How to Turn a Garage Into a Man Cave
Garage Man Cave Conversion
Imagine a place where you can relive your college days with the guys. Where the keg ne’er runneth dry, there’s a 24/7 standing invitation for pool, and you can play your guitar, work with your tools, and enjoy any hobby without interruption.
This wondrous land is called a man cave, and it is within your power to create. We'll be looking at how to turn a garage into a man cave.
What is a Man Cave?
The phrase “man cave” gained popularity in the early 1990s in the bestselling relationship book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” In the book, men were described as having a psychological need to retreat to their own private space from time to time, a man cave where they could resolve their issues and emerge a better spouse.
This concept exploded in popular culture, and there are now thousands of man cave references in books, magazines, TV shows, and movies. The man cave has become a place where a man can be alone for a while, dabble in his personal interests, and enjoy the space and independence he had before marriage.
In recent years, women have developed their own answer to man caves, calling them “she-sheds,” but that’s a topic for another day.
A man cave can take many forms. It can be a finished basement room, an attic, or even a detached den. One popular type that many guys ask about is a garage man cave. Assuming you’re willing to give up some parking space, a garage is an excellent environment in which to build a man cave.
How to Turn a Garage into a Man Cave?
You should have a vision for your garage man cave conversion. No need to be an architect, but you need an idea of how the man cave will reflect your unique personality. Are you a sports fan? Gamer? Musician?
Make a list of everything you’d want in your garage man cave, from a pool table, to a bar, to a stage for your garage band. Then, figure out the costs, and adjust until it fits your budget. Finally, answer the following all-important questions:
- Do you have the space in your garage for a man cave? There probably isn’t going to be room for both a man cave and all your sweet rides in a garage. Also, if you have a bunch of tools and equipment, they will have to go somewhere, so make sure your expectations are in-line with your space constraints.
- Is your garage insulated? We’ll get into heating and cooling your man cave in a bit, but if your garage lacks insulation, all the BTUs in the world won’t matter. You need enough insulation to keep the temperature stable.
- Do you have enough electrical wiring? Sure, you may dream of installing a flat screen TV, antique arcade machine, and air hockey table, but if you don’t have enough outlets in your garage, you’re up a creek without a paddle. Get your electrician out there first to make sure you’ve got the juice to power your gadgets.
- Do you have plumbing? Many guys want a bar in their man cave. If you’re one of them, you’ll need plumbing in your garage for the sink. Even if you forego the bar, you’ll probably want a bathroom. Get everything plumbed ahead of time.
Building a Man Cave
After the above essentials, your garage man cave needs three main components: a common design or theme, comfort equipment, and a focal point.
Man Cave Design
Paint color and floor style make or break a man cave’s design. Everyone has different tastes, but an industrial design with cool, dark colors is popular because it instills the man cave with a masculine auto shop or factory feel.
Epoxy is the flooring of choice for many man caves. Comprised from multiple layers of epoxy resin, this type of floor is durable, easy-to-clean, and sports a glossy, modern look. If you’re planning on working with oil or chemicals in your cave, you can rest assured knowing that they won’t harm the floor if spilled.
Many guys also divide their man caves into sections. One section might be for TV and entertainment, while another might be for a bar. This obviously depends on your budget and space, but feel free to get creative.
Man Cave Comfort
Your garage man cave should be a year-round refuge from the stresses of home life. For that to happen, it needs to first stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
You can effectively heat a man cave using a unit heater, which is a self-contained heating device installed on a wall or ceiling without ductwork. Unit heaters provide ample heat and don’t carry the same safety risks and hassle as portable garage heaters.
Mini splits are a step up from unit heaters and can heat and cool your man cave garage in an energy efficient manner. They are ductless units that pair an outdoor condenser with an indoor fan that will provide the perfect temperature for your man cave at any time of year.
Besides temperature, make sure you control high humidity during the summer with a dehumidifier and dry air during winter with a humidifier. Often, the amount of moisture in the air has a greater impact on perceived temperature than the actual temperature.
Once temperature and humidity are taken care of, you can invest in other forms of comfort including sofas, recliners, massage chairs—anything to make you and your guests comfortable. Of course, no man cave is complete without having a kegerator that’ll pour fresh beer for the guys. If you plan on entertaining your wife or girlfriend, make sure to have a wine cooler for a romantic evening.
Man Cave Focal Point
What describes you? When you introduce yourself to others, what do you say? A garage man cave's focal point should reflect the man's personality, interests and hobbies. When your friends walk in, they should be able to tell that it's your man cave.
There are no rule for this. Some guys put their basketball shoe collection on display. Others may create an arcade atmosphere. Maybe you want to make your man cave a shrine to eComfort.com (we'd love that).
Whatever you do, make it about you.