Every man needs a place he can call his own. Whether you're dreaming of a peaceful spot to watch the big game or you want to create a cool hangout for you and your friends, turning your shed into a backyard man cave is the perfect solution! With just a bit of planning, it’s easy to convert a simple storage shed into a relaxing retreat where you can escape from the stress of everyday life.
Not sure how to go about creating a man cave shed? This simple guide will show you how to do it in just eight simple steps.
1. Prepare Your Shed for Renovation
If you already have a shed in your backyard, you’ll want to start by emptying it out and cleaning up the space. Remember, a man cave is not a storage unit, and trying to store items in there will totally ruin the vibe.
While sheds are a great place to store items like lawn mowers and gardening tools, they sometimes also become a catch-all for items we’re thinking about getting rid of. Do yourself a favor and use this opportunity to thin out your collection, giving away or throwing out anything you haven’t used in a year or longer. When you’re done, you should have a reasonable amount of stuff. This will make it easier to find an alternative storage space, like your garage or a spare room.
If you have items you need to keep, and you don’t have another storage space, consider putting them neatly back in your current shed and purchasing a new high-quality shed to use for your man cave.
Once you’ve emptied out your shed, it’s a great idea to give it a good cleaning. Sheds are dirty by nature, especially if they’re a few years old, so don’t skip this important step. Once everything is clean, you’ll also be able to notice any areas where mold might be present. Take the time to eliminate this now, and you'll save yourself a lot of headaches in the future.
While you’re cleaning, be sure to clear out any spiderwebs and watch out for potentially dangerous insects like scorpions or black widow spiders. You may also consider putting down food-grade diatomaceous earth, which will provide you with non-toxic pest control that's safe to use around children and pets. If you have wooden walls or floors, now is also a perfect time to sand down any splinters.
2. Thoroughly Weatherproof Your Shed
Making sure your shed is thoroughly weatherproofed is one of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive parts of the project. However, it’s also one of the most important. It’s critical to protect your new man cave from rain, wind, and mold, or the whole project will turn into a complete waste of time and money.
- Protect Your Shed from Groundwater: Start by making sure your shed is built up off the ground, as this will help keep moisture out. Otherwise, you may find yourself constantly battling rot and mold. If you’re installing a new shed, be sure to build a proper foundation, ideally made of concrete, cinder blocks, or thick stone supports. You could choose to build it out of treated wood, but this solution isn't as durable or long-lasting.
- Weatherproof the Roof, Walls, and Interior: Next, you’ll want to use roof felt to protect your roof from rainwater. If you’re remodeling an old shed, you may want to paint the outside walls with waterproof latex paint as well. Applying a latex primer anti-mold paint to the inside of your shed can protect it from dampness and mold build-up, and ensuring your shed has ample ventilation will help keep mold at bay.
3. Plan Out Your Modifications
Now that the hard work is done, it’s time to dive into the fun part! This is your opportunity to start thinking about exactly what you want to do in your man cave and the layout you need to make it happen. Consider what kind of décor you’ll install, what essentials you’ll want (like a television, sound system, or gaming set-up), and what types of utilities you’ll need.
Think about whether you’ll need to build a bar and where you’ll place any other large structures and pieces of furniture. Do you plan to add a bathroom? Does your shed have enough doors and windows? These are all things to consider during the planning phase. This is also a great time to check out some professionally designed shed plans or, at a minimum, sketch out your ideas on paper.
4. Install Utilities
Depending on your skill sets, you’ll likely need to call in some pros to help you add the utilities you need. It’s always a good idea to have electricity in a backyard man cave. If you’re going to add a bathroom or a wet bar, you’ll need a water connection as well.
If you aren’t going to have any large appliances, a 110-volt power source should be sufficient. If you’re planning on using a lot of electricity, you’ll also want to make sure you have enough outlets and add a circuit breaker or two. Just remember that unless you’re already familiar with wiring electricity, this is definitely a job that’s best left to the pros.
5. Add Insulation and Drywall
Once all the utilities are added, it’s time to insulate your shed. This will make it less expensive to keep your man cave at a comfortable temperature. In fact, the money you’ll save will quickly offset the money you’ll need to spend on insulation materials.
When installing your insulation, make sure to fill the entire area, cover every crack and crevice, and fill in any gaps between the foundation and the walls as well. After the shed is thoroughly insulated, you’re ready to hang your drywall. This will hide the utility connections and insulation and give you a smooth surface that you can paint before hanging up your décor.
6. Install Your Climate Control Systems
Since your backyard man cave is located outside, you’ll likely need a climate-control system to keep it comfortable. If you live in an area with diverse seasons, you’ll want to have both heat and air conditioning. In some cases, a stove or space heater and some fans for the summertime might be sufficient. Otherwise, you may want to install a full HVAC system. This will largely depend on your budget and your personal preferences.
7. Add Some Security
If you’re going to equip your man cave with a fully stocked bar or expensive electrical equipment, then it’s a good idea to add some security. At a minimum, make sure your man cave shed has a solid door. Add a thick chain and a sturdy padlock. You may also want to add a motion-sensor spotlight over each entry point.
If it’s in your budget, you may consider adding video surveillance or a full alarm system. There are many options available that are relatively inexpensive. For many, the extra peace of mind is well worth it.
8. Accessorize your Backyard Man Cave
Now that you’ve transformed your shed, it’s time to turn it into a fully functional backyard getaway. This includes selecting your furniture, adding the right lighting, and choosing fun and tasteful decorations. Have fun personalizing your man cave, and don’t hesitate to fill it up with all of the accessories and gadgets you want. After all, this is your space!
Exciting Man Cave Shed Ideas
There are so many fun and exciting things you can do with your man cave; you truly are only limited by your imagination. Need some inspiration? These man cave shed ideas are sure to inspire you!
Mini Home Theater
This is one of the most popular man cave shed ideas. Start by adding a large television, sound system, and plenty of comfortable seating to the space. Make sure you have a WiFi connection and a way to stream content from your phone, and you’re good to go!
If you’re a music lover, this is another great option for your man cave. Whether you want to mix your own audio tracks, practice your instrument, or jam out to your favorite tunes at the volume you prefer, you can do it in your man cave.
From pinball to Pac-Man, there are plenty of games you can add to your man cave. If you’re more of a PlayStation guy, it’s easy to set that up too. You could also add casino-style games like slot machines and a poker table for plenty of non-stop fun.
Bar or Wine Shed
There’s no reason to spend your money going down to the local bar when you have one right in your backyard. Add a wet bar stocked with bottles of your favorite liquor, a keg fridge, or a wine cooler, and invite your friends over to party any time you want.
Get Started on Your Backyard Man Cave Today!
Hopefully, some of these backyard man cave ideas have excited you! If you’re ready to get started, ShelterLogic has a wide selection of sheds and portable garages to choose from. Starting with a brand-new structure will make this project easier and allow you to choose the perfect size for your plans. Take a look through our inventory of high-quality and affordable outdoor storage buildings today!