Basketball Hoop Installation Guide
Never installed a basketball goal before and not sure where to start? Not a problem. Regardless of where you purchased your hoop, you’ll have the option of installing it yourself or paying a professional to do it for you. The following article will walk you through the steps.
Installing it Yourself
The following videos will walk you step-by-step through the process of installing an in-ground basketball goal.
Mixing Concrete For an In-Ground Installation
The secret to a long-lasting basketball hoop is in foundation. Achieving the correct mixture of dry concrete and water can give your goal additional years of life!
A mixture that is too thin lacks the strength needed to properly hold the steel pole in place. A mixture that is too thick will leave you struggling to fill voids that can’t be seen below, again compromising strength. So how do you achieve the perfect balance? Let’s find out!
Concrete is rated by its compressive strength, which means: how much pressure per square inch can a standard cylinder of concrete withstand before breaking. These ratings are derived from standardized machines which can evenly apply pressure across the surface of a concrete cylinder.
Compressive strength is largely determined by the composition of the mix. Walk into any home improvement store and you’ll see a variety of mixes that advertise ‘fast setting,’ ‘high-strength,’ ‘crack resistant,’ etc. The main difference between each of these is some mixes may contain additional ingredients, such as fiberglass, to provide even greater bond strength.
If you have a specific mix you’re looking for, then great, you already know what to get. However, if you’re simply trying to follow the instructions for your hoop, your standard ‘High-Strength’ mix will do just fine.
What Does Goalrilla Recommend?
Goalrilla recommends purchasing 12-13 bags of Quikrete concrete mix. This concrete meets the ASTM C387 Standard Specifications for concrete.
While directions state you only need 11 bags, it’s not a bad idea to have an extra bag or two on hand in the event the installation gets a little messy. As you’ll find out, concrete mix can be difficult to move and it’s very easy to accidentally tear a bag open.
Mixing the Concrete
Once you have all the appropriate materials, start by opening 1-2 bags and pouring them into a large container. Add water according to what the instructions dictate.
For an 80 lb. bag, you’ll want to use 6 pints or 2.8 L of water, or for a 60 lb. bag, you’ll want to use 4 pints or 1.9 L per bag of concrete. If you don’t have measuring bucket around, a 2 L soda pop bottle will work to get a close enough estimation.
Create a depression in the center of the dry mix and add your water here. Work the mix with a hoe or other tool and ensure consistency across the batch. Properly mixed concrete should be wet, but firm enough to hold its shape and in an oatmeal-like consistency. You can test its consistency by picking up a handful while wearing gloves.
Do not let the mix sit for extended periods of time or you run the risk of letting it dry out. Move the mix to the freshly dug hole as soon as possible and agitate as you pour to help alleviate any voids. A trench shovel and extra set of hands will be helpful here.
On especially hot days you may need to add more water to the mix as water will evaporate. Always keep the mix moving and ensure the mix maintains its consistency.
Repeat these steps as necessary until you have the appropriate amount of concrete.
Pouring Concrete in Cold Weather
Installing your basketball hoop in winter is possible but has a few caveats. If the outside temperature is below 40° F (4.44° C) for an extended period of time, you will want to reconsider your install date. Temperatures below this threshold can cause all sorts of problems your average DIY installer is most likely not equipped to handle, nor would want to.
If you choose to pour concrete during the winter months, there are few things you or your installer will want to remember.
- If the ground is frozen, you will need to wait until it thaws before you can even consider starting. You should NEVER place concrete in frozen ground, since it poses a number of problems from cracking, crusting, and settling unevenly.
- Use a fast-setting mix with hot water. As the name implies, a fast-setting mix will usually set in under an hour. While it may set in under an hour, it will still take several days to cure. When mixing concrete in these temperatures, regardless of type, use hot water.
- Use an accelerator. If you don’t have access to fast-setting concrete or have already purchased regular concrete, you can purchase an accelerator that helps increase the concrete hydration rate. This helps to shorten the setting time and gets the concrete to a higher strength earlier. Avoid any accelerators or additives containing calcium chloride as this will cause the rebar to rust and could potentially cause the concrete to crack. Do not mix fast-setting concrete and an accelerator.
- Use curing blankets. Specifically, for cold-weather applications, concrete curing blankets help to trap in the heat and moisture, so the concrete can reach its proper strength. Additionally, these “blankets” protect the concrete from freezing. Blankets can be purchased from your local home improvement store for around $50-$60 depending on your area. Keep in mind they do not look like the blankets you would use in your home. These blankets look more tarp-like and usually come in rolls.
In addition to these tips, some professional installers may have other methods or tricks they use to set concrete in colder weather. In this case, it may be better to hire a professional to do the job as they will often have the necessary supplies, like curing blankets, already on hand.
As the cost of additional materials begins to add up, combined with the inconvenience of working in the cold, you may find it’s better to have someone else do it
Hiring an Installation Professional
Not feeling up to the job? You can always hire a professional to install your basketball hoop for you. While you might be tempted to call a local construction company or handyman, and although some of these businesses might offer basketball goal installation, we recommend contacting a Goalrilla installation specialist. Installing a goal requires exact precision and specialized processes to ensure your goal is level and operating at peak performance. No one knows how to do this better than a Goalrilla specialist!
Check for Goalrilla Authorized Dealers
Step one should always be to see if there is an authorized dealer in your area, particularly a Goalrilla Platinum Dealer. Goalrillas are sold through a network of full service dealers throughout the country, and these Goalrilla specialists can not only help you find the best goal to purchase, but they can install it too. These dealers are installing hundreds of Goalrillas every year, and know our exact specifications, so you can trust that they will get it done right!
Other Installers to Consider
For some people living in more remote areas of the country, you may not have a Goalrilla dealer nearby. In that case, you might opt to purchase your Goalrilla online. Luckily, you can still find an installer by performing a Google search of “National installation and assembly service.” That will give you a good place to start.
If you don’t have a local Goalrilla dealer or installer in your area, then you may consider contacting a general contractor. A simple Google search for “basketball goal installers + [YOUR CITY],” should turn up some places to start. In this case, you may want to direct this service provider to our installation guide to make sure they have the correct information for a successful installation.
How Much Should it Cost?
Managing the installation yourself has its own merit, but if you’re paying somebody to do it, you should expect professional quality. Professional installations should generally range anywhere from $400 to $600 from beginning to end. Especially if you are working with an installation company or local contractor, be sure to get a couple different quotes before committing to a purchase.
If you are considering a service provider that is not a Goalrilla authorized dealer for the installation of your basketball goal, you may want to consider asking the following questions…
Can I see your previous installations?
This is by far the most important question to ask when evaluating an installer. It’s a no-brainer that if someone hasn’t done many other installations, you probably don’t want to be their first guinea pig. Most professional installers will have a gallery on their website showcasing their work. If they do not, it may be a good idea to see if they have a Facebook or other social media page where these photos are posted.
What does my installation quote cover?
Installing a full in-ground system is a multi-step, multi-day process. The first day involves digging the hole and installing the concrete, followed by 3 days for the concrete to cure, and then final assembly of the goal. Make sure the quote you receive covers the concrete installation AND the assembly of the goal, as well as the materials to do the job.
What is the timeline for the project?
Most installers have multiple projects running simultaneously, and this is especially true during the spring and summer months. You will likely not be the only project on the schedule.
Before committing to the installation, be sure to find out when they will start and when it will be completed. The installation for any Goalrilla will take at least 4 days, and a particularly busy installation schedule may delay your install date even further. Make sure your selected installer can get your goal installed in a timeline that works for you, so you can start playing as soon as possible!
Disregarding an installer’s other jobs, an installation may take more than 4 days depending on the weather. The concrete takes 3 days to cure in warm temperatures, so when the mercury begins to drop, the curing process can take significantly longer. Additionally, if the ground is frozen, it’ll be almost impossible to dig a hole.
More on cold-weather installations can be learned here. Be sure to discuss these conditions and other alternative options with the installer.
Is there a warranty covering the installation? What is it?
A botched installation can cause you and your family a lot of frustration and money. Check with the installer to see what their warranty policy is in the event of an error in installation. Be sure to make a note on the specifics of the warranty and get a copy if possible. If after the installation something seems wrong, immediately take notes and pictures to have as documentation when calling.
Are you insured?
Accidents do happen and when there’s a several hundred-pound steel pole or backboard involved, the severity of some accidents can escalate quickly. If an independent contractor (aka the installer) ends up getting injured while doing an installation on your property, you could be responsible.
This is one of the major reasons hiring a professional from a reputable company is a must for this type of project. A reputable company will carry insurance for these types of accidents and injuries, so you don’t have to worry about a lawsuit. Always be sure to ask before agreeing to any installation and see the certificate of insurance for general liability.
What are my responsibilities in the installation process?
For some people, there may be additional steps you need to take before an installer can begin work. The major task that needs to be completed is having the utility lines marked. Since there is a 4-foot deep hole that must be dug at the installation site, you and the installer need to be aware of any buried cables. Call 811 at least a few days ahead of the dig date to have the cables marked.
Additionally, most installers will need to have the area around the installation mowed, the driveway free of any cars, toys, or other debris, and the boxed goal easily accessible at the installation site (If you purchase your goal from a Goalrilla authorized dealer, they will likely deliver the goal themselves for installation).
Also, be sure to ask the installer if you need to be present for the installation. Even if you don’t have to be, being on-site during installation can help to resolve any questions that may arise.
What is the clean-up process?
Once the goal installed, there are a few final clean-up notes to consider. Be sure to ask how any excess dirt will be handled or disposed of. If you would like to reuse the dirt, agree upon where the excess dirt will be placed. A request to have the dirt placed on the side of the house or in a designated corner in the backyard shouldn’t be a problem.
Also, if you purchased your Goalrilla goal online, it will be delivered on a pallet via a freight shipment. Ask if your installer can take care of disposing of this pallet as well.