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Making Your Man Cave

The home building industry is no stranger to flash-in-the-pan trends, but sometimes an idea will take hold of the public imagination in a way that lasts for a while. One of the latest long-term trends in home remodeling is homeowners adding what is commonly called “a man cave” to their home–a special room designated for cool things like video games, large-screen televisions, and pool tables with adjacent bar. But just because an idea is popular doesn’t mean it’s a good one.

Why We’re Asking:

The idea of having a “man cave” is a cool one, but there are many elements involved that could go very wrong. Large electronics, complicated plumbing, or even risky elements like over-sized fish tanks often turn up in man caves, and each item presents its own unique risks and challenges. Our experts know better than anyone how to ensure that a fun space remains a safe space, and so we are asking their advice on whether or not a man cave is a good idea, and how to ensure that it is done properly.

So tell us, experts:

What’s the deal with “man caves”?

What things should home owners be sure to take into consideration before building one?
What popular man cave elements are riskier than they look?
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen or installed in a man cave?
What would you put in your man cave?

Home owners often come up with cool ideas for their remodels, but they don’t always think through the consequences. Your advice could save customers a great deal of headache when designing and installing their new sanctuary.

Experts, post your answers in the comment field below!



  • 2 Thumbs Up Plumbing & Remodeling, Boise Idaho 06/14/13

    The man’s den was a big deal a few decades ago and as the modern homes got larger for some reason tman’s den was not. Thus men felt cheated out of their man hood and fought long and hard for the man cave to come back full throttle. Our plumbers and Idaho remodelers have seen it all from above the garage glorified dog house with top of the line kitchen remodeling and a plumbers play ground for a bathroom. Having said that the request for these high end items should be installed by a plumbing and remodeling pro. From heated toilets to full body showers … if done wrong could turn the home into a damp cold cave. For more advice go to http://www.myboisehomeservices.org or visit http://www.facebook.com/2thumbsupplumbing .

    Gratefully,

    2 Thumbs Up Plumbing and remodeling

  • Mark Puglisi, ACE 06/13/13

    I can hear Tim The Tool Man Taylor’s grunt with the mention of a Man Cave. Whether your into sports, cars, or woodwork, garages are a man’s hangout, especially mine. I enjoy working in the garage, especially in the evenings when it is a bit cooler and after a long day at work. I recently was in the garage with the garage door open and no sooner than the sun dropped below the horizon, the bugs started to fly through the open door towards my lights. As an Entomologist during the day, I didn’t need the reminder at night what I do during the day. So the following day I started to research what options I had other than closing the garage door. I quickly found many types of screen doors designed for this type of application, so I would suggest that you make a list of Man Cave uses and review not only what you will be doing, but when before you start any construction or remodeling.

    Electrical needs is very important, and may call for a sub-panel for current or future uses, such as air compressors, big screen TV, welding units (some require 220V) and any other “tools of the trade”. Having plenty of outlets is very important as well as convenient. Will you be needing water? If your going to install a sink, you need drains. These are the things that can add up the cost of your project, especially if you try and add these things later, such as a bathroom. I’ve seen some really nice garages turned into a Man cave, but over looked an important aspect…Permits. What goes up, will come down if you forget, or try and do it behind closed doors! Storage is likely going to be needed not only for your stuff, but don’t expect to control ALL the space in the garage. Where are you going to put your holiday decorations, the kids toys, and the junk you will likely never use again? All part of the planning process.

  • Doug Murrell 06/13/13

    If someone wants to build a special room and they take the time to consider what they want to do with it,it could be an access to the house. I think handy people can do things with the help of a good professional willing to teach them the rights and wrongs of doing the project. There are certain jobs which are better handled by the pro but certainly the homeowner can do things on there own.I have trained many novices to do the job right and believe this works in today society. I have tackled many jobs where I am not a professional in it but with the right help I got it done with no problem

  • Nancy 06/12/13

    My experience with man caves has been actually pretty cool. I seem to have clients that don’t long for Barcaloungers! Man caves should represent a passion; wine collecting, playing pool or poker or the latest theater or gaming room. They shouldn’t be ugly or have furniture that’s way too large for the space. The wiring should be done professionally so you don’t see a mass of tangled cords. Decorating a room tastefully is really important so budget to do the room well. I think a pitfall would be to do a room that looks like a garage and is unfinished. The best “client cave” I ever did was to connect a free standing outbuilding to the main home. We completely remodeled the 30’ x 22’ building with French doors to a huge deck. The ceiling was vaulted and we clad the beams and did all the millwork in VG fir. We up lit the ceiling from lights concealed above the clad beams and had down lights hanging from S shaped aluminum trims. There was room to chill out, a pool table, space for a group of electric guitars and drum kit and of course a wet bar with kegerator. The room that we added to connect the home to this other space was a home theater. This was an incredible space that both the husband and his wife loved even later after they had kids. Maybe the key to a man cave is to add your spouse into the mix so you both can enjoy the room, even if at different times.

    • chrisplumber 06/15/13

      I knew if I read the entire comment that you would add that maybe he should invite his wife. If that was the case it wouldn’t be a man cave the cave would be called ‘The His’ and ‘Her Cave’!

  • Rainbow Plumbing & Heating Inc. 06/12/13

    Here’s The Deal on any thing you do in your house, If you cant do it yourself, then get a licensed pro. for the trade required to perform the task . Don’t let that pro cross over into another trade because their insurance is not going to cover a mistake that is made or should something later be found was not done up to code. GET A PERMIT for all the work performed, the permit protects the contractor, all work now will be covered by contractor’s insurance and the permit gets you the home oner a inspection and gives you an extra set of professional eyes on the job on the work performed.

  • Grand View Builders 06/12/13

    A “man cave” is an added feature in a home that we know appeals to many young homeowners. They search for that extra room in a house that can be transformed into his “sanctuary” for his games, drum set, sports memorabilia- you name it. What many ambitious homeowners don’t realize though is that extra rooms, such as these, are often the last ones that are decorated and last ones completely moved into. Homeowners also don’t realize extra costs that go into a project of this size.

    For example, the lifestyle of single males who may not currently have any children could very quickly change and the “man cave” space may need to become a nursery. Likewise, empty nesters should also consider the possibility of their aging parents moving into their home and needing that “man cave” room.

    If a couple does want a “man cave,” they should keep their room transformation to aesthetic and décor changes: a TV, couch and shelving are all plausible items that can easily be rearranged or moved.

    If having a “man cave” isn’t financially an option or your “dream home” is without that space, couples can compromise to still have the “man cave” effect in their home. The leather couch or large TV for the living area with plenty of spacing for his games or DVDs is a great alternative. Other options include a wet bar, a fridge just for him stocked with beer, a fire pit or grilling area outside, etc.…

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