Our process

“Tell me about the process.”

Home builders who call us for the first time often say something like, "I've never put in a bowling alley before. How does this work? What do I need to know?"

This page is a detailed response to that frequent conversation. Below, we've laid out the basic steps and milestones involved in a typical private bowling alley project, and tried to explain what to expect when you hire Fusion Bowling.

Home bowling alley installers building a bowling lane.
Two girls bowling on a private bowling alley
Steps & Info

The best home builders study this page.


The first step is to design a great home bowling alley. To do that, go read Fusion Bowling's Design Guide. Also you can get free PDF drawings and an Autocad file from our Downloads page.

Once you have some preliminary floor plans, send them to us for review and comment. We'll be happy to do a video call where we can look at the plans together in real time.

The idea is to make the construction drawings as perfect as possible, while catching any necessary changes as early as possible. Once the drawings become more finalized, send us all the relevant sheets (architectural, structural, electrical, RCPs, elevations, finishes, etc) for another round of review and comments.

Scary story: Every year, Fusion Bowling is introduced to a project that is already fully designed, permitted, under construction, and contains fatal flaws that, either cost a fortune to correct, or make the bowling alley infeasible!

Design consultation with Fusion Bowling is free, so take advantage!


After you've browsed our Pricing page, and are ready to receive a proposal and make the first payment, email us the following information:

  • The person, company, or entity that Fusion Bowling will be in contract with.
  • Current address of the above entity.
  • Name and email of the person who will sign the agreement on behalf of that entity.
  • Address of the construction site.
  • Names and emails of people that should be CC'ed, if any.
  • Name of the project.

Our proposal is a dynamic, web-based document, which allows you to click on which upgrades you want (if any), and the total price will recalculate automatically. Then, simply "click to sign".

After signing, you'll receive our W-9 form and insurance certificate for your records, along with your first invoice, and a Brunswick acknowledgement form (another easy "click to sign" document).

50% Payment

Pay 50% within 30 days of the proposal date. If no payment is received within 30 days, the proposal could become invalid, and would need to be updated and reissued. The first payment:

  • establishes installation priority (in cases where two or more customers are requesting installation at the same time).
  • locks in the price (up to one year).
  • allows equipment to be ordered (if ALL color selections have been finalized).
  • allows pre-installation site coordination visits to begin.

Color Selections

See our Color Selection page for more details. Schedule a complementary video call where we can share the computer screen to look at photos and ideas together. Depending on which upgrades are chosen, one or more decisions listed below may be needed...

  • Lane color.
  • Trim color.
  • Custom ball design.
  • Custom pin design.
  • Custom logo/monogram.

Lead Time

The required lead time to get the equipment ordered, manufactured, and ready to ship is about six months. Installation happens after HVAC is functioning, so work backwards from that point in your construction schedule, and add a two or three extra months to be safe. Equipment will be ordered after all of the following have occurred:

  1. Signed proposal.
  2. First payment received.
  3. ALL color selections finalized.
Scary story: Every year, Fusion Bowling has a customer that does 2 out of the 3 tasks listed above right away, but waits a long time to do 1 out of the 3, and then receives his bowling alley too late!

Pre-Install Site Visits

Fusion Bowling does on-site pre-installation visits with the general contractor and electrician to confirm dimensions, check the location of the curtain wall, confirm how the equipment will enter the building, and reiterate to the electrician what is needed.

The first site visit needs to occur during the electrical rough-in phase, but before any work has started in the bowling room. Keep us apprised of your construction progress, and give us a few weeks notice to arrange travel.

Scary story: Every year, there's at least one builder who contacts Fusion Bowling to schedule a pre-install visit. We fly across the country, get a rental car and hotel, arrive at the construction site, and, alas, the builder or the electrician is a no-show, missing out on important insights!

Scope of Work

By Fusion Bowling:

  • Design consultation / plan review.
  • Pre-install site coordination visits.
  • Bowling equipment including i-joist sub-bowling alley structure, bowling lanes, pinsetter machines, ball return, computer scoring system with ceiling-mounted monitors and touchscreen controls.
  • Bowling accessories including bowling shoes, house balls, and lane maintenance supplies.
  • Provide 3-phase converter (if necessary) and surge suppressor. To be installed/connected by others.
  • Shipping and freight.
  • Telehandler rental.
  • Professional installation labor.
  • Follow-up visit for punch-out work (if any) and homeowner training.

By Others:

  • Curtain wall, flooring (outside of the normal footprint of the bowling alley flooring), ceiling- or wall-mounted lighting (including "black" lights, and special effect lighting).
  • If applicable: steps, ramps, railings, flooring transition strips (reducers, T molding, thresholds), skirting/paneling to cover the exposed sides of the bowling lanes (if built up, above adjacent floor).
  • Empty 30-yard dumpster.
  • Electrical subpanel dedicated to bowling equipment circuits only.
  • Electrician to connect power to all bowling equipment.
  • 1-inch gray, smooth conduit (NOT corrugated tubing) in ceiling for data cables to scoring monitors.
  • Cubby holes, shelving, or other built-ins for storing bowling balls and shoes.
  • Structural blocking (2' x 8' double layer of 3/4" plywood) in ceiling to support scoring monitors.
  • Ongoing maintenance, repairs, adjustments, and cleaning of the bowling equipment.

Installation Sequencing

BEFORE: The permanent HVAC system must be up and running, maintaining 72º, before the bowling alley can be installed. It's also strongly encouraged that all painting, light fixtures, permanent power meter, and ceiling finishes are complete before the bowling alley gets installed in order to mitigate the risk of damage from other trades and construction dust.

AFTER: Flooring, however, must be installed after the bowling alley (to cover the gap around the bowling alley and to allow the flooring guy to float up any low spots in the slab to ensure a flush flooring transition.

Think of the bowling alley almost like furniture. It includes a lot of electronics, fine machinery, touchscreens, etc — things you wouldn't want exposed to a lot of construction activity. Ideally, the bowling alley subcontractor is the second-to-last trade in the room, with only the flooring trade coming afterward.

Installation Start Date

The general contractor should request a 30-day window in which they'd like the bowling alley to be installed. Keep Fusion Bowling up-to-date, and notify us if it looks like the 30-day window needs to shift.

Only after the permanent HVAC system is confirmed up and running can we nail down an exact start date. Therefore, the 30-window needs to begin at least a week or two after the HVAC system starts working.

Builder's Preparation

The general contractor can ensure a smooth bowling alley installation by knowing what to expect and by doing some prep work in the weeks and days leading up to the bowling alley installation:

  • Misc. Shipment: A few days before the installation begins, some miscellaneous parts and supplies will ship to the construction site (separate from the main semi-truck) in a few boxes via UPS, FedEx, or an LTL freight carrier. The general contractor should keep these in a secure location until the installation crew arrives. Please notify Fusion Bowling if these boxes should be sent to an address other than the construction site.
  • Telehandler: One business day before the installation begins, a local equipment rental company will drop off a large, all-terrain telehandler (telescopic reach forklift / "Lull") at the construction site.
  • Arrival: Fusion Bowling's installation crew and a 3rd-party semi-truck carrying the bowling equipment will both arrive at the construction usually around 8:00am on the morning of the start date.
  • Electrician: Ensure the electrician is ready to work with Fusion Bowling during the bowling alley installation. He will need to mount junction boxes to the subfloor structure as the bowling alley is being built. He'll also need to connect power to the pinsetter machines (via drop cord from ceiling), as well as connect the surge suppressor, 3-phase converter, and safety disconnect switch.
  • Parking / Unloading: Provide ample space to park the crew's vehicle, park the 75-foot long semi-truck, and maneuver the telehandler.
  • Building Access: Provide a wide, clear path for the telehandler to go back and forth from the semi-truck to the building entrance. Once inside the building, the bowling equipment can be moved to the bowling room via pallet jack.
  • Staging: Provide a large, clear staging area near the bowling alley where the equipment and materials will initially be placed. About 500 to 800 square is needed (the size of a 3- to 4-car garage). People are often shocked at the amount of equipment that goes into a bowling alley. Equipment for a two-lane project completely fills an 18-wheeler!
  • Clean Surface: Ensure the surface where the bowling alley will be built is clean, free of all dirt and debris.
  • Dumpster: Provide an empty 30-yard dumpster. A large amount of trash will be generated from all the pallets, packaging, and scraps.

Installation Duration

The installation crew will live in a nearby hotel, and will continue working straight through Saturdays and Sundays. For typical projects, the approximate duration of the initial on-site construction work is as follows:

  • Single lane: 4-5 days
  • Two lanes: 5-6 days
  • Four lanes: 8-9 days

48% Payment

A 48% payment is due when the bowling alley is installed.

Post-Install Protection

The general contractor is strongly encouraged to cover the pinsetter machines in plastic and to install a temporary flooring protection product over the bowling lanes and approach.

Scary story: If a bowling lane panel is damaged, a replacement panel could have a lead time of up to 6 months. Then a crew of two will have to fly to the construction site, rent a telehandler, wait on the truck (delivery window could be several days), replace the damaged panel, and after all that... the color might not match exactly. Rinse and repeat. As you can imagine, one scratch from a careless worker could quickly snowball into a $25,000 logistical nightmare. This is another reason why as much construction work as possible should be completed before the bowling alley is installed.

Punch-Out & Training

The initial installation work makes the project "substantially complete", meaning there will likely be a few minor punch-out tasks remaining due to, for example:

  • A part was missing or damaged during shipment.
  • The general contractor needs to complete something, such as building the final portion of the curtain wall.
  • The homeowner needs to activate internet service (required to initialize and fully operate the scoring system).

Fusion Bowling will follow up to schedule a mutually convenient return visit to complete the punch-out items (if any) and to do training with the homeowner. The punch-out and training visit usually involves a crew of two and takes one to three days.

2% Payment

The final payment of 2% is due when the bowling alley is 100% complete.


Fusion Bowling provides the initial sale and installation of the bowling equipment only. The ongoing maintenance, adjustments, cleaning, etc are provided by others. A list of bowling service companies can be found on the Maintenance Help page. Fusion Bowling also keeps a list of individual bowling alley technicians who've expressed an interest in earning some extra cash on the side by working for owners of private bowling alleys as needed.

Photo Shoot

After the room is fully decorated and furnished, if you think the bowling room looks super awesome, Fusion Bowling will consider sending a professional photographer to do a photo shoot and add the project to our Projects gallery page.

Happy bowling, and stay out of the gutters, my friends.

What's the process? What are the steps involved in buying a bowling alley?

The answer to this question gets its own cute little flow chart on its own web page. See our Process page.

What's the lead time?

It takes about six months to get the equipment ordered, prepped, and ready to ship.

How long does it take to install a bowling alley?

A pair of lanes take about one week to install. Single lanes take about six days, and 4-lane projects take about  11 days.

When do you install the equipment?

The window of opportunity is after HVAC is up and running but before flooring is installed.

How long should the room be?

A regulation bowling alley requires about 89 feet of length for the equipment itself (approach + lane + pinsetter + service aisle). If you want a nice size seating area in front of the lanes, tack on another 11 feet, which means your room needs to be about 100 feet long.

Will you just sell us the equipment so we can install it ourselves?

Our relationship with our main vendor (Brunswick) and our love for humanity prevent us from doing that. A two-lane bowling alley is comprised of thousands of parts — about 16,000 pounds of equipment and materials — It requires specialized training, specialized tools, and knowledge of carpentry, mechanical engineering, electronics, and software. It takes more than being just a "good handyman."

My room isn't quite long enough. Can you install slightly shorter lanes that are non-regulation length?


My room is only about 50 or 60 feet long. How short is "too short" for bowling lanes?

That's purely a matter of individual taste. It's a little like asking how low we can install a basketball goal and it still be fun? If your bowlers will be mostly kids or people who haven't bowled much, they might not mind extremely shortened lanes. But, serious league and tournament bowlers won't like a non-regulation size.

Do I get a discount if my lanes are short?

It actually requires more labor to cut and splice the materials. But we'll call it a wash.

Who does the ongoing maintenance on the equipment? What if I need someone to do a repair?

Most of our customers form a relationship with a 3rd-party individual technician from a nearby bowling center. There are also some bowling maintenance companies that serve certain regions of the country. Check our Maintenance page for some options.

Are there any special requirements for room temperature or humidity?

The bowling room needs to be climate controlled just like any other room in the house. The main thing is to keep the temperature constant.

Is labor and shipping included?

Yes. We also include pre-installation site visits, accessories, under-lane structure, scoring system with monitors, training, and as much consultation as you need during the design phase.

Process - Frequently asked questions

We’ve got answers.

Browse some answers to our most common questions, or you can drop us a line to ask something else.

Are you ready?

Start your custom bowling alley project.

Be sure to check out our pricing page for details, and reach out to our team with any questions or concerns about starting a project.

Bowling alley