How to Convert a Shed into a Man Cave

February 27, 2018
Robert Manziel

(Last modified on February 25th, 2020)

How to Convert a Shed into a Man Cave

If you find yourself without a lot of space in the house, but plenty of space in your backyard shed, then perhaps it’s time for you to consider how to convert a shed into a man cave! Skip the man cave shed kit and convert the one you already have into a fully functional cave. A shed provides everything you need to create your own cave—specifically: four walls, a floor, and a roof. Converting these simple elements into something you can call a man cave is quite a task, but this helpful post guides you through each and every step of the way. Go into this article with a simple shed, and go out with an amazing man cave!

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Cool Man Shed Ideas

Every good adventure starts with a little bit of planning. Check out man cave shed pictures that you love and browse man cave sheds for sale to gather a little inspiration. Building a man cave on a budget is much easier when you have a plan in mind, and with such a huge variety of backyard man cave ideas to choose from, you should have no problem coming up with a plan. However, how do you pick your favorite?

Think about things that you have trouble doing in other rooms of the house. If your wife hogs the TV all the time, think about a game-themed man cave. If you just want a place to relax and decorate, choose something more abstract, like a rustic or modern theme. I provide quite a few man cave theme suggestions here.

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Step One – Cleaning

Let’s face it: sheds are dirty by nature. The ground is covered in dirt, the walls are splintered and untreated, and the roof is a mess of exposed spider webs. When you don’t need to deal with them on a daily basis, storage areas like sheds become a sanctuary for dust. Now that you want to convert your shed into a sanctuary of another sort, we have to start by making it livable.

Sand down any splinters on the floors and walls, clear out all the insects that accumulated over the years, and empty out anything stored in there. If you live in the south, be wary of black widow spiders, scorpions, ants, wasps, and other dangerous creatures that inhabit unused spaces. Food-grade diatomaceous earth will take care of any pests quickly without posing a danger to children or pets.

To get your budget started, think about selling any of the stored stuff that you haven’t touched in over a year. If you take enough stuff out of the shed, you could even have a garage sale! This little bit of extra money helps while you renovate and populate your man cave shed.

Step Two – Renovating

Consider all the things you want in your man cave and where you want them. Large structures such as walls, bars, tables, and platforms should all be built before you start throwing furniture or utilities into the man cave. Check out some recommended shed plans and see if any of them suit you. You need to account for where your furniture, entertainment setup, lighting, and utilities go so that you have enough room for everything. Don’t build everything and then realize that you really need to put a bathroom somewhere once it’s all done! Keep in mind that your shed should have at least two exits, and more windows are always a plus!

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Step Three – Utilities

This is quite possibly the most difficult step of your conversion endeavor. Plumbing and wiring both take experts to ensure that you don’t end up spending a lot of money in the future fixing things. Along with that, electricity in particular poses a health hazard if you have no idea what you’re doing. Don’t underestimate the power of lightning harnessed in a tiny little wire! Contract specialists and make sure not to cheap out and hire losers that barely know what they’re doing. AC is much easier to set up, so perhaps you can do that one yourself, but I also recommend a contractor for that one.

If you plan on using cable in your man cave shed, you have a few options. You can use a huge wire to manually connect it to your home, use a satellite extender to create a more stable connection, or call your cable company and properly lay out some wires for the shed. If you plan on reselling the house in the future, the latter one works best for you—but be prepared for an unreasonable price tag to go with the operation. Building your own shed helps mitigate some of the costs, since you can position things efficiently for the pipes, wires, and cables. Once you finish all your work, throw in some insulation and get ready for the fun stuff!

Step Four – Redesigning

Now that your shed is livable, it’s time to make it presentable as well. During this part of the conversion process, decide what you want to do with the floors, walls, and ceiling. Add carpets if you need them, drywall if that suits you, and a nice lighting setup on the ceiling if that looks best. Although simple, I separate this into a whole step because it is one of the costlier parts of how to convert a shed into a man cave. For more ideas, look into a dedicated guide to shed designs like this one.

Step Five - Security

With all of your utilities in place, it’s time to secure the shed before putting in your valuables. You can purchase a lock and key from your local hardware store. A combination lock simply doesn’t suffice when it’s easy to get past them with a couple movements or a cutter. Hell, someone could even fashion a lock pick out of a soda can if they really wanted to break in! Put locks and blinds on all the windows. If you have a sliding door, put a bar in along with the regular lock. For some reason, the locks on sliding doors never last longer than a year. Now you can really start converting the living space into a man cave!

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Step Six – What to Put in Your Man Cave

Think back on your man cave theme and decide what sort of stuff to put in the cave. The normal essentials include a couch, recliner, large TV, video game consoles, a fridge, and glasses for whatever sort of drinks you enjoy in the man cave. Signs, posters, figurines, collections, and plants help make the room look populated. Think about what sort of things you personally enjoy and like to keep around. In example, I like to keep some woodcarving knives around to literally whittle away the time during commercials and whatnot. It doesn’t match the steampunk theme of the rest of the room, but it does serve a huge purpose to me! For other ideas, check out my post here.

Other Helpful Man Cave Shed Information

Consider patching up the roof and looking out for leaks ahead of time. Use diatomaceous earth to prevent bugs from invading. Keep your shed floor at least two inches above ground level to prevent flooding disasters—which is especially common, since backyards aren’t normally irrigated! Similarly, try to keep all your electronics well above the floor. Periodically check your locks to make sure your man cave is secure. Throughout the years, continue adding new features to the man cave to keep it relevant to your interests and fun to hang out in. I go into more depth about how to handle a man cave shed in the long term here, but these points should cover your basic upkeep!

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Using Your Backyard Man Cave

At last! You finish your backyard man cave shed and can relax and use it. Or…can you? More than any other location, man cave sheds require constant upkeep to ensure they stay habitable and free from pests. In other words, you have an excuse to use it at least once per day! I can’t imagine going without a man cave for more than 24 hours, anyways. Now that you know how to convert a shed into a man cave, make your dreams a reality and build the perfect room.

If you don’t have a shed, start from scratch. I promise that all the sweat, blood, and tears you put into your man cave shed pay off in the end. Once you finish your regular work, it’s like having two separate places to come home to, and twice as relaxing!

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