(ARA) - Whether it's a cottage or a chateau, advance planning
makes room for pool and other pastimes in your dream home.
The initial planning process of building a custom home or
semi-custom residence offers a chance to incorporate the
features that best suit your lifestyle.
American home is evolving to reflect lifestyle changes.
During the past 50 years, living room use has declined,
replaced initially by the traditional family room. Living
room size has declined and, according to the National Association
of Home Builders (NAHB) one-third of the homes built in
1999 have no living room at all. A consumer preference survey
indicates that a person's willingness to buy a home without
a living room increases with household income and price
they expect to pay.
The family room has evolved into the game room or great
room, the new place to gather with friends and family. No
longer relegated to the basement as a piece of sports equipment,
the pool table has moved upstairs to become the game room
centerpiece, matching and even enhancing the décor.
The ideal game room reflects the interests of the owner,
and the options for layout and style are endless.
Whether you decide on a custom or semi-custom home, the
local NAHB chapter can help you find the contractor or builder
that is right for you. Brad Ausmus, President of the Housing
& Building Association of Colorado Springs, Colo., and
owner of Symphony Homes, agrees. "With the current
economy, folks are putting more money into their homes than
in the stock market because they see it as a good investment.
The right building partner who knows the right questions
to ask about your lifestyle considerations can actually
save you money in the long run."
Since you are starting "from scratch," make the
room fit the pool table, not vice versa. According to Bill
Fodor, owner of Fodor Billiards in Denver and Colorado Springs,
the number-one problem is putting a table in a room that
is too small. This reduces the enjoyment of the table and
poses problems when the table is delivered. "A pool
table is a decorative as well as recreational investment,"
says Fodor. "When designing a game room, think of how
to get the table into the house. Tables come apart, but
to eliminate the risk of damage, have your builder design
wider stairwells and hallways." The size of your game
room should be at least 13 by 16 feet to accommodate a 7-foot
table, 13 1/2 by 17 feet for an 8-foot table and 14 by 18
feet for a 9-foot table.
Make sure your builder knows how the game room will be
used. For instance, a support pole in the middle of the
room would cramp your style. According to Ausmus, "Modern
construction and engineering techniques eliminate the need
for support poles, which leaves room for wide-open spaces."
Eight Simple Rules for Planning Pool into the Game Room
Do Your Homework
Choose the right building and design partners. Consult
web sites such as NAHB (www.nahb.org) and ASID (www.asid.org)
to find a local home building professional.
Consider Room Use
Think about how you entertain when working on your design:
large groups or small gatherings? Adults, teens, kids or
multi-generation? Planned activities or do-as-you-please?
Consider components such as: food and drink serving area,
game tables, such as a pool table, audio visual needs and
Do you like your game table to have a view of the television
or do you want it separated? The trend today is to combine
all aspects into one room. Leave at least five feet of open
space around the pool table for the enjoyment and safety
of players and spectators.
Make a Design Statement
A custom or semi-custom home gives you a chance to indulge
your passions. Display your hobbies, reveal your alter ego
or show your whimsical side. Billiard-themed furniture,
wall hangings and knick-knacks are available on-line or
at a local billiard retailer.
Let There Be Light
Provide for adequate wiring in the ceiling for proper lighting
above the table.
Provide Adequate Access
Make room to transport the pool table, other game tables,
audiovisual equipment, a bar and spectator chairs into the
Check the Priorities
Whether your floor covering plans are shagadelic or hard
surface, the flooring surface does not affect leveling the
table. The professional pool table retailer knows how to
transport, assemble and install your table. When purchasing
a table, ask about the quality of the installation team
as well as the quality of the table.
Protect Your Investment from the Elements
Planning a game room with a view? Consider sun-resistant
windows, as direct sunlight will affect the fabric and wood
of a pool table. Allow for proper internal climate control
to avoid excessive moisture or dryness.
For a complimentary Billiard Checklist for Builders and
Designers and recommended room dimensions, visit the Billiard
Congress of America Web site at www.bca-pool.com.