Residential Bowling Alleys

By John Donegan

Long considered to be a blue collar phenomenon of the 1950s, bowling has been gaining popularity among higher socioeconomic classes in recent years, and the industry has seen a fair amount of residential bowling alley construction.

If you have already made the arguably outlandish choice to invest in a bowling alley for your home, the hard part’s over. The rest is just logistics. To begin with, it helps to use a self-storage finder to locate affordable local storage during your bowling installation. Even a one lane install takes up at least an 8′ x 84′ area in the home, so in all likelihood, you’re going to have to relocate some furniture. Picture of a Small 4 Lane Bowling Alley


Most professional estimates for a single lane install are around $45,000. This estimate includes brand new flooring, pinsetter, ball return, chairs, and modern scoring equipment. Getting some of your equipment second hand can help to defray costs. Also, by hiring an independent contractor rather than a specialist, you can save a lot of money on the chairs, home bar, and other amenities. However, be sure to hire an expert for the lane, pinsetter and ball return construction.


When drafting the blueprint for your residential bowling alley, be sure to take your neighbors’ homes and the other rooms in your home into consideration. Not only will you need a great deal of space for the lane in and of itself, but you’ll also need to leave space between the bowling alley and other rooms as a noise buffer.


Like most expensive home amenities, bowling alleys require a fair amount of upkeep. By purchasing old equipment, you can save money up front, but you’ll most likely incur more maintenance costs down the road. Also, keep in mind that traditional wood lanes require more maintenance than newer faux wood lanes.

John Donegan is a writer at SpareFoot, the online marketplace where you can find and reserve a self-storage unit with comparison shopping tools that show real-time availability and exclusive deals. John lives in Austin, TX and occasionally directs videos for rap artists.

Photo Credit: ChrisYunker