In her recent backyard makeover, Kristin Jackson had the brilliant idea of adding a bocce ball court to her yard. She’s well known for the great decor tutorials on her blog The Hunted Interior, so we‘re pleased that she offered to show us how she built her bocce court.
Incorporating a bocce ball court into our backyard makeover was one of our wildest ideas and had our family and friends saying “a what?!!” We simply knew we wanted to have an unexpected element that the whole family could enjoy. After throwing around some ideas, we landed on a bocce court, and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
Wanting to create a more appealing backdrop and some privacy, we started this project with a new vinyl lattice fence. Go to your local Home Depot to order it. There are too many parts and pieces to order on your own. The associates at the store will be able to walk you through the process and save you a few delivery/missing piece/we ordered the wrong parts headaches. #personalexperience.
Digging the Post Holes
Following the manufacturer instructions, we started by setting our first pole. We rented a two-man auger from the Home Depot Tool Rental Desk at our store, and measured out our post holes. We dug the holes 24 inches down and 12 inches in diameter. We rented the 8-inch auger blade… go with the 12-inch! Or you can use a shovel or post hole diggers. We ended up using a combination of the three.
Setting the Posts
After all of the holes were dug and the spacing was triple checked, we began to set our vinyl posts. We placed our post and poured in some quick-set concrete. This stuff is great as you don’t have to premix the concrete.
You simply pour the powder into the hole and then fill the hole with water, being sure to keep your post straight and level the entire time. Within a minute or two the concrete is strong enough to keep the post in place while you move to your next one. Be sure to leave a few inches at the top of the concrete to fill with your soil.
After all of the posts have been placed, they must sit for a few hours to cure. We let them sit over night just to be safe.
Assembling the Fence Panels
The next day we assembled all of the fence panels. They are a little tricky at times, but eventually we got all of the vinyl pieces to snap together. Using the suggested brackets, we screwed the panels into the posts creating our new privacy fence.
Building the Frame
Luckily, I had placed our artificial grass for the bocce ball court down, so I could visualize the spacing, and after a nice day of raining it left a perfect imprint of the size of the court we needed to dig out. Obviously you can measure and mark this out.
A regulation court is 13’x91′!!! Who knew?!! But as we are just using this casually, we went with a much more modest court of 5’x20′. (That’s plenty of space for our little games!)
To build our frame, we leveled out the entire area of the court, dug trenches around it and dropped in 4×6 treated beams cut to size– much like you would for a raised garden bed. We then back filled the trenches with dirt on the exterior and interior to give the base support.
After the frame was secure, we filled the entire interior with a truckload of sand to aide in any additional leveling. We packed the sand down using a spare wood board that we placed in the sand and then jumped on it a few times. Real technical…
Laying the Artificial Turf
Honestly, you could stop here. A lot of bocce courts are made of sand. But we wanted the addition of some green to our space and something we could easily clean with a hose or blower. That is why we choose faux grass, a.k.a. the coolest stuff ever! We placed two pet friendly, sport turf rugs at 5’x10′ each, to create our 20′ run. I used a few garden staples to nail them into the ground for added insurance, but they are fairly heavy on their own.
We love love love the end result!
Now we have grass, where none would grow before and an outdoor entertainment area the whole family can enjoy. I love the fact that our bocce ball court can also be used for horseshoes, cornhole and many other outdoor activities. I am shocked at how much our three-year-old wants to go out and play on this court. And quite honestly, I do too!