How to Build an Affordable Man Cave in 8 Steps

by | Jan 9, 2022

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Nowhere does a man feel more at home than in his own space. Perhaps that’s why so many men dream of having an awesome man cave inside of their home – a retreat designed for him and his pals to spend some quality time together playing cards, watching sports or action movies, and just doing “guy stuff.”

Man caves come in all shapes and sizes, from sports bar-themed or swanky lounge to a crash-pad that resembles an old college dorm room. When deciding where to locate your man cave, you’ll want to find a space that has some privacy and, for most people, basements are the most popular choice.

Quite often, when we picture a man cave, we imagine a tucked-away space, like a finished basement, away from the wife, the kids, and the stresses of everyday life. If your home doesn’t have a basement, you might consider converting an existing office or guest room. Regardless of the space you choose or your particular style, the key to building a man cave is to construct it the right way without breaking the bank.

On average, the cost of building a man cave falls between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the space. If you’re converting an unfinished basement, it could cost as much as $40,000, depending on the scope of work. Or, if the finished space already exists, you can create it yourself, for much less, by following some simple steps.  


1. Choose a theme 

When creating an affordable man cave in your home, the first step is choosing a theme based on your interests and unique personality. If you’re a movie buff and plan on creating a home theater atmosphere, film posters and memorabilia may be the way to go. If you are a NASCAR fan, you may want to deck it out with racing paraphernalia.

A basketball themed mancave – Photograph by Rich McMullin

2. Find accessories and decorations

When it comes to decorating a man cave around a particular theme, the possibilities are endless. You can affordably accessorize your man cave walls with posters that you can purchase online, affordably. You may also want to display existing items that have been stored away in the attic, such as trophies, team jerseys, or other memorabilia you may have collected over the years.

3. Paint 

A coat of paint can go a long way in transforming an existing space into the perfect man cave in a way that is easy and affordable. Be sure to spend the extra cash on quality materials, such as good brushes and paints featuring a washable finish. This will help you save money down the road. If you’re ready to spend a little extra money, you may want to consider some new flooring, especially if you’re locating your new man cave in the basement.

4. Find the perfect TV

Every man cave needs a flatscreen TV, and those can be expensive, so be sure to shop around. While having an 85-inch flatscreen television may be your dream, it may not fit into your man cave budget. The good news is, there are lots of quality 50- to 55-inch flatscreen options available at an affordable cost.

5. Purchase furniture

Consider furnishing your new man cave using secondhand items rather than breaking your budget by buying new furniture. It’s easy to find affordable secondhand furniture at local garage sales and thrift stores. You might even find some secondhand furniture for free by asking friends and family.

6. Find the fridge

A man cave needs a fridge. There’s no question about that. However, purchasing a full-sized fridge may be a bit overboard. A man cave fridge only needs to be big enough to hold enough food or beverages for a single night of entertainment. The cost of purchasing and running a full-sized fridge may be high, so consider a dorm-room-style fridge instead. You can also save a few bucks buying on your refrigerator by buying used or from an outlet store where you can find affordable “scratch-and-dent” and refurbished items.

7. Stock the bar

You’re probably going to want a bar in your new man cave, and the good news is, there are many affordable bar options on the market. Bars are pretty basic and, if you are handy, you may want to consider building a bar yourself. If you are looking for something a bit more extravagant, like a bar with running water, you’ll have to spend a bit more money by bringing in a NJ home remodeleing team.

8. Make it unique

Are you thinking about having some old-school gaming options inside your man cave? No, we’re not talking about Atari or Nintendo. We’re thinking ping-pong, billiards, or foosball. Gaming tables are a great addition to a man cave, but quality tables can cost serious money. Shop around at thrift stores, yard sales, and consignment shops, where these items often tend to show up. An NJ interior design team can help you bring your craziest dreams to life!

Consider a Full Basement Remodel or Conversion

If you’re like most people, there is a good chance that you’re not using your home’s below-grade space to its full potential. If you’re serious about building a man cave and you have a little extra money to spend, why not do it the right way and make it part of a whole basement remodel? With a complete basement conversion to finished space, you can not only get the man cave you always dreamed of but improve the quality of life in your home and add value.

The New Jersey basement remodeling experts at Interior Excellence have served countless satisfied customers in New Jersey with quality basement refinishes and remodels for three decades, many of which feature fantastic man caves. Contact us today to find out how our experts can help you.