Home theaters have become a must-have for luxury homes thanks to the pandemic, the rise of streaming services, and the continuing popularity of online gaming.
Adding a home theater or media room fits an ongoing trend to make homes more comfortable and functional.
A recent survey by the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence shows that 64% of homeowners want to spend more time at home now than before the pandemic.
“People are nervous about sitting in a crowd with strangers,” says Jill Schafer with Kentwood Real Estate. “When you can stream everything now, it’s changed entertainment viewing habits. You don’t have to go out anymore.”
In addition to home theater equipment, homeowners spend to add wine and beer storage and home coffee brewing stations.
Market research company Technavio predicts consumers worldwide will spend $7.4 billion on home theater equipment between 2022 and 2027.
HomeAdvisor, a service that helps homeowners connect with home improvement professionals, estimates it costs an average of $17,500 to install a home theater system.
Is a home theater worth the investment?
Unlike popular remodeling projects like renovating a kitchen or bathroom, installing a home theater isn’t guaranteed to increase home value.
“When you’re looking to make upgrades, a home theater isn’t at the top of the list,” says David Bacon, an 8z real estate agent based in Keystone. “Finishing the basement and kitchen or bathroom upgrades have a higher return on investment. If you’re going to do it, you’re doing it for you.”
Adding big screens or projectors and high-quality sound systems in multi-purpose rooms or family rooms makes it easier to create space for the family to enjoy and use for entertaining.
Elise LoSasso with The Agency Denver says creating a theater room could make the house less appealing to future buyers.
“To me it makes more sense to add a big projector in a rec room rather than have a dedicated home theater space,” she says. “It could be more beneficial to create a space that’s more multi-functional.”
Use the space in a way that makes sense
Elizabeth Nelson Fischer with West + Main installed a theater in her home when the family renovated their unfinished basement.
“We wanted to find a way to use the basement in a way that made sense for our family. COVID changed how people use their houses,” she says.
“We installed fancy speakers, a projector and a stage with a screen. We even painted it dark purple and installed gold fixtures to make it look like a theater.”
Bacon says the calculus changes if you’re renovating a home to be a vacation rental. Home theaters are a popular addition to luxury rental properties.
“Homes with a theater or AV room rent well, it’s definitely something people look for now in vacation properties,” he says.
The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.
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