With a basketball hoop at home, you can play solo, one-on-one or put together a game whenever you want. Although the type of basketball system you choose depends on available space and your budget, you can build in-ground hoop whether your driveway pulls double duty as a court or you go all out and build a full court in your yard. For strength and stability, the post needs to sit in a concrete-filled hole. Choose from several types of concrete.
Concrete Vs. Cement
Although many people use the terms interchangeably, concrete and cement are two different substances. Cement is actually a component of concrete -- a binder mixed in the correct proportion with sand, gravel and water. Gravel and sand make concrete stronger than cement alone.
Types of Concrete
You can purchase premixed concrete in powder form that already has the correct proportions of cement, sand and gravel. Alternately, you can purchase the sand, gravel and cement individually and mix your own concrete. For larger projects, you can have a cement mixer deliver wet, ready-to-use concrete, but the relatively small amount you'll need for your basketball hoop is unlikely to justify the expense of a cement mixer. Premixed concrete is relatively inexpensive, and you can pick it up at a home improvement store or have it delivered.
How Much Concrete?
The basketball hoop manufacturer's instructions specify how large the hole needs to be for the pole that holds the hoop. Use the recommended measurements to determine how many cubic feet you need to fill with concrete. Multiply, in feet, the width, length and depth of the hole, assumed here to be square-shaped. If you must round off a measurement, round up. For example, a hole that's 18 inches deep is rounded to 2 feet. Use the following formula to calculate the cubic feet: length times width times depth. A hole that's 2 feet long, 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep is 8 cubic feet. Multiply the cubic feet by .45, if you're using 60-pound bags of concrete, or by .6, if you're using 80-pound bags. In the previous example, 8 cubic feet multiplied by .6 equals five 80-pound bags after rounding up.
Mixing the Concrete
Concrete begins to set quickly, so the faster you can mix it, the better. Mix one bag at a time in a wheelbarrow or pour the mix directly into the hole. Add water, then mix with a posthole digger or other implement. You should be able to create a distinct groove in the surface by running a shovel or other tool across it, according to Home Depot. Add more water if you're unable to make a groove. Add more mix if the groove collapses.
Daria Kelly Uhlig
Daria Kelly Uhlig began writing professionally for websites in 2008. She is a licensed real-estate agent who specializes in resort real estate rentals in Ocean City, Md. Her real estate, business and finance articles have appeared on a number of sites, including Motley Fool, The Nest and more. Uhlig holds an associate degree in communications from Centenary College.