man cave

9 Great Man Cave Hacks That Won’t Break the Bank of Dad

An old couch here, an elsewhere-forbidden neon beer sign there – if you have a man cave, it’s probably not the most planned-out room in your house. Unless you’re among the most dedicated cave dwellers, your first man cave likely came together in pieces and could, therefore, use a good tune-up.

Luckily, you came to the right place. If you’re looking to impress guests this football season, check out these man cave hacks that will take your man cave to the next level.

The Bar – Kegerators, Bottle Openers, and Liquor Dispensers


Even if the rest of your man cave sucks, if the bar serves its purpose well enough, no one will really notice. Sure, a wet bar is a great start, but what do you have on tap? With your own keg on tap your man cave bar will be the envy of your friends, however, beer tap systems can cost thousands of dollars and require professional maintenance.

Instead, go DIY with a kegerator. With nothing more than an old fridge and an online kit, you can build your own keg fridge for far less than a bar tap. And nothing is better than drinking beer from a tap you built yourself.

If you prefer your beer in a bottle, a wall-mounted bottle opener is an absolute must in your cave. A portable bottle opener is just begging to get lost and while someone may have an opener on his keychain, why leave things to chance? It’s easy to find an awesome selection of wall-mounted openers online, but don’t forget to build a box below the opener to catch bottle caps for easy disposal.

While a nice liquor display never goes out of style, a liquor dispenser makes it easier to pour shots when your team scores a touchdown. You can find wall mounted or freestanding dispensers online, but the DIY options definitely look cooler.

The Entertainment System – TV Size, Proper Sound, and Speedy Internet

The TV is likely the centerpiece of your man cave, but are you getting the most out of it? If you want a bigger screen so you can better see when the refs are being idiots, there are a few options. You can get a bigger TV or look into a projector (here’s a great guide to help you decide).

man cave

Or you can simply rearrange the room – simply moving the couch closer to your screen serves the same function as buying a bigger screen. Multiply the size of your TV screen by two – that’s how far away from the screen you should sit for optimal viewing.

And while you’re rearranging, don’t neglect the sound system! If you already have a surround sound system, make sure you’re getting the most out of it by using a layout guide and testing different arrangements.

You may have already started streaming the occasional game online – a growing trend. But to ensure your guests don’t bite your head off whenever there’s a network hiccup, hardwire your set top box to your modem. Never trust Wi-Fi when live sports are on the line.

The Extras – Video Game Arcades, Lamps, and DIY Decor

Arcade game

Nothing makes a man cave cooler than an old school video game arcade cabinet. And while most of these vintage setups can cost thousands of dollars (and only feature one game), you can build your own for much cheaper.

What’s more, these DIY cabinets can feature thousands of titles, letting you relive your glory days without dropping a single quarter. Keep your eyes on local classifieds for broken arcade machines you can gut and restore and your cave will have your classic gamer friends drooling.

Lamps are probably one of the best ways to really add a personalized touch to your man cave. Liquor bottles, antlers, old musical instruments – basically anything you can run a wire through and slap a lampshade on can serve as lighting that adds your own unique flair.

And if you can’t dedicate as many financial resources to your hideaway as you’d like, re-purposed items will look right at home as man cave decor. Cinder blocks can make rugged end tables, pallets work great as a bar shelf or even the bar itself, and old car parts have endless utility.

Spelunking in Style

Getting your man cave ready for the new football season and beyond shouldn’t cost you a ton of time or money. Look for creative hacks and always keep your eyes peeled for decor you can convert and incorporate into your cave.

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Jonathan Deesing is a home improvement and real estate writer who has written for, Modernize, and Apartment Guide. When he's not fixing up his duplex he splits time between running and beekeeping.

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