In most houses, each and every room has a purpose. You’ve got the living room, where you, your friends and your family can hang out and make memories. The kitchen is for cooking, the dining room is for eating, and the bathroom is for… well, you know. Most houses have these basic rooms, but what about a room that’s all about having fun?
This is where a rec room comes in. Rec rooms are a place where you can go to relax by yourself, or bolster your relationship with your family members. You can hone your hand eye coordination on the pool or air hockey table, or you can find a creative outlet by learning an instrument in a noise isolated environment.
So what is all this hype about rec rooms? Is installing a rec room worth it for your home and family? What is the cost of one of these recreational nooks, and should you consider utilizing some of the unused space in your home to put one in? If you’re asking these questions, then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll be going over everything you need to know about rec rooms. Let’s get into it!
What is a rec room?
Before we start talking about whether or not you should install a rec room, we have to backtrack a bit and talk about exactly what a rec room is. The concept of a rec room is rather self explanatory; it’s a recreational room, a place where you can go to have fun and blow off some steam, alone or with friends. It’s basically a playroom for adults!
The greatest thing about rec rooms is how customizable they are. Your rec room can be anything you want it to be! Are you interested in music production? Build your own home studio! Are you an avid cinema buff? Incorporate a projector and some comfy chairs into your rec room and you’ve got your very own home theater!
Rec rooms are also a great way to give your kids something to do besides stare at their phones all day. For those with an excess of free space in their homes, this can be a great way to bring your family closer together and strengthen your familial bonds. What’s more, it can also help your kids develop valuable skills like teamwork and communication!
Should you install a rec room?
Now that you have a better idea of just what a rec room is, let’s talk about whether or not a rec room is a good idea for your home and family. A rec room can be a great place to hang out and have fun without leaving your home, but it can also be a pricey, inefficient use of space in your home. In order to decide whether or not a rec room is right for you, you have to ask yourself some questions.
First of all, you’ll want to figure out whether or not you’ll be able to get your money’s worth out of your rec room. For families with kids, this is pretty much a no-brainer; your kids will use everything in there until it’s worn out or broken. However, if you’re a single adult with a busy work schedule, you might not spend enough time in your rec room to justify the expense of installing it.
Speaking of getting your money’s worth, another factor when it comes to installing a rec room is price. While a simple rec room with some cheap surplus carpet and a second hand foosball table might not cost you an arm and a leg, other rec room furnishings such as home gym equipment or musical instruments can be quite costly.
Then you’ve got to consider the space factor. While they can be installed cheaply if you’re on a budget, one thing you absolutely must have in order to install a rec room is a sizable amount of free space. If you own a bit of property, you can always construct an addition to your home or a freestanding building, but this will raise the cost of your rec room substantially.
How much will a rec room cost you?
Before we get to talking about what you should or shouldn’t put in your rec room, we’ve got to talk about price. While you can install a rec room on a very limited budget if you have the space, the cost of a rec room can vary widely depending on how you’ll be spending time in it. Before we can delve into the costs of a rec room, we’ll have to determine what you’ll be using your rec room for.
For those on limited budgets, there’s a lot you can still do with your rec room in order to have a surprising amount of fun. Pool tables, foosball tables and other table games are dime a dozen on classifieds sites, and can be found at very low prices. Once you’ve added some cheap carpet, a few bean bags and a minifridge, you can easily have a functional rec room for less than a thousand dollars in total.
If you’re willing and able to spend a bit more on your rec room, you can spring for some better and more expensive furnishings. If you’d like to improve your physical shape, you can opt for some home gym equipment or a meditation nook. Choose some decent flooring and furniture, remodel the bathroom in the space and you’ve got a very comfortable rec room for under $3500.
Not satisfied? If you’ve got the money, you can go all out and make yourself a luxurious hideaway where you can spend as much free time as you’d like. Buy some instruments, a good PC and an audio processor and you’ve got a home studio. Or, set up some oversized chairs and a projector for a luxurious home theater room; bonus points if you also install a popcorn machine! All in all, if you’re planning on going this route you should expect to spend $7500 or more.
Where should you install your rec room?
Now that you’ve got a better idea of how much you want to spend on your rec room, you’ve got to decide where in your home you want to install your rec room. There are a wide variety of options depending on how large your home is, your floor plan and how much free space you have in your home. Let’s see what we’re working with!
If you’ve got a basement in your home, this is the obvious first choice for a rec room. Basements have a lot of characteristics that make them the perfect spot for a rec room; they’re inherently noise cancelling, you can control exactly how much light enters the space, and they’re one of the easiest spaces in which to do a remodel.
For those without a basement, there are other options. If your home is particularly large, you refit one of your less-used spaces as a rec room. There are certain benefits to having a dedicated space above ground; there are fewer humidity related concerns to watch out for, there’s potentially more available space, and there’s likely to be more natural light if that’s what you prefer in your rec room.
If you’re extremely tight on space and you don’t have any unused areas in your home, you can always create a sort of “pseudo rec room” with some of the accessories of a rec room without dedicating a whole room for recreation. This comes with the intrinsic benefits of not having to buy as much equipment and leaving more room for other home additions.
On the other hand, if you don’t have any free space inside your home, an outside rec room might be an option. If your home sits on a tract of land that’s big enough to add a freestanding building or an addition to your home, you can always construct a rec room specifically for this purpose. If you’ve got the funds, you can repurpose a large shed into a luxurious little rec room all your own!
Taking care of your rec room
If you’re going to be installing a rec room, you’re going to need to take care of it. While it may seem counterintuitive, you’re going to have to spend time keeping your rec room in tip-top shape in order to make sure that you’re able to keep having fun for years to come. It might be a bit tedious, but without some maintenance your rec room can easily fall into disrepair.
For those with rec rooms in the basement, your biggest danger is humidity. It’s no secret that basements are damp, and for rec room equipment this can be a huge issue. It’s generally a good idea to buy a dehumidifier, to keep the space as moisture-free as possible. You should also make sure that you wipe down any surfaces that begin to collect moisture, to avoid developing rust, mildew or any other moisture related sediment.
You should also clean your rec room regularly, vacuuming carpets and wiping dust off of any surfaces that begin to collect it. Dust can cause allergen related problems, destroy or inundate electronics and generally just reduce your enjoyment of your rec room. If you’d like to keep having fun in your recreation room, keep it dust free!
With all of this said, it’s clear that rec rooms are exactly what they’re supposed to be; a great place to relax and have fun! It is a room for recreation, after all. It may take a bit of work to make a rec room in your home a reality, but when you’re kicking back in your oversized chair with a beer in your hand after a rousing game of ping pong, you won’t regret it.
If your home simply cannot be modified to incorporate a rec room, you might want to consider finding a new home. A house is a home after all, and if your living space is too cramped to have fun in, you might be in the mood for a change of pace. If this is the case, find a real estate agent near you and see what’s on the market. You might like what you find!
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