The Great Escape: How to Build the Perfect Man Cave

Every bloke needs a bit of space where he can grab a cold beer, put his feet up and enjoy his interests in peace. If you’ve got an unused room or garage you’re wondering what to do with, it’s time you transform it into the man cave of your masculine dreams. It’ll be the perfect place to play video games, watch sporting matches on TV, or bash away on a musical instrument – whatever your heart desires. Here’s how to get started.

Image credit: Red Ted Art
Image credit: Red Ted Art

Clean it up

Yes, yes, unfortunately man cave building does start with the boring stuff. Whether you’ve decided to turn a room, a shed or a garage into your man zone, chances are it’s currently home to a build-up of random old junk. Throw out any rubbish, as well as old items you don’t need anymore (high school mix tapes and reference books you haven’t looked at since the internet became a thing, we’re looking at you).

You need a clean, fresh canvas to build from – so get tidying! You can also find a new home for anything that might still be useful. In fact, your old posters or records plus new picture frames equals man cave wall art sorted! Don’t forget to look in any cupboards up on shelves – you never know what’s been hiding there for years.

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Image credit: Red Ted Art
Image credit: Red Ted Art

Ensure privacy for your secret men’s business

Man caves are no fun if everyone knows what goes on inside them. They’re meant to be mysterious, so you’ll definitely want to insulate and soundproof the walls before you proceed any further.

You can soundproof your room in a variety of ways. Sticking up acoustic wedge panelling is one of the easier ways, as it comes with self-adhesive backing so you can do it yourself. Alternatively, if you’re a big reader you can simply install bookshelves all along the walls, as the books provide a great sound barrier. But if you don’t believe in doing things by halves, you can add a double wall and fill the gaps with insulation as an added sound absorber. This is a much more labour-intensive job, and will require professional assistance. Contact a builder like Acura Developments in Everton Hills for advice.

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Spark it up

Electricity is a man’s best friend. And you’re going to need a heck of a lot of it to power the TV, games consoles, sound system, fridge, treadmill, lava lamps (hell yeah), and whatever else you’re planning on filling your cave with. Get an electrician like McIntosh Electrical in Chatswood to make sure it’s all safe to switch on at once, as well as fix anything that might need some attention. A safe man cave is a happy man cave.

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Image credit: Love Home Designs
Image credit: Love Home Designs

Construct a bar (with a mini-fridge for beer)

If there’s one thing you definitely need in your man cave, it’s chilled bevvies. And it’s easier than you might think to build your own bar with a few materials from a hardware shop. All you need to do is build a basic wooden frame out from an existing wall, constructed to your ideal height, and make sure there’s enough room behind it to walk around and store your slabs. Then simply nail plywood to the outside faces of the frame, adding artistic trim if you desire.

After that, nail another piece of plywood to the top of your frame to make the bar top. It should overhang the outside edge slightly, though you can make it as fancy or as plain as you like. Screw some supports into the back of the bar walls to secure some shelving to the inside of the bar, stain it all with wood varnish, and Bob’s your uncle!

All that manly work will no doubt have made you thirsty, but thankfully your last step here is to plug in your mini fridge (or a full-size fridge – live your best life, dude).

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Image credit: Publitias
Image credit: Publitias

Zhoozh it up

Don’t listen to what anyone else tells you – painting and decorating are most manful endeavours, so whip out your brushes and prepare to get busy.

Firstly, fill in any cracks and holes in the walls with plaster, and then sand down the plastered surface so everything is smooth. This will make the walls a bit dusty, so wash them down with sugar soap before taping up any hardware and fixtures such as power points and window frames. This will help prevent paint from spilling on them. Then you can start painting, using rollers for big surfaces and a paintbrush for any tricky spots. Make sure you do an undercoat before your actual chosen colour, as this will ensure a better finish. Once the paint is dry, you’ll then be free to add your posters, trophies, and collection of novelty mugs.

But if you can’t be bothered going through the process yourself, you can always hire a painter such as Final Stroke Painting & Decorating in Manly to get the job done for you.

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Image credit: Improve Net
Image credit: Improve Net

Carve out your comfort zone

You’ve cleaned, painted, built and insulated, so now it’s time for the fun part. Once the room is ready, you can finally start to move in all the good stuff that’ll make your man cave sing. Of course, this step depends entirely on your own personal passions. If you’re a gym junkie, you might like to add some exercise equipment. If it’s your dream to start a garage band, fill your man cave with musical instruments, and if you’re a gamer you can go over the top with arcade machines and every game console known to man. From pool tables to comfy seats to juke boxes, you can add whatever you want to make this space truly yours. Your private paradise awaits.

No two man caves are the same, but Phillip Edwards of Done and Dusted Handyman Services had this to say about his own ideal getaway space:

“I’d love a converted shearing shed with a mountain river in the backyard. Workshop at one end and an art studio at the other. Sounds like bliss.”

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Now that you’re all hidden away in your private man cave, it’s the perfect opportunity to check out our home improvement blog for more good stuff.


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