Creating a Dream Mancave on a Budget
Banish the car to the driveway, ditch the junk and you’re ready to start on one of the most exciting home projects you will ever undertake: a mancave!
If that word conjures up a vision of Pirelli calendars and poker nights, you’re partly right! But today’s mancave can also be a music room, a TV room, a party room, a games room, a band practice room, a workshop, a library, an art studio or a woodwork room. The important thing is that it's a private space where you can get away from the routines of domestic life.
Building a mancave from scratch is a big task, but converting a garage to a mancave is budget-friendly, and well within the skillset of the average DIYer! Here's what to consider.
The basics of planning a DIY mancave
First the basics. How big is your space? Measure up, get some graph paper and work out how you might use it. If you're going to have a big screen TV or a pool table as the focal point for example, make sure there's enough room for your mates to sit and to move around.
You almost certainly have power to your garage but do you have enough power points and lights? You’ll probably need some sort of heating and cooling. Will your mancave have a sound system, bar fridge, computer? Do you need internet cabling?
If you need extras like this, that you can't do yourself, factor the cost of an electrician into the budget. You can trim costs in other areas to make up for it - call in your mates to help, hire equipment and tools instead of buying, and go second-hand for decor items and furniture.
It's also a good idea to have a realistic timetable for the work. Don't promise your mates a grand final on the big screen, with less than a week to go before kick off!
Once you've decided how you will use the space and set the budget, it's time to de-clutter and give the garage a good vacuum so you have a blank canvas to work on. An industrial vacuum cleaner makes this easy.
Renovating the floor
A concrete slab is a ready-made and durable floor, which saves you money on putting down a new one. At this stage, though, your concrete floor is probably stained with oil and paint. Use a concrete mower to remove paint, epoxies, resins, grout and adhesives. That might be enough for you, or you can take it a step further with a high speed concrete burnisher to buff the surface to a fine, smooth finish.
Or call in the heavy machinery: a concrete grinder and edger. This is the tool the professionals use to renovate concrete floors because of its power and manoeuvrability. Note, this isn’t polished concrete – but it’s just as durable, and much simpler and cheaper to achieve. If you like industrial chic, this is the finish for you!
Insulating for year-round use (and soundproofing!)
Next is temperature control. Is your garage insulated? Good insulation will make your mancave more comfortable, all year round, and helps reduce heating and cooling costs.
Insulation will also reduce noise transfer between the house and the sanctuary – both ways. Your family don’t want to listen to you and your mates on the 20th practice run of Eagle Rock!
Do you need to line the interior?
If your garage is brick, you might want to line the interior walls to lighten up the space. Plaster board is reasonably easy to install, at least if there are two of you, and it’s forgiving in the sense that you can rectify mistakes. But it can also be a slow and messy job if you’re doing it by hand. A plasterboard sander with vacuum will reduce the time and mess.
Painting and decorating
Paint is a cheap and easy way to achieve the look you want for your mancave - whether you're going for a bright and airy studio or a bar after dark vibe.
If you have a large area to cover or you just want to speed up the job, an airless sprayer can make painting much faster.
Now comes the fun part – furnishing your mancave. A pool table, a bar, surround sound TV, bookshelves, a piano, a potter’s wheel … the only limit is your imagination and your budget.
Talk to the experts
After some more inspiration, or not sure exactly what tools you need for your mancave? Check out our website and talk to the experienced team at your local branch of Kennards Hire.