Everyone dreams of having a game room at home — a place they can hang out, relax, and be a kid again. Unfortunately, not everyone has the space to do this, especially when you have kids or need to keep that large guest room open for when Grandma visits.

If you’d love to get your game on to blow off steam in the evenings or in the weekend, you may be overlooking a room that would be the perfect location and fit for an at-home game room: the basement. With the right planning and expertise, a basement game room isn’t difficult to turn into a reality.

Start with a Plan

One of the major mistakes people make when finishing a basement is charging into the project without a proper plan. It’s not enough to simply finish out a big, open area; you’ll need to think about how you’d like to use the room once it’s finished. Is your ideal game room a video game paradise with an assortment of old-school, coin-operated arcade games? How about an at-home lineup of carnival games? Perhaps skee-ball, a foosball table, and pool table is more your thing? A full-out bowling alley isn’t out of the question! For some folks, a dark and cozy at-home movie theater room that can be used to watch movies or play large-screen video games would make the perfect place to relax.

How you’d like to use your basement game room will determine factors such as the overall layout, placement of electrical outlets, plumbing, lighting, and other features that will be tough to add in after the fact. This is why it’s essential to go into the project with a clear plan of what you’d like to create.

Keep Things Comfy

Basements can be downright cold and damp, so don’t forget to build things out properly and use insulation. This is important for your comfort while you enjoy the space, but it’s also essential to protect any electronic equipment you have in the room. Televisions, audio equipment, and video game consoles don’t do well in extreme temperatures. In addition to insulation, make sure the basement has proper heating and cooling to keep temperatures comfortable all year round.

Using the proper flooring for your basement is another consideration. What you choose will depend on what kind of game room you’re creating, but certain types of flooring work better in basement applications than others. Luxury vinyl and engineered wood, for example, are affordable and comfortable options for a project such as a basement game room.

Consider Soundproofing

While certain family members are downstairs having a blast in the game room, other folks may be upstairs trying to watch TV, work, or get some sleep. This is why it’s an excellent idea to include soundproofing in your design plan before you start finishing your basement out. As the room comes together, soundproofing can be incorporated into the walls and ceiling, meaning that all of the fun — and the sound — stays right down where it belongs.

Let There Be Light

Basements are naturally dark rooms, but they don’t have to be. Especially if you’re starting from scratch with a basement game room project, this gives you an excellent opportunity to install lighting fixtures throughout. Depending on the style of game room you opt to create, this may mean basic recessed lighting, bar-style lights hanging over your pool and foosball tables, or funky and decorative neon lights installed throughout the room.

What kind of basement game room would your family enjoy? If you’ve got a basic idea, your contractor can help you expand on it for an at-home wonderland that will be truly amazing.