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THE MAN CAVE

09/01/2020

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How to Make an Epic Man Cave That Leaves Everyone Jealous

It’s important that a man has the freedom to be a man. Sometimes, you need steak for breakfast. You need to commune with nature. Or fix something. Cook outdoors . . . When it comes to satisfying your deeper urges, there is one thing that has more value to a man than any other. We’re talking, of course, about the man cave. Every guy needs his own space, and an epic man cave satisfies that need so perfectly. If you want to know how to make a man cave, these ideas can help you put it together.

Living the Dream

The dream man cave has everything. It’s probably at least 10,000 square feet. It has a full bar. There’s a massive projector screen with theater seating. There’s a billiards table, a putting green, and a full arcade. There are games of every kind. You can do anything and everything that sounds fun there. It’s exactly what any of us would build if we were billionaires. So, if you’re one of the few guys who can actually live the dream, congratulations. Have fun with it. The rest of us will try not to be too jealous.

If you’re a mortal like the rest of us, we’re going to focus on an attainable man cave that is still truly epic and a spectacle of entertainment and awesomeness.

Location 

attic man cave

When you’re planning your man cave, nothing is more important than the location. It’s the starting point for this whole journey. The location really depends on availability, right? Some guys have a single room to work with. Some live alone and can make their whole place a man cave. You might be converting a garage or a shed. You might even be stuck renting a storage unit and making due.

Where options do exist, you want the place to be one where you are undisturbed. It’s usually better to take a hit on square footage for the sake of a little solitude, so the garden shed might actually be better than the open landing on the second floor. You get the idea.

Your goals for your location are to have that solitude. You want to maximize your square footage, and you want accessibility. All of this is pretty obvious, but it’s important to point out the variability here. Wherever your man cave is located, you’re going to have to scale the following ideas to it.

Pick Your Poison

When space and budget are limited, you have to make tough choices. What is your primary focus? Do you want a big screen to watch sports or movies or play video games? You can make that work. Pair it with an epic sound system, and make sure you can black out sunlight. You’ll be good to go.

That’s just one of countless examples. Are you looking for a place to shoot pool or play poker with the boys (or DnD or whatever else you’re into)? Do you just want a space to work out? How about a music studio? A hunting lodge? This is about having a space to do what you enjoy doing. That’s the priority, and it has to inform all of your choices.

When you pick your poison, put it front and center. The main activity should draw the eye of anyone you allow to view your precious space. In order to do this, you have to prioritize the main activity in your spending too. If you’re making a billiards room, the table should be the most significant investment there. It doesn’t mean you have to sell a kidney on the black market, but if you’re spending more money on countertops or automated lighting in the room than the main entertainment, you’re probably not doing it right.

Food and Drink

No matter your man cave, you want access to snacks and drinks, on location. If you have to run to the kitchen, it’s going to cramp your style — especially if your cave is in a storage room across town. At a bare minimum, a mini-fridge and a snack cabinet can sustain you. In fact, that’s plenty for many man caves. You can have a cold beverage and something to eat whenever you need it. That’s really living the dream already.

If you have the space and budget, food and drink management should be higher on the upgrade priorities. You can go for a full bar if that sounds good. A small kitchen would be nice. Then you could do some cooking like a man. At the very least, a microwave adds a lot to your food potential. Think hard about this one because it’s what transforms your cave from an interesting place to the spot where you and the boys want to be.

mini fridge

Decor

Go read other blogs about man caves. They’re going to talk about decor way too much. Everyone tends to prioritize it, and that’s silly. At most, decorating the cave is third on the list of priorities. By all means, having a good aesthetic helps the cave drop jaws, but this place really is about function more than form. This is where you go to be you. You can and should decorate it, but your decorations should never inhibit your ability to enjoy the cave. We’re talking about the budget, in case that wasn’t clear.

When you’re decorating, a theme is always the way to go. There’s probably one topic above all others that brings out your inner nerd. It’s the thing your work friends or family has to kindly ask you to shut up about. That’s probably where you want to find your theme.

It could be your favorite sport, movie, game, drink, or hobby. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re into the topic of the theme. From there, you just want to lean into your theme for the decor. If you’re into golf, then all of your decorations should be golf-related. Your man cave will have a lot of green. It works. The theme is what makes your man cave shine with uniqueness. 

Get Thrifty

The best way to make your man cave epic is to get as much bang as possible for every dollar you spend. Seriously, go thrifting for furniture and decorations. Hit those garage sales. Take a couch out of the dumpster. You’ll be surprised at how much awesomeness your dollars can buy when you put a little effort into the shopping.

Aside from the main entertainment, you should be looking for bargains everywhere. This will be the key to getting the most out of your space.

On that note, do as much DIY as you reasonably can. Build your own cabinets. Internally wire speakers yourself. You get the idea. Every task you can do without paying labor is money that can go back into your man cave.

Shops Count as Man Caves

We’ve been overlooking one of the classic man spaces up to this point. The quintessential man cave is a place to relax and play. For a lot of guys, that actually means making, fixing or working on things. Your man cave doesn’t have to be a movie theatre or a poker table or whatever. If it’s a spot where you can tune out the rest of the work and work with your hands in a way that you love, go for it!

Shops are obviously going to differ from what we’ve been discussing in some key ways. Decorations don’t matter at all; this is an entirely practical workspace. Consider power first. Depending on your craft, you might have significant power needs. Once you know where the electricity is available, you can strategize the shop around that.

Consider spending extra on lighting. Overhead lights are great, but you might also want a drop light, floodlights, and anything else necessary to ensure you can see what you’re doing.

Another major consideration is climate control. Depending on where you live, your shop might get insanely hot or brutally cold. It’s worth considering investing in insulating your shop if it isn’t already. Space heaters and window air conditioners are invaluable.

All of this is skipping the obvious. The workspace and tools are your top budgeting concern. There’s an old philosophy for tools. Buy a cheap tool. If you use it enough to break it, then you have justified investing in the high-quality version. Hopefully, that can help you make some decisions to get your shop started.

That should be enough to get you into the planning phase. You can make a man cave that caters to your style and gives you the space to relax and be yourself. While you’re working on upgrades, you can check out other posts. We’re full of good advice around here. We can help you find the gym bag essentials for guys or anything else you need to up your game in any department.
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