists of a 4-inch thick concrete slab crafted from 3000 PSI concrete and reinforced with #4 rebar. While various options exist for the base and sub-surface layers, this configuration stands out as the most favored and recommended.

On a national level, the cost of constructing concrete slabs that meet these general criteria usually ranges between $4 and $10 per square foot*, although prices can fluctuate based on several factors.

  • Can a pump truck reach the area where the concrete is being poured?
  • Do building codes or environments require thicker edges, vapor barriers, expanded foam sub-surfacing, or wire mesh use?

A net system

You will, of course, need a net system, and these cost upwards of $500

Multi-Sport Game Court Accessories

You may want to consider adding additional accessories to increase your rental curb appeal. A basketball hoop, badminton net, or volleyball net could keep many additional renters happy.

Image from https://www.versacourt.com/cost-of-pickleball-court.html

Pickleball equipment

Other than the court, additional equipment is minimal. You’ll need to provide some paddles and some balls, and that’s about it.

Sites like https://www.totalpickleball.com/ have everything that you’ll need. Paddles can be bought from Amazon for less than $50 a pair. There’s no need to push the boat out with expensive brands. If guests are super serious, they will bring their own paddles.

A pack of six balls costs around $15.

Portable pickleball courts

Portable pickleball courts bring the game anywhere, anytime. They’re ideal for setting up in outdoor spaces or even on driveways. These courts are all about flexibility and convenience.

Let’s dive in:

What’s to know? They come in pieces. Think interlocking tiles or roll-out mats. Easy to put together and take apart. The material? Durable. Engineered to give the right bounce and grip for pickleball. They’re light, too, making transport and storage a breeze.

Why consider one? Guests can play pickleball wherever you find space. It’s a game-changer as a portable court makes setting up and taking down simple.

The benefits are clear. They’re cheaper than permanent installations, you increase your curb appeal, and can charge higher nightly rates.

But, there are things to think about. The playing surface won’t always match a permanent court’s feel. Prices vary, so think about what you’re willing to spend. Setting up takes a bit of work, but the effort is worth it for the flexibility.

In short, portable pickleball courts open up new possibilities for guests and hosts alike. They’re a practical choice for those looking to provide pickleball facilities with minimal fuss.

Just Google, portable pickleball courts and click the shopping tab.

Pickleball benefits

Of course, the main benefit is opening up your rental to an additional niche with a relatively low supply and an ever-increasing demand.

You can also charge a premium for the additional amenity.

Pickleball downsides

At the time of writing, neither Airbnb or Vrbo allow potential guests to filter listings by pickleball court specifically. Still, Airbnb does have a ‘play’ category, which includes properties with pickleball courts like this one, https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/902415638848032963, so that’s a bonus.

I predict both will add pickleball court categories as the sport becomes increasingly popular.

Noise may be a factor if you have neighbors close by. People playing ball sports can be noisy.

Are you in Europe and feeling left out?

Well, don’t be. People in Europe play Padel. Although saying that, pickleball is growing in popularity on the European side of the pond.

Here’s the scoop on how pickleball and padel differ:

The Courts

Pickleball happens on a court that echoes badminton’s dimensions—20 by 44 feet. It has a lower net and a special zone near it called “the kitchen” where volleying is a no-go. Padel courts are smaller versions of tennis courts, enclosed with walls. In padel, those walls aren’t just for show; you can play the ball off them, adding a twist to the game.

The Gear

Pickleball players wield solid paddles and hit a perforated plastic ball, kind of like a wiffle ball. Padel sticks to solid, sometimes perforated, paddles too, but the ball is more tennis-like, just a tad less pressurized.

How It’s Played

You can go solo or team up in pickleball, serving the ball underhand across to start the play. Padel is strictly doubles, keeping things cozy. Both games serve underhand, but Padel has an extra rule—the ball must bounce once on your side before you send it flying.

Keeping Score

Scoring in pickleball might remind you of table tennis, aiming for 11, 15, or 21 points to win. But, it’s all about serving; only the server scores. Padel borrows its scoring system from tennis, complete with games and sets that could make your head spin if you’re not paying attention.

Gameplay Twists

Pickleball is a game of finesse, not just power. It has this quirky rule about the kitchen, a zone by the net where volleying is off-limits. Padel, though, mixes tennis vibes with a dash of squash. The walls are in play, making every shot a potential surprise.

In short, while both games share the racket sports label, they’re worlds apart in how they’re played, scored, and even where they’re played. Padel is like tennis’s fun cousin with walls and pickleball? It’s in a league of its own, mixing elements from badminton and table tennis with a unique set of rules.


In an oversaturated marketplace, it pays to go niche. If you are the only host in your area offering a pickleball court, you are catering to a large population segment. You’re the only game in town, and that spells bookings.

The initial setup isn’t cheap, but it’s not prohibitive, and the maintenance costs are very low. Return on investment is, as always, next to impossible to quantify, but extra bookings and increased nightly rates could prove profitable in the short to mid-term.

See the article below to see what other hosts are charging for properties with pickleball courts.

Looking for more niche booking ideas?

Check out this AIRBNB BOOKINGS HACK and get 20% more bookings starting today.

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