A mong the star sports in the US and all across the globe, basketball is so popular because of the great workout you get when playing, the socializing it involves, its competitive nature, as well as the teamwork aspect. If you’re a true fan of this sport, you likely dream of shooting hoops at home whenever you have the time.
You have two possibilities, either get a portable basketball hoop that you can more easily relocate but that isn’t very stable (slam dunks might be out of the question) or install an in-ground basketball hoop to enjoy the same experience as playing on a professional court. If you pick the latter, the question inevitably arises – should you install it, or is it smarter to contact a professional for the job?
We have put together this article with the purpose to help you make up your mind. In the following, we will explain what it takes and how you should proceed if you intend to make a DIY project out of setting up the basketball hoop. We will discuss the cost implications of calling a professional to handle the job as well. Only by directly comparing both options can you make an informed decision, so stick with us until the end to learn if DIY installation is the right choice for you.
The rules of the game are simple, and if you’re an avid NBA fan who follows matches religiously, you already know them by heart. But just because you’re a fan doesn’t mean that you can’t go wrong when picking a hoop for your backyard. Knowing the rules doesn’t mean you know all there is to know about the equipment too, and if you know that you need some help picking the hoop, read this section before you jump to the installation instructions. Here is what you should look into:
Before you commence the setup process, you first have to decide the location. Compared to portable hoops, in-ground poles are fixed installation products. It’s not impossible to relocate them, you just have to remove the pole and fit it in the new site. However, this is something you likely want to avoid doing. You wouldn’t want to dig holes all over your backyard.
Most prefer to have it in their driveway, but you must check that the surface is level because an incline would make it difficult to play. If you have a big patio and money isn’t an issue, you can also consider making a full-size basketball court. When you do pick the spot, there is another stage before you begin. Call utility companies to check that there is no utility line passing through that spot. You will excavate a hole to set up the pole, so you wouldn’t want to hit the gas line by accident.
Alright, so now we covered the basics and chose the position. Let’s not waste time and move on to the actual procedure necessitated to install the hoop:
First things first, you excavate the hole where you will place the pole. Just take a shovel and start digging until the hole has the suggested size provided by the manufacturer in the installation instructions. There is no specific recommendation, this is why we’re not giving you a number. Hole diameter and depth vary from one model to another.
With some products, you just have to set the pole in the slum and surround it with concrete. As you pour while another person holds the pole, use a shovel or a concrete vibrator to get rid of any pouches of air. Use a trowel to smoothen the top and flatten the surface. Let it dry for approximately 48 hours. Once in a while during the first few hours, check to see if the pole is leaning or has moved position and repair the issue before the cement hardens.
If all it takes to set the pole up is what we covered in the previous phase, move on to step #4. If not, and there’s a rising anchor, then there’s extra assembly and pole lifting that must take place. Check the provided guidelines in the guidebook to learn how to proceed, this differs with each model. In case it’s a height-adjustable pole, you also have a lift device and attachable support arms. Check that the pole and the anchor part match, and when it’s level, lock it into place using the included bolts and leveling nuts.
With most models, this part of the assembly comes after you set up the pole. But this isn’t set in stone, check the manual to see if the backboard attaches formerly or after. Moving on to the procedure, we advise you to have a couple of people help you with this part of the operation since the board is usually very weighty.
Now, you can turn to the final phase, setting up the rim and the net. You bolt the rim onto the backboard, and once it is set in place, circle the net around the rim’s pegs to completely finish. Voila, congrats, if you made it here, then you have managed to follow through with the whole setup process on your own.
There’s no denying that having professionals come in to do the work is more convenient. You save time, there’s no effort on your part, and you steer clear of even the smallest chance of injury since you won’t be the one handling heavy items. They have all the tools and gear required for the job too. You, on the other hand, might not. This would involve some extra costs during the setup. Of course, there’s an obvious difference when it comes to experience. You are a first-timer, whereas the people you contract for the job have likely already installed a lot of in-ground hoops like the one you bought. If you take your time, have patience, and proceed as instructed, there’s no denying that you will do a good job too, but with professionals, it’s guaranteed to go well from the get-go. The downside to contracting pros is the price, however. Expect this installation to cost you $400 to $600. Let’s get real, for that money you could buy a second decent-quality basketball hoop.
Our advice is that you give the DIY installation a shot if you have people that can help you through the parts of the procedure where you require assistance. You save a lot of money by doing so, the costs for professional installation are too high to be worth it. It’s not complicated to set it up yourself, and while it does indeed take up some time, if you are thrifty you know that it’s the better option. It’s one of the simplest DIY tasks you could take up, so there’s no harm in giving it a go. There’s that extra sense of pride you’ll enjoy at the end knowing that you are the one responsible for the whole setup. However, what’s important is that you follow through with the setup and get to play ball on your terms. So, whatever variant you pick, what matters is that you can play basketball at your discretion without leaving your property.