Lately, it seems I am hearing and seeing a lot about man caves. If you turn on the TV, you can find complete episodes on both the DIY network and HGTV that are completely devoted to man caves. I also found Pinterest has lots of pictures illustrating every level of man cave. Wikipedia defines a Man cave as a male sanctuary. Not an actual cave but rather a metaphor describing a room inside the house, such as the basement, garage, attic, office, or a wood shed or tool room, where “guys can do as they please” without fear of upsetting any female sensibility about house decor or design. This seems like a good definition.
It seems to me that two people who are very close to one another, like a husband and wife, are still two different people and have different needs. Sometimes a man just needs a place to get away, and other times I wife needs a place to send her husband to just get away for a spell. My wife and I refer to this as heading to our separate corners. We have found this time to be a healthy way to actually appreciate each other more. A little absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Like the Wikipedia definition states, a man cave can be created anywhere. We have helped a number of our customers on their quest for a man cave, and this is how we did it. Basically our experience fell into two categories. First is a man that wanted to turn his garage into the man cave. The first thing he had to do was clean out the garage and throw away and/or sell as much as possible to begin freeing up space. Next he bought a shed from us to put in his backyard. He moved all of the important things like tools, lawn care equipment, Christmas decorations and more, out from his garage to his new shed. Once that step was complete, the garage was free to begin the conversion to a man cave.
The second category that we have experienced was a man that came to us to buy a large shed and create the shed into his new man cave. We have completed a handful of these projects and each one was different from the other. The first question is how will you be using the new space? Second, how big of cave do you want? Third is the most important. What is your budget? The largest cave we made was a 12’ x 36’ building. We have also used a 12 x 24 and a 12 x 16. All of them turned out great for the goal and the budget of each client.
The sheds we used are constructed in the factory and then shipped to us. The conversion of an empty shed into a man cave was completed onsite. We began by wiring the building, adding overhead lights, outlets, and a simple fuse box. The fuse box was set up to be hard wired to power, or it could be plugged into a generator. After the wiring came the insulation. We used a 6.5” thick, R-19 for the ceiling and 3.5” thick, R-13 for the walls. From here we used either paneling or sheet rock for the walls and ceiling. Paneling was cheaper to purchase, and much easier to install. It also kept the overall weight of the man cave much lighter. This was important because the unit was going to be used as more of a hunt lodge, and he intended to move it to different locations based on the hunting season. Our final step was vinyl flooring. It looks like real wood, it is very durable, flexible, and cost effective.
Once the shell was complete, the customer then added in the furniture, flat screen TV, mini frig and plenty of manly decorations. These projects are always fun and we have enjoyed helping our customers create a great man cave. To get started on your own man cave project, remember to answer the three important questions first. How will I use my man cave? How large of a man cave do I need? And, how much money do I have in my budget to make my man cave a reality? Once you answer those questions, you are well on your way to getting your little slice of heaven.