Let’s Get Manly
OK, so you’ve decided you need a man cave, because, after all, who doesn’t? It’ll give you space to be as burly as you want to without disturbing the neighbors or scaring your poor family half to death.
It will be your oasis, your own private domain. In it, you can shout as loud as you like at the referee, crank your amp to 11, max out your bench press, or you know, maybe just curl up and read a book in peace and quiet. It’s your man cave, so you can do whatever you want, provided nobody ends up in jail or the hospital.
We’ve established the merits and necessity of the man cave, but the question remains: where is the proper place for a man cave? If you only have a basement or garage, then the choice is made for you. Go forth and conquer! But let’s assume you have a garage and a basement available for man cave conversion.
Is one a better choice than the other? What are the pros and cons of each?
Why Basements Rule
So why should you consider installing your top-secret man cave / lair in the basement? First, there’s the obvious: it’s underground! Just like Batman’s bat cave, your personal hideaway will exist beneath the surface of the earth. How cool is that?
Besides the cool-factor, there’s the added benefit of built-in soundproofing. Whether it’s band practice or a raucous Super Bowl party, being basically surrounded by dense earth will definitely cut down on outside noise. Another advantage to putting your man cave in the basement is the fact that basements usually offer plenty of square footage to play around with.
Why Basements Suck
If you’re going to turn your basement into a man cave, that means you’ll have to finish the basement, and that could spell the makings of a serious home improvement project. Making a basement pleasantly habitable comes with its own set of challenges. You’ll have to put up walls and ceilings, add insulation, and either learn how to properly wire the place, or possibly hire someone to do it for you. You’re probably going to need to do something about those dingy floors, too, but that’s your call.
Either way, it’s a substantial project, and a thoroughly manly one, at that. You’ll feel like a boss when you finish it, but be ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Why Garages Rule
The biggest benefit to having your man cave in the garage is that huge garage door! When the weather is nice, you can have manly time in the fresh air. Picture you and your buddies shooting pool, watching the big game, or having a Stratocaster / Les Paul jam in the warm summer breeze. Nice, right?
Garages have the added benefit of generally being wired to code, and some already have drywall installed, so you’ll have less work to do when completing your conversion. Not only that, but you won’t be carrying any pinball machines or jukeboxes down a flight of stairs – you’ll just back the truck-full o’ treasures up to the garage door, and Bob’s your uncle.
Why Garages Suck
Garage conversions are great in some ways, but they’re less desirable in others. They don’t tend to do much for your home’s resale value; in fact, they may even lower it, unless the next buyer is every bit as enthusiastic as you were about having a man cave and doesn’t care about indoor storage for the car. Even then, they may use it as ammo for price negotiation.
Then, there’s the matter of soundproofing. Whereas the basement is surrounded by earth, the garage has no such luxury. You’ll definitely need to beef up the soundproofing with some solid insulation, double drywall, or soundproofing mineral wool if you don’t want your next Super Bowl party to disturb the neighbors.
Finally, you’ll need to think about security. You’re probably going to stock your man cave with all sorts of enviable gear – a big screen TV, an X-Box, maybe a surround-sound system or a vintage arcade machine. With all that burglar bait in your garage, you’ll definitely want to beef up the security system.
Go Forth and Man Cave
Wherever you decide to build your man cave, we hope it turns out even better than you’re picturing it. Building a man cave can be a lot of work, but in the end, having your own space to be yourself and do your thing is well-worth the effort.