Game rooms are becoming popular among homeowners. A game room gives the family a place to gather and have fun and opens up options for entertaining guests. If you don’t have an extra room in your house to spare, the game room of your dreams may be only as far away as your garage.
With some planning, imagination, and elbow grease, you can transform your garage into a living space that is appealing to everyone. Read on for DIY game room ideas for creating your very own garage game room.
What Is a Garage Game Room?
A garage game room is a dedicated space for fun, whether that’s playing video games, arcade games, board games, pool, etc. When many people hear the word “game,” they think of children, but a game room can be whatever you want it to be.
What Are Different Types of Game Rooms?
The possibilities for your game room are endless. You can have anything from an ‘80s arcade to a relaxed space to play a quick game of Uno with friends. Each room will be as unique as the people who create it, but here are some ideas to kick-start your imagination.
Kids Fun Zone
You could dedicate your game room to your kids and use bright colors, soft fabrics, and easily washable surfaces. Carve out a craft corner and put up a bulletin board to showcase their artwork.
If the men of the house are looking for a place of their own, consider adding masculine touches like dark colors and wood paneling. Don’t forget plush seating and a good sized TV for the big game, and maybe a mini-fridge or bar.
Family Game Room
If the game room will be for the whole family, then maybe it has a little bit of everything: a table for board games or puzzles, a corner to watch movies, and shelves loaded with snacks.
Video Game Heaven
Throw in comfortable seats, gaming consoles (PlayStation, XBox, Virtual Reality, etc.), a nice sound system, and fun lighting and your gamer will never want to leave.
A game room can be the ultimate getaway for tabletop role players (Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer, Pathfinder, etc.). With their own room, they don’t have to worry about taking up the kitchen table, or someone accidentally wrecking elaborate or complex setups.
Traditional Game Room
If you’d like to keep it classic, design your garage game room to accommodate traditional games like pool, cards, and darts. These games have stood the test of time for a reason, and are great ways to have fun with others.
What Size Should the Garage Game Room Be?
Before converting a garage into a game room, it’s important to consider two main things: 1) what you want to put in your game room, and 2) other functions of the space. For example, will you still need to store items that are currently in your garage? Do you want to park your car in the garage as well? If so, then you need to plan for storage or put up a wall or divider to separate your garage into an area for your car and an area for the game room.
The average single garage is about 12 feet wide and 20 feet deep, so you could comfortably fit a pool table or four arcade games. A double garage is typically about 20 feet wide and 22 feet deep, giving you plenty of room for a game like table tennis.
While some games like pool or table tennis require dedicated space, there are many other games that can fit on a regular table. Grab a tape measure and use these general dimensions of some common game room staples to get an idea if they will be a good fit.
Pool tables come in several sizes, but the most common range from 7 to 9 feet long and 3.5 to 4.5 feet wide. Don’t forget that you need plenty of clear space around the table to comfortably play a game.
Table tennis also requires significant game room space. Tables are 9 and a half feet long and 5 feet wide. You will need more space at each end of the table for players to have a rousing game without bumping into walls or other furniture.
A foosball table is about 5 feet long and 2.5 feet wide, with another foot on the sides for the handles players use to control the figures. Make sure to allow for ample elbow room.
Other Game Tables
Round, octagonal, or hexagonal game tables have diameters in the 4-foot range. Then factor in space needed for chairs. This might be a good option for a corner of your game room.
Pinball machines vary quite a bit in size, but if you plan roughly for about 2.5 feet wide and a depth between 4 and 5 feet, you should have a good idea if it will be a comfortable fit. Don’t forget to give a few feet of space in front of the machine with elbow room.
Arcade games don’t take up a lot of floor space, but make sure to put it near an electrical outlet, usually against a wall. Arcade game sizes vary from 2 to 3 feet wide and just as deep.
In addition to the space your games require, also consider seating, storage, and any other furniture (such as a TV stand) you want to put in your game room.
How to Convert a Garage into a Game Room
Some may want to hire a contractor, but many people find that converting their garage into a game room is a satisfying DIY project. If you want to modify the wiring or plumbing in your garage, those tasks may still be hired out, while you do other parts yourself. Here are some steps to get you on your way.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Space
Walk into your garage and take a look around. Imagine what you want to put in your game room and envision where it will go. It’s a good idea to take some measurements rather than just eyeballing and guessing.
Another thing to decide is whether or not you want to use the garage door. Some people remove it entirely and put up a wall. However, if you don’t plan on staying in the home for a long time, making it so your game room can be converted back to a garage is appealing to new home owners who may want that feature more.
Step 2: Clean Out Your Garage
It’s likely your garage holds clutter that will need to be cleared out. But more importantly, you’ve probably been storing toxic chemicals like automotive fluids, pesticides, fertilizer, or paint in your garage as well. You don’t want to be breathing in lingering fumes from these chemicals while enjoying your game room, so make sure to thoroughly clean up any spills and scrub the concrete before laying down flooring.
Step 3: Consider Comfort
Determine what steps you need to take to make the room comfortable. Follow these tips so your new game room is as welcoming as possible:
A quick way to make a huge difference is painting the walls. Make sure to clean and prep your garage walls before painting.
Not only do you want to be comfortable in your garage game room, but any equipment in there also needs to have some temperature control. A good step is to finish the garage walls and add insulation. You can also have an energy assessment done, which will identify which areas need to be sealed in order to regulate temperature and keep pests out.
If your garage has windows, capitalize on those by cleaning the glass and removing outside obstacles that may block the light. If not, you can either add some or get creative with lighting options. Often garages are dingy and dark, and usually have only a single light bulb. That’s not enough to comfortably light a game room. Consider adding fluorescent or side lighting, or string some hanging lights right over a pool or game table.
If you will be putting in accessories, appliances, or games that must be plugged in, then you’ll need to take a look at the electrical needs of your garage conversion. You may need to rewire to handle the load, add new outlets, etc.
Step 4: Decide on Flooring
A cracked, dirty cement floor is not the most appealing for a living space, so determine how you’re going to improve your garage flooring. The most common options are to paint or seal the floor with an acrylic sealer, install an epoxy floor, install durable mats, or to lay down carpet. All these are possible DIY projects.
Step 5: Plan for Storage
Most people use their garages for extra storage space. You don’t have to lose that storage when you turn a garage into a game room.
Look beyond the floor and take advantage of wall and ceiling space. There are a vast array of storage options: cabinets and drawers, shelves, hooks, and bins. Simply mix and match to find the best combination for your organization needs.
Step 6: Get the Proper Permits
You may or may not need permits before getting started on your DIY game room. Make sure to visit your jurisdiction’s Zoning or Community Development office to find out if you do need some permits in your area. In general, if you are just adding carpet, you probably do not need a permit. However, you will likely need one if you are adding heating, changing anything structural (like removing the garage door), or doing any electrical or plumbing work.
How Much Does a Game Room Cost?
The cost of converting your garage into a game room depends largely on how much you want to change. A simple game room that seals the cement floor, keeps the garage door as is, and adds a little more lighting will cost significantly less than a more elaborate garage remodel.
According to HomeAdvisor, the typical garage conversion, including all renovation projects (bathrooms, bedrooms, home offices, etc.), costs between $6,000 – $20,000. Converting your garage to a game room is likely on the lower end of the price range, and it’s a relatively easy and affordable home renovation project compared to converting a basement or building an addition.
Use these garage game room ideas to extend the usable space in your home, get the gamers out of your living room, and enjoy time with friends and family with your own DIY garage game room.