This spring marked our FIRST spring in the new house and with it my husband, a former minor baseball player, started doing baseball lessons out of our home. At first, he had a few people interested in lessons, but he was having a hard time finding a great place to practice hitting and if he did find a place, it came with higher fees, which was something he wanted to avoid. So we set out to research how we could build a batting cage on our property so that kids could come to US and learn from my husband. We also wanted a place for our son to practice his hitting with his dad and we didn’t have to worry about taking out a passing car or breaking a window. The problem was…we couldn’t find any “pre-fabricated” batting cages on the web that weren’t thousands of dollars OR very flimsy with low reviews. The affordable ones had poor reviews and the alternatively priced, higher quality options were just too much for our budget. So…we set out to make our own with the help of Net World Sports. Today, I’ll share with you how to build a batting cage affordably in your own back yard!!
I found Net World Sports on Amazon when I was searching for nets for our cage. They had several size options and overall, they had the best selection of nets for the best prices and the best reviews. We went with the 12 x 14 x 55 foot net for purposes of this post, but you could size up or size down accordingly as needed.
Supplies (Part One):
15 wooden stakes
extra long measuring tape
twine/string to tie off
8- 16′ wooden poles
10-12 bags of concrete
rent an auger
mallet for pounding the stakes
orange construction spray paint
scrap wood, hammer, nails for supporting poles
wheelbarrow and hose for pouring concrete
**It’s important to note that we made this structure semi-permanent. This isn’t something you’d want to do if you expect to remove it within a few years. We poured concrete posts that will remain in place until such time as we want to remove it, when we’ll just cut the posts down. **
The first thing we did was to measure out our cage, lay the stakes, and ensure it was square. The net we wanted was 55 feet long x 12 feet wide x 14 feet tall, so we measured accordingly so that the stakes would lie INSIDE of the net.
You’ll need two people, 8 stakes, a long tape measure, rope to mark it off and keep it straight, and spray paint to mark the ground. We positioned the first two stakes 55′ apart with the stake marking the end of where the net will be.
Then they measured 12′ across from the stake at the end and then measured another 55′ down to mark the 4th stake. At the end, you’ll have a long rectangle measured out with a stake at all four corners. This is where you need to measure diagonally across your rectangle to ensure that the measurements diagonally match up.
For example, if the upper left corner measured down to the bottom right corner is more than the measurement from the upper right corner to the bottom left corner, then you know you’re not square and you need to adjust your stakes accordingly. This will ensure that all four corners are positioned correctly for the net.
After the layout was square, we then laid out our additional stakes for where the other posts would go. We ended up doing two posts on the insides of each side (so four posts total on each side). We marked out the even spots where the 2nd and 3rd post in would each go, then we added the posts in the ground. After all the stakes were in place, using thick string, they tied string around each stake connecting one to the next to ensure they didn’t move and that things remained square while the stakes were being drilled. They also used orange marking spray paint to make circles around stakes so that there was a clear outline of where the hole should be drilled.
Important note: You need to call your local electric company to come out and mark where electrical lines run across your property to ensure that when you dig, you’re digging safely. We did that before the next step.
Next up, we rented an auger from the local hardware store and we dug each hole two feet down with the auger. We also purchased 8- 16′ tall wood beams from the hardware store. Each pole was just under $20 a piece to give you an idea of pricing. We very carefully inspected each pole to ensure that they weren’t bowed in any way. It’s also important to note that for this step we rented a truck from the hardware store to bring the poles home…the truck was $20 to rent…so we didn’t have to worry about borrowing a vehicle from anyone. Since you’re burying each 2′ deep and the net we used was 14′ high, we needed to get the 16′ beams. We also bought about 12 bags of concrete and a wheel barrow to help with this process.
We dug out all eight holes with the auger, put the poles into the holes and used scrap wood and stakes to hold them steady while the concrete was poured in place. This is definitely the roughest part of the process, but will ensure that your posts are secure and straight. You’ll want to use a level to be sure that they are level after the concrete has been added, since it may shift just a bit.
From here, we had to let the concrete dry. So we gave it a week and during that time we cleaned up the dirt from all the sides of the holes. Then after it was completely hardened, we removed the extra scrap wood (used for stabilization) from each pole and checked out what we had done.
Check out PART TWO of this tutorial…and be sure to check out Net World Sports for tons of net options for your project!