Enter the Man Cave

So you are thinking about it, or you’ve started, OR you’re already done. It’s one thing to be excited about the presentation of your man cave to others and to see their expression and witness their experience as they indulge themselves in your utopia, but it’s another thing to FEEL good about it for yourself. In fact, you should try to FEEL good about everything.

          our intentions at mancaveowner.com

Mancaveowner.com is not only going to be writing about the experience of building a man cave and choosing the direction of it from beginning to end, but we are going to incorporate something else that no one else does. We are going to toss out some well-being tips as we write.  Age doesn’t matter and it will be subtle anyways, AND aside from that, there’s going to be all kinds of cool stuff for you as that is what the site was built for. We would like to mention though that if you start FEELING better and seem to be experiencing  more optimism as you browse through our pages in the future, it was our doing, and not yours. HA, we’ll see right! Anyhow, enough of that stuff huh? Moving on…

Your Entry into Your Man Cave

Where is your man cave going to be located?

1. Basement
2. Den/Bonus Room
3. Detached, private, lofted, garage.

Lets start with the basement. Where I come from, homes are built on a foundation made of walls of concrete that are about 10 feet deep by 8 inches thick which is basically the ground perimeter of the home. The ground is dug with an excavator and the walls are formed with what are called wall-forms. Yup.

wall forms to build a concrete wall foundation

wall forms to build a concrete wall foundation

Then the wall-forms are removed and this is hopefully your end product:

nice job and already sealed too

nice job and already sealed too

95% of all homes here in northern north america are built this way and, when you purchase a new home, there is a high probability that the basement is unfinished hence the higher potential for a basement man cave.

The rest of the home is completed to the standards of what a typical family needs and wants, and therefore the unfinished basement becomes a blank canvas for an ambitious young man, or any aged man’s dreams of whatever his wild mind can conceive. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. –Napoleon Hill

                    conceive it and achieve it…

There is a reason that I am explaining the basement foundation to you is that if you are ever in the position where you are working with a builder and actively planning and building a new home with them, you should definitely consider replacing the teleposts with a steel i-beam for the main support of the home. It will cost you a little more in the beginning, but when the time comes to finish your basement, then the WHOLE thing is wide open down there, and the rooms and wall spaces aren’t dictated for you due to ugly, obstructive, steel posts erected everywhere. I’ve finished basements and know what it’s like to work with teleposts. They are a real pain to work around and yes they limit your planning. If you get rid of them, it’ll be that much easier to design the room the way YOU want it. If you know someone with an i-beam for support in the basement vs teleposts, ask them what it’s like, there’s a good chance they have been where you are and now have what you want. Seek some council from them and you’ll be happy you did. Furthermore, if your basement support is done well, you’ll have all of the foundation you need to take this anywhere you want to.

the stairs leading into the basement set the theme…

When designing the basement man cave, I suggest you begin with the entryway first – the stairs leading down to the basement either from an outside separate entrance, or from the main floor. Next we can examine floor finishing, wall finishing, ceiling, and different lighting to use to create the start of the theme for our man cave.
The stairs can be covered with carpet, cork, tile, wood, laminate, stained, painted, or even left bare. Lots of options here for sure. There are some neat options for lighting stairs along as seen here :

design by architecturaljustice from architecturaljustice.com

All in all, the stairs will likely have the same flooring as the rest of the basement.

One way to  drastically improve the entrance to the man cave from the stairwell, is to dress the walls with artificial stone, or cultured stone. This material can be used inside or outside, so where you enter from doesn’t matter for its use, and the application method pretty much remains the same. The greatest thing about cultured stone is that it looks real if you get the good stuff, and it is light-weight. It is also easy to cut with a wet saw and quite easy to handle. You can pick up a wet saw for a hundred bucks or so. I have a large volume of cultured stone on the front exterior of my home, and its been there for 8 years, still looks new, has maintained perfect color. It looks real, classy, and has withstood the harsh four seasons up here in the north. We have days of extreme heat in the summer, and harsh winters as well. Freeze-thaw cycles are not uncommon, and the stuff still sticks! There is little humidity here as well so the mortar is subjected to dry conditions where you’d expect shrinkage and loss of tack, however, again the stuff hangs on beautifully and this company has made it well. Oh, and did I say it looks fabulous too? Well, it does.

cultured stone

cultured stone

Stone clad walls:

Building stone-clad man cave stairwells is going to look absolutely fantastic for your project, and it is easy to do yourself. There are literally dozens of options of styles to choose from including stone and brick. It is going to look great no matter what floor covering you choose, and YOU can easily do this AND I’ll show you where you can find out how to. Also, keep in mind that if you have a fireplace, or wood burning stove, or masonry heater in your man cave, then you can use the same material to cover it for a matching look that ties all of the room all together. Add some sharp looking wall sconces or alternate form of lighting to suite your theme and the entrance to your man cave is set to please. Here is an image of this type of cultured stone combined with a wild lighting effect. How sweet would this look curving down the stairs into your man cave?!lit-stone-wall-1

Seriously consider this for your project and you won’t regret it. Secondly, do it yourself…it’s not that difficult if you follow the basic instructions and it will look pro! Take pride in your man cave. Do the work and you will FEEL great in the end!