A man cave is where husbands and male spouses retreat with their buddies to spend a little quality time watching sports, playing cards or just goofing off. It can be anything from a stylish lounge to an ode to your old college crash-pad and everything in between. If you’re going to build yourself a man cave, you want to do it right, but you also don’t want to break the bank in the process. The average cost of a man cave is somewhere in the $5,000 to $10,000 range, according to Money Crashers editor Andrew Schrage. But you can do it a lot cheaper by following a few simple steps.
Decide on a theme for your man cave that is inspired by your personality and interests. For example, if you're a big football fan, you can dress it up in football paraphernalia.
Accessorize the walls of your space affordably by buying some posters from online retailers such as eBay or Amazon. Posters can often be purchased for a few bucks. For other accessories, consider displaying some of your own items like sports trophies, your favorite team jerseys, and other memorabilia.
Paint the walls of your man cave to transform the look quickly and affordably. Spending a little extra money to invest in quality brushes and a paint with a washable finish will save money in the long run and won’t require you repaint it as frequently.
Shop around for bargains before buying your man cave’s centerpiece: a flat-screen television. Although an 80-inch display might break your budget, a 50-inch or 55-inch screen offers savings potential. “These have been on the market for some time, and prices have come down quite a bit in recent years,” Schrage says.
Furnish your man cave with second-hand rather than new furniture. Check garage sales in your neighborhood and online via Freecycle, a website where people advertise items that they would like to give away for free. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get your furniture without spending a dime.
Consider long-term costs if you plan to use a refrigerator in your man cave. You want to select one that’s large enough to contain an evening’s worth of food and beverages. However, you might want to stay away from a full-sized fridge, as the extra cost to buy and run it can be excessive. You can yield additional savings buying a used model on Craigslist or by visiting your local Sears Appliance Outlet store, which usually has heavily discounted prices on refurbished and "scratch-and-dent" appliances.
Put a bar in your man cave on the cheap. Nextag offers some of the best prices, according to Schrage. “You should be able find a smaller bar for around $100,” he says. If you want a bigger bar for your money, you can build one yourself with a home bar kit from your local home improvement center.
If you want to put gaming systems or a pool, foosball or ping-pong table in your man cave, shop around for used ones. These can often be found at secondhand stores, sports consignment shops, garage sales and classified ad websites.
- Andrew Schrage; Money Crashers; Chicago
- "The Man Cave Book"; Jeff Wilser and Michael Yost
- Check out your local pawn shop for electronics and other items to outfit your man cave. Just be sure you fully understand the terms of the return policy, if the shop has one.
- If your bar requires electricity or wiring, Schrage suggests having it professionally done. The extra investment is worth knowing the job is completed properly and safely.
Tricia Chaves began her writing career after working in advertising and promotions for entertainment publisher "The New Times." In 2005, she earned her real-estate salesperson license from the state of Ohio and certification for leasing and property management from the Northeast Ohio Apartment Association. She was certified as a life and weight-loss coach and master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming in 2011.