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12 Man Shed Features You Want [Utilities and Design]

Are you thinking about building your own man shed in the garden or somewhere else? There are a few things you can incorporate in your designs, whether you want to DIY your man shed or outsource it. These things can massively increase the usability and pleasure of using your man shed.

The features can be divided up into two categories;

  • Utilities
  • Design features

Sheds come in many shapes, sizes and levels of luxury. The most luxurious sheds are more like tiny houses or cabins. While at the lower end it’s more like a shack that’s made suitable for living. These are the things that make the difference.

Which utilities do you need in your man shed?
Which utilities do you need in your man shed?


The first thing you need to take your man shed from shack to cabin are utilities. Without utilities you are basically just camping in your garden.  What are we talking about?

  • Electricity
  • Plumbing
  • Heating

These are some of the things you might want in your man cave.

If you’re still in the design fase, great. It’ll be cheaper and easier to get these utilities planned and installed during the design and building. This makes the process easier, tidier, and possibly cheaper.

If you don’t have the option to get these things from the beginning, here are some other options.

1.    Electricity

You’ll want electricity in your cabin. You want it to keep the lights on and the beer cold. It’s also useful for countless other things you might want to do. It’s also one of the easier things to retrofit to your man shed.

If your shed is close to the house and your electricity requirements are simple, you might be able to get away with a simple extension cord. Make sure you get one that’s suitable to be used outdoors.

To get things done a bit more tidy, safely and capable, it might be a good idea to get a more permanent setup with wiring that runs from the central breaker box in your house to a breaker box in your shed with separate outlets etc. It’s most likely necessary to get a professional to do this.  

There is another option: Solar power.

Solar panels and a battery can provide enough energy to keep some lights on and a fridge running. You will certainly want to pay attention to energy consumption of your appliances though.

2.    Heating

For heating we don’t need a modern solution. We need an old fashioned one. Fire! It’s going to be a man cave. What’s manlier than making fire? A fireplace will add heat and atmosphere to your man shed. It’s also necessary in many places to make the man shed habitable in the winter. Insulation is usually not the first priority.

Of course there are electric options for heating (and cooling) besides a fireplace. A fireplace looks much better though.  

As with wiring, it’s best to put the fireplace in the design from the start. Retrofitting a fireplace in a (usually) wooden shed is not going to be the easiest thing in the world.

3.    Plumbing

Plumbing is one thing you absolutely need if you want a toilet or sink in your shed. Plumbing for a sink doesn’t have to be too difficult. Draining it to the same place as the rain gutters is an option. It’s not the most elegant solution but if it’s mostly clean water, it shouldn’t be a big problem. That also depends on where your gutter water goes of course.

When we’re talking about a toilet, there’s not really another way than hooking your shed up to the plumbing in the rest of the house or septic tank. Just letting everything flow freely from under the shed is not really a viable option.

Man shed guide.
Man shed guide.

Man shed design features

Here’s where things get fun. One of the huge benefits of building a shed from scratch is that you can make it as simple or crazy as you’d like. As said before, it can range from simple shack to a luxurious cabin. What you can do all depends on your available space, budget and skills.

So, which features can you think of adding to your man cave shed?

  • Porch
  • Skylight
  • Storage space
  • Garage
  • Windows
  • Fireplace
  • Loft

4. Porch

Sitting on a porch with a drink and enjoying your surroundings is a great way to spend a day. Since your shed/cabin is most likely going to be made of wood, and built from the ground up, adding a porch isn’t very difficult.

It will have a big impact on how your cabin looks and usability.

5. Garage

If you’re building a new structure anyways, why not add a garage? You might already have a garage attached to your house but, who’s never wanted a project car/motorcycle? Many men dream of having the space to work on and store one.

If you like working on vehicles, you can create a shed that’s a perfect combination between a workspace and man cave. Create a space that has enough space for the vehicle, tools and workspace on one side. On the other side you can create a seating area with a bar, sofa, etc.

An extra garage would also add some value to your house should you ever want to sell it.

6. Windows

Windows aren’t much of a luxury feature but it’s something to think about when designing your shed. Adding some windows will provide you some daylight and prevent the feeling you’re sitting in a bunker.

A decent amount of natural light is a great thing in any space and the ability to get some fresh air inside helps as well.

7. Fireplace

A wooden cabin is a great start for a rustic/classic décor. A huge part of such a décor is a fireplace. Fireplaces are great for creating a cozy atmosphere an added benefit is that many guys love starting and maintaining a fire.

It’s also a great way to heat your shed in the winter obviously.

8. Roof

Ok, all sheds have a roof. If not, it’s really not a shed. This is about the style and use of the roof.

A wooden cabin will likely have some kind of “A-frame” roof. This shape of roof can have several uses;

9. Loft

If your shed is big enough and the roof is high enough, you can create an extra living space in the roof.  This space can be whatever you want. A guestroom, a place where you store your hot dog collection, etc.

If you want to add a loft, make sure the rest of the foundation and frame can support this. It’s easier to keep it in mind from the beginning instead of discovering you have to make major changes to make it possible.

10. Storage space

While a man cave shouldn’t be storage space, you could quite easily add some storage space that doesn’t impede your living space.

It’s similar to adding a loft except you don’t have to worry as much about the finish since it won’t be a living space.

11. Beam ceiling

If you don’t need the extra living or storage space, you can up the looks of your cabin a massive amount by going for a beam ceiling. This looks awesome if you used good looking wood and creates a lot of extra space in the interior.

12. Skylight

Whether you have an open ceiling or not, a skylight is a great addition to get some extra light into your shed. Especially if you plan on creating a loft, a skylight is one of the best way to brighten up the place

A beam roof is a great look for a man shed.
A beam roof is a great look for a man shed.