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Designing Your Man Cave - Everything You Need To Know!

Author: John Nanto

Designing Your Man Cave - Everything You Need To Know!

Book Series: Home Design And Renovation

The Man Cave - A Long Tradition

Since the dawn of time, mankind has sought a place of solitude away from the pressures that existed in the household. From the time men lived in caves and drew on walls, a separate area existed which allowed him to express himself on his own terms.

Perhaps that is taking it a bit far, but men have often looked for a way to have some peace and quiet or an area that they can call their own, but it has not always been common for them to have such an area. In recent decades, the existence of what has become known as man caves is growing increasingly popular. These areas, which exist both inside and outside of the home, provide the solitude that men need and allow them to express themselves in areas that are separate from what is typically designed and decorated by the female gender.

If you are also considering designing and building a man cave of your own, there are a number of things that you should keep in mind. Not only is it important for you to choose the location of your own private area, you also need to prepare it properly and to make choices that are going to bring out your own personality when all is said and done.

Throughout the pages of this book, you will find information that can help to guide you through the process. Regardless of whether you are new to the concept of building man caves or if you have been following this information online or through the popular series by the same name, you will find that the information contained within these pages is invaluable.

The most important thing for you to consider when building such a space is your own, personal needs. This room is not something that is designed for other members of the family and, although there may be times when they are invited into your own personal space, it should always be on your terms. The man cave is an area that is to be solely controlled by you from the start to the finish.

It is my hope that you not only learn how to design and build the perfect man cave, I want you have the time to enjoy it thoroughly. That is why I will cover the design and building of the man cave, as well as some of the more popular themes and the man cave essentials, which will most certainly find their way into your private area. I will even discuss some of the extras that can help to put your man cave over the top, so to speak. So without further ado, it's time to begin your project.

Choosing the Location

In designing your man cave, one of the most important things that you will need to consider is where it will reside. In some homes, there are going to be limited spaces available and you will need to work in one of those spaces if you truly want to have an area of your own. In other cases, you may have multiple areas available and you want to choose the one that is going to be best for the type of room that you are building.

In this chapter, we are going to discuss some of the more common areas that are used for building a man cave. Not only will we discuss some of the positive aspects of using these areas, we will also discuss some of the negative aspects and how to overcome them. Take some time to review the information available in this chapter. Even if you only have a limited amount of choices available to you, it can help to spark some ideas that will point you in the right direction.

Basement - The basement is perhaps one of the more common areas where a man cave is built. In fact, it is often the perfect area, because it is a cave-like environment before you begin doing anything to the room itself. It is important to understand, although a basement can make an excellent man cave, there are some problems associated with it that will need to be addressed.

One of the reasons why the basement is the perfect area for a man cave is because of its lack of natural lighting from the outdoors. In an actual cave, you are missing the lighting but you don't need to have such a dark environment, just because you are building a room in the basement. There are plenty of artificial lighting options that are available which can help to make it the perfect environment, regardless of whether you are trying to watch a movie or if you are sitting with friends around the bar, enjoying a cold drink.

You might be surprised with the number of different lighting options that are available. In many cases, it simply boils down to the type of light bulb that you are using. Some of those options include light emitting diodes (LEDs), compact fluorescent lights and incandescent lighting. You will want to have some of these lights available overhead, which will help to give the room the overall lighting that is needed. You will also want to have lighting that is specific to the environment, such as the bar light or perhaps the light that is hanging over the pool table or poker table. To save money, opt for LED or compact fluorescent lights. They may be more expensive at first, but they will end up saving you money in the long run.

Another issue that needs to be considered in many basements is keeping it dry. If you have ever had a difficulty with standing water in the basement or if it is an unusually wet environment, take the time to correct the issue before you begin planning out your man cave. If moisture in the air is the most common problem, it could lead to the development of mold and mildew. There are some high-quality dehumidifiers that can run in your basement full-time, helping to keep it dry and avoid those difficulties.

If standing water has been a problem in your basement in the past, you would absolutely want to correct this issue before you begin designing your man cave. There are several different ways to approach the issue but in most cases, it is going to require some significant work. One of the options available is to put a French drain around the outside of the foundation, which will collect the water in the area and transport it to lower land. You can also install a sump pump, but make sure that you have a backup electric source in case the electric should go out during a storm.

There is no doubt that a basement is the ultimate environment for a man cave. Provided you plan properly to avoid any difficulties that may be associated with it then you can have the perfect room for fun times with your friends.

Garage - The garage is also an excellent area for a man cave, and it lends itself naturally to being an area that is specific to men, as that is its general purpose. As is the case with basements, you want to ensure that you have proper lighting and that you correct any issues with moisture before you begin construction.

One of the options that are often considered when making your garage a man cave is incorporating the workshop, which is typically a part of the garage. You can even make your man cave in a corner of the garage and still have room for some storage or even a parked car in the other area of the garage. If you are building your man cave in such a way, you will want to frame it out so that you do not have to heat or cool the entire garage to the same temperature as your special environment.

Of course, if the focus of your man cave is the garage itself, there is nothing wrong with keeping the entire environment open. Just ensure the comfort of the environment and protect any electronics that may be in the man cave part of the garage from damage due to moisture, chemicals or temperature extremes.

Bonus Room - If you have a house that includes a bonus room, there is no need for you to look any further if you want to have a man cave. Traditionally, the bonus room is a large area of the home that is considered to be an extra area. It is commonly used as a family room, hobby room or specialty room that is of use to the entire family. If you can get the rest of your family to go along with it, it will most certainly make an excellent man cave as well.

Perhaps the most difficult part about making a bonus room into a man cave is keeping the rest of the family from using it as well. This is especially difficult if other members of the family have used the bonus room at some time in the past. If you find that your family is struggling with giving you the entire area, perhaps you could partition it so that part of the room is specific to your needs and part of the room is for the rest of the family. Just make sure that you soundproof it enough so that you can enjoy your part of the room without having the rest of the family complain while you are doing it.

Bedroom - If you are a bachelor or if you have an extra room in the home, you can make it into a man cave. If you design it properly, you can even make the bedroom into a man cave without losing its original function as an area where you would sleep.

When designed properly, a well hidden wall bed can give you the comfort that you need for a good night sleep without having to take up a lot of real estate in your man cave. You may even be able to hide it behind a desk, or even behind your entertainment center, provided you secure the electronics and other items in the area properly. Typically, you can expect a hidden wall bed to take up approximately 12 inches of space in the room. If space is of particular concern, you can have the wall bed come down sideways, so that it does not intrude too far into the room but still gives you a comfortable place to sleep.

You would also want to ensure that there is plenty of storage space available for clothing when you turn your bedroom into a man cave. If you have a small closet, there are plenty of options that are available to help you make the most out of the space that is available. You can also hide storage space behind some of the shelving in the room or even make a hidden door that goes into the storage area, which is a cool addition to any man cave.

Home Addition - If you are limited in options but you still must have a man cave of your own, you might want to consider a home addition. To be certain, a man cave can add value to the home, not only for you and your enjoyment of it but it can also boost the real estate value as well. That being said, a home addition is an expensive and time-consuming project so you must plan carefully if you are going to consider such an undertaking.

The beauty of adding to your home in order to include a man cave is the fact that it can be designed specifically for what you need. Rather than having to design the man cave around the available space, you actually build the available space to suit your needs.

One suggestion that I would have for you is to design the new addition to your home so that it can serve multiple purposes. Although you may use it as a man cave during the time that you live in the home, you would want it to be a functional room for those that might purchase your home at some point in the future.

Preparing Your Space

Once you have decided where you are going to build your man cave, it's important for you to have the area prepared properly. This will enable you to enter into the construction phase without any excessive difficulties that could occur if the preparation was not done.

Of course, preparing the space includes more than simply measuring the room and deciding what you are going to include in it. As will be discussed in this chapter, you need to harness any creativity that you may have and visualize what the space can become, even if it is just four walls and a floor at this point in the project. You also need to consider your inspiration for the project. Finally, you need to measure everything carefully so that you don't have any unnecessary delays when the project begins. Here are some of the specific things that will need to be done in order for you to build the ultimate man cave.

Visualize the Space - As was discussed, the first thing that needs to be done is to visualize the space. You need to consider the function of the room and how you would like the room to look before you can even begin considering measuring and purchasing the items that are going to go into it. What are some of the things that you can do which will help you to visualize the room properly?

First of all, you need to be realistic when you are considering building a man cave. In most cases, you are going to have a limited amount of space available and you are going to be working within a certain budget, which is going to limit the amount of construction that can be done. That is why you should consider, not only what you are going to put in the room but what you are not going to include in the room. Why is that important?

When you have a limited amount of space, you still may want to take the room in several different directions but it may not be possible to do so. Perhaps you are interested in having an area where you can lounge, watch TV, shoot some pool, play poker, drink some beer, take a nap, play some games and perhaps even get some work done. It is unlikely that you are going to have the space necessary to do all of those activities. Of course, there are times when you will be able to mix and match but all too often, you will need to consider the direction of the room and visualize what can be done with the function and the space that is available.

What Inspires You? - When you first considered building a man cave, what was it that inspired you? Did you simply want a space where you could be alone and enjoy some quiet time or did you want to have an area where you could invite some friends over to enjoy some male bonding? These are things that need to be considered and you need to think about the inspiration for the room to determine what can be done with it.

As an example, you may have always enjoyed shooting pool but it is not always convenient to do so at an outside location. If you have the space available for a pool table, which will be discussed later in this book, you have a central feature that will inspire you to develop the entire room. That inspiration can be anything, regardless of whether it is a home theater system, a computer gaming system, the local pub or your love of sports.

Admittedly, some men have a difficulty with discerning what inspires them. They may have some inclination as to why they want to build a man cave, but they may be reserved in getting in touch with the actual inspiration for it. If necessary, take some time to yourself in order to truly determine the inspiration for this room and it is more likely that you will have the perfect space for your own needs.

Measure Twice - Cut Once - Now that you have an idea of what you want to do with your man cave, it's time to get down to the first phase of the construction. We are also going to discuss constructing the man cave more in the next chapter, but in this chapter, we are going to discuss the measurement process.

More than likely, you have heard the saying that you should "measure twice and cut once". That is absolutely true if you want to save yourself a lot of headaches and money throughout the project. When constructing a man cave, you need to measure the available space carefully to determine if you have enough room to proceed with building the project as is desired.

It is also important to measure any items that are going to be in the room. It would be a real frustration if you had your room partially built and found out at a later time that the big-screen TV didn't fit into the area or perhaps your pool table was worthless, because you didn't have enough space available around the table. If necessary, make some temporary cardboard cutouts and put them into the location. This is not only going to help you to have a feel for how much room you have available, it will also help you to avoid one of the bigger problems that occurs when constructing a man cave, overcrowding.

Most men would enjoy having a wide variety of options available in their personal space. The number of options that you have available is limited by the space that you have in your man cave. Although it may be possible for you to include a home theater, corner pub, pool table and poker table in the room, it might not be practical to do so. In addition, a crowded space is not a relaxing space and you certainly want your man cave to be relaxing.

Finally, after you have all the measurements completed, take the time to sketch it out on a piece of paper to scale. You can use graph paper to do so or you can purchase some drafting tools and sketch out a rough draft of the room before you begin building. This will also help you to see what is possible with the room and it will allow you to purchase materials for the construction project with a minimal amount of waste.

Man Cave Durability - Finally, it is necessary to talk about the durability of your man cave. If you are a very cautious individual and you treat your possessions with kid gloves, you may not need to be concerned about the durability of what you include in your man cave. If, on the other hand, you ever plan on having other men over into your personal area, you will need to consider the durability. Some men have earned their reputation as being a bull in a china shop and you do not want to have them wrecking your area, simply because they are a klutz.

For that reason, much of the furniture that is included in a man cave is leather. Not only is it a manly choice, it is also one that will stand the test of time. You should also consider the possibility of spills when choosing the flooring, especially if you are going to install a bar in your man cave.

Since you are going to be upgrading some of the items that you include in your man cave, it is going to take a bite out of your budget. It will be worth it in the long run, however, because it will last longer and cost you less money if you don't have to replace items on a frequent basis.

Constructing Your Man Cave

Enjoying your man cave, either by yourself or with a group of manly friends is something that all of us look forward to when we begin the construction project. The fact of the matter is, however, constructing a man cave is a rite of passage and it is something that most men look forward to with eager anticipation. After all, they will be purchasing tools to get the job done, working with contractors and making plenty of trips to the local hardware store.

Of course, there are some things that you should consider carefully before you begin the construction project. The last thing that you would want to have happen is for unnecessary delays to occur or perhaps even for unnecessary expenses to take place, just because you weren't prepared in advance. In this chapter, we are going to discuss the various phases of construction, from gathering the materials to goal setting, to the possibility that you may need to hire a contractor.

Gathering Your Materials - One of the more important things that need to be done in the construction project is to gather the necessary materials. If you have a truck and live next door to the local Home Depot, it is unlikely that you are going to be overly concerned with having everything that is needed at your disposal. On the other hand, if you are going to be renting a truck and the hardware store is on the other side of town, you don't want to have unnecessary delays because you are running to pick up a box of screws or perhaps a 2x4, just because you didn't count properly in the first place.

If you took my advice and sketched out a design for your man cave on a piece of paper, you can use it as a guide for purchasing the materials necessary for construction. It's important to understand, in this chapter, I'm only discussing gathering materials for the construction phase, not the specific items that are going to be included in the room itself (recliner, pool table, poker table, etc.). The raw materials that are necessary for the construction project will vary from one man cave to another. In some cases, you will need a variety of materials, including drywall, studs, crown molding, baseboard, shelving materials and trim. Make as complete of a list that you can so that you don't have multiple trips to and from the hardware store.

Another important aspect of purchasing materials for construction is the overage that is necessary. This is not only true of the specific materials that are needed for the construction project; it is also true of your budget. Typically, you will need to include anywhere from a 10% to a 15% overage. It is always best if you purchase more than is necessary, especially if you are purchasing it from a national chain, such as Lowes or Home Depot. They accept returns, and it is less expensive and time-consuming to make one large trip for returns than to make several small trips to purchase because you underestimated.

The Right Tool for the Right Job - Although it is somewhat of a stereotype, most men enjoy working with tools. Some of the tools that are necessary for constructing a man cave may already be available, such as a hammer, drywall tools, paintbrush, screwdrivers and pliers. Unless you have done large-scale construction projects in the past, you may be lacking some of the larger tools that are necessary. What are some of the bigger tools that you need for constructing a man cave?

In most cases, the largest tools that are needed for construction at home include a variety of saws, such as a chop saw, table saw and whet saw. It can get expensive to purchase these items out-right but most large hardware stores will rent you the tools that are necessary on an hourly or daily basis. It can save you money, provided you budget your time properly and are able to get things done without unnecessary delays. It is important for you to count the cost and to see if it is less expensive to purchase a tool than to rent one. Even inexpensive chop saws and table saws can do a great job, and since you own them, you will not feel the pressure of time restraints that exist when renting those tools.

It may also be possible for you to borrow many of the necessary tools from a friend or family member. In fact, you might even be able to enlist their help, since you're using their tools. This is a personal choice and, provided you are prepared to fix any item that breaks, it is an option that you may want to consider.

Plan and Set Goals - Before you ever cut your first board or pound your first nail, you need to have a plan at your disposal. It is best if you plan every phase of the construction project and have it down on paper before you begin. This will help you to keep on track and it will also save you time in the long run, because you won't need to stop to consider the next project before you start in on it.

Goal setting goes hand-in-hand with project planning and it is important for you to set goals for the construction of your man cave, such as demolition, plumbing, electrical work, finish work and the punch list. Be realistic when setting any goals so that you don't have to adjust the future timetables for the project.

Enlisting the Help of Family and Friends - Admittedly, some friends and family members are going to run fast and far in the opposite direction when you approach them for help. There are others, however, that are more likely to help you with the project and ensure that it is done properly.

It is a personal decision as to whether you are going to try to do the work on your own or if you are going to get help for the project. Try asking those that are going to also be able to take advantage of what your man cave has to offer, such as those who will be sitting at the bar with you when it is built. It is more likely that they will dive into the project to ensure that it is done in a timely fashion.

Do You Need a Contractor? - It doesn't matter how manly you are or how handy you are with tools, there may be times when it is necessary for you to hire a contractor. This is especially true for larger projects that require special labor, such as plumbing or electrical work. It is important for you to hire the right contractor, so that you can have the work done in a timely fashion, avoid paying unnecessary costs and ensure that it is done according to local code.

Hiring a contractor does not need to be a difficult process, but it is also something that should not be done in haste. You should interview the contractors in your area to see if they are experienced and if they have been in business long enough to have proven themselves as a quality choice. You should also ask for references and follow-up with a phone call to those references to ensure that they are happy with the work that was done.

Another benefit of hiring a contractor is the fact that they can pull the necessary permits for you. If you try to do a large-scale project without the use of permits, you could find yourself in hot water. In fact, skipping permits could require that you not only pull the permits and do it according to code, it may need to go even further because you will now have an inspector breathing down your neck. Regardless of whether you hire a contractor or not, make sure that you have the permits that are necessary to do the job.

Dealing with Setbacks - In this chapter, we have reviewed most of the items necessary for a smooth construction project. Having said that, there is always the possibility that you will run into some type of setback. What are some of the problems that can occur when you are constructing a man cave?

One common problem is in regards to plumbing. If you are going to be installing a wet bar, you may need to run additional plumbing so that you have access to water and the dirty water is flowing to the sewage system properly. This could require extensive plumbing work, especially if you don't have the necessary plumbing in the area.

Once a wall is opened, it is difficult to know what you are going to find on the other side. Unexpected delays could occur if the plumbing is not what is expected, once it is exposed. The same is also true with electrical work or anytime construction work is being completed. Setbacks are common, but they don't need to set you back to the point where the man cave is not complete.

That is why it is important for you to include the overage in your budget and in the time that is necessary to do the project. If you go through the project without any major delays or problems associated with it, you are in the minority and should be thankful. If you do run into problems, take them in stride and get the necessary help to overcome the issue so that you can get back on track again. Remember, there is no problem that cannot be overcome, provided it is handled properly.

Man Cave Themes

In the chapters that discussed preparing the space for the man cave, we talked about using your own inspiration and ideas in order to generate the overall theme of your personal space. Some men find this to be easy and they have an idea of the direction to take their man cave from the very beginning. Other men, on the other hand, find it difficult to get in touch with this part of their thinking and they need a little push to go in the right direction.

The fact is that it doesn't matter if you have a man cave that allows you to watch movies, take a nap, drink a beer with your friends or even to watch sports on TV, you're going to have an enjoyable area. Focusing it in a particular direction, however, helps to enhance the enjoyment you will experience and can even make it easier for you to know what to do when your friends come over for a night of testosterone laden fun. For that reason, we are providing you with the following popular themes that can give you some direction as to where to take your special room.

Movie Night - It is difficult to find a man that does not enjoy watching a good movie. Of course, your idea of a movie and what you may actually be able to watch when the rest of your family is present are typically two different things. In some cases, you may have a wife that enjoys a little bit of action and perhaps some gunplay (or spaceships) when it comes to movies, but it is more likely that you will find yourself watching the latest chick flick and wondering when you are going to be able to watch the movie you want to watch.

Building a mini-theater into your man cave is one of the ways for you to be able to overcome this problem. You can either make the theater the focus of your man cave or you can make it a side attraction, which is sure to be appreciated by anyone who comes to visit. It is important for you to choose the right size television for the space that you have available. This is something that we will discuss further in the chapter on choosing a large screen TV for your man cave. You also want to ensure that you have plenty of comfortable seating available for anyone who happens to be visiting.

As far as seating is concerned, most men enjoy having a comfortable recliner. You do have the option of including multiple recliners or perhaps a sofa with end recliners for use in the mini-theater. You should have a special chair, however, that is "over the top" comfortable for your own personal use that will help to distinguish you as the owner of the man cave.

Little Vegas - Are you somebody that enjoys a good game? I'm not talking about computer games in this regard, that will be discussed further along in this chapter. What I am talking about are some of the games that are typically played in Vegas and other areas that allow gambling. This is a common theme among many man caves and it is something that you should consider, regardless of whether you are actually going to be feeding money into the machines or not.

In many cases, a man cave is going to include some form of gambling, such as a poker table. Most men enjoy getting together with friends for a game of poker and when it can be built into a man cave, it makes the environment one that is very enjoyable. In fact, who wouldn't enjoy going from the bar in the man cave to the poker table and later retiring to the mini-theater?

Along with having a poker table, you may also want to have other games of chance at your disposal. You can have a one armed bandit sitting in the corner, which would be free for you to play as desired or you may be able to accept some “monetary donations” from your friends when they are over to visit for the evening. Other options that may be available for your Vegas man cave include a roulette table, craps and blackjack table. Make sure that you have some visors available to make the experience authentic.

Gamers Haven - As was promised, we are now going to discuss developing the perfect man cave for somebody that enjoys gaming. To be certain, games have taken a turn for the better in comparison to the retro games, such as Atari or pinball. That doesn't mean, however, that you shouldn't include those retro games in your man cave. As a matter of fact, you may find that the pinball machine sitting in the corner is more popular than the PS3 or Xbox that is hooked up to the large screen TV.

The experience that is available for those who love gaming is not only attached to the visual aspects of the game. Although it is important for you to have the right type of visuals available for the game, regardless of whether it is a large screen TV for your Xbox or extra-large computer monitors, you also want to have the right sound available.

A surround sound system is practically standard issue for any man cave but it is especially important if you're going to be gaming. You will be able to completely immerse yourself in the experience and you may find that it is difficult to pry yourself off of the couch, once the game is in motion. Gaming is something that can be enjoyed by those who are young and those who are young at heart and it is an excellent choice for a man cave theme or to be included in any other man cave theme that can be chosen.

Passing the Bar - It is difficult to find a man that does not enjoy bellying up to the bar and enjoying a drink with their friends. It can get expensive to do so, however, if you find yourself at the local pub. That isn't to mention the fact that it might be upsetting to your significant other if you are spending an extraordinary amount of time hanging out away from home. When you include a bar in your man cave, you have the best of both worlds.

One of the main choices that should be considered in the construction of a bar themed man cave is if you're going to have a wet bar or dry bar. If you are simply going to be enjoying a cold beer with friends and you have easy access to a sink in another area of the home, it might not be necessary for you to do the plumbing for a more authentic bar experience. If, on the other hand, you want to keep everything contained in the area and have the water necessary for a variety of bar tasks, you should go the extra mile and include the plumbing for a sink.

The bar that you choose for your man cave can also be themed even further. Perhaps you would enjoy more of a "men only club", which might have a country theme or perhaps you could make it a sports bar and include multiple large-screen televisions, which would be playing the games or highlights from past games.

If you are not certain as to which direction to take your bar man cave, some intensive research may be necessary. It might be enjoyable to visit some of the local bars or even to branch out to other popular bars throughout the area. It can help to spark some ideas for the direction to take your own man cave, not to mention the fact that it is an enjoyable way to do research.

Sports Lovers - Many men absolutely love sports and they know all of the statistics for any team that they follow. You might want to take this factor into consideration when designing your own man cave and have a sports theme, which will truly help you to enjoy the space that is available.

Some of the specific options that are popular for those who enjoy sports include a sports bar, a large screen TV for sporting events (equipped with comfy seating) or sports memorabilia, which would line the walls. Anything that would help to promote your love of sports is fair game in this regard and it will be enjoyed regularly, not only by you but by your friends who enjoy sports as well.

Hunting Lodge - What could be manlier than a hunting lodge? Regardless of whether your home is in the middle of the mountains or if you live in the city, having a hunting lodge theme can help to bring the country into your home. What are some of the things that you can include when you theme your man cave around the hunting lodge?

One thing that you can do is to design a country theme when building the man cave itself. You can make it look as if you were on the inside of a cabin, complete with a fireplace and with old oak boards for the walls. You should also be sure to include some firearms, which will hang on the walls safely out of the reach of any children that may happen to wander into the area.

Don’t overlook the possibility of including some animal heads on the walls as well. It is not necessary for you to hunt these animals yourself; you can typically find them at local auctions or even at a local taxidermist shop. This is a very enjoyable theme for watching movies and having a drink with friends.

Home Office Man Cave - Although it is true that most man caves are going to be for the ultimate in relaxation, it is also possible to design a man cave as your home office. More and more frequently, men find that they are working at home and it can be difficult to carve out an area that is specific for that purpose. If you are somebody that is spending your time trying to get your work done on the sofa or at the kitchen table, you owe it to yourself to build your personal man cave that includes your office space.

One of the key aspects of building a man cave as your home office is to have an area of focus, so that you can pay attention to your work without being interrupted. You should also have plenty of other options available for use in your man cave, including a home theater and a comfortable place to relax. They say that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, so include a little relaxation and entertainment in your man cave designed for work purposes.

Man Cave Essential: The TV

There are many specific items that can be included in the man cave but none receive as much attention as the television. At one time, it was easy to choose a TV because you simply purchased one according to the size that you have available. Today, you have many options that are open to you and the list of options continues to grow on almost an annual basis. Here are some of the more important considerations for choosing a TV that will be the focus of your man cave.

Consider the Picture Quality - It doesn't matter if you are purchasing a small TV for use at your man cave bar or if you are purchasing a large screen TV for your home theater, you want to consider the quality of the picture. This is something that can be difficult if you are only looking at the specifications that are published by the manufacturer and not reading between the lines. Some of the numbers that are included in the specifications are only there to cause you to choose a more expensive option. What is the truth about picture quality and how can you make that determination?

One of the first numbers that you will see is the contrast ratio, which is something that you should absolutely ignore. The same is also true for the refresh rate, as well as for numbers that are specific to the unit, such as SPS or CMR. It may help to make the unit look impressive but in reality, it is a smoke and mirrors technique which is only designed to confuse the consumer.

At some point or another in your research, you are going to come across information that claims that LED screens provide a better picture. That is also not true. The same is also the case for backlit televisions. With so much misinformation on how to choose a TV, how is it possible to choose one with high picture quality?

The easiest way for you to do so is to visit a store, such as Best Buy, which will actually have the televisions available side-by-side. Look for a TV that has all the features that you want, regardless of whether it is a smart TV or if it has a remote that does everything for you. Other than that, use your own eye to choose a TV that provides a clear, crisp picture, particularly when part of the image is in motion.

Size Matters - Although it is somewhat of a cliché among men, it is the truth when it comes to choosing a TV. You will find a wide variety of charts available which will give you the maximum size TV for the distance that you are sitting from it. That is also something that is only a general guideline. The fact the matter is that if you are designing a man cave and the television is the focus, it should be as big as your budget allows. In fact, there is nothing wrong with you going for at least a 50-inch screen or larger if you are able to do so.

The only thing that you need to consider for size, aside from your budget, is the space that is available. If you are designing the cabinet around the TV, you may be able to adjust according to the size of the TV that you have but if it is a fixed area, measure it before you purchase a TV. It seems obvious, but you would be surprised at how many times size is a difficulty.

Consider Your Budget - One other consideration for purchasing your TV is your budget. As of the time that this book is being written, it is still possible to purchase a plasma TV, which is one of the better options that is available. Most companies are going toward LED TVs, which in essence are really just an LCD TV on steroids, because it includes LED backlights. Plasma, on the other hand, is something different and provides a high quality picture at a lower price.

If you choose a plasma TV, you will generally have something that is thicker than an LED model but that is not going to be a problem for most man caves. It is easier to fit a plasma TV in your budget and, provided you don't want to go over 60 inches in size, it is still possible to find one with premium picture quality.

The Truth about Cables - When you go to pick up the TV, it is likely that the person at the store is going to try to sell you the necessary cords. These can include HDMI cables, AV cables and a whole host of other cords which are going to do some damage to your budget.

It is important for you to understand, there is not typically a difference in the quality of the cord and you will not see a difference in picture quality if you spend less on the cord. In fact, if you don't mind waiting a few days, you can pick up your cables on Amazon or through eBay and save a lot of money.

Man Cave Essential: Seating

If you have a man cave, it is unlikely that you are going to spend a lot of time standing while you are in this private area of the home. That is why it is important for you to consider the seating that you have available in your man cave. Here are some of the options that you may want to consider for use in this area, depending upon the theme and how you are using it.

The Primary Chair - Although you certainly want to have comfortable seating available for anybody who visits your man cave, you want to pay close attention to the primary chair in the area. For most men, there is no option other than to have a recliner at their disposal. From that point, the sky is really the limit as far as the options that are considered.

If you have a relatively low budget for your man cave, you can find a comfortable recliner that is perfect for watching a movie or taking a nap for well under $500. If your budget allows, you may want to consider some of the upgraded options for recliners. These include extra padding, extra width or extra-large arms. There are also automatic recliners, which will go into a reclining position or back into a seated position with just the push of a button. These types of recliners have come a long way in the past several years and now, the motion is very smooth.

For those who have a very high budget, you may want to consider the ultimate in recliners and get one that gives you a massage as well. The amount that you spend on one of these chairs can vary from around $2000 up to $5000 or more. As is the case with many things that you purchase, you will get what you pay for and the more expensive massage chairs typically have better options available for the user.

Theater Seating - The focus of many man caves is the theater, equipped with a large screen TV and plenty of comfortable seating. The seats that you choose can either be individual, such as a series of recliners that are set beside each other or it could be several sofas, which are put in a position to make viewing the movie or sporting event comfortable.

Although you have a wide variety of options available for theater seating in your man cave, you should consider durability. Leather is a popular option, as we discussed earlier because some men have a difficulty being dainty with your furniture. It makes it easy for you to clean up any spills and most men can put their feet up without you having to be concerned over damage occurring to the fabric.

Poker Table - Another popular area in any man cave is the poker table. If you are somebody that enjoys playing poker, you are likely to have this option available as well. As you are probably well aware, poker games can last well into the night so you want to ensure that the chairs are comfortable for everyone that is enjoying them. You don't want to have them so comfortable, however, that the players are going to be nodding off in the middle of a marathon game.

If you have a very low budget, some folding chairs are all that is really necessary, although you may want to consider choosing a set that is padded. As your budget allows, you can increase the comfort level by including ergonomic chairs that are designed specifically for use at the poker table. These will be padded on the seat and the back and they will be adjustable, so that men of any size can enjoy an equal sitting at the poker table.

Barstools - Finally, you might have a bar area included in your man cave. If that is the case, you will want to have barstools available so that it has an authentic feel and can be enjoyed by those who have a powerful thirst.

When you do some research, you will likely be surprised with the number of different options that are available for barstools. It is important for you to have comfort in mind, not only when it comes to the cushion on the stool but also the depth of the seat and the height of the back. You want to have something that is going to be comfortable for the long-term and will not cause unnecessary pressure at the wrong part of the leg or back, which would make your bar an uncomfortable stop for the evening.

There are also some adjustable barstools that can be purchased which are both comfortable and convenient. These make it possible for men of any size to enjoy a drink at the bar without having to feel inferior to the man sitting next to them.

Man Cave Essential: Sound

When most men think about designing and building a man cave, they really only consider the visual aspects of doing so. Although it certainly is true that the visual parts of the room, such as the bar, theater and poker table may be largely visible, they can also be enhanced greatly through the use of sound. Here are a few of the man cave sound enhancements that you may want to consider for use in this personal area of your home.

One of the most important areas that will utilize sound in your man cave is the theater area. It really doesn't matter if you only have a large screen TV to watch a sporting event or if you have a full-blown mini-theater, sound can enhance your enjoyment of the area and can make it a more popular stop among your friends.

The most popular option for sound in the theater area of the man cave is surround sound. When you choose a high-quality surround sound system, it is going to completely envelop you in the movie or sporting event that is being watched. It can also be beneficial, even when the feature that is being watched is not specific to surround sound. Being in the middle of the sound, instead of simply sitting in front of it will make all of the difference.

If you are unable to install a complete surround sound system, there are some options for sound bars that can be considered. These are less expensive than a complete surround sound system but the effect of having them available can be profound. A single sound bar with a wireless subwoofer can make even a normal movie something that is worth watching twice. The beauty of a sound bar is the fact that it does not take any extra work to install it. All that is typically necessary is to plug it into the existing connections on the TV and you can begin enjoying it instantly.

When you are into gaming, a sound bar or surround sound system can also go a long way in helping to enhance your enjoyment of the game as well. You might also want to consider investing in a personalized sound system in the way of a headset and microphone. At times, you may be able to enjoy the full effect through an external system but there may also be times when you want to keep it private. That is especially the case if you are sharing your home with others who will not have your same appreciation for the game that you are playing.

The bar area of the man cave should also be properly equipped for sound. In some cases, you may be able to hook an amplifier up directly to your surround sound system but you may also want to consider having a system that is specific to the bar area as well. That is especially true if you are sitting outside of the center of the surround sound system when you are sitting at the bar.

There are some wireless sound systems available that are perfect for this purpose. These can also utilize Bluetooth technology, which allows you to play the songs on your cell phone or tablet directly over the speaker system. You might be surprised with the amount of quality sound that you can get out of even a small speaker that is relatively inexpensive. Having such a sound system at the bar area will be appreciated by everyone who has stopped off for a drink in what is likely to become the favorite pub in town.

Man Cave Extras

By this point, you likely have a general idea of what you would like to do in your man cave and you have probably come up with ideas that you had never considered before. It is fitting that we end this book with some of the man cave extras that are sometimes included but all too frequently overlooked.

It is true that adding any extras to your man cave is going to increase the budget but it is also going to increase your enjoyment of the room in general. That being said, here are a few of the extras that I think make a great addition to any man cave, provided you scale it to fit the room that you have available.

The Hidden Room - There is something about a hidden room that truly makes a man cave enjoyable. This hidden room can serve a multitude of purposes but it really depends upon the area that you have available. If you have a small room available and are designing a man cave, you may want to have a hidden area to keep some of your valuable supplies. If you have a larger area available for developing a man cave, the hidden room can be for the poker table or perhaps for a bathroom, which can be designed specifically for your comfort.

One of the more important aspects of the hidden room is how to hide it. A popular option is to use a hidden bookcase, which can rotate out of the way to expose the opening to the hidden area. You can also use pocket doors or other ingenious ideas, which will hide the fact that there is an opening available but make it easy for you to expose that area to your friends. It may also be possible that you will want to keep that private room actually private, which is also something that can be considered.

Pool Tables - A full-sized pool table is perhaps one of the more enjoyable options that you can include in your man cave. There is nothing quite like playing a game of eight ball with friends to pass an evening. This is especially the case if your pool table is in the bar area of your man cave and is fully equipped, including a special light above the table itself.

It is important for you to measure carefully before you decide to include a pool table in your man cave. There are different sizes of pool tables that are available, starting from a seven-foot table and going up to a nine-foot table. For a smaller table, you will need a minimum of 11.6' X 14.6' in order to play a comfortable game. It is better, however, if you have an additional 1.5' of length and width for the room. If you are determined to have a pool table and have a limited amount of space, you can shoot pool with half a cue, but the minimum that is preferred is a 48" cue, and some people shoot with up to a 58" cue. Make sure that you provide the cue if you are shooting in a limited area.

You should also consider the type of table that you are using, because it can make quite a difference in your budget. The basic options for the type of table include Slate, Slate core and wood. Depending upon the type of table that you choose, it will not only make a difference in the price, it can also make a significant difference in weight.

Neon Signs - What would a man cave be without the use of neon, especially if it includes a bar area? You can purchase neon signs online that could be found in almost any bar in the area. It is also possible to have neon signs designed according to your specific needs, making your man cave an area that is truly unique.

Along with choosing neon signs, you also want to choose bar lights for your special area as well. You might be surprised with the number of options that are available, so make sure that you review those options and choose what is best for your design. Most neon signs and bar lights plug into a regular outlet and do not use an excessive amount of electricity.

The Throne Room - Many men consider the bathroom to be a sacred area of the home. They want it to be a comfortable space where they can retreat, away from the pressures of the home and take care of business. Of course, the man cave does provide a general retreat for you but when you combine it with a man cave throne room then it is truly a special area of the home.

Some men make the bathroom for their man cave a hidden room, so that easy access is not available for just anyone that happens to wander through. You may also want to consider adding some of the more modern conveniences available, such as your own urinal or a magazine rack that is completely stocked with the latest issues of your favorite magazines.

The throne room is also a special area, in that it can be a man cave in its own right. If you are very limited in space and do not have the ability to design and construct a dedicated man cave, you might just want to upgrade one of the bathrooms in the home to be your own, personal man cave throne room. When done properly, you may find that you are spending more time in this room and dread the thought of leaving it.