Are you interested in having your own man cave? If you’re reading this, you probably are. One of the questions that comes up when thinking about a man cave is; What space should I convert into my man cave? What options are there? What option is best for you? Here’s a list of pro’s and con’s for the spaces most often used to turn into man caves.
What’s the best space for a man cave?
Here’s the quick answer: The best spaces to convert into a man cave are the garage or the basement. If those are unavailable, the bedroom, attic, or a separate structure are great alternatives. If you’ve got hobbies that are loud, smelly and/or dirty, you’re probably best off in a garage or separate structure since you don’t want those in the house.
Let’s explore why;
Pro’s and Con’s of different rooms
Let’s go through the various options people might encounter and see what’s best. As always, it depends on different factors and there is no perfect solution that fits everyone. Things like interests, family composition, size of the house, available rooms all play into the options you’ll have.
Make sure to read the other articles on this website about man caves to get some more insight. Especially this article about what a man cave is and what it’s used for.
Questions you should ask yourself
Let’s not rule out any of the spaces in the house for the moment. Some of these are very impractical but let’s take a look at all of the spaces in a standard house.
To judge the rooms you should take into account several things. Ask yourself the following questions;
- How easy is it to be alone here?
- Do other people in the house need this room?
- Is it practical to build a man cave in this room?
- Is it even possible to convert this room into a man cave?
- How likely is it that other people will accept it if you want to take this space.
Things like interests and also play a role of course but we’ll take a look at that a little later in this article.
Let’s take a look at the different rooms:
The living room is not likely to be a good space to convert into a man cave. Other people that live in your house will want to and need to use this room all the time. It’ll be very difficult to convince your family that this is the room you’re going to convert into your personal space.
The living room is often the only access point to several other rooms. That means that people would have to go through it to go anywhere else in the house. It seems very impractical.
If you would be possible to convince all the people involved to take the living room, do you really want to do that? Do you want to take away a space that is supposed to be for everyone? Or do you really want to have your man cave with all its toys and decorations to be the room that everyone has to walk through to go anywhere in the house? At that point it’s not your personal space anymore anyways.
Unless you’re living alone, the living room is probably one of the worst spaces to convert into a man cave. Even if you’re living alone you might not want all of your hobby equipment and gear to be spread around the living room.
Even though the kitchen would have some benefits like a fridge, it still doesn’t seem like a good choice. Everyone else in the house has to use this space. You can’t be alone here whenever you want. And unless your interests all revolve around cooking it’s not very easy to convert the kitchen into anything you want.
I don’t know why you would want to convert your bathroom into a man cave. Maybe the only alone time you get at the moment is when you’re going to the bathroom and you think it would be great to be able to stay there for longer.
If that’s the case I’m sorry but I think there are better options. If your interests require you to be in the bathroom, I… probably won’t want to shake your hand..
If you’re living with anyone it’s very unlikely they’ll accept your use of this room. Even if you live alone, it’ll get weird when you have people over that need to use the bathroom.
Bedrooms look like they’re a pretty decent option to convert into your private space. You can easily close the door and be alone. Bedrooms are pretty much a blank slate and you can convert them into many different things.
It’s probably one of the easier spaces to convince your wife of letting you have, if it’s not needed for someone to sleep in that is.
One of the drawbacks is that you often need to go through the house to access one of the bedrooms. If you’d like to have people over they can’t come and go quietly. If that is a problem depends on your friends and how ….. well-adjusted they are.
Another drawback is that it’s not possible to indulge in interests like working on motorbikes and cars here.
The attic is probably one of the easiest spaces to convince your family of giving up. Usually the attic is used for storage only. There is not much “traffic” here. You possibly only come here a few times a year anyways.
It depends on the attic obviously but the attic can have a very nice atmosphere that is great for a man cave. The usual shape of an attic is not great for making a bedroom or something like that but it can look great with the right attention and decoration.
Otherwise the attic is probably similar to a bedroom in the way of access, easy of transformation etc.
One problem is that the attic is often used for storage. That means you’ll either have to put up with some dusty boxes stacked up in your man cave or find another storage place.
How good a basement can be really depends on the house. Some are just nasty damp places while others can be really nice.
In my estimation a basement will see a little more traffic than an attic in an average house. Maybe it’s used for storage of food and drinks or it’s a laundry room. Often there are also things like a water heater and some systems. This makes it a bit difficult to convert this space exactly how you want it.
If you’ve got a bigger basement it might be possible to make different “compartments” so you can separate those things from “your” space.
The access is probably a little easier than the attic and you can do some cool things, decoration wise.
The garage probably the best space for a man cave. It’s easy to convert. You’ve got your own access. It’s semi separate from the rest of the house so it’s easy to be alone. It’s the best place to work on motorcycles, cars and many other DIY projects.
The garage is also great for things like band practice. The easy access from the street is great for moving drum kits, amps, guitars etc. in and out as well as the people that play those instruments.
Can you convince your partner (and yourself) to leave the car(s) outside year round? That might be a difficult proposition for most. You might have to build a nice carport to help the transformation.
A separate structure might be anything from a toolshed in the garden to a factory sized building that has more space than you can imagine.
Check out Joe Rogan’s new studio for an example of the latter.
I would call this the holy grail of man caves. No one else has to use this building, you can do whatever you want and more. A shed in the garden might see some traffic in the summer months but it’s probably possible to find a solution for that. The traffic might even come from yourself so it’s not an issue.
Your family will be happy you’re not taking any of their spaces and you can really feel like you’re by yourself without having to take other people into account.
Summary of rooms
So, what are some of the best rooms to convert into a man cave if they are available?
- Living room
- The bathroom
- The toilet
What’s the goal of your man cave?
Not all of the “good” rooms listed above will be good for everyone. It depends on what hobbies you would like to indulge in. Some hobbies are just not practical to engage in in the bedroom or attic.
Let’s take a look at common interests and which room would be suitable for that interest. Most men will have more than one interest so maybe it’s difficult to combine all of them in one space. I turned this section into a nice chart for your viewing ease and pleasure.
|Sports (except playing)||V||V||V||V||V|
|Weight lifting (home gym)||V||X||V||V||V|
|Working on motorcycles||X||X||X/V||V||V||Difficult to get a motorcycle/car up the stairs. Do you want oil stains inside the house?|
|Working on cars||X||X||X||V||V|
|Cigars||X/V||X/V||X/V||X/V||V||Do you want to smoke in the house?|
|Making music (band practice)||X/V||X/V||V||V||V||Band practice can get loud.|
|Listening to music||V||V||V||V||V|
|Hunting/fishing (maintaining/storing gear and equipment)||V||V||V||V||V|
|X = No|
|V = Yes|
|X/V = It depends on your situation. See notes|
As you can see, most interests can be practiced in most spaces. The exceptions are; Big objects, loud noises and smoke. You might not want those things in the house.
Which space is available?
Theorizing about what’s the best space to convert into a man cave is all good and well, but at the end of the day it comes down to what space is available. Unless you can and are willing to spend a lot of money on a whole separate building, you’ll have to pretty much take what you can get. Most people don’t have a whole lot of rooms free that they can choose from. Most spaces will be occupied by someone or something.
If you’re in the fortunate situation that you do have plenty of free space, that’s awesome. Pick whatever you can.
For most people it really depends on the personal situation, family composition and house what you’ll have available. If possible you can maybe shift around the use of some rooms to free up some space. If there is no space without kicking one of your kids out, tough luck, you’ll have to find another solution. You shouldn’t let anyone in your house suffer for something that’s frankly just a luxury for you.
Maybe you can build something in the garden? Maybe you can just take half of the attic or basement. Is it possible to create a separate space on top of the garage? It’ll be a challenge but maybe the fact that you have to overcome some adversity to get what you want isn’t a bad thing.
What’s the best space to turn into a man cave?
The best spaces to convert into a man cave are the garage or the basement. If those are unavailable, the bedroom, attic, or a separate structure are great alternatives. If you’ve got hobbies that are loud, smelly and/or dirty, you’re probably best off in a garage or separate structure since you don’t want those in the house.
Everyone’s situation is different. That means that what room is available is most likely the one you’re going to have to use. If there is no space at all, you’ll have to be creative and possible undertake a large DIY project to create something for yourself.
I hope you can find the perfect space for your man cave!!
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