Defining a man cave
Converting a garage into a “man cave” is definitely less expensive and less time-consuming than building a new addition to your house. Whether your garage is connected to your home or is detached, many men find their own space as “therapeutic” and find the freedom to do such “manly” things, away from the other cares from the outside world or of running a household (most of the time at least).
Assessing the space of your garage, and your plans for it
You need to have a polished plan to achieve that nice man cave you’ve always dreamed of.
The first thing to make with your garage space is how extensive you want your conversion job to be. If you plan to use the garage all day as a living space or if you live in an area that is too hot or too cold, then you will have a lot to convert the space, including installing the heating system/air conditioning system and insulation, among other things. Otherwise, if you plan to use your space occasionally to do for manly activities with your friends, you’ll only need to do less work.
It’s always a personal decision on what you want to do with your garage. If you want it minimal, go on with it. If you otherwise want to convert it into a habitable space, and add other things such as a pool table, additional electronics, bar or house your toy collection etc., then you must install insulation or air conditioning system to keep the temperature regulated.
Cleaning out your garage
Cleaning out is one of the essential parts of garage planning. Take out all the junk from your garage and sort them. Make sure that each of the items is something that you and your family need. If a thing is not anymore needed, sell it on eBay or discard it altogether. For the things left that you still need to use, you must do some serious organizing. Transfer them to the basement, under the sink or in the laundry room. Do anything you can to clear out your garage space before proceeding to your man cave conversion plan.
Installing drywall and insulation
Apply insulation to your garage walls if you need it or if your garage doesn’t have it yet. Separate garages will need more of this because they don’t experience the warmth of the insulation or the coolness of the AC unlike garages attached to a home.
If your garage is seen as unfinished, you can simply install the insulation between the wall studs and seal the insulation by drywall. Then coat the drywall with paint of your choice color. If your garage already has drywall, then you can get by with fewer steps. As the drywall is already installed or as you hang it, take note on where the studs are. You most likely need studs to hang basketball hoops, darts, cabinets, beer neon signs, picture frames to place photos of their favorite sports teams or athletes, or flat screen wall mounts.
As most garages have concrete slabs, adding flooring to your garage should be a relatively easier step. The feel of the concrete floor can really get cold, so you really might need to add some insulation and floorboards. If you already have floorboards, considering installing carpeting. If you want your floor to remain as a concrete slab, then cover it with rugs or find remaining carpet pieces for your floor.
We know that many guys would rather leave the garage flooring bare in concrete, but if you’re going to shoot hoops, play the pool or darts, at least you should better lay down some kind of a protective flooring. The perfect flooring for this should be interlocking, rubberized tiles with a diamond plate. These types of flooring come in many designs and colors, and give your man-cave space a more complete look and complement the walls that you’ve worked hard on.
If your garage ceiling is unfinished, you can leave it that way especially if you intend your man cave to have that “industrial style” or “barn style” look. But if you don’t want to see the beams and the rafters, you will otherwise install drywall and paint it. Whether your ceiling is exposed or covered with drywall, you still need to install lighting fixtures through it, particularly if you aren’t installing any AC to your garage. Just like with doing with your walls, take note where the joists are, so you can install overhead or hanging light fixtures over your pool table, for instance.
Adding furnishing and “man-cave”-y items
You can put furniture from your home (if you intend to have a cost-effective conversion) or shop for new furnishings and other items. But you should buy something where you guys can sit on — a couch, a stool, or a huge bean bag even. Not to mention that you have to have food and drinks to offer to your guests, so you need to buy at least a small fridge or wine and/or beverage coolers.
As is this your space, this is the chance for you to personalize it with the right fixtures, decors, and any other “man cave” stuff. Most men would be happy to see their man-caves with traces in their former selves — garages, that is — with mechanical tools hanging on the walls or camping gear displayed in the corner. You can also make your man cave as an informal pub or a dive bar where you can drink and socialize with your buddies. Remember that your man cave is a place relax and unwind, so make sure that you provide ample room for your buddies to loosen up between pool or shuffleboard games. If you’re contented with just having beer pong with your pals, you won’t mind sitting on stacked-up apple crates. But if you’ve moved up to the ranks of the billiards and state-of-the-art home theater then it’s time invest good quality furnishings and appliances. You should also add some things such as a humidor, a kegerator, or a wine rack to complete the “manliness” of your man cave.