So, you want a man cave of your own. Luckily, these retreats are fairly straightforward to design and set up, particularly if you already have the space for one. While you can convert virtually any room into a man cave, the garage is ideal.
But how do you get started transforming a garage into a place for relaxing and personal time? Let’s go over 20 steps to convert your garage into a man cave perfect for watching the game, relaxing, or spending time with friends.
1. Assess Your Options
Now that you have decided to transform the garage into a man cave, it’s time to ask some key questions to help you get started.
For instance, how much space does your garage have? Is it detached from your house? What are the options for natural lighting? Do you need to insulate the room, or is it already set up for containing heat?
Once you figure out the constraints, you will be working within, planning the entire project becomes much easier!
2. Clear It Out
The next step is to empty your entire garage. It’s important to clear the space out to properly visualize the room you have and any possibly troublesome aspects you might have forgotten about.
Once the space is empty, and everything has found a new home elsewhere, you can start seeing the end product of your man cave and feel more inspired.
3. Clean It Up
Break out the scrub brushes and soapy water for this step. Before creating the perfect relaxation and entertainment sanctuary, you need to make sure everything is spotless.
Garages can accumulate a lot of dirt, grease, and grime during their years of service, so rinsing everything down and scrubbing it clean is important! Plus, it will leave you feeling like the garage is a whole new space, ready for a transformation.
4. Define the Purpose
Man caves are essentially places for relaxation, but they can also serve several other purposes, so defining the primary purpose of your man cave is essential.
What do you want your space to be like— a place to kick back with a beer and enjoy the game on a flatscreen, or somewhere to enjoy your pool table with friends, or both?
5. Draft Some Plans
Now that you have the space cleaned out and a rough idea of what you want your man cave to look like, it’s time to draw up some plans.
Figure out any significant building considerations you might have, such as adding subflooring, insulation, or adding to the existing structure. Establish where the wiring will go and where you will place entertainment centers.
And, make a note of any furniture you need to purchase to complete the space and decor— the small touches can really pull a place together!
In this step, it’s best to try and stay well below the budget you have set for the project. The more wiggle room you give yourself, the better prepared you’ll be for any unforeseen complications or expenses.
6. Think About Your Entertainment Options
Speaking of entertainment centers, what kind of activities do you want to set up in your man cave? Gaming consoles, flatscreens, air hockey, foosball tables, a home brewery setup, or even an old-fashioned arcade machine are great options.
Just keep your space constraints and available wiring for your electronics in mind, and let yourself dream big!
7. Install Functional Flooring (& Subflooring)
Because most garages are equipped with concrete flooring, they are not particularly built for spending a long time inside comfortably. For turning your garage into a great man cave, you’ll likely have to put some proper flooring down.
And there are many options for what to put down on the floor. You can add padding and carpet for a softer feel or opt for removable epoxy flooring in case you want to revert it back to a normal garage or storage space.
Additionally, you should consider laying a subfloor. This will help keep the room insulated and more comfortable, even in winter.
8. Consider Insulation & Acoustics
If you plan on using your man cave for musical pursuits and want to make sure your rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t keep the rest of the neighborhood awake, insulation is a good idea. Opt for drywall or high-quality paneling to keep everything soundproof.
9. Don’t Forget About Heating
Garages are not typically known as warm areas, and if you are planning on spending a lot of time in your converted garage-man cave, you need to consider the heating.
On top of insulating your building, space heaters and radiators can be a good idea, particularly if you live in a colder area. And always make sure to have plenty of throw blankets and slippers ready for wintertime relaxation.
10. Let There Be Light
Another constraint with converting a garage into your man cave is lighting. Garages do not usually have a lot of windows, and you are unlikely to open the garage door, especially during the summer. So lighting is crucial for visibility and ambiance.
Make sure you have a variety of lamps for tabletops and corners and consider recessed lighting across the ceiling for a modern look. You can even plan to install a central lighting piece to fit your aesthetic!
11. Make Sure It’s Waterproof
The last thing you want is to have your man cave flood when it rains, or the snow begins to melt. It’s likely a good idea to do some extra waterproofing to ensure the entire space is watertight and safe.
Tanking with a slurry sealant is a cheap, easy, and effective way to prevent water from leaking into your new man cave.
12. Plan For Plugs
Most man caves will have plenty of need for plugging things in, whether to charge your phone or power your entire gaming setup. So, make sure to add electrical wiring and outlets to your garage if it doesn’t already have it.
Additionally, you could even consider adding more outlets to the layout or installing power extenders or multi-plug strips to ensure you have all the power you could ever need.
13. Have a Refreshments Area
Who doesn’t like some snacks when they’re relaxing? And as you design and create your man cave, it’s the perfect opportunity to add some room for refreshments to your space.
Consider a mini-fridge, a beer cooler, or even a full wet bar setup to cater to anyone’s thirst. Adding a microwave or hot plate will increase your options, or you can opt for something nostalgic like a popcorn maker or cotton hot dog rotisserie.
14. Make Room for Guests
While you will be the primary user of your man cave, it’s always a good idea to leave enough room for friends to hang out. Make sure there’s enough seating and space for guests to enjoy your man cave.
15. Take Security Precautions
You will likely have at least one entertainment center in the man cave, and these can get quite pricey. So, it’s also a good idea to add some security to your setup. Smart home systems, remote locks, and cameras are all essential to guard against theft.
16. Choose Comfortable Seating
Whether you are relaxing with the latest episode of a crime drama, cheering on your favorite team, or settling in for a video gaming marathon, seating is essential in your man cave.
Opt for a comfortable couch or a recliner that allows you to put your feet up after a long day. Or, if you have some room in the budget, consider home theater seating for ultimate relaxation.
17. Designate Storage Areas
Don’t forget about storage in your new man cave! While garages tend to have a good amount of organizational space, you might want to add some custom shelving.
Built-in shelves are great for holding your gaming and media consoles, and wall-to-wall cabinets are versatile for many applications. You can even make a filing cabinet into a quirky side table and fill it with records or board games.
18. Pick Your Aesthetic
Figuring out the style of your man cave is another key part of creating the perfect getaway. Do you want it to have a vintage aesthetic or embrace a modern feel? This will also help you determine what accessories and furniture to opt for.
19. The Details Matter
It’s all about the small stuff, including paintings, posters, and other decor options. You can fully customize the space to your hobbies and interests by adding little details like knick knacks or memorabilia to your man cave.
Do you have a prized trophy or certificate? Put it up for everyone to see! A piece of sports history that you are proud to own? Set it out in a place of honor. The small details truly matter when outfitting your man cave to your tastes.
20. Think About The Walls
Not only should you install better flooring for your garage to become a man cave, but you might want to upgrade the walls as well. You can add a simple wooden frame to the walls and attach drywall panels for better insulation and a sleeker appearance.
Once your man cave is complete and outfitted with all your new furniture and electronics, you will need to update your home inventory.
This laundry list of possessions will come in handy when you speak to your insurance agent about your home or renters insurance coverage.