Home Building Details: Indoor Athletic Courts
Indoor athletic courts have been an increasingly popular request for our Swanson Homes homeowners within the past decade. These recreational spaces are great for keeping your kids active, especially through those long midwestern winters! While they are commonly equipped with basketball hoops, these multi-functional rooms can also be well-suited for activities like racquetball, pickleball, hockey, gymnastics, dance, soccer, kickball, golf simulators -- you name it! They can also provide ample space for weightlifting and cardio equipment. The opportunities of indoor athletic courts are endless.
Before you dive into design plans and selections for your indoor athletic court, we’ve put together a few suggestions and details you should know about. We hope you enjoy our builder insights along with some expert tips to get you started!
Size & Ceiling Height
The size of your indoor court will depend largely on your lot and the home’s floorplan layout & design. Our team has built athletic courts that range in various sizes, starting from 650 square feet to a much larger space, a 50 x 42” half regulation size court. The typical size that we recommend for a court would typically be around 23 - 29” x 30” with the sizing trending towards a larger space for accommodating more people. For ceiling heights, we typically recommend ceilings starting around 20” tall.
Builder Tip: Smaller indoor athletic courts (say 650 square feet) are great for 1-3 kids to play, but if you are looking for more occupancy and a practical spacing for the whole family to enjoy together, we suggest going larger in size.
Design & Placement
The majority of the athletic courts in the homes that we build are placed behind the garage. This placement is most practical and tends to be the most cost-effective way to add an athletic court while maintaining and maximizing the exterior architectural appeal of your home. Generally, placement of the court should be accessible through the lower level with the height of the ceiling reaching the top of the main level.
Builder Tip: If possible, try to avoid placing the court beneath the garage or into hillsides, as these locations require additional excavation, specialized garage floor planks (if underneath the garage), and more engineering -- all factors that will increase the cost.
Heating & Cooling
A typical question and cause of concern from our homeowners looking to add an athletic court is if this large open space will greatly impact or increase their heating and cooling expenses. To help navigate the issue, our team independently zones this area of the home so that the temperature of this specific zone has its own heating and cooling settings. By doing so, this large room will not have to maintain the same temperature as the rest of the home and our homeowners can keep it at a low-maintenance cool setting if they desire.
Builder Tip: When designing the heating and cooling zones of your home, include an independent zone for the athletic court to will help keep your energy costs down.
Flooring & Noise Reduction
Typically our homeowners choose to use an epoxy coating over the concrete flooring of their indoor athletic courts. This selection choice is known for holding up over years of usage and is conducive to the universal variety of sports and play in these active spaces. Other selection choices have included durable hardwoods, including a court made of maple hardwood, and LVT flooring.
To help with the loud noises these fun and exciting spaces can produce, we suggest installing sound reduction wall paneling.
Incorporating Other Fun Features:
If you’re familiar with our past builds, you’ve noticed that we often like to include a window overlook from our main floor down into the athletic court. These are not only a great way to keep an eye on the kids’ activities, but also give you ample opportunity for communication and oversight for turning lights on and off!
Other fun features we’ve added to our courts:
- Innovative workout equipment
- Large viewing window from an exercise room into the athletic court
- Exterior windows for additional/natural lighting
- A slide from the main floor down into the court
- A spinning disco ball with lights and speakers
An indoor athletic court can be an exciting addition to your home for everyone in the family. We hope this helped decipher what to think about prior to your designing and planning phases of home building, along with what to include in your space. Please reach out to our team with any questions!