Building a man cave can be expensive depending on the purpose and what you want your man cave to have. You can want a lot of things in your man cave depending on the use such as hosting parties with your friends to enjoying some alone time. However, if you are a little short on the budget end, there are a lot of ways you can build a man cave on a budget. You wouldn’t exactly get what you want, but you still enjoy the essential benefits of having a man cave.
Here is a long list of tips and ideas that you can use to build a man cave on a budget. Assuming you already have a location for your man cave, this list can help you finish, design, and decorate your man cave eliminating the need to spend a lot of money to get what you want. Remember, it is not really about what you want, but what you need. The essence of having a man cave is to allow you to refresh and replenish your mind and body to take on the challenges of life.
50 TIPS TO SAVE MONEY
1. Build it Yourself
Hiring professionals to do any remodeling will cost you a lot of money with their labor and fees. If you are on a tight budget, consider doing the projects yourself. However, if you are not experienced, you might spend a lot more on materials. Make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew.
2. Simple Finish on Location
The goal is to make the space for your man cave safe and livable. There are many inexpensive ways to finish the location on a budget by doing essential inspections and quick fixes. A basement, for example, should be waterproof and flood free. You can landscape the yard and make sure the soil against the foundations are slanted away from the house. You can also point the gutters and downspouts of your home away from the foundations. Excess water is one of the reasons for water seeping into the walls.
3. DIY Drainage
It is not that hard to make your own drainage and sump pump system. You would not need to worry about flooding if you chose a different area in the house. However, if you chose the basement as the location for your man cave, here are easy steps to follow for installing a French drain in your basement:
- Mark the path of the draining pipes
The pipes should run at about 1 foot away from the exterior walls. Place the sump or basin in the place that absorbs the most moisture.
- Dig out the basement floor along the path
You need to dig out the trench at about 8 inches wide and 18 inches deep. You can use a pickaxe or a jackhammer (if you have one) to break through the flooring. Later, dig the soil with a shovel or pale.
- Level the trench
The trench should go at a downward angle towards the basin. This method will allow the water to flow down the drain quickly.
- Place the piping into the trench
When you place the French drain piping, make sure the perforations are facing down on the soil.
- Connect the piping to the basin or sump
After laying down all the pipes in places, make sure you connect all the pipes to the water collection basin.
- Fill the trench with water drainage gravel
The water drainage gravel will allow water to seep down the holes of the piping that flows down to the basin. Do not pack the gravel tight so the water can flow downwards.
- Seal the trench
You can now seal the trench system with your choice of cement. You can use quick-dry adhesive for this step.
4. DIY Insulation
Finishing a space for your man cave will require you to ensure that the area is properly insulated. To a space to become habitable, you will need proper insulation to get a warm and cozy feeling when you are in the area. The inexpensive way to insulate a space such as a basement or a garage is by using insulating foam to cover the pipes and air ducts. This method will not only help warm up the room, but it will also extend the life of your tubes and keep running water clan and warm.
5. DIY Flooring
Several flooring materials do not cost as much as hardwood. Although you can scavenge your area to get free hardwood from companies throwing away old palettes. But, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of searching for free lumber, here are your budget-friendly options:
- Concrete flooring
It is one of the cheapest alternatives since basements and tool sheds already have a concrete slab. The only disadvantage is for this type of flooring is that it is too cold, especially in cold areas in the United States.
Helpful Tip: if you are trying to save up to get better flooring, you can buy a rug and place it in the area where you will be putting your couch and chairs. It will feel homier with a carpet you can lay down on in the meantime.
- Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is one of the lower-priced choices for your man cave flooring. It is affordable, and water-resistant, which makes it perfect for areas prone to flooding such as the basement. It costs about $1 to $8 per square foot with a wide selection of designs. It is effortless to install, so you won’t need to pay a contractor. This option will save you money.
How to Install:
- Measure the surface you wish to install laminate floors
- Remove tongue and straighten each plank you will use for corners along the wall using a table saw
- With a compass, trace and contour each plank for uneven walls
- Assemble the first row with the tongues facing away from the first wall so you can adjoin the next row
- Do the same process for the next rows
- To install the following rows, connect the tongue with the groves until the joints lock
- Use a rubber mallet to secure that the two pieces of wood are connected
- After installing all the rows, apply sealant on the gaps
For other flooring options, click here.
6. DIY Lighting
If you already have circuits for lighting in the area you choose, you’re in luck. You no longer need to obtain an electrical permit. All you need are the lights! If you want electric efficiency, your best bet is RGB LEDs. They may be more expensive up front, but because of its effectiveness and long-lasting life, it will save you a lot more in the long run. To learn more about lighting, click here.
7. DIY Bar
Most man caves have bars. It is probably one of the best features your man cave can have. Who doesn’t want their very own bar where you can drink your choice of liquor anytime? There are no last calls in this bar. Just remember to drink moderately! Click here to learn more about how to build a bar for your man cave.
8. Cheapest Option is an Existing Room
The most affordable option for a man cave is using an existing room in the house. An existing room should already have the proper finishing. You don’t need to fix the vents, flooring, and the other finishing touches. You can use the extra money for games and furniture. You can change the layout of the room if you want to make it feel like an authentic man cave.
9. Identify the Purpose
It is easier to prepare a budget if you know what the purpose of the man cave is. It can be an all-around game room for you and your friends, or it can be a place where you can do activities by yourself. It can also be a combination of the two.
10. Rank the Purpose
After determining the purpose of your man cave, list them down and rank them based on what you really need. The decision should revolve around your budget and also, the size of the area. A simple office will not cost as much as a home theater or pub themed man cave. You can always save enough money and add the other features you want later
11. Use Natural Lighting
To save money for lighting the area, you can maximize the use of natural lighting. If you choose a basement for a man cave, this task will be a lot difficult because natural light is harder to get down in the sub-level of your home. It may be difficult, but I did not say it wasn’t possible.
12. Brightening the Location
With the absence of light, the basement can be dark if you do not have the right lighting. However, by painting the basement with bright colors such as white or sky blue, you can trick your eyes to think that the room is actually ore illuminating. Not only will you spend less money by installing the lighting, but you will also save money on the electricity bill.
13. Compare Prices
When looking for materials for decorating the man cave, do not settle for the first item you see. Compare the prices, and then make your decision. However, some things can really catch your attention at first glance. So, it is understandable if you buy the items on impulse. Make sure you don’t do this too often, or you might blow the whole budget for your man cave.
If you have a lot of old items that you thought you were never going to use again, you might want to have another look at these items. You might find a different use for an old piece. For example, you have old car seats that you can re-purpose as chairs for your man cave. Use your creativity and imagination for this option.
15. Buy Local
Buying local products in your area can save you money as some local items are sometimes have a lower price. It is also better to support a local business rather than giant corporations. It is your way of giving back to the community. So whenever you are walking around town, make sure you have a look at the local products.
You don’t really have the option to haggle prices in stores. However, if you go to swap meets, garage sales, and flea markets, you have the chance to haggle with the seller. Make sure you don’t low ball the seller that much. Haggling should be offering the seller a reasonable price for the products you want to buy. You can check the real cost and ask for a fair amount of the product based on its condition of the items.
17. Swap Meets
In some areas, you can visit swap meets where you can find all sorts of stuff. You can get used items or items that have slight scratches. I used to buy gifts from swap meets, just don’t tell my friends. You can buy all sorts of stuff from old consoles and a lot of rare finds.
18. Flea Markets
Flea markets are similar to swap meets. In my experience, flea markets have a lot more exciting furniture. You can find antique items such as old tables that come from a different era. Some things will need minor restoration, but because of the low prices, they are still worth buying most of the time.
19. Thrift Stores
Thrift stores, salvation army stores, and goodwill have a lot of exciting finds. Most of the time, it is full of used items donated by people. You can also give your pre-loved items and get a tax write off. By doing this, you are saving money and getting more the next tax season.
I love going to pawn shops to look for rare finds. Some items can cost a lot of money, such as unique items like old mint condition rookie cards. You can also find functional items such as speakers and other cool things for your man cave.
21. Junk Yard
Junkyards do not always sell literal junk. If you want an industrial design for your man cave at a meager price, you can find interesting items at junk shops. You can buy car parts, motorcycle parts you can restore to use as decorations.
22. Clearance Sales
When you are at a store, you can find a lot of items on sale. Go to the clearance section to look for things you might need. Almost every store has a clearance section. If you are on a budget, going around stores in your city is a small price to pay to save money along the way.
23. Garage Sales
Take advantage of garage sales in your area. You’ll never know what you might find. Other people sell things that they do not really need. The items that other people don’t need might be the missing piece for your man cave.
24. Don’t Go Over the Budget
I know you can sometimes get carried away buying a lot of items for decorating our man cave. Sometimes you don’t realize that you are going over your allotted budget, so the best way to save money is to limit your spending. You can write down a checklist to avoid going over your budget.
25. Use Multi-purpose Items
If you want your man cave to have a lot of games and activities, you can save money by buying multi-purpose items such as convertible tables. There are items such as 3-in-1 tables that can be used as a pool table, air hockey, and table tennis. You can also use this table for dinners and card games. Buying items like this will not only save you money. It will also save you space in your man cave.
26. Avoid Expensive Brands
Sometimes, items with less known brands can work as well as branded items. Especially for decorative items. You do not really need expensive items with designer brands. However, for some appliances such as TVs, it’s better to choose brands that are reliable because it will save you money in the long run.
27. Check Your Storage
If you happen to have a storage unit at home or anywhere else, you might have items that you never thought you would use again. Before going out shopping and spending money, you might have old things that you can use. You might actually have items that you never thought you had hidden in storage.
28. Energy Efficient Games
There are so many games you can play with your friends in your man cave. You can play drinking games. The best thing about drinking games is that it can be almost about anything. It is a delightful but straightforward game for the whole gang.
29. Board Games
Playing your classic board games can bring back a lot of memories from your childhood. You can play dungeons and dragons and exercise your imagination if you’re into that kind of stuff. Or, you can enjoy a game of scrabble and improve your brain functions. There are a lot of benefits you can get from playing board games.
30. Card Games
One right way to spend your time in your man cave is by playing card games. You can enjoy a weekly poker night with your friends. There are a lot of places where you can get a poker table at a low price. You can also build your own poker table which will save you a lot of money.
31. DIY Tables
One of the easiest DIY projects are building tables. All you need is wood, a saw, a hammer, and nails. If you have a table saw, it will be easier to make any shape you want. For a more authentic casino feel, use felt to cover up the tabletop. Here are easy steps for building a poker table:
- Trace out two identical table shapes on two pieces of plywood.
- Cut all the lines that you previously laid out using a jigsaw. (Be careful with power tools)
- Cut the inner part of the first piece to create the outline of the poker table which will later be fastened on top of the other section.
- You can add cup holders to the frame if it is thick enough.
- Upholster the outer frame with felt or any cloth you have available.
- With, felt upholster the table piece using staple guns and glue.
- Fasten the frame onto the table part using screws or nails.
- For the legs of the table, you can use an old existing table.
- Just place the tabletop safely on top of the existing table, and you are good to go!
32. DIY Chairs
You can also build your chairs for gaming or chilling purposes in your man cave. Just like building tables, chairs are also fun and easy to assemble. You can create your own bar stools or just any chair with your design of choice. It is a fun activity you can do in your man cave, for your man cave.
33. Old Gaming Consoles
Having your man cave is the place to whip out and set up your old gaming consoles, from your Atari to your PS4. It is a bonus if all of them still function, but you can use your old consoles as display pieces. It can bring back a lot of memories of the hours you spent playing your classic video games.
34. Old Arcade Games
You can scour the internet and thrift stores to buy cheap old classic arcade games. Some items will need a minor restoration on the cosmetics, but make sure you test the games before buying them. It is nice to have your favorite arcade games in your man cave. It will bring back your childhood memories. It will give you a nostalgic feeling that can relieve your stress.
Apps like Groupon can give you discounts on all sorts of things. It has all kinds of deals which can save you more money. You can get discounts on fresh items, such as furniture and gadgets. It is incredible how you can save money nowadays with the use of promo codes and online coupon apps such as Groupon.
36. Energy Efficient
Getting devices that have the Energy Star logo are energy efficient. Some of these items might be expensive upfront, but you will save a lot of money and save the environment in the long run. You can look at HVAC systems that are energy efficient for your man cave. HVAC systems are essential most of the time, especially in humid areas like the basement.
You can save money by downsizing on the appliances you want for your man cave. If you have a small space, you can downgrade from buying a 70-inch TV to a 55-inch. However, TVs have really gotten more affordable throughout the years. All you need to do is choose the right size for the distance of your couch to get the best viewing experience.
Going online and looking for specific items on a website such as Craigslist can be an excellent way to find used items. You can get furniture such as a couch, entertainment centers, and even pre-loved appliances such as TVs. You can search online and meet up with the seller to check out the item. For devices, make sure you check them out to see if they are functioning with no hidden issues.
A website like eBay can save you a lot of money when buying used items. You can purchase brand new or used items by bidding on them, the highest bidder wins. You will need to register for a PayPal account so you can pay for the items. Some things have the option to “buy it now” so you can secure the item you are. Interested in without bidding.
40. Offer Up
Offer Up is an app you can download on your mobile device where you can buy and sell pre-loved items. You can set the mile radius of the things you are buying. It is effortless to find good deals in the comfort of your home.
42. Varage Sale
Varage Sale is a way to reach more customers for your garage sale items. You can search virtual garage sales and get sweet deals just browsing through your phone or laptop. It is a lot more straightforward than having to search for garage sales and items.
42. Let GO
This app is an alternative for other apps such as Offer Up. It is a safe and secure way of browsing through great deals on home goods, used electronics, vintage furniture, ad clothes. It is an excellent place to start finding the items you and the appliances you want for your man cave.
43. Facebook Market Place
Guess what. Facebook is not only for socializing with your friends online. The developers added a new feature called Marketplace where instead of scrolling down on your news feed, you can scroll down for local item listings.
44. Furniture on the street
A lot of people just throw their old furniture on the side of the road. I once found an excellent condition couch someone threw on the street and used it in my first apartment. It was an L-shaped couch that was surprisingly in good condition. All I had to do was disinfect the sofa to ensure it was sanitary to use.
45. Cosmetic Scratches
Some stores sell their display items for a slightly lower price. These items will have small cosmetic issues, but you wouldn’t mind that if you are on a budget. Just make sure the thing that you want is not really beat up. Cosmetic scratches are fine, but make sure the item has not lost its functions.
46. Sell Items You Don’t Use
You can also sell your pre-loved items using all these apps to raise money for your man cave. The power of the internet can be beneficial for raising money and getting rid of things you don’t use anymore. You can increase your funds while creating more space for your man cave at the same time.
47. Scavenger Hunt
If you want to save money on materials that you need for building your man cave, you can search in industrial areas in your city. I used to work at a warehouse, and we just throw away old palettes which you can use for several projects such as finishing the walls and flooring of your basement.
48. Contact Companies
You can search the yellow pages to contact companies that might want to sell materials they don’t use. I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem for them giving you items that they intend to throw away. You can help the company with the disposal of their old materials. It is a win-win situation for both you, and the company.
49. Nature Trip
You can get items from nature, such as an old log. You can repurpose an old tree trunk and use it as a base for a glass table. You can also find rocks you can use to decorate your fireplace. There are all sorts of things you can find in nature to use as man cave decorations.
50. Life Collection
All the memorabilia and items you have collected throughout your existence can be used as decorations for your man cave. You will need to build display cases and shelves yourself to display the items. Think of your man cave as a man’s scrapbook. By showing items you have, you can turn your man cave into your life’s story by exhibiting things that are important to you.
BENEFITS OF HAVING A MAN CAVE
- Healthy Relationships
There are limitations to the space you give your spouse in a marriage. Be thankful if your spouse allows you to have personal space. Having permission does not let you do whatever you want, and anytime you want. There are limitations; do not forget that you still have responsibilities to your family. It is always better to get the time you need before you actually need the space. Personal time is not a thing that you can demand from your spouse. It is something that needs to be given sincerely.
Being married for a long time, you may have realized how chaotic it could sometimes be. It is normal to want to get a little bit of space. All you need is a couple of hours a week to relax and enjoy your personal time. Make sure that you don’t do anything that can break your relationship. Everyone needs a little time away from routine life. Having your own space is giving your spouse the space they need as well. But do not forget the limitations. You are not allowed to break the boundaries of marriage. I know you won’t do anything that would cause your relationship to suffer.
- Stress Relief
Getting a man cave can relive stress that piles up from your daily routine. Whether it is stress from your job or your boss. Piling a lot of pressure is bad for the health and your overall well-being. A man cave is a place to ease this stress by doing anything your passionate about. Whatever it is that you do to relieve stress, such as watching a good movie or listening to music can be done in your man cave.
Many factors can generate stress for a man. A man is expected to provide for his family, and getting reminded of the future can break down a man. Creating an environment of your own, with the feeling of privacy and security can be the best stress reliever. It is like pressing a reset or refresh button. After refreshing and destressing, you are now ready to take on the challenges with a full heart and inspiration.
- Having a Place to Call Your Own
Your man cave is our territory. You can design it however way you want it. It is the one place in the house where you do not have to share with anyone. Sometimes, you cannot make the living room into a game room; your wife will probably be against that idea. If you have a wife, your bedroom is also a shared space. Your man cave is your territory.
You can design your territory however you want. You can put thing anything you want. The items you can’t put in any other part of the house, such as your collections and your favorite things can be perfectly placed in your man cave. The rest of the house should look like a family home, but you can design your man cave in any manner you want.
- A Place for Spiritual Meditation
Having a man cave is not just all fun and games. It is also a place where you can reflect on your day. You can use the space for meditation and reconnection with your spirituality. You can reflect on the things you did the whole week, and by doing this, it can make you a better person. Having a man cave will somehow let you be the better version of yourself.
It is a very spiritual experience to reflect in a space alone. Because most basements are located underground, you get to enjoy the peace. You will be amazed by all the benefits you can get by being alone in an enclosed space. The man cave is a quiet space away from the loudness you experience outside on your daily commute.
- A Place for Physical Activity
You can use your man cave as gym space. Physical activity can not only benefit your health, but it can also be an excellent way to refresh your body and your mind. Your personal gym appliances will depend on your budget and the size of the space. You don’t need to buy a lot of expensive gym equipment. You can make your own DIY weights. A yoga mat is enough to do push-ups and daily crunches to get your daily work out.
- A Place to Exhibit the Things That You Love
In your man cave, you are the curator and owner of your personal museum. Anything you want to put on display can be exhibited in your man cave. You can set up a cabinet where you can display your collection of rare wines and spirits. You can set up a cigar table with all the accessories for you and your friends to enjoy when celebrating. Anything you collect can now be exhibited in your man cave. If you are a painter, you can hang your own pieces on the wall.
- Hosting Parties and Gatherings
A man cave is a place for yourself, but it is always great to share the fun with your friends. If you have a pool table, it is better to play with a friend. If you decide to host parties, make sure you have what you need to make your man cave more accommodating, such as chairs, tables, utensils, and interactive games.
The basement is an excellent place to host parties. Hosting parties in your yard or the house might get loud. Because your basement is located underground, less noise will be produced. The neighbors would not have any reasons to file noise complaints against you. You can add additional soundproofing materials and wall insulation to lessen the noise so you and your friends can party in peace.
- Mental Health
The daily tasks of your routine life can get you burnt out. Doing the same thing for years ca be bad for your mental health. Without any outlet, it can affect your overall mental state. Mental health is a big deal, and it is not an issue to be taken lightly. I know you have a family to take care of, so you have to keep providing them with all the basic needs. However, sometimes you have to think about yourself.
- Your Creative Space
Being in your fortress of solitude is an excellent way to open up a lot of creative possibilities. If you’re a writer, you can make it look like an office, with all the things that inspire you. If you are into music production, you can create a home studio underground. You can design the place whichever way you want it using your creativity. Decorating the area can be a way to channel all the stress you deal with daily.
You also need to consider the space you have. You do not want a place that restricts you from movement. A cramped up creative studio will limit your creativity. If space restricts you from doing anything creative, consider focusing your man cave for a specific purpose. Make sure you create the right ambiance for whatever it is you plan on doing.
- Your Safe Place
Your man cave is your overall happy place. You can do whatever that makes you happy with it. The important thing is nobody will judge you. However, you must keep in mind that your man cave is a reflection of your personality. If ever you are feeling any stress from the outside world, you can always go to your cave and feel the joy it can bring.
INEXPENSIVE MAN CAVE THEMES
- RUSTIC THEME
The building or purchasing rustic-looking furniture and decorations are not that expensive. You can go to thrift stores or junk shops and look for cheap furniture and tools that you can quickly restore. Another man’s garbage can be someone’s treasure.
- POST-APOCALYPTIC THEME
This theme is for people who enjoy a lot of science fiction movies such as “Mad Max.” you can use your old gears and pipes as materials for shelves. Basically, you can use any broken appliance in your home, and repurpose them into something you can use.
- OLD GARAGE
If you are a big car guy, you can use old car materials to decorate your man cave. You can use car seats as a couch and old tires as wall decorations. This instance is your time to be creative. There are no limits to your imagination as long as you have the right tools for the job. You can even get an old motorcycle and use it for display.
It goes without saying that doing everything yourself will save you a lot of money than hiring a contractor. You can also ask some of your good friends for help with projects that are too difficult to do alone. Make sure you buy your friend dinner even if they insist not to. If you are starting from scratch and try to finish the basement by yourself. You should know that you will need to get the legal permits for remodeling. It may cost more money, but it can add more value to the house, which means you will get the money back if you decide to sell.
For large jobs like finishing the basement and working with electricity and plumbing, you will need to have experience with complex DIY projects. Some of these tasks can be deadly, so it is best to be safe rather than lose more money for hospital bills. However, if your basement is already finished, doing the DIY decorations will only require minimum DIY experience.
For building decorations by yourself, you will need to know how to use some simple tools and power tools from time to time. Just remember to be careful and wear the right safety gear.
The best man caves do not depend on what you have in store for your guests. An excellent man cave is a place where you can relax and feel good no matter what is inside. A man cave can only have a chair, but as long as you enjoy the area for yourself. It is still your space in which you can relieve stress. The definition of a cool man cave is an area that you can call your own. Don’t think that the games you define the man cave. I hope these tips can help you build your man cave on a budget. There are no limits to your imagination!