Many times, most of the garage isn’t even occupied by a car. Sometimes, it’s not even where the car is at all! Garages are often where old stuff and broken toys end up. Why let your unused, pre-loved stuff occupy a room in your house while you can’t even find a quiet corner where you can chill out and relax without being disturbed? Let it be your man cave where you can do man things, so that the space would not go to waste.
Before turning your garage into a male domain, be sure you’re OK with that change. If you ever want to park your car in your garage again, make changes that will still allow you to do what.
The first questions you need to answer in garage planning are “How much space do you want to convert?” and “What changes do you want to do?” Your first consideration is space because it will determine what furniture and toys would you be able to put inside it.
If you want a simple man cave, you can get by with just minimal adjustments – you can just clean and throw stuff you don’t need anymore, put a TV and a recliner in there and that’s it. But if you want to make it look like a legit room inside your house, then it requires more work. List the things you need to do and buy, and make sure your wife or partner agrees with your planned garage renovation.
CLEAN AND DE-CLUTTER
To create the best man cave ever, you need a blank space. Throw away the stuff you don’t need and no one wants any more. Get rid of the things you don’t want but can still be useful, by giving them away or by putting up a garage sale and then selling them — you can use the profits to add to your budget! Organize what remains and store them elsewhere, like the basement, attic or laundry room. Do whatever you can to clear out the space before you turn it into your own man cave.
It might be freakishly hot in your garage during the summer, and extremely cold in the winter, so you need to insulate. The man cave is where you will hang out, so you need to make it as comfortable as possible by keeping temperatures bearable. If you have a separate garage, you will need to install insulation everywhere: in the walls, floors, ceilings and the garage doors. Meanwhile, if your garage is attached to your house, you only need insulation where it is needed.
Insulation also helps with sound-proofing the room. If you want to convert your garage as man cave with a mini-theater with blasting stereo surround sound, or a studio complete with drum sets and electric guitars, proper insulation will prevent you from receiving neighbor complaints. Plus, if you’re planning on putting electronics like TV and computers or a billiard pool and bar, storing them at room temperature will keep them at their best condition.
For the walls, you must frame them so that you can add insulation. If your garage is unfinished, you can put up insulation between wall studs and close it up by installing drywall. As you hang the drywall, take note of where the studs are – you’re going to need them when you hang wall fixtures.
Most types of garage flooring are made of concrete. It’s tempting to leave it just like that to keep its manly, “garage” look, but as we said earlier, you need insulation. This will also make it more welcoming. You can install floor boards and put rugs and carpeting. It can warm things up during the winter and hold in the cool during the summer.
It’s also good to consider rubberized tiles or carpet tiles for a homier feel.
If your garage ceiling is unfinished, you can leave it that way because it can be used as storage. But if you want to hide those rafters for a neater look, you can finish it with some drywall and paint. Besides, you will install fixtures on them like lighting and a ceiling fan, if you’re not installing AC to your man cave. You can also consider space heaters and portable air conditioners and high powered fans.
LIGHTING AND ELECTRICITY
Usually, garages have only one light installed. If you’re planning to host poker night or billiard pool party with your friends, then you need more illumination. Installing lights would be easier for attached garages, but you may need to ask help from a professional electrician if your garage is detached.
To achieve an industrial look, hang pendant lights that match the color scheme of your man cave. If you want a modern touch, go for recessed lighting, but you will need to hire an electrician for that.
You also want to be sure you’d have enough electrical outlets for all your toys and gadgets. It’s better to have more than enough than to regret it later because it would be hard to install more once everything is done.
After you have the floor, the ceiling, the walls studs, the insulation and the electricity, it’s time to add drywall to the walls and paint it. If your garage doesn’t need drywall installation, then start painting the walls right away! Choosing the best paint color for your man cave is the first step in creating an awesome private space. It’s best to keep it simple with a palette of just two to three colors. If you’re going to put a large TV on the wall, consider a darker paint color as an accent wall for a better viewing effect.
Before you place your valuables into your man cave, make sure your garage is secure. Upgrade the doors and locks if you should. If your garage has a back door, better put a deadbolt lock.
Also, it’s best to consider using a smart garage door opener for better protection. That way, if someone would try to open the door while you’re away, you’ll be notified. Plus, you will be able to monitor your door from afar.
FURNISHING AND DECORATING
Now that the basics have been covered, it’s time to get into the fun stuff! The only rule here is to fill your man cave with the things you love. You can make the garage look like a sports bar, a hobby area, or a reading room. Set the tone with your interests and treat it as your little “bachelor pad” while you’re married.
The garage man cave is where you get to express yourself, relax and unwind. You can borrow a few things from your house or completely start over with new stuff.
The No. 1 must-have item in all man caves is the recliner. It’s all about comfortable seating for you. You might also want to add multiple recliners or a huge leather couch so you can provide enough seating when you invite your guys. Then, put on a widescreen TV where you can freely watch Super Bowl and other sporting events your wife may not be interested with. Or maybe you can get yourself a projector to connect with your laptop if you’re more of a film junkie. Or maybe a video game console if you’re more of a gamer.
A fridge is what will make your man cave complete. Even a small one to hold your beers can do, so you don’t have to run inside or walk upstairs to go get a beverage. If you have enough space, try to create your own mini-bar at a corner and display your fine wine and whisky collection.
There also has to be an entertainment table. It could be pool table, a poker table, a ping pong table or a foosball table. Or maybe all of them; it’s your choice. Don’t forget to put a dart board in your wall and a unique chess set meant for display.
It’s also the perfect place to show off that Michael Jordan jersey, autographed Derek Jeter ball or your high school football championship trophy – things your wife hated to see being displayed at home because it doesn’t complement anything. Dude, your sports memorabilia belong to your man cave. If you’re not into sports, you can hang movie posters, pictures of your kids, your own artworks or photographs, or anything that makes you happy.
Basically, that’s what most man caves are made of, but it really depends on your interests and tastes. Here’s some more suggestions:
- Make chairs or foot stools out of old tires.
- Put a nice hanging hammock.
- Decorate it with light saber night lights.
- Turn an old bike frame into a new console table.
- Make pillowcases out of jerseys that no longer fit (you may need help from your wife).
- Have a cabinet filled with books and tabletop games.
- Hang basketball hoops and neon beer signs.
- Transform a beer barrel into a bed.
- Use beer bottles to create a hanging light fixture.
- Turn your garage into a movie theater or a bowling alley. You have the space and you can afford it, so why not?
- Make a library space complete with bookshelves and comfortable reading chairs. Or make it your own office at home.
- Create a home fight club. Put some punching bags, weight equipment, a full wall mirror and a water cooler.
The most important tip of all is that your man cave should represent you. Make it as an extension of yourself. The garage is a perfect location since it is separated from your home, but technically still within your home. Transforming it into a man cave is a fun, rewarding project you will love to try.