You're leaving a lot to chance if you hire a contractor who has no experience with bocce. I get a lot of calls from municipalities who had their public works department or outside landscapers put in bocce courts only to find out they get no use because the courts don't make the grade. One court had a top dressing of two inches of Rapid Dry - the stuff college and major league baseball teams use to dry a wet infield. Playing on Rapid Dry is like playing in the Sahara. You make footprints in the sand dunes as you walk back and forth. We want hard packed, fast rolling surfaces for bocce.
Another public park has two new and potentially outstanding courts that the local bocce posse refuses to play on.
"You might as well plant potatoes there, cause we're never gonna play on those courts." There were multiple problems. The two side-by-side courts were different dimensions. One was eight feet wide and the other fourteen. Both were long even by international standards (100 feet). The contractor reasoned "The eight-footer is for singles play, the wider one for teams." Fascinating! He must have found that little tidbit of misinformation while surfing the net.
For handicap access, the builder left a section open (no back wall) at one end. Balls rolled right out of the court and caromed off the surrounding courtside concrete barriers. So...do it yourself or find a competent builder with a track record of successful experience with bocce court construction.
Your decision should factor in things like your age and physical condition, your building skills and availability of tools and equipment. I look at the cost of hiring a contractor as a one-time expense. Do it right the first time and get years of enjoyment from it instead of months of headaches (and backaches). Several builders around the USA specialize in bocce court construction. If you are lucky enough to be located near them (or have pockets deep enough to afford flying them in) I can recommend them to you without reservation.
David Brewer (San Rafael, CA) http://www.boccebrew.com (415-461-8842)
Michael Grasser (Sylvan Springs, MI) http://www.DaVinciBocce.com (248-681-9022)
Tom McNutt (Bellingham, WA) http://www.boccemon.com (360-224-2909).
If you are in the New England area, I work with a top notch crew at Vernon Real Estate Management of Topsfield, MA. We have built or consulted on court construction in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. As a bonus, you'll get me as a consultant/advisor/bocce coach. I keep tabs on the construction and offer suggestions and comments. See some of our work below...