Man alone in front of computer

Whether you live with family, roommates or by yourself, there are always distractions. It helps to have a separate space to escape to. A place where you can zero out the noise of the day and focus on a creative project, relax and unwind, or cultivate a hobby: a “man cave.”

Here are a few ways you can make your man cave work for your unique tastes and interests.

The Library

Elegant home library with built-in shelves and wingback chairs

Are you someone who fantasizes about wall-to-wall shelving and antique library furniture? Converting a bedroom into a study is a low-cost option since the room is already outfitted with basics like lighting and electricity.

Man reading a book at home

Built-in bookshelves and hardwood flooring will give the space that sophisticated look. Design with classic, dark-stained wood materials and stock the shelves with your favorites. Furnish the room with vintage accent pieces, like old-fashioned reading lamps or even a card catalogue.

Spare Room to Library
Expense Low High
Hardwood Flooring (200 sq ft) $1,600 $2,000
Built-In Bookshelf 2,000 $5,000
Rug $100 $300
Wingback Chair $200 $500
Desk $200 $2,000
Vintage Card Catalogue $200 $300
Total $4,300 $10,100

The Workshop

Man working on project in garage

If you enjoy hand-crafted furniture, bike building and repair, or any other hobby that demands square footage, this is the man cave for you.

Garage woodworking workshop

The garage is the best place for this escape. Hobbies like these can be noisy, and it will be less stressful if you can make as much noise as necessary without disturbing the household or neighbors. These projects can also involve noxious chemicals. You’ll want to be able to raise that garage door or open windows to air out the space if necessary.

This man cave doesn’t have to be 100% sawdust and power tools. Think outside of the box to get the most out of your garage renovation. Split the space into two areas, one for working and one for planning and design. Consider installing a partition, such as sliding barn wood doors, to distinguish between the areas. Outfit the working side with a workshop cabinet and any tools you may need. Install hardwood flooring on the side where you’ll arrange furniture and other amenities you might want.

Converting a garage averages about $11,000, because you’ll be adding a few necessities like insulation and drywall.

Garage to Workshop
Expense Low High
Hardwood Flooring for Half (ex: 14 x 22 garage) $1,000 $1,500
Convert Interior Walls $1,700 (regular) $2,000 (digitized)
Add Insulation $300 $400
Heating and Cooling $500 $2,000
Additional Outlets $75 $500
Workshop Lighting $100 (regular) $300
Furniture Set $600 $3,000
Workshop Cabinet Set $500 $2,000
Partition (ex: Hanging/Sliding Barnwood doors) $200 $2,500
Total $4,975 $14,200

The Studio

Home Recording Artist in Studio

Have difficulty focusing in a common or lackluster space? Physical or digital artists, musicians, dancers can all benefit from having a man cave designed to inspire and focus their creativity energy.

Sun Room Studio Addition

Just because it’s called a “cave” doesn’t mean it has to be dark! Bright rooms are great for opening the mind to musings. If you’re looking to create an art or design studio for yourself, consider converting or even building a sunroom or windowed shed.

The cost to build a sunroom can be pretty high, around $15,000, but building it can add value to your home and offer lots of conveniences. Building a shed, on the other hand, only averages around $3,000 and can make for a perfect artist’s oasis.

Shed or Sun Room to Design Studio
Expense Low High
Easel $20 $300
Drafting Table $200 (regular) $3,000 (digitized)
Writing Desk $100 $500
Furniture Set $600 $3,000

The Cellar

Man mixing a home-brewed beverage

The wine or beer enthusiast will find that turning the basement into a man cave is a great fit. If your basement is already finished, you’ll probably only need to budget for appliances and furniture.

Finished modern basement bar

Unfinished basements will need to be finished and remodeled, which costs an average of $19,000. This involves framing, putting up drywall for ceilings and walls, installing lighting and laying flooring. This renovation has a high return on investment, though, and will add significant value to your home.

Basement to Cellar
Expense Low High
Refinish and Remodel $11,000 $27,000
Furniture Set $600 $3,000
Wine Cabinet $2,500 $10,000
Wet Bar $2,000 $12,000
Total $16,100 $52,000

There really is a style for every taste, when it comes to designing a man cave for yourself. The design can be as simple as making over a bedroom, or as complicated as remodeling an entire basement. Your investment doesn’t just serve your privacy needs, either. You can turn this project into an opportunity to add value to your house.


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