Have you ever sat down to consider what exactly turns a house into a home? If you look deeply you’ll see that it’s usually not the decorations on the wall, or the furniture in the rooms, it’s something that goes a little deeper. More often than not, it’s activities that breathe life into a house and truly turn it into a home.

So what kinds of activities are so powerful that they turn drywall and floorboards into a place of love and happiness? It seems safe to say that a good, inviting kitchen would definitely fit that definition. After all, nothing shouts, “home,” like home cooking.

Another activity that brings families together is game night and there’s no better place for that than a dedicated game room. Unfortunately finishing off a basement, and stocking it with table games, can be out of reach for most working families, unless they’re willing to hustle a bit.

As it turns out, putting together a game room on the cheap is something that almost any family can do. Here are a few thoughts on building a game room that won’t break your budget.

Gently Used Table Games

In almost any city or town you can usually find some pretty good deals on table games through sites like Craigslist. Oftentimes, these pool, ping pong and shuffleboard tables can usually be had for just a fraction of what it would cost to buy the same home entertainment products brand new. The key here is to buy something that’s not just, “used,” but, “gently used.”

When you’re looking at used table games, you want to be on the lookout for serious structural defects, like warped surfaces, ripped felt, and loose joints. These defects can seriously impact the level of play you experience and the amount you’ll use the table, too.

If you’re looking at used pool tables for sales you’ll also want to think about how you’re going to move it once you’ve made the purchase. A full size pool table can weigh over 500 pounds and is anything but easy to move. Unless you’ve got a truck and some big buddies, you might want to consider another route.

Warehouse Shopping

If buying used isn’t really your thing, you might want to look at warehouse-style retailers that deal directly with manufacturers. These operations usually have a ton of great tables in stock that are deeply discounted compared with traditional retailers.

The other nice thing about buying from a warehouse store is that they’ll deliver the table directly to you. No fuss, no muss.

Ask Around

Another value-minded method for putting together a great game room is to simply start asking around. You might be surprised to find out how many people have unused table games sitting in their basements that they’d love to get rid of, but don’t really want to move.

A rollicking game room can turn any house into a real home by bringing the family together for fun and excitement. And the whole thing can be put together for a lot less than you might think.

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