Buying a basketball hoop seems simple. Get a metal rim and a backboard and you will be playing ball in no time. Unfortunately, there are other things you need to consider if you want a basketball hoop that will last and provide you with years of fun. By putting some thought into what you are buying before you buy it, you will save yourself problems down the road.
The first consideration in buying a basketball hoop is where you want to put it. You want to make sure that the area you have in mind is big enough for a couple of people to dribble and play without bumping into each other. You want to be sure that there are no windows or other fragile items that will get broken in the area. A basketball hoop could get very expensive if you always have to replace whatever you have accidentally thrown the ball through. You want to make sure that the ground is smooth and firm so that you can easily bounce your ball on it and so the ball doesn't get damaged when you play. Finally, you want to put your basketball hoop somewhere where you won't be disturbing people when you play. If you often can't play because it makes too much noise, then you haven't found a good location.
Once you have found the perfect location for your basketball hoop, you have to decide how you want to mount it. You can mount it on a building, like a garage or house. You can install a permanent pole in a concrete foundation and put the hoop on that. You can also get a freestanding hoop, which you can move around or store away when you are not using it. You can also more easily adjust the height of a freestanding basketball hoop. Your choice will be determined by the location you have chosen, your specific needs and your budget. Freestanding basketball hoops are more expensive than ones you mount on a house. Mounting one on a pole might be inexpensive, but you have to consider the cost of installing the pole as well.
The next question is the type of backboard. You can choose wood or fiberglass. Wood is often lighter and less expensive, but it may not be as durable. Again, your budget and location will factor in to your decision. One consideration is that a clear fiberglass basketball hoop might look better when mounted on a roof or building since it will be less obvious and won't stick out as much.
Finally, you will need to consider the type of rim. You want to look at how the back of the hoop attaches to the backboard. It can be fixed, which is welded in place, or breakaway, which is spring loaded. A fixed rim is less expensive, but a breakaway rim absorbs pressure. If you will be slam dunking or hanging on the rim, a breakaway rim will be far more durable.