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Is your basement sitting down there unused? Do you only go down to do the laundry or rummage through storage? If you’re a gamer who is running out of space for your setup, the basement is the perfect place to move.
With some hard work, you can make that dark, dusty space your new relaxation and socialization zone. While you’re finishing your basement, keep these things in mind. These steps are necessary when making a gaming area in your basement.
Necessary Steps to Take When Making a Gaming Basement
Waterproof Your Basement
Whether you play board games, billiards, or video games, you won’t want them being ruined by water damage. Take the necessary steps to waterproof your basement, including fixing cracks, adding proper insulation, and adding waterproofing paint to the walls.
If you include a bathroom in the basement so you don’t have to go back upstairs, make sure not to include a shower. Showers are the number one source of indoor humidity and will make it harder to keep the basement dry. However, most moisture comes from outside.
The most common cause of moisture from outside the house is poor drainage. Dry Basement Solutions, a New Jersey basement contractor, says, “From backfilling with porous soils and rock to installing drainage systems, water should not be allowed to pool up around a home’s foundation.”
If your basement is flooding regularly, you will need to take these steps to guide water away from your basement.
Soundproof the Walls
While you’re messing with the walls, add some soundproofing as well, especially if this is a gaming area for your kids. This can be done simply by adding curtains and caulk to windows and by installing carpet.
If you install carpet, just make sure you have properly waterproofed your basement first. A damp carpet will grow mold and mildew.
If those techniques aren’t enough, you can install soundproofing wall paneling or sheetrock. You can also swap doors for soundproof, solid wood doors. These steps are mainly needed if you’re planning on playing loud music, recording music, or live streaming in your basement.
Install Proper Heating
Basements are usually the coldest room in the house. This is nice in the summer, but you wouldn’t want your gaming space to become unusable because it’s too cold in the winter. Unless you love being outside in the cold, you’ll probably want to use your gaming space the most in the winter.
If you don’t want to extend your home’s heating system to your basement, you can consider adding a pellet stove and heated flooring. This should provide the basement with enough warmth in the winter to make it livable.
Make Sure You Have Enough Electricity
This goes double for video gamers. If you finish your basement and don’t have enough outlets for your TVs, computers, consoles, chargers, and capture cameras, you’re going to have to take five steps backward to fix the problem.
Hopefully, you’ve already planned where you’re going to put all of your gear. Check all the wiring that currently exists and make sure it’s up to code. Once you have that out of the way, add any new outlets that you’ll need. This way, you can just plug in and start playing once the basement is finished.
And while you’re adding new wires and cables, make sure you have ethernet internet access. You’ll need it for the best online gaming and live streaming experience.
Light the Basement Well
Maybe you like video gaming in a dark cave, but you’ll end up straining your eyes. Health guidance says that “watching TV in the dark can cause eyestrain, it can cause headaches…but it won’t cause you any permanent damage or worsen your eyesight.”
You’ll still probably want to avoid headaches, even if it doesn’t do any permanent damage. Make sure you invest in proper lighting.
Fluorescent lights aren’t even great upstairs. They are an even worse option for basements. You’ll especially need proper lighting if you want to use the space for tabletop and board games.
The LED lighting gives you a bright, steady light that is better for the environment than traditional light bulbs. There are many different fixtures and types of bulbs to fit your needs. An LED wholesaler can help you decide what will work best for your gaming space.
Now You Get to Decorate Your Basement!
Now that you’ve taken care of the necessary parts of a finished basement, you can start adding furniture, technology, and gaming equipment.
If there are multiple rooms in your basement, then you can add space for multiple types of gaming. Here are a few of the most popular examples.
Video Game Setup
Dedicate a whole room to console and PC gaming. Shelves on the walls around the room can hold all of your physical games and collectibles.
You can mount your TV on the wall with a couch or several chairs in front of it for multiplayer gaming. This will save space by removing an entertainment center from the equation. Consoles can be connected by long HDMI cables.
Your PC setup can be put on a desk on the other side of the room and double as a home office. If you’re a gaming streamer, you’ll definitely want to soundproof the room to make sure no outside noise makes it into your recordings.
Tabletop Gaming Room
Tabletop gaming and board games are more popular than ever, even with the rise of video games. As video games have become less of an in-person multiplayer activity due to online multiplayer, tabletop games and board games have made a comeback to fill in the gap.
And if you’re especially passionate about this type of gaming, it’s worth it to have a dedicated space so you don’t have to clear the kitchen table every time you have your friends and family over for the game night.
Make sure you add a table that’s big enough to seat the amount of players your games can accommodate. Some board games even have their own custom tables that are specially designed to fit the board. If you go this route, make sure you leave room for a second table to use when playing other games.
Create a Personal Arcade
Do you long for the days when you could go to an arcade and play until you run out of quarters? Go all out and make yourself a personal arcade.
You can include billiards, foosball, and air hockey tables, arcade machines and pinball machines, a spot for VR gaming, and more.
As long as you included enough electrical outlets to power these gadgets, you should be ready to game. You can save power by only plugging in the item you need to use. There’s no need to have everything on at the same time.
Remember, before you can have fun designing and using the space, you need to take care of the five things mentioned above. It would be a shame to set your space up exactly how you want it and then have to take it apart to make repairs afterward.
What’s worse is leaving such a large space unused. Let us know your ideas for your basement in the comments below!