How to Make a Man Cave Shed

Having a space of your own where you can bring your friends over and escape the fast-paced life outside is the dream of any modern family man.

The concept of a man cave has been around for a couple of decades now. Such spaces have proven to help men regain their sense of power, focus, and belonging. A man cave is more than just a ‘playroom.’

If you have the backyard space for it, why not consider a man cave shed? The process is fairly easy, after all.

In this post, we take you through the 11 main steps to turn your shed into a man cave and what you need to know before taking on such a project.

Let’s get to it!

Factors to Consider Before Turning Your Shed Into a Man Cave

Transforming a shed that’s no longer serving a purpose into a man cave can be a pretty big deal. Even if you’re starting from scratch and buying a new shed altogether, there are still a few things you need to keep in mind before getting to work.

1. Space

The first and most important question to ask yourself is, do I have the space to turn my shed into the man cave of my dreams or not?

Small sheds, for instance, can’t be revamped into a pool room or a mini home theatre. On the other hand, larger sheds can seem promising, but overcrowding them is a mistake that many men make.

A good compromise is to plan the design of your man cave according to your shed’s size. Keep in mind the measurements you’ll be taking down and avoid going overboard.

2. Budget

Money plays a big part in turning your shed into a man cave. From installing amenities to bringing in new furniture, this transformation is a hefty investment.

So, if you’re on a tight budget, be smart with your decisions. For starters, you can opt to install appliances, such as central cooling systems, on your own. Dollar stores and vintage shops will be your go-to for used equipment.

If you decide to splurge, though, why not take down the walls of your shed and create an open space? It’s a good idea for those who have outdoor pools or want to set up a barbecue station.

3. Schedule

Never underestimate how much effort and time you’ll be investing into transforming your shed into a man cave.

That’s why it’s best to put together a schedule and to write down what should be done in an organized manner.

A detailed plan will also help you delegate any big tasks you may need professional assistance with.

We recommend check and to-do lists since they’re the most efficient, plus, they give you a sense of accomplishment.

4. Purpose

Other questions you should ask before planning a man cave shed are, who am I going to allow inside? Who will this place be exclusively for?

Depending on your answer, your man cave’s theme will differ. If your aim is a private space for you and your male friends, then a smoking room or a bar are great options.

Some men, on the other hand, may not want to keep their kids out. In that case, consider a gaming arcade instead.

11 Steps to Turn Your Shed Into a Man Cave

Now that you have a rough idea of what you’re getting yourself into by choosing to have a man cave shed, it’s time to take you through a step-by-step guide on how to successfully pull this project off.

Below, you’ll find the main 11 phases of your transforming plan.

1. Spring Clean Your Shed

Any shed doesn’t get more than a few visits a year, so they’re not, in essence, made to be livable places. Their typical aim is storage and putting away heavy gardening equipment, such as tractors or lawnmowers.

In other words, your shed’s ground is no doubt full of dirt, with its ceiling covered in spider webs, and its walls untreated. Your vision for a man cave won’t work with such conditions.

Here’s a list of what you need to do in this step:

  • Categorize the contents of your shed
  • Throw away anything disposable you come across
  • Equipment you may need should be stored elsewhere
  • If you find mould spots, wear a mask and bleach the whole shed
  • Treat the places where mildew grew with anti-mould paint
  • Wash and air out the space
  • Sand down splinters found on the walls and floor
  • Carefully get rid of insects and pests or have a professional do it instead

2. Take Your Shed’s Measurements

Once your shed is in tiptop condition, you now have a blank canvas you can safely work on. The first thing you need to do is take down the shed’s measurements.

The standard size for a man cave can either be 4 x 6 meters in length and width, or 5 x 8 for relatively bigger sheds.

Either way, the shape and dimensions of the place play an important role in choosing what your man cave will look like later.

Planning the layout, for example, and picking the right interior furniture are a few things taking down measurements can help with. It’ll also help with installing electrical outlets where you’ll need them most.

3. Spruce up Your Shed’s Exterior

Changing the shed’s exterior is an optional step. Assuming you have the money for it, seek a professional builder to help you carry out this phase.

If you’re on a budget, though, and instead have the woodworking skills to do this yourself, maybe consider one or two of the following ideas:

  • Repainting the outside walls a bold, solid colour that makes the shed stand out
  • Going for a muted tone, such as green or brown, that’ll blend in with your backyard
  • Tearing down a wall of your choice to open the shed to a pool or a garden
  • Putting up LED lights to illuminate your man cave at night
  • Installing as many windows as desired to give the illusion of a bigger space
  • Setting up a steel, double door with a key and lock for security

4. Install the Proper Utilities Needed

The proper utilities you need will depend on what purposes you wish to serve with your man cave.

If you’re planning on adding a minibar in there, then installing water pipes for plumbing is a necessity.

Setting up electrical connections for your TV, stereo, and other appliances should also be on your to-do list. We advise that you hire professionals to carry out either step.

Keep in mind that, in case you want WiFi access in your man cave, you’ll need to use a router extender or connect a long enough wire from the shed to your home.

We suggest, instead, that you contact your internet company and have them lay the necessary groundwork.

Please note that you can’t return to this step after moving on to another. For example, it’s not possible to install another outlet, after you’re done insulating your shed.

5. Weatherproof Your Shed

Weatherproofing is by far the most time and money-consuming task on our list, but it’s also extremely necessary. This is an unskippable step because to weatherproof your shed is to prolong the life expectancy of your man cave.

You should start with the ground first. Bring in professionals to check that your shed has ground support. If not, have some installed so that your man cave is protected from groundwater. In the long run, this helps prevent mould and pest problems.

Next comes the roof. A leaking ceiling, or one that isn’t strong enough, won’t withstand certain weather conditions such as rain and strong winds. Avoid these issues by setting up roof felt and covering it with waterproof, patio latex paint.

Last but not least, take the proper measures to protect your shed’s interior from mould. Otherwise, your man cave will pose a health risk. Make sure the place is properly ventilated and that you coat the walls with prime anti-mould paint.

6. Set Up an Insulation System

Insulating your shed is optional. Normally, setting up an insulation system isn’t necessary, but since you’re going to be using the space more frequently, insulating will prove worth it.

Carrying out this step will keep your shed warm during the harsh winters and provide a cool place to chill in on hot days.

That said, if you’re on a budget, you should use fibreglass or bubble wrap as insulating materials. They’re best to cover the walls with. The ground, however, should be insulated using a breathable membrane or a thick carpet.

Another great yet expensive option is Rockwall. This material is good at reducing humidity levels, and in turn, preventing your shed from getting damp. Plus, it’s a sound-proof insulator.

7.  Put Up Drywall

The purpose of installing drywall is to cover up all the groundwork you’ve put in when finishing the above steps. Doing this task gives your man cave a smoother, more refurbished look.

Additionally, drywall will seal any holes that you may have initially missed, thus keeping away insects and crawling bugs.

You can choose to build drywall of wood panels if you’re aiming for a rustic theme. If not, it’s recommended that you stay away from wood products since they pose a fire hazard.

Regardless, with proper painting and installation, drywall will be relatively resistant to water damage.

8. Install a Central Thermostat

Choosing your preferred cooling or heating system will depend on the climate zone you currently live in.

For those on a budget, you can simply rely on wall-mounted or stand up fans during the summer and portable heaters in the winter.

If you’re looking to spend a little, then maybe install an AC or a central thermostat for a wider temperature range in your man cave.

More expensive options, though, may include setting up an underfloor heating and cooling system or installing a wooden stove. A fireplace is another great option to keep warm on cold days and that’s incredibly aesthetic.

9. Design a Blueprint Plan

The creative phase of your plan includes drawing a blueprint of what you want your man cave shed to look like.

Pick a theme you want to go with, whether modern or contemporary, and choose your furniture accordingly. Keep in mind the shed’s measurements you took beforehand and your man cave’s goal.

Functionality is what you’re mainly going to be looking for when designing the interior. A large shed can be easily cluttered if not careful. Smaller sheds are just as tough to furnish right too.

The features you should keep in mind are proper lighting, tasteful decor, plus the optimal placing of furniture and gadgets.

10. Shop for the Desired Interior

Making a list of the essential things your man cave just can’t do without will help you shop efficiently and with purpose.

Budget-friendly options include checking out shops that sell vintage and used furniture. Brand retailers such as Target, Walmart, and West Elm are other inexpensive options too.

Don’t disregard online shopping either.

11. Invest in a Grade A Security System

You’re bound to fill your man cave with valuables, which is why you’ll need to install a grade-A security system.

Here’s a list of ideas to ensure your man cave is secure:

  • Replace shed doors with heavy-duty, steel ones
  • Install a thick padlock, chain, and lock to seal the door
  • Choose reasonably priced CCTV cameras and put them where you feel is necessary
  • Set up blinds on your windows
  • If your budget allows, use reinforced glass to prevent break-ins

Wrapping Up

Investing the time and elbow grease into turning your shed into a man cave is totally worth it. Not only will you end up with a secluded space of your own, but you can have fun designing it.

Whatever you plan on, though, a well-insulated, weatherproof man cave that’s equipped with the right amenities will become the place where you and your buddies hang out on the weekends.

Enjoy spending time in your newly built man cave shed!