Somewhere in the process of planning a man cave, the important question of money comes up. There is a wide range of budget sizes possible. Not every budget is the same and not all man caves have to cost the same. You can make a man cave possible at many different budget sizes.
A normal man cave with nice appliances and decorations will cost about $5500. There is a wide range though. A man cave can cost anywhere from $350 to $23.000 to build, depending on what you can and want to spend and do.
Found your answer? Maybe you’ll like on of these articles about man cave decoration ideas. Need more specifics? Keep reading to find more information.
Although you can do a lot of things for cheap or even free, you need some kind of budget. What that budget is, obviously depends on your personal situation. We can approach this question from two angles;
- How much can/do you want to spend?
- How much do you have to spend?
How much you can or want to spend, depends on your personal financial situations.
How much you have to spend depends on what you need to buy to realize your plans.
Lets take a look at it from both sides.
Below you can find information about the following topics;
- Why you need a budget
- Budget types
- What’s the cheapest man cave possible?
- What’s a “normal” budget for a man cave?
Why you need a budget
Why do you actually need to make a budget? This is not a personal finance blog but since this article is about budget it makes sense to touch on this topic.
Money is limited
Your money is not unlimited no matter how much you have. You might have so much money that it really doesn’t matter if you spend a million dollar more or less on your house. In that case: Congratulations! You can stop reading this article!
If you clicked on this article I suspect you don’t have that luxury though. That means you can’t just spend whatever you feel like. You want to be able to enjoy your man cave. Stressing about paying your bills isn’t going to help you relax and enjoy your man cave to the fullest.
Let’s face it. A man cave is a luxury not a necessity. If you’re struggling to afford your daily necessities, you probably shouldn’t be worrying about a man cave. Of course you’re free to do as you please and I’m not going to stop you from doing anything.
Many aspiring man cave owners will have a partner to take into account as well. Like other hobbies, your partner might not be too happy about you spending all your expendable income on things just for you.
If you’ve got a budget, you know what your limits are and don’t have to feel guilty about spending that money since you can show which dollar goes where. You know how much you can spend on a certain thing without failing to pay the rent or getting behind on bills. That means you can relax and enjoy your man cave more.
It also helps to show your partner you’ve got a handle on things and are not about to take out a second mortgage to pay for your man cave.
In this article we’re looking at the price and budget for a man cave. However, it should be part of a bigger budget since it’s a luxury. You don’t buy luxuries before you’ve paid for housing, food and other necessities.
So, to be able to know how much you can spend in total, you have to have a complete household budget that covers all the income and costs of your household. Once you know that, you know how much you can spend on your man cave.
How to make a budget?
As said before; this isn’t a personal finance blog. So, for information on how to make a household budget, check out this article.
Once you’ve figured out how much you can spend on your man cave, continue below.
Man cave purpose
What budget items does a man cave have? It depends what your purpose is. For this example I’m going to assume a very common scenario where you want to have some drinks with friends and watch football or play games.
If you want more info about other purposes of a man cave, read this article.
The good news is that many of the things you need are non-recurring expenses. Once you’ve got everything in place, it doesn’t actually cost that much to keep it running.
What’s the cheapest man cave you can build?
Maybe you did your budget and discovered you’ve actually got very little money to spend on your cave plans. Let’s see what you can do to get your cave on a very tight budget.
To get to the cheapest possible man cave we have to keep the goal in mind.
“Hang out with friends, have some drinks and watch football or play games.”
With the goal in mind we can decide what the absolute necessities of this man cave are.
- A space
- Comfortable seating
- Cold drinks
- A screen
Any of these things you can get for free is great. Otherwise, go second hand or get a really good deal new.
The space should be free. You’re paying for your house anyways. Using a room doesn’t make it more or less expensive. Cleaning out the room is easy and free except for a small time investment.
You might have to spend a little money on comfortable seating. The cheapest way to get this is to ask family and friends if they’ve got anything they need to get rid of that might fit your man cave. You don’t have money so don’t be picky. Any sofa or armchair will do the job (if it isn’t too dirty).
Craigslist or Facebook groups are the next stop if the last one didn’t pay off. Plenty of people buy new furniture and want to get rid of their old stuff for cheap or even free if you’re willing to pick it up.
To have cold drinks, you need something to cool them. There are a few options that allow you to have cold drinks but spend no to very little money.
- Use your main fridge in the house to cool your drinks. If you want a drink, walk to the fridge, take a drink and walk back to your man cave. This is not very convenient but doesn’t cost anything.
- If you don’t want to walk over to the kitchen every time, get a bucket, cool box or another large waterproof container. Fill it with ice and water and put your bottles or cans in. This is more convenient but you need plenty of ice. Cool boxes are pretty cheap. Check out this on Amazon for example.
- Get a camping cooler.
- Find a decent second hand fridge.
To watch sports you need some kind of screen. It’s very difficult to DIY one from scratch. The ways to get one for cheap is;
- Second hand
- Convince your partner you need a new TV in the living room and take the old one for your man cave. (This is more a budgeting trick though; you still have to spend money for a new TV.
- The next step is to convince your family/friends/neighbor that they need a new TV and to give the old one to you for cheap/free.
- If you can stretch your budget a little bit, you can actually get a new TV on for very little money. This 40” Full HD TV from TCL is very cheap. Check the current price on Amazon.
The last part of the puzzle is other entertainment. This can be plenty of things. A pack of cards or other board game is probably something you’ve already got in your house.
If you’re into video games you probably already have a game console and some games. You spouse might even be happy you’re moving it out of the living room.
Nice to have
The items listed above are the absolute minimum. There is one thing that’s not an absolute necessity but certainly would be nice to have: decoration.
To keep the expenses low, go for the things that have the biggest impact. This is also the time to flex your DIY skills. A complete remodel is going to be way too expensive in this case. There are some cheap things that you can do that completely transform the space;
- Get a can of paint and put a fresh coat on the walls and ceiling.
- Posters are a cheap and easy way to change the look of a room.
- If you’ve got any metal/wood/leather working skills, you can DIY some decorations.
Of course if you can get any of these items for free, that’s even better.
What’s a “normal” budget for a man cave?
The budget above is the absolute cheapest you can go and still call it a man cave (IMHO). What would a more “normal” man cave cost? I use quotation marks for “normal” because what’s normal is different for everyone.
Above, I’ve covered the absolute bare minimum and things you can DIY. I’ll leave that out in this part.
To provide some sense of what the range of prices is, I’ve outlined three price points.
Low end. This is the cheapest viable option for all the necessary items. Only new items are taken into account. Second hand you’ll probably be able to find things cheaper if necessary.
Value. This is the price point where you can get some good value for money items. Not the best of the best but good quality and design for a good price.
High end. These are the top of the line options for man cave use. Of course you can always find something more expensive but at some point it doesn’t make sense anymore. Putting diamonds on everything makes it more expensive but it doesn’t make it better.
What do we need for a common man cave?
The remodeling is the biggest unknown here. There are so many variables that it’s impossible to give an accurate indication of. It depends on which space you want to remodel, the plans and the quality of the work and materials.
For a normal room, you might be able to get away with just $50 of paint. If you want to add a counter top/sink and maybe change the floor or ceiling, that shoots up to maybe $2000 (very rough estimation).
For people that want to; build a shed, convert the garage, convert the basement, you’re looking at at least $5000. Especially if you want to add things like plumbing and a toilet, you shouldn’t be surprised if it costs more than $10000.
For the other parts it’s much easier to give you a price or at least a price range.
I’m assuming that most people want to get most of these things new. If you want to save some money you might be able to get some good deals second hand.
As you can read in this article, kegerators start at about $400 and go up to about $1500 for higher end models for home use. For most people spending about $500 is going to get you what you want and need.
Fridges also have a wide range of models and prices. If you’ve got a kegerator you might not need a huge fridge. A simple mini fridge can be bought for under $200. This should provide enough space for most people. If you want a fancier fridge with features like ice in door, you’re looking at about $1000.
A custom made wooden bar is nice but also quite expensive. The four digits per meter type of expensive.
A much cheaper option is to get something similar to a breakfast counter. This is something most people will be able to buy for less than $500. For that price you can certainly build something nice with some wood panels and maybe a wooden top.
If that’s still too much, you can get a counter height table for under $100.
- Bar stools
Check out this article on bar stools. Bar stools start at about $25 and go up from there with many nice examples costing $75-$100 a piece.
Besides a bar and stools, many people want a more comfortable place to sit. A sofa is easily the best option for this. Sofas start at about $250 for a smaller, simple example with fabric upholstery.
A bigger, leather sofa starts at roughly $600 and goes up from there. For $1500 you can buy a very nice leather couch. This is an item where you can get great deals second hand.
- Coffee table
You need a place to put your drink down when sitting on the sofa. A simple coffee table can be had for under $40 while one with a better design will go for around $100. A very cool but expensive option is the engine block coffee table. If you’re able to DIY this, it doesn’t have to cost too much. If you want to buy one, prepare to pay upwards of $1500.
There is an unbelievable variability in TVs. TCL has some amazingly cheap offers on Amazon. This 50” 4k smart TV for example (Click to check current price on Amazon). For this price you’ll have to accept some bloatware that comes with this TV.
55” 4k TVs from a more established brand like LG or Samsung are selling from +-$500.
Need something bigger and better? Higher end 65” models start around $1500.
Decorations will finish the look and feel of your man cave. Some posters and signs will cost you about $100. A cool neon sign is around $150 and some higher quality prints can be had for $100.
If you get into things like sport memorabilia and the likes the costs will go up quickly from there.
The consumables are the only item on this list that is a recurring cost. It consists mainly of drinks and foods. Obviously, the costs of these depends on many factors: Amount consumed per person, quality of items consumed and number of people being the most important factors.
This can be as little as $5 per night per person for a couple of drinks and simple snacks. Get some fancy craft beers and nicer snacks and you’ll be up to $15-$20 per person.
|Bar stools (4)||100||300||600|
As you can see I have added a 5% on top of the budget to account for some small things like coasters, bottle openers, mounting hardware, etc.
For people that don’t have a lot to spend: it is possible to create a man cave for $350. In that case you DIY everything you can and use free or very cheap second hand items.
For about $1500 you can get cheap versions of most of the items you need.
People that want to do a small remodeling and get items that are good value, you can expect to spend about $5500.
You like the finer things in life and want everything to be as you want them to be? Your remodeling will probably cost quite a bit. The other items are more expensive as well. Bringing the total to an estimated $23k.
These numbers, especially the remodeling, are rough estimates. It really depends on your personal situation.
And of course it’s also possible to pick and choose different items from different price ranges. You might want to forego an expensive remodeling if that means you can get a nicer TV or the other way around.