In this tutorial, I show you how to build a backyard DIY batting cage with wood posts as well as useful tips to save you time and money.
This article contains everything you need to know to design and build a batting cage in your own backyard – you will be ready for batting practice in no time.
Also, I included a table of contents to help you navigate this article in order to find the information you need quickly.
So, let’s get started with a list of materials you need to build your own batting cage.
Tools and Materials
I segmented the tools and material list into multiple sections to align to the different parts of a baseball batting cage.
Wood Frame and Cable Support
RetroFit Post Base (Qty 8)
Concrete J Bolts (Qty 8)
Structural Screws (1.5″)
2.5″ Structural Screws
Foam (Concrete Alternative)
Concrete (16 Bags or 2 per Post)
Post Hole Auger
Post Hole Digger (Alternative to Auger)
Chalk Line Reel
I-Beam Level (72″)
Truck Bed Extension for Hauling Lumber
PVC Pipe vs Wood Posts for Outdoor Batting Cages
First, I’ve received a lot of questions regarding using PVC pipe or steel poles instead of wood to build a batting cage.
While PVC pipe may work for an indoor batting cage, outdoor wood posts are a great option for an outdoor cage.
UV rays from the sun quickly degrade the strength of PVC for an outdoor cage.
Also, high school baseball and softball players require a heavy duty wood posts with a high quality net.
Before you purchase the wood for your DIY batting cage, I encourage you to read through this article to make sure my design fits your needs and your backyard space.
Either way, you can easily adjust the dimensions to fit your backyard limited space.
Keep in mind, the lumber I used for this backyard batting cage design is pressure treated and ready for outdoor use.
Most outdoor cages use pressure treated lumber for the frame.
I purchased the wood below from Home Depot.
However, I encourage you to shop around for competitive prices.
- Wood Posts: 4″x4″x12′ – Qty. 8
- Runners: 2’x6’x12′ – Qty. 4
- Cross Boards: 2’x6’x16′ – Qty. 3
- Support Braces: 2’x6’x8′ – Qty. 3
DIY Batting Cage Video Tutorial
There are many things which are difficult to explain with words and images, so be sure to checkout the video tutorial below.
Batting Cage with Wood Posts
My homemade batting cage sits adjacent to my detached garage/workshop.
Obviously, the entire cage area will be a permanent structure for year-round use.
This location is perfect for a DIY batting cage for the following reasons:
- The detached garage blocks the afternoon sun.
- My neighbor’s massive 200 year old oak tree blocks the morning sun.
- This location fits my future plans to cover the batting cage with an attached lean-to roof, pour a concrete floor, and cover with artificial cage turf.
Backyard Batting Cage Plans
Obviously, this backyard batting cage fits the needs of both softball players and baseball players.
First, I created a 3D batting cage plans to determine the best layout and the amount of space.
I wanted home plate to be near the fence and under the overhang I plan to build.
In total, the total amount of space I had to work with was 65.5 feet x 21 feet (L x W).
I had 10 extra feet in length, but I didn’t want my homemade batting cage to be that long.
So, I decided to purchase a 12 ft (Height) x 14 ft (Width) x 55 ft (Length) backyard batting cage netting.
Essentially, this size represents the dimensions of a typical batting cage length in a backyard.
Also, a 40 foot batting cage seems to be common little league players or for backyards with space constraints.
For your reference, commercial batting cages normally span 70 feet long.
However, a 55 feet long batting cage works perfectly for most backyards and doesn’t use too much space.
In my opinion, the length of the cage is not as important as the width of the cage.
First thing, I marked an area 16 ft wide and roughly 56.5 ft long using wooden stakes, string, a tape measure, and spray paint.
The diagram below shows the total area and the batting cage net area.
DIY Batting Cage Frame
The design of my own batting cage frame consists of 8 posts, 4 runners, 3 cross bars, and support braces.
Also, part of the batting cage frame sits adjacent to my detached garage.
Eventually, I plan to pour a concrete slab in this area and cover it with a lean-to roof.
The batting cage with wood posts frame dimensions comprise a simple rectangle.
First, I marked the post locations.
The measurements in the diagram below are on center and require a 12 foot 2 x 6 to connect them – no cutting necessary.
One of the benefits of designing a batting cage frame before the build is reducing material waste and minimizing labor.
Dig Post Holes
Once I laid out the post hole locations, I used my post hole auger to dig post holes.
As a quick tip, use tent stakes to mark the pole locations.
So, I bought this post hole auger a few years ago to build a fence in my backyard.
Additionally, I use it very often for planting shrubs and for odd projects such as this backyard batting cage.
Next, I placed a concrete round form in each post hole and used 2 bags of concrete to fill each hole.
After I poured the concrete, I placed an anchor bolt in the middle of the concrete.
Also known as a J-Bolt, the concrete anchor allows me to secure a post base to the concrete. More on this later.
Cut Wood Posts
While the concrete dried, I cut the 4×4 posts to size.
First, I cross cut each post with my jigsaw.
Wood Post Half Lap Joint
Then, I used my speed square to mark the cut lines for the half lap joint.
Keep in mind, the 4×4 post measures 3.5” x 3.5” and a 2 x 6 measures 1.5” x 5.5”.
So, I marked the half lap joint 5.5” from the top and 1.5” from the side.
I like using half lap joints with posts.
The weight of the boards attached to the post gets distributed through the entire post.
If boards are simply fastened to the post with bolts, the bolts bear the weight.
Then, I used my jigsaw to cut along the lines.
Also, a hand saw works well to make these cuts if you don’t own a jigsaw.
Once all the cuts were made, I cleaned up the inside of the half lap joint with an old chisel.
Corner Post Half Lap Joint
The half lap joints for the corner posts require one more cut.
Ultimately, the corner posts will have a runner attached to it as well as a cross board.
As I marked my lines, I wrote an ‘x’ on the area of the wood post I needed to discard and a ‘check’ for the area I needed to keep.
Install Adjustable Post Base
Instead of mounting the 4×4 posts in concrete, I chose to use an adjustable post base.
Plus, concrete is permanent and I didn’t know if I would need to move the post in the future.
Maybe I’ll need to move it to adhere to a building code for the lean-to roof I plan to build.
The post base rests on top of the concrete anchor and adjusts about 1/2” in all directions if needed.
First, I placed the base on the anchor and hand-tightened a washer and nut to secure it.
Then, I repeated this process for all post holes and checked for square when complete with a string.
Once all anchors were in place, I tightened the nut with a wrench.
Level and Secure Wood Post
Also, I quickly realized this post base was not as sturdy as I hoped.
As a result, I used a retrofit post base to provide better stability for my batting cage with wood posts.
2×6 Wood Frame
First, I drilled pilot holes in the runners and cross boards and drilled the structural screws halfway.
Obviously, it is much easier to do this while the 2×6 boards are on the ground rather than in the air.
Next, I installed the 4 2×6 runners on center on each post.
As I mentioned previously, the half lap joints allow the posts to distribute the weight of the batting cage frame.
Each end of each cross board requires 4 structural screws.
So, two screws attach to the post and two screws attach to the runner.
DIY Batting Cage Wood Frame Supports
To further support the rear batting cage wood frame as well as the frame adjacent to my workshop, I installed 2×6 supports.
Also, the batting cage support cable will pull on the rear frame.
So, I felt it was a good idea to anchor it.
Turnbuckle Cable Kits
To support the batting cage evenly, I installed 4 turnbuckle cable kits with wire rope.
Additionally, the 3 cable lines allow me to slide the back of the batting cage up to the back of my detached garage.
This will allow my 2 sons to use the cage in the rain.
First, I installed two eye bolts, the cable, and secured the turnbuckles.
Next, I tightened the turnbuckles until the cable was taut.
To further tighten the turnbuckles, I used a wrench.
Once I dropped my wrench, I used my hand.
Keep in mind, the turnbuckle kit came with everything I needed to install the cable.
DIY Batting Cage Net
First, this batting cage is 12’ H, 14’ W, 55’ L.
The batting cage arrived rolled up in a package and I used my dolly to move it to the batting cage location.
Obviously, this batting cage is heavy – very heavy.
Type of Batting Cage Netting
The type of netting used for batting cages differs depending on many factors.
Ultimately, I elected to get the KVX200 batting cage net instead of the HDPE batting cage.
HDPE is the standard outdoor cage and stands for High Density Polyethylene.
Additionally, this high-quality netting has a UV stabilized coating and holds up well to the outdoor elements.
So, I chose to purchase the good batting cage net for a few hundred dollars more.
The KVX200 net has embedded UV inhibitors directly into the fibers which makes it a durable net.
Plus, the carbon based dye adds additional UV protection.
You can learn more about KVX200 batting cage nets by watching this video.
There are many home batting cage systems with many different options for a big yard and smaller yards.
Ultimately, I encourage you to do research and choose the best option for you.
Cost for DIY Batting Cage Net
Below is a screenshot of the cost of my DIY batting cage.
Obviously, I expected the biggest cost factor to be the batting cage net kit.
Hang Batting Cage Net
First, my son and I located the front and rear of the net.
Next, we stretched out the batting cage net and tied each corner to the batting cage frame.
Then, I evenly spaced batting cage hangers along the front, back, and sides of the net.
Finally, I attached the hangers to the cables and adjusted as needed.
Also, the picture above shows me using a clip directly attached to the batting cage net, but this was a temporary solution until the batting cage hangers arrived.
DIY Batting Cage Net Sag
After experimenting for a short time, I concluded the batting cage should sag roughly 12 inches to 18 inches in order to absorb the baseballs and softballs.
If the cage is too tight, balls bounce off the net.
However, the balls will hit the posts if too much sag is in place.
Also, the pictures below show the batting cage without sag and with sag.
After I hung the batting cage net, the actual size was roughly 12 feet wide and 11′ tall.
Ultimately, a 12 feet wide batting cage provides plenty room for players of all ages.
In summary, I hope my backyard DIY batting cage with wood posts tutorial helped you.
Additionally, this is a great project to do with your baseball or softball player.
It also serves as a terrific place to spend quality time and a great way to improve a batting average.
Good Luck with your project!
After you build your DIY backyard batting cage, be sure to consider a pitching machine and the following accessories: