The concept of the “Man Cave” was born out of the unused space a lot of people had in their basements. It was originally meant to give men a place to hideout and do things like watch sports or other TV shows that the rest of the family wasn’t interested in.
Though not every home has a basement, and even the ones that do might not be suitable for a livable “Man Cave” space. In a scenario like this, the next obvious option is to move to the second most under-utilized space in the home, the garage.
If your garage has an unused stall, or you simply prefer to park the cars outside in the driveway, then you might be tempted to transform it into a new man cave. Though before you dive full-on into it, there are a few other details that need to be minded.
In this article, we will take a closer look at some popular garage man cave ideas, as well as the effective storage solutions necessary to let you free up space.
Finding Alternative Storage For Non-Man Cave Items
Right off the bat, claiming the garage as a man cave isn’t going to be as easy as planting a flag, plugging in an old TV set, and putting your feet up on some old dusty boxes. For a lot of people, the easiest way to get the “All-Clear” to convert part or all of the garage as a man cave starts with finding an effective way to relocate items that are already being stored there.
After all it was previously wasted square footage that was just taking up space with old dusty boxes and perhaps a handful of half-finished projects. Giving these things an alternative place to live not only affirms your idea, but it also get them out of your way.
Consider the following options for relocating existing garage storage.
A lot of garages have unused attic space above or in the roof truss. You might be able to tastefully lace some heavy-duty boards up there to support boxes of stored items. Though a better option is to install a permanent floor with a traditional pull-down access ladder. You can then install insulation and drywall to produce a ceiling for your garage man cave. This will both give you functional storage, as well as helping to insulate your man cave for all four seasons!
Overhead Pull-Down Storage Bins
Spring-loaded technology has advanced to the point where it can hold some serious shelving weight. They tend to be easy to install, and it gives you a very convenient way to get items up off the floor, yet still be able to pull them down at a moment’s notice without having to crawl up and down a rickety ladder.
Free-Standing Garage Shelves
Free-standing garage shelves are available with an incredibly pound-per-shelf rating. This makes them a great option for putting up a lot of heavy boxes or storage totes. Just make sure to label each one clearly so you or anyone else in the family can find what they are looking for.
Peg Hook Wall Systems
One of the easiest ways to claim some garage space as a man cave is to repurpose an existing workshop. To do this, you will need to give hand and power tools an organized place to live. Peg hook systems are very easy to install, and there are a lot of great hooks that can hold more than just a spare saw or hammer. This might just give you the floor space you need to slide in a couch and hang a flat-screen TV.
Bringing In Power & Connectivity
One of the problems a lot of people run into when transforming their garage into a man cave is a lack of available outlets and the wires to connect to communication technology. Tangled extension cords, overwhelmed surge protectors, and ethernet cables duct-taped in place, can be an ugly, as well as ineffective solution.
In a perfect world, you could run all your power lines, TV, and computer hookups through the ceiling where they are out of the way. Though even if you can’t do this, you should consider running them through a conduit or Panduit that keeps all the wires together and organized. You might even be able to run these protected tubes through walls or the ceiling to spare you the visual eyesore.
If this all sounds like a bit too much, you might want to consider hiring an electrical contractor to make sure all the installation is up to code. They can add circuit breakers to the power panel, as well as run ethernet and cable wires safely from the main connections in the house to your new garage man cave.
Separate The Man Cave From The Rest Of The Garage
If you have a multi-stall garage, and you are repurposing the third stall as your new man cave, then you are going to want to separate it from the rest of the functional garage. Especially if you are going to have vehicles coming in and out of the rest of the garage during the cold weather months of the year.
The perfect world solution is to install a fully insulated wall with a heavy-duty access door. Though this might be a little cost-prohibitive or simply outside your skillset. If you are averse to hiring a contractor to take care of this, or you are in a rental property that won’t let you make permanent changes to the garage you can still improvise a wall.
This might be something tasteful like a tall Japanese dressing screen, or a portable room divider. In a pinch, you could simply install a sheet of stained plywood to one side of the row of free-standing garage shelves.
Plan For Lighting
The lighting you choose for your garage man cave will make a major difference. A lot of garages have very poor lighting installed in them. While overhead lighting is essential, it can cause a lot of glare on your TV screen.
The following are other lighting options to consider for adding ambient or directional lighting.
Wall Sconce Lights
Wall sconces are a great way to add ambient lights. You can set them to cast up or down to accent wall art or special display areas.
They can be plugged in or linked to outlets that are activated by a light switch. They are a great way to light corners or slightly darker areas in your garage man cave.
One of the nice things about light-emitting diodes is that they can be used to create directional light. They also tend to use very little wattage, to the point that some can be battery operated. It’s a great option for garage man caves where you can’t easily run additional electrical lines.