If you are lucky enough to have a home with a basement, you are likely using it for various purposes, such as a basic storage room for seasonal decorations and old furniture, when it could be finished into a family room, home cinema, basement wet bar, or best of all, a basement game room.
For any family, no matter the size, the addition of a finished basement can be incredibly useful. Although unfortunately, many homeowners neglect to finish their basement because they believe it is an unaffordable and cumbersome project. In reality, you can save money by completing most of the work yourself, and you will no doubt find the results to be worth the time, effort, and money you put into it. Currently, in the real estate market, a basement is a commodity. Do not let this perfectly fine space go to waste.
Here are a few reasons you should consider finishing your basement:
Enhances the Comfort of Your Entire Home
In its original form, an unfinished basement is damp and cold but after the insulation is installed by yourself or by contractors, your basement will become instantly more comfortable. It will consistently remain cool during the summer and warm throughout the winter months. In short, a finished basement with insulation regulates temperatures better than if it were unfinished, resulting in fewer bugs, mold, moisture, and improved air quality in your home.
Increases the Value of Your Home
If you are planning to eventually put your home on the market, a finished basement will look much more attractive to potential buyers than an unfinished one. Basement renovation actually offers the best price per square foot of any remodeling project. For potential buyers, a finished basement can be just as or even more enticing than a remodeled kitchen or bathroom.
Adds Flexible Space
Finishing your basement will add an entire floor of space that can be used for endless possibilities. A game room located in your finished basement will provide a space for both adults and kids to have fun. From comfortable seating arrangements to the latest gaming consoles, the ideal game room should be an array of comfort and technology.
A basement game room should not just sound appealing to the kid in all of us. Finishing your basement is a home improvement project with a high return on investment and will have a major impact on the return you will see at resale. In fact, finishing your basement provides a 77.6% return on investment. With these tips, you can finally realize your dream of turning your unfinished basement into a game room of your very own. Here are a few things you should begin to think about:
Any basement renovation project should begin with insulation. This is a task for which you can hire specialists or you can do yourself. Otherwise, your basement will be uncomfortably cold during winter. It is also important to remember that basements can be damp, which you will want to consider while insulating. High humidity can alter the conductivity in electronics, resulting in damage, malfunction, and possibly even corrosion. Proper insulation and temperature regulation, such as a window-mounted air conditioner, will protect your expensive gaming consoles from potential damage.
If you are planning to have your game room accommodate video games, you should plan for the wiring this will involve, such as Ethernet and power cables. All wires and cables should be hidden or disguised as best as possible under carpeting, behind furniture, or tied up neatly to not spoil the appearance of the room. Also, consider surge protectors and high-quality extension cords to protect your expensive consoles.
A gaming room should be lit differently than other rooms. The lighting should be functional and stylish. It is recommended to place lighting at specific areas of the room on a per need basis. For an optimal television setup, lighting should not be placed on the wall opposite the TV. For an immersive gaming experience, use a combination of different colored lights. Blue and red ambient lighting are especially effective for creating a more engaging atmosphere. If you will be installing a projector, the room should have a setting for complete darkness for the best picture quality.
Soundproofing does not only prevent sound from bothering outside parties but improves the quality of sound inside the game room. This can be another task for a hired professional or one you can complete yourself by installing layers of insulating foam specifically designed for soundproofing. The ceiling can be insulated using drop ceiling tiles made from fiberglass. The door can be soundproofed by replacing it from one made of solid wood. Specially designed carpets and acoustic panels can also help absorb noise and soundproof your game room.
Ideas For A Basement Game Room
A basement game room does not just have to be for video game consoles, you can include a pool table, ping pong table, or dartboard. Whether you are just beginning the renovation process or just touching up, keep the following in mind when transforming your unused basement into a remarkable game room.
Plan How Your Space Will Be Used
Early on in the process, plan how you will use your space. A common mistake is planning to fit more than your space can hold. For instance, table games like air hockey or a foosball table require three to four feet of space around them.
- If you have enough space, add a partition to divide video games from table games.
- If you are short on space, a corner gaming station maybe your best option.
- If your space permits it, install a small bathroom as well.
If your basement is much larger than you need, you can opt to only remodel a portion of the space and then separate the two. This is in many ways the best of both worlds: storage space and a game room.
Whether you are gaming on a large television screen or a computer monitor, consider purchasing ergonomic gaming chairs, some of which are even fully wired for delivering immersive sound. Also, consider multipurpose furniture such as stools and ottomans that can be easily transported throughout the game room. Some ottomans can even be used for storage as well as seating for a group instead of folding chairs.
Consider Your Flooring Material
Instead of a hardwood or stone floor, you can use polished decorative concrete which provides the timeless charm of stone and the durability of concrete at a fraction of the cost.
How To Find A Local Basement Finishing Company
When choosing a contractor to finish your basement, you generally have two options: a general contractor or a contractor who’s expertise is basement remodeling. When making your decision, consider:
Experience – Remodeling a basement presents many challenges that are simply not present throughout the rest of the home. Consider that general contractors are not commonly accustomed to working in open spaces and do not deal with the obstacles that usually appear in a basement, such as low ceilings, water heaters, furnaces, posts, pipes, ducts, and many others.
On the other hand, a basement remodeling contractor with experience will have no issue designing a basement renovation. They will likely have experience designing basements remodels with sufficient lighting and basement windows to take full advantage of natural sunlight. They will also have more of a familiarity with local building codes that state what can and cannot be done during a basement remodel.
Materials – A basement renovation requires different building materials than other rooms in the home. For a basement, general contractors will often install drywall and carpet just like they might for other rooms. Most basement contractors take issue with this since these materials are more prone to mold and therefore mold damage. General contractors often lay wood planks directly on the basement floor, which will collect moisture that seeps from the ground through the floor. This moisture and humidity will collect and cause the wood planks to rot or grow mold. Eventually, this damage will spread to the carpet.
To avoid the issue of mold, basement contractors use wood tile with plastic on the bottom to avoid the absorption of moisture. In addition, drywall also is easily damaged by moisture and prone to grow mold. An experienced basement contractor who is aware of these conditions will provide lasting solutions such as using insulated and inorganic materials with a long warranty.
Reliability – General contractors usually do not make a living finishing basements. Therefore, they will have other jobs scheduled on a given day. Also, since they may lack experience with basement remodels, the estimates they make regarding the price of materials and manpower may be more off the mark than you think. Experts say you should factor in at least a 10 percent overrun on cost on work completed by general contractors. The Small Business Administration reports that 50 percent of general contractors fail within the first year and 96 percent within the first five.
If you are unable to find an experienced basement contractor for transforming your basement into your dream game room, choose a general contractor who clearly understands your priorities and goals during your basement remodel. Make sure they also understand your budget and price range since your contractor will also greatly influence the cost of your renovation and provide opportunities for saving. Throughout the remodel, the general contractor will handle the subcontracting of other personnel like electricians and plumbers. If you are thinking about starting your search for a contractor, start now as 48% of all consumers start mobile research with a search engine.
Devices For A Game Room
From the lastest console to old school games, you can dedicate your game room to whatever you prefer. This could include:
- Pool table
- Air hockey table
- Ping pong table
- Foosball table
- Arcade machines
- Dart board
- Chess or checker sets
- Escape room puzzles
- Mini Projector
Due to the increasing popularity of PC and console games. You will likely need the perfect gaming setup, which is the heart of any game room. Creating your optimal gaming setup will largely depend on whether you will be playing on a PC or a video game console.
A PC Gaming Setup
A PC gaming setup generally consists of a desk, a gaming computer, a gaming chair, and a gaming mouse and keyboard. Since you will likely be spending a lot of time sitting in your gaming chair, make sure to choose one that is comfortable and matches all your specifications. Instead of opting for a cheaper gaming chair, invest in a high-quality ergonomic gaming chair. This is important since now more than ever, children spend less time participating in physical activity and spend more than 7.5 hours a day in front of a screen. On an average school day, nearly a third of high schoolers play video games for more than three hours.
A gaming headset is important for PC gaming to allow you to hear the game sound and speak to friends and other gamers over the Internet simultaneously. Between 2012 and 2020, the worldwide usage of VoIP is expected to generate $86.20 billion in revenue.
A Console Gaming Setup
Regardless of whether you are gaming on an Xbox One, Playstation 4, or Nintendo Switch, your setup for console gaming will require a few essentials. Namely, a few controllers and a comfortable couch. Most console gaming setups include a couch paired with an elevated television, which allows for more comfortable gaming offered by handheld controllers.
Due to advancements in technology, there is now a wider selection of cheaper construction materials and gaming equipment. This has made it affordable for many homeowners to turn their unfinished basement into a dedicated game room. Whether your budget is big or small, or you are renovating a section or your entire basement, these tips will help you achieve your dream of a game room in your basement.