Installing a basketball goal
isn't easy. It requires a minimum of 2-3 people. You must also have the strength to dig a large deep hole, muscle up a heavy backboard and wrench large nuts and bolts. I'll cut to the chase. If it sounds like it's not for you, look for a professional hoop installer. If you think you can handle it read on.
It is a 2 day process for an in-ground goal. The first day consists of digging the hole, mixing the concrete and setting the j-bolts or pole. J-bolts are the base of most high end or heavy duty backboard systems. Then you must let the concrete cure for at least 48 hours depending on the weather. Colder climates requires more curing time. The next step is to assemble the unit. This consists of laying out the parts on the court. Doing so on the box provided as not to scratch the arms and parts. Following the manufacturers directions is critical. Each step is designed after the other for safety and ease of installation.
This second phase of the install is where the extra hands come in. The theory is the more the merrier. Some glass backboards weigh over 100lbs. Its nice to have 2 people holding the board in place and another 1-2 people inserting the bolts and reading the directions. One important note. On some of the less expensive systems like a $200-$400 round pole system from a sporting goods store I highly recommend filling the pole completely with concrete. This should be the last step. This will ensure that water and moisture does not get into the pole which will freeze and cause the pole to burst during the cold season.
If this sounds like a pain. Well it is.
Removal of an existing pole can be very easy or extremely difficult. Depending on the install it may fall over easily or have a telephone pole like concrete base. You can call your local rental place and have a hydraulic compressor and jack hammer delivered to your driveway. I don't recommend the electric hammers though they will work expect to be there a while. A few tricks of the trade will ease this problem. One of them is if your new system can be moved to the right, left or behind the old base you may be OK. You can rent a hand grinder and cut off the old pole and not have to deal with that huge block of concrete. Another trick is to cut the pole and chip 2-3 inches of the old concrete and put dirt and sod over the old base. Presto!You just saved a ton of labor. Make sure that when you cut the old pole off you don't leave jagged metal sitting there.
You can pound the edges down with a big hammer. Now we may be getting into some uncharted water for the average homeowner but its just a trade tip. If you you don't think you can handle it don't. Find a handyman. But beware this may be the most important tip of all. Not all handymen know anything about these new basketball systems on the market today. You can have a guy that's been a handyman for 20 years and watch him sit in the driveway scratching his head with the directions in his hand. Find a trained basketball goal installer. He will do it in a flash with no hesitation. Think of it as a hoop mechanic. They're out there. Good luck!
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