Below you will find some answers to common questions we are regularly asked by our existing client-base and also potential new customers.
What sports surfaces are currently on the market?
For dedicated football facilities the preferred choice from a range of synthetic surfaces would be – THIRD GENERATION sand & rubber filled artificial grass carpet. If you are seeking FA/FF funding for a full size pitch this type of surface would be mandatory unless you were considering a natural grass pitch.
Please visit the FA website for more detailed and current information on facilities which can be found at www.thefa.com/GetIntoFootball/Facilities and specifically for artificial pitches at www.thefa.com/GetIntoFootball/Facilities/Artificial_Pitches
For dedicated hockey facilities the preferred choice from a range of synthetic surfaces would be
- Water-based unfilled hockey system as chosen for Olympic pitches (please see below)
- Sand dressed turf – ideal for school and college projects
- Sand filled turf – ideal for starter projects
Please visit the International Hockey Federation website to read their January 2009 report on The Future of Synthetic Turf giving the latest information on the search for a “water free” turf and other developments. This report can be found in the Pitches & Equipment section of their website at www.fihockey.org
Surfaces currently available by ‘type’ are ACRYLIC/ARTIFICIAL GRASS/ASPHALT/CLAY/POLYMERIC and TEXTILE (carpet). Doe offers a full range so that customers may choose the most suitable option to meet their individual performance standard and budget requirements – please refer to our tennis downloads for full details of our Doe indoor and outdoor tennis surfaces.
Some general information about tennis facilities may be found under Tennis Resources in the clubs section of the Lawn Tennis Association web site at http://www.lta.org.uk
The most popular surfaces currently available by ‘type’ are ARTIFICIAL GRASS/POLYMERIC and PERVIOUS ASPHALT (MACADAM). There are many options to consider, particularly within the ‘GRASS’ category which can be broadly broken down into
- THIRD GENERATION Sand/rubber filled
- SECOND GENERATION Sand dressed
- FIRST GENERATION Sand filled carpets
For Multi-Use facilities, the end use, followed by budget, normally dictates the choice of surface, surround fencing and lighting.
Because of the variety of options available you may find our MUGA surface selector PDF in our downloads section helpful.
If you would like to view detailed Codes of Practice & Construction Guidelines for various types of sports facility you may wish to visit SAPCA’s web site www.sapca.org.uk where this information can be found in the Technical Guidance section.
Please contact us for more detailed advice and information.
May we change the type of surface on our existing facility?
Resurfacing/Reconstruction/Upgrading existing facilities
It is possible to resurface, reconstruct or upgrade existing facilties to a different type of surface. However, when changing existing impervious facilities to pervious OR vice versa, there can be substantial cost considerations. Site surveys are essential to give accurate costings when working on existing facilities. Our surveys and quotations are free of charge or obligation so do please contact us if you need project advice or would like an accurate quotation for your project.
May we visit and play test existing installations?
We have a database of construction and refurbishment projects which Doe have carried out in the UK. We will be happy to make arrangements for you to visit or play test any of our installations – new and old – so that you may assess how facilities perform over the years. Please contact us for a list of reference points in your area. There is a good chance we will have a facility close to you or we may be constructing in your area so do please ask – referral has always been our preferred route to new customers.
Testimonials from existing clients may be found in our Case Studies section.
Safety & legal questions – CDM regulations/Insurance cover/Warranties/VAT–does it have to be paid?
Are Doe familiar with CDM regulations?
Yes, we have all the necessary facilities and qualified staff in house to comply with CDM regulations, to produce Construction Phase CDM documents, including ‘as built’ CAD drawings and completion manuals for each project.
What type of insurance cover does Doe carry?
- Employers & Public Liability
- Construction All-Risks
- Professional Indemnity (please ask for further information on our PI cover)
- In addition to normal business insurance cover
What warranties do you give on your works?
A standard 3 years or 5 years warranty from date of completion for Multi-Use Games and Tennis facilities depending on the type of facility and the chosen surface and 8 years on full size 3G pitches. The relevant warranty period is normally confirmed in our quotations or tender submissions and subsequently in any contract documentation.
Is construction and resurfacing work always liable to VAT and does it have to be paid?
In broad terms the answer to both parts of this question is “yes”.
There are rare occasions (e.g., in the grounds of some listed properties) where special dispensations may occasionally be obtained by the client. However, these cases are usually not clear cut and rather than being able to quote one definitive ruling it is often necessary to enter into correspondence with the relevant HMRC Office to check each individual site. Clubs, Schools, Parish Councils, Hotels etc which are registered for VAT can usually reclaim all the VAT depending on the specific project.
As a Company, we have a policy of never undertaking jobs for “cash” when this method of settlement is being proposed as a means of avoiding the legitimate payment of VAT.
We want to give you a valid warranty, have your contract accurately recorded and properly covered by our insurers so that, should a problem occur, both you and we have a recognised audit route to rectify and resolve matters as necessary. Projects carried out for “cash” and not properly declared for VAT purposes may not be covered by insurers.
We appreciate that VAT adds considerably to the cost of every project these days and know that we lose some private client orders because we refused to “lose the VAT”. However, we have no wish to put either your contract and its warranty nor DOE’s Tax Certification at risk.
Construction question – residential tennis courts
How long does construction of a single private tennis court take?
Construction periods vary according to
- type of surface
- time of year
- ease of access
- ground and weather conditions.
We aim to complete all works as quickly as possible without jeopardizing the quality standard of the finished facility.
Taking the specific types of surface the construction periods would normally be;
Colour Coated Asphalt – DOE VISCOUNT 32 & 65
A new court takes approximately 3-4 weeks from excavation to completed black asphalt surface. There is then a further 3 weeks ‘curing’ period before either playing lines are applied to the black surface if you are having a plain black VICEROY court without colour coating or, the colour coating is applied if you are having the VISCOUNT surface. After colour coating, another 3-7 days ‘drying time’ is required (depending on time of year and humidity levels) before a new VISCOUNT court may finally be taken into play. So, an overall allowance of 8 weeks is reasonable unless poor weather conditions cause unforeseen delays. Temporary lines are sometimes applied to allow a surface to be taken into play before colour coating is carried out but extreme care is requirednot to damage the new black surface in these first few weeks whilst the material remains ‘live’, particularly in warm/hot weather.
Synthetic Grass – DOE OLYMPUS / TROJAN / CASOLON
Synthetic grass courts will normally be completed some 2 to 3 weeks earlier than colour coated asphalt because it is only necessary to leave the asphalt base for approximately one week before installing the carpet and these courts can then be taken into play immediately following carpet installation saving 2 weeks ‘curing’ and 3-7 days ‘drying’ time.
Acrylic – GreenSet GRAND PRIX / GRAND PRIX CUSHION / GRAND PRIX CONFORT
Acrylic courts such as GreenSet GRAND PRIX are the most ‘weather sensitive’ type of surface to construct and are normally only laid outdoors between mid/late May and late August each year. Curing times on Acrylic materials can vary quite substantially. For example, in very humid conditions, curing times per layer can double and, in dry, sunny, breezy weather, they can halve. Such variations can greatly extend or shorten the programme. It is normal to agree a site specific programme of works with the client for each acrylic project before commencement on site.
What is the biggest item of plant equipment Doe would normally use?
A large 360 excavator is normally used to ‘cut out’ new courts – ideally a 12-13 tonne machine. A smaller 5-6 tonne machine can be used if access is limited which increases the costs slightly. Smaller plant – twin drum rollers, powered wheel barrows – are usually the largest plant used for resurfacing projects.
How many lorry movements would there be on a private court project?
A single new court normally requires between 20 and 24 depending on the type of court
||2 or 4|
||2 or 3|
A resurfacing project would normally be carried out without the first two items above saving 12 lorry movements
Will there be a lot of excavated material to be removed from site?
Topsoil cannot be used in the construction of courts due to its unstable condition (it does not offer a sound base for construction and tends to ‘settle’ over time). Any topsoil will, therefore, either be removed from site (usually at quite substantial cost and to be avoided if at all possible) or, ideally, used to form banks around the court area or used elsewhere in the grounds.
Subsoil does not usually need to be removed from site because courts are often constructed using a method known as ‘cut and fill’ – please see next question and answer.
What is ‘cut and fill’?
Courts need to be constructed on a uniform ‘platform’ (usually with a 1:120 fall, ideally across the width of the court for pervious surfaces). Most sites are, to a greater or lesser extent, uneven and need to be levelled. To save taking materials off site, the ‘platform’ can be levelled and prepared by taking the subsoil from the high end and compacting it in layers at the low end thus bringing the low end up to meet the high end and vice versa.
Can residential courts be used for sports or games other than tennis?
Yes, provided certain guidelines are followed for footwear and use. In general use all our surfaces are tough and durable. However, care must be taken not to cause damage to new asphalt tennis surfaces such as DOE VICEROY and VISCOUNT in their first year – particularly in very warm or hot weather before the material has had an opportunity to ‘harden’ thoroughly. Our Care & Maintenance Guidelines give specific information on this type of use and are given to every customer on completion of their project.
The only game which should never be played on tennis court asphalt is Hockey because hockey sticks will damage tennis courts.
We have special ‘Multi-Use’ asphalt – DOE TITAN – designed for School/Playground/MUGA facilities which can also be used on private courts if they are to be used for games other than Tennis.
If Football or Five-a-Side is to be played then Fencing options must be carefully considered. Tennis Court chainlink will not withstand constant hammering by footballs and will ‘belly out’ in time. There are many fencing options nowadays and we will be pleased to advise on the most cost effective solution for your individual requirements.
Grass courts (DOE CASOLON/TROJAN/OLYMPUS) can be used in some multi-use situations and clients may also consider the grass carpets in our football/multi-use and pitch ranges although some of these carpets are definitely not suitable for playing tennis.
Can we use tennis court surfaces for roller blading or riding bicycles?
As a general rule – NO – not on ‘normal’ tennis court asphalt such as DOE VICEROY and VISCOUNT. However, on some ‘older’ surfaces – 3/5 years+ this type of use is sometimes possible without causing too much damage although we do not recommend it. Acrylic surfaces such as our GreenSet GRAND PRIX may be used for roller blading after they have completely cured some 5-6 months after installation – we will always be happy to advise on your specific installation.
PLEASE DO NOT USE YOUR SURFACES FOR ROLLER BLADING WITHOUT SEEKING ADVICE FIRST SO AS TO PREVENT UNNECESSARY DAMAGE AND COSTLY REPAIRS.
Why are DOE often more expensive than their competitors?
For several reasons but the major factors are
- We employ trained staff specifically to supervise the quality and progress of our construction works.
- We work for the long term stability of DOE with the aim of being here to look after your facility throughout its warranty period and for many years thereafter.
- We do not want to compromise on the build quality of any element of your project so do not price in the hope that we can “cut corners” if we are awarded a contract.
- We carry comprehensive insurance to cover all our activities.
Care & maintanence – general guidance
What are the most important points to remember?
For all facilities, indoors or outdoors
1 – CONSIDER ANY HEALTH & SAFETY RISKS
2 – PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT
Clubs, Centres, Schools, Hotels and similar venues open to the public must always be aware of potential risks for anyone using their facilities and will also wish to protect their initial investment. Many of our larger MUGA and SYNTHETIC TURF PITCH projects will have a Care & Maintenance Programme as part of the initial project.
Private customers may tend to consider the above points in reverse order. It’s worth bearing in mind that if you are buying a new tennis court you may spend as much as you would on a high quality motor car. You would always have your car serviced at regular intervals by an authorised dealer and to protect your investment so it makes sense to look after your tennis court in a similar manner.
In simple terms, both Health & Safety requirements and investment protection may be met by
- Keeping your playing surfaces and adjacent areas scrupulously clean
- Applying preventative treatments of moss-killer/algaecide/weed killer as appropriate on outdoor facilities and at the correct dosages and recommended time of year and, remember to also treat any footpaths.
- Pressure washing asphalt surfaces at least every other year (extreme care needs to be taken on older courts from approximately 8 years onwards – if in any doubt always seek professional advice)
- Brushing synthetic grass surfaces regularly and topping up sand levels on sand-filled carpets as required and recommended. Neglecting the correct ‘little and often’ recommended care on expensive carpets can dramatically shorten their life span and lead to poor and, at worst, even dangerous playing surfaces if such recommended routine maintenance is not carried out regularly.
- Vacuuming indoor surfaces regularly and, if recommended, occasional washing
- NEVER PULLING WEEDS OUT OF ASPHALT OR OTHER ‘HARD’ SURFACES – USE SPOT TREATMENT SHOULD ANY WEEDS OCCUR BETWEEN ROUTINE TREATMENTS
- NEVER USING OIL BASED WEED KILLERS
- NEVER USING SALT ON FROZEN SURFACES
- NEVER USING METAL SHOVELS TO SCRAPE SNOW OR ICE OFF SURFACES – BROOMS AND WOODEN SCRAPERS ONLY PLEASE
- USING THE RECOMMENDED FOOTWEAR FOR YOUR SURFACE TO PREVENT DAMAGE
Every Doe customer is given a Care & Maintenance Guildline leaflet on completion of their construction project – please ask for additional copies if you need them or have misplaced your original and please feel free to ask for one even if you do not have a Doe facility – all we need to know is the type of playing surface you have to be able to send you the relevant leaflet.
If you know you have neither the time nor inclination to look after your facility regularly then our Services Division will be happy to quote for one-off visits or annual contracts. For pernicious weed growth such as mares tail, bindweed, bellbine and similar, we can put you in touch with specialist weed control companies who, again, will be happy to quote for individual treatments or annual contracts as required.
If you would like to receive further details of our Court Cleaning and routine Servicing costs please contact us indicating the age (if known) and surface type of your court(s) or multi-use facility and we’ll be pleased to send budget prices or, visit and give specific quotations for your requirements. All site visits and quotations are free of any charge or obligation.
Planning considerations – residential tennis courts
Do residential tennis courts require Planning Permission?
We recommend that all customers check Planning requirements in their area with their own Local Authority, particularly in the light of the changes in Planning Laws in October 2008.
We have contacts with Planning Advisers in some areas of the UK who can give advice or, if you wish, deal with your Planning Application for you. In the last 25 years we have had two clients who have constructed courts without obtaining the necessary Permission and who have subsequently had to have their courts removed which, in both cases, was a more expensive undertaking than the original construction.
Trees in the area of proposed court construction now need far more careful consideration and a tree survey by a specialist firm is usually required as part of the Planning Application process. We can usually put you in touch with qualified people who will be able to assist you with this.
The court itself will always normally require Planning Permission if it is constructed in the front rather than in the back garden of the property, involves a change of use of land; e.g. from agricultural land or a designated paddock or, specifically, lies outside the curtilage of the property as defined by the Land Registry.
Planning considerations / lighting sports facilities
Lighting often gives rise to planning problems and reference to your individual Planning Authority is always advisable.
Doe – or the specialist lighting contractors we work with – can provide the necessary specifications, performance and spill calculations which you will need to include with your Planning Application for lighting.
For residential courts, a retractable system can often provide an answer to lighting in a ‘sensitive’ area but all public facilities – Clubs/Schools/Hotels etc – will need Planning Permission before proceeding with lighting. There are several excellent ‘low spillage’ lighting systems now available on the market which can help in areas where facilities are in close proximity to or in the middle of residential areas. Neighbours often object more to the additional traffic and parking caused by the use of floodlit facilities rather than to the actual lights themselves. Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule, each application has to go through its own local Planning ‘hoops’ and due process.
As mentioned above, we can help with Planning Applications by providing AutoCAD drawings, cross sections, lighting schemes etc with the relevant inserts for your own Architect’s submission and we will be pleased to put you in contact with Planning Advisors who can give advice or submit a Planning Application as required.
Funding sources / useful addresses & contacts
Try your own Local Authority (ask for their Tennis or Sports Development or Recreation Officer as your starting point) – they sometimes have specific knowledge of funds available for local projects.
In England and Wales – start with the LTA – their web site – www.lta.org.uk has details of their funding application procedures. If you have trouble locating the information you need you can contact them at
Stirling FK9 4LA
Tel 01786 641716
Multi-Use Games Areas
In England and Wales – TRY YOUR SPORT ENGLAND REGIONAL OFFICE AS A FIRST STEP
3rd Floor Victoria House
Tel 020 7273 1551
Fax 020 7383 5740
For general advice and fund details.
Sport England Funding Line
Tel 08458 508 508
Application forms can also be completed for those without internet access.
Templeton on the Green
62 Templeton Street
Tel 0141 534 6500
Fax 0141 534 6501
The organisations below should be able to assist with advice if not funding
SportPark – Loughborough University
3 Oakwood Drive
Tel 01509 227750
Scottish Disability Sport