It’s a fairly common homeowner’s dream, though it’s often called by various names — a man cave, she shed, rec room, game room, home theatre. Regardless of the name, your goal is the same — a place for both entertainment and relaxation, where you can let the stressors of the day go. A rec room can help you focus on activities that bring you joy — and your family closer together. Are you thinking of converting your garage into a rec room? Figuring out where to start can be confusing and a little overwhelming. Here’s a quick checklist especially for any weekend warriors and DIYers who want to participate in the process.
Decide the Focus
First things first: What will you use this room for? If you have a large, two-car garage, you may be able to convert this space into a multi-use area. If your garage is smaller, you’ll need to narrow your vision as to no overcrowd things. Many people create rec rooms centered on:
- Arcade games
- Home theatre and video games
- Ping Pong
- Home gym
- Bowling lane
With the right planning, you can often combine some of these ideas. For example, a flat-screen TV and a seating area can share space with a pool table or ping pong table. Or, you can line the walls with arcade games and have a shuffleboard table in the middle of the room.
Talk with some contractors to determine what upgrades need to be made in order for your garage to be as comfortable as the rest of your home. For example, you may not have heating and cooling vents in your garage. You may also want to remove the garage doors and install walls, windows or a separate entrance. For the upgrades that may require permits or licenses, it’s important you talk with the professionals, get quotes, and make a plan.
Determine What You Can DIY
You have your sights set on a fully functional arcade room with all the games you loved as a child. However, you discover there are not enough electrical outlets for all you envision. If you have the experience and knowledge, you might be able to tackle the wiring challenges yourself. If not, you’ll want to be sure to include this as a request to your contractor. Once you get your quotes, you can decide if there are any savings to be had by taking on a few projects yourself.
Hire a Contractor
Once you have decided on the right quote for your budget and which projects you can handle yourself, it’s time to hire a good, reliable contractor. First, make sure to get a lockdown on a timeline. Expect things to go a little longer than planned, but get your contractor to commit to start and completion dates. Also, be sure to ask if they are subcontracting any of the work and request that you get the approval of those subcontractors. If not approval, at least make sure they are conducting background checks on anyone else who will work on your home.
Paint and Decorate the Room
One of the most exciting tasks when creating the ultimate rec room is painting and decorating. You have a lot of options here, which can get overwhelming.
Here are a few ways to narrow it down:
- Think about the mood you want the room to evoke. For a calm and peaceful space, blues, greens, and neutral tones are best. If you want to feel stimulated or energized, yellows and oranges often do the trick.
- Focus on a favorite sports team. If you are an avid home-team fan, consider colors that represent your favorite team. This can be exciting if you plan on watching games.
- Go with neutral walls and let artwork pop vibrant color throughout the space. This can be fun for amateur photographers and painters looking for a place to display their talent.
Once you have the space decorated, it’s time to move in the whole focus of the room — the flat-screen TV, the pool table, arcade games, or whatever it is you choose to be the primary activity of your dedicated rec room.
Last, but not least, be sure to host a grand opening celebration. Once the construction is finished, the room is painted and decorated and you have installed your main focus, invite friends and family over to help you celebrate the completion of your ultimate rec room.
Original content courtesy of Bret Engle. Thanks Bret!