(Last modified on March 30th, 2020)
It isn’t often that I use man cave as a verb, but in today’s case, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. The act of ‘man caving’ is either living it up in the cave or converting a space into a man cave. We’re doing the latter today, specifically on a garage! After talking about how to covert a shed into a man cave, it only makes sense to cover garages as well. Garages make great locations for man caves since they can be rarely used. You just park your car outside, clear up the storage, and man cave it up! Making a garage livable doesn’t come easy, though. You’ll need to make sure it can accommodate your needs—from powering your electronics to keeping out pests to keeping you warm. If you want to know how to man cave a garage, then you’re in the right place to learn exactly how!
The first thing you want to do is make the floor manageable. Concrete floors are only useful if you plan on having a messy workshop. They make it easy to clean up—if you want to clean up at all—and no one bats an eye at a stained concrete floor. However, if you want to make the room look like a regular man cave, you’re going to have to nix the idea of a concrete floor. I recommend adding carpet since its softness will stave off the cold, hard surface of the concrete in the winter months. Adding even a simple wood layer underneath the carpet greatly improves the ‘texture’—or at least, you won’t die if you hit your head on the floor. Hardwood floors, tiles, epoxy, and floor mats all do the job. If you want to know more about building custom flooring, you can see the pure basics on this page.
As you select your floor, do your best to match it with the theme of your man cave. You did figure out a theme, right? It’s much easier to customize your man cave from the ground up (sorry, I had to) if you know it ahead of time. If you can’t think of a theme, just go with black. No one sees the wine you spilled on the floor three months ago if it’s black!
Every now and then you’ll come across an insulated garage. They’re almost always attached to the home, rather than out on their own. In some ways, a garage with no insulation is advantageous. This allows you to easily set up extra wiring and plumbing you want for your man cave. On the other hand, no one likes the extra work of insulating a whole room. Once you have all your wiring and piping done, go ahead and buy about 25% blanket insulation than you need (mistakes happen, so plan for them). Make sure it has no formaldehyde for health reasons (that type of insulation is not for living spaces).
Keep in mind that there are things to insulate other than your garage walls. Add some to your ceiling to soundproof the room and either switch your garage door to an insulated one or find some sort of padding to attach to your current door. The better you insulate your garage, the hardier your decorations, furniture, and electronics will be in the long run. Even if you like the cold, try to make the room temperature as steady as possible. And speaking of steady temperature…
You’ll want a steady air flow! Garages are stuffy, and if you have no ventilation when the summer hits, they’ll quickly become a sauna. Connect at least two vents to the house’s main air conditioning or heating system. This greatly decreases the risk of fire in your room. You should also make sure there are two functional exits from the garage. If a fire does happen to take over the room, you can quickly exit from the other side. If you want to know more about constructing a safe little hovel for yourself, I describe it in detail on this page.
A small window or side door also does wonders for the lighting and space of a room. Even a small man cave garage feels roomy once it literally opens itself up into the outside world a bit more. If you make any kind of ‘secret’ escape routes, update the floor plan changes with your city so firefighters will know where they are. All this work does more than keep your room safe. It also keeps out bugs, mice, snakes, centipedes, and other invaders that might like the cozy room you’ve made for yourself in the garage.
Now that you have that whole making-the-garage-livable stuff down, grab some furniture and throw it in. The nice part about garages is that they can fit even the weirdest furniture. They also don’t have to match the stuff in the house, making your man cave all the more exclusive. If you want to put a huge Dallas Cowboys-themed coffee table in the center of your room, no one will stop you. Anyways, before you throw in too much stuff, think about the theme you’re giving to your man cave.
Do your best to match the furniture to your theme. In example, a rustic theme could use wooden furniture, leather furniture, and sometimes regular old fabric furniture with tannish or natural colors. Straw and wood are really the best way to go, though, and even less expensive than the unrelated furniture.
For the rest of your decor, continue to stick with the theme. Modern themes—such as a room dedicated to a sports team or video gaming—are much easier to get across with decor than furniture. Find yourself some posters, get yourself a man cave sign, and start setting up your entertainment system. All of these establish your man cave as a separate entity from your home…even if your garage is still attached to the house! Plus, good decor makes the man cave a nice place to hang out it. Every object is a little bit of personality that you put into that place. If you need more man cave ideas, I mention quite a few of them for making a garage into the perfect man cave on this post.
That should just about cover it. Now that you’re finished learning how to man cave a garage, it’s time to put that knowledge into practice. Make your space livable and start adding in decor that suits you. Go with the theme, even if that theme is just stuff you like. Make sure everything is safe so that you don’t end up with regrets in the long run. More than anything else, set some time aside throughout the process to marvel at your work. It’s perfectly fine to feel pride in the things that you make and looking at things grow is rewarding in and of itself. Take pictures of your process so that you remember all the work you went through. Not only is it good to show off, but it might help you later when you try similar projects. Enjoy the nice life in your brand new, man caved garage!