When I decided to build my own court, I chose a site that paralleled our sailboat pad in our side yard. I had some obstacles that determined our construction methods and dimensions, which included a septic leech line, a unique stand of oak trees and a 4' slope. I hired Rick Pareno of Landmark Landscapes who is located here in Anderson, CA to do the grading and construction. The dimensions of the court are 40'x14'.
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By Robert Bening
The materials used included: landscape grade pressure treated 2"x8"x20' lumber, framing stakes, decomposed granite( DG), 2" rock, heavy gauged wire, landscape fabric, direct burial wire, 3/4" PVC electrical conduit, 3 all weather electrical boxes, a light switch, heavy grade muffler pipe, cement, assorted screws, nails and bolts and two exterior grade 18" bistro lights with 300 W clear globes.
A "French drain" was dug and filled with rock between the asphalt of the sailboat pad and the petanque court. This was done to provide drainage of the sailboat pad. A bobcat was used to level the site and the lumber and framing stakes were used to make the court frame. The lumber was laid out one on top of the other according to the slope of the grade and attached to the framing stakes in order to form the court frame.
The lumber was cleated, nailed and screwed together. The space between the framing stakes was determined by the amount of stress that would be applied to the frame. Care was taken to maintain a level frame and to insure that all corners were square. The frame was left open on one end to allow the bobcat access. The electrical lines for the lights were run in shallow trenches that crossed the court from the existing power post to the location of the light poles. The heavy gauged wire was strung between holes drilled in the framing lumber in the critical corners and twisted to form turn buckles to anchor the down slope corners of the court frame. The wire was also used with framing stakes to form "deadmen" anchors in critical down slope parts of the frame.
The 2" rock was brought in and spread through out the inside of the frame to a level depth of approximately 8" deep. Since the bobcat had to roll over the rock, the rock, landscape fabric and the base level of DG was laid down in successive stages as the bobcat proceeded down the court. See the attached photos. The depth of the rock on the down slope sides of the court was allowed to be deeper to accommodate proper drainage. After the rock and fabric and the DG, a final layer of DG was laid and the shallow end of the court was closed. The court was sprayed with water, leveled and a vibrator compactor was used to form a level and hard playing surface.
The muffler pipe was bent and welded together in the predetermined shape by a local muffler shop in order to form the light standards. Mounting brackets were welded to the pipe and an all-weather electrical box was bolted to upper end of the pipe. Electrical wire was pulled through the pipe from the lower end to the upper end and each pipe was bolted to the court frame and cemented in the ground. The electrical wires were hooked up in series so the switch would turn on both bistro lights. The lights are mounted approximately 12' high and the poles are on each of the end thirds of the court. They flood the entire court with balanced non-glare light at night.
Since we are in the woods of northern California, raking and leveling the court is always an issue. I have discovered that an asphalt rake is the ideal tool for the job.
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