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Remodeling your basement to a games room

Arcade in basementAs any realtor will tell you, one of the first questions prospective buyers ask about an existing home property is, "does it have a basement?" For most homeowners, there is nothing more appealing than the idea of having a customized basement gaming room.

It's important to be aware, however, that renovating a basement and converting it into a gaming area involves more than just sticking a jukebox and a pool table in the middle of the room and hanging a couple of neon signs on the wall.

Soundproofing
While soundproofing may not seem like a necessity, just think about it. If the kids are having a party downstairs, do you want to have to listen to the noise all night? Another consideration is your neighbors. If your houses are close together and you're given to entertaining a good deal, your neighbors may end up having to share all of the noise of your party without having any of the fun.

Soundproofing a basement can be accomplished as easily as adding caulk to your door and window frames; this creates a seal that can muffle sound waves. Installing carpeting and wall paneling also keeps sound from bouncing off concrete floors and walls.

For more thorough soundproofing, builders often use a few layers of sheetrock to soundproof a basement area, layering it with neoprene rubber sheets. Another option is to install insulation; this can consist of blocks or layers of insulating foam material.

Heating
A basement is usually the coldest room in the house and central heating may not be able to warm a large basement area sufficiently. If you can afford it, putting in a wood-burning, gas-burning or gel fireplace is a great way to supply an efficient and attractive heat source.

Another alternative, especially if you have a fondness for vintage style décor, is to purchase an old-fashioned wood burning stove. Adding radiant heating through the floor is also a good way to warm up a basement space.

Ventilation
Generally speaking, basement windows, when they do exist, aren't big enough to offer sufficient ventilation. Ventilation isn't only important for circulating air; it also helps keep the basement dry.

Adding several ducts and vents in pivotal places will help bring cool air into your basement. If your basement ceiling is high enough, ceiling fans are also a stylish addition and will do a good job of getting the air circulating.

Insulation
Providing proper insulation for your basement recreation room accomplishes several things at once. By absorbing sound waves, it takes care of some of the residual noise coming from the basement. Additionally, it insulates the room from too-cold air. A sufficient amount of quality insulation is absolutely vital to a comfortable, healthy living environment, so it's well worth the investment of time and money to find out what type of insulation will work best.

Pool Table in BasementLighting
Most basements have very little lighting; one or two bare bulbs hanging down from the ceiling is often the norm, so if you want to convert your basement to a games room, you will have to add some light fixtures. Since basement ceilings are often low, recessed lighting is a good option. Many homeowners also use fluorescent lighting hidden underneath ceiling panels. To mitigate the need for a lot of ceiling lighting, you can also use decorative floor and table lamps to great effect.

After you've made these practical installations, now comes the fun part. It's time to buy that jukebox and pool table and all the other fun things you've been planning to have in your new games room. The pool table is, for many homeowners, the most important feature; this accounts for the popularity of American pool tables. The rest is up to you. Just know that you'll enjoy your basement games room a lot more once it measures up, comfort-wise, to the rest of your home.

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