Install a home bowling alley

Home Bowling Alley Construction: Budgeting, Installation, and Fun

Are you a homeowner who has a large game room? Have you considered building or retrofitting a room with a bowling lane?

Home bowling alley construction is limited only by budget and imagination. It’s easy to see why a custom lane is so exciting. The International Bowling Museum celebrates the popularity of this entertaining sport enjoyed by 95 million people in over 90 countries worldwide.

If you want to be popular with friends and family alike, you should consider installing a bowling lane in your home. Imagine all the fun memories you’d miss out on if you hadn’t gone ahead and had that alley installed!  

We’re going to cover all you need to know about choosing and installing a bowling lane in your home. Read on!

Home Bowling Alley

The best exercise you get is the kind that doesn’t feel like a workout. Bowling is a great moderate physical activity for the whole family or while socializing with friends.

Think about all the conversations that would flow from bowling parties you could host in a home lane. While other games and arcade machines in a recreation room might give off a nostalgic vibe, a bowling alley is timeless. A home bowling alley can quickly become the centerpiece of your house.

When the fantasy of bowling at home meets the reality of installing the lane, some homeowners may be daunted by the road ahead. If you’re insistent on a full regulation alley, sure, there’s a lot of work involved, but there’s also an installation to suit the budget-conscious.

Next, we’ll run through some of your options when picking the right lane to suit your needs.

Home Bowling Alley Lanes

If you’re wanting a regulation size bowling alley, you’d want to have a room that’s about 100ft long to accommodate it.

While the equipment itself usually only requires about 88ft, 12ft is often allocated for the seating in front. You can save some space by opting to have the seating at the side, and the lanes can even be shortened while maintaining the full-size width.

If you don’t have space for a full-size lane, thankfully there are other ways to go. A mini-bowling alley system comes with customizable bowling lanes and system length, making it suitable for smaller recreation rooms.

With one of the mini-bowling systems, construction may be simplified significantly, if that’s a concern. Whichever model you choose, measure up your game room first and pass these dimensions along to the installation company if you have any doubts.

Home Bowling Alley Construction

While some mini-bowling solutions are delivered and installed with relative ease, a home bowling alley is not a project for a DIY enthusiast. Pinsetter machines are potentially lethal, and the weight of full equipment runs into tens of thousands of pounds!

Home bowling alley construction services utilize skilled workers with special tools, so you shouldn’t expect to assemble thousands of components alone! A lane with a full-size pinsetter machine will require an entry point that’s about six feet wide.

A regulation home bowling alley will also usually require a pit that’s about 17 inches deep and a minimum of 87ft long. If you don’t like the sound of this, know that smaller lanes may not require the digging of a pit, and construction is less involved. A four-inch thick concrete foundation is recommended, with an electrical conduit to power the pinsetter machine, ball return mechanism, and other equipment. 

The pit will contain wooden supports for the alley and will house the ball return mechanism and ball lift device. This is the system that takes the ball from the pinsetter area and transports it directly back to the playing area.

With the foundation laid, the woodwork phase complete, and machinery installed, the bowling ball racks can be introduced. Lastly, the approach and lanes are completed, with a fully functional lane now in place.

Manual scoring is a buzz-kill when you’re in the zone, so most customers opt for an automatic scoring computer and various visual display options. The sky is the limit for customizations, themes, and integrations with additional technology.

The bowling alley construction service will usually coordinate with your electrician to meet power needs. They can also interact with interior designers and home entertainment installation crews so that everything comes together seamlessly.

Home Bowling Alley Cost

So how much does a home bowling alley cost? That’s a tough question to answer, given the numerous options out there. If you’re opting for a full regulation bowling lane, you might be looking at somewhere in the region of $120k new or $85k for used equipment.

Don’t forget that there are many more affordable options. You will need to compromise on the size and complexity of the project and equipment to save money. Keep in mind that there are some maintenance costs involved too, such as lane oil, so prepare to take care of your investment.

We recommend asking about manufacturer warranties on all equipment. Some manufacturers may also offer training on maintaining the pinsetter machine.

Although not generally considered part of the bowling alley cost, think about soft finishing materials to act as baffles.

It’s beneficial to break up the noise of crashing pins with as many soft furnishing options as possible. Carpet absorbs more sound than wooden or tiled flooring. Acoustic or fabric-clad panels can be hung over the walls or cover the ceiling.

Don’t forget to think about lighting. The approach will need to be brightly lit, but you can get creative with ambient or colored lighting in other areas.

Custom Home Bowling Alley

We’ve shown that home bowling alley construction can be as simple or complex as your tastes dictate. Don’t be limited by the standard options — install a home bowling alley with a customized theme!

If you’re a homeowner who wants a bowling alley installed, we can help you. We are the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality bowling equipment and furniture. We specialize in building custom-designed home bowling lanes.

Contact us today for a free quote.

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