garage renovation 4

How To Transform Your Garage Into A Man-Cave?

Here's how to turn a garage into a man cave design guide, including flooring, lighting, wall texture, shelving, storage, furniture and decor.

So you scouted locations for your man cave, and you’ve decided on the garage. It’s a good choice because the hardest and most expensive part of the construction has already been done — building four walls, a roof, and a floor.

With those basic building blocks, you can make a few other adjustments to the space and start enjoying poker night with your buddies as soon as possible.

As long as you aren’t increasing the footprint of your garage and all the work is internal, you should not need planning permission.

If you live in a housing association or a listed building, you may need to consult with the local planning committee.

Converting your garage into living space without authorisation can cause problems down the road if you want to rent or sell, so take the time to follow the proper process. See our man cave ideas here.

What Is A Man Cave?

The term ‘man cave’ came about in the early 90s but saw a huge peak in popularity in the last decade, as men increasingly looked for ways to seek some solitude.

A range of factors, from stressful jobs that saw people working longer hours to larger families and homes that were now able to afford some extra space, all worked together to provide the perfect opportunity for the men of the house to get some solitude.

So, what is a man cave exactly?

The term man cave is a loose one and can describe any part of the house reserved for men to enjoy some solitude. Sometimes called a mantuary, man space, or even mainland, they serve as a retreat from their everyday lives in a place they can call their own.

Within the man, a cave is anything the male desires to make it more comfortable or entertaining. You could have video games and a large screen TV, a diverse library of books and a comfortable recliner, a full bar and mini-fridge set up for entertaining, or anything that you fancy.

These fully-equipped spaces are found wherever there’s room in the house or outside of it.

You might have a man cave in the home’s spare bedroom, outside in a treehouse, or most commonly, the garage, provided there’s enough room for them to deck it out as they choose and get some privacy from the rest of the house.

Why The Garage Is The Perfect Man Cave

The dream of having your cave is something that the troglodytes of the past probably hoped for, but with a serious lack of cave real estate, they were stuck sharing with the rest of the family.

Today, the modern American home has an already established garage just waiting to be turned into a man’s oasis, and it’s the easiest way to get the solitude you’ve been screaming for.

When we look at the average garage in the average American household, it’s full of everything you could hope for in a man cave base.

There’s lots of spare room, you have access to running water and electricity, it’s weatherproofed, has easy access for your friends to visit, and it’s a place where the rest of the family would rather not enter.

Better still, the garage is a clean slate and usually somewhere that’s been untouched by the interior design inside the home. 

You have a blank page to work with, so the entire planning process and beautification are up to you, making the satisfaction of building and having your very own man cave all the more spectacular.

transform your garage into a man cave

Turn A Garage Into A Man Cave

An unused garage is a perfect space for a custom man cave, providing a place for you to unwind, relax, and entertain after a long day out. You can easily transform your garage into a man cave and still set it up to be a garage again in the future. 

The guide below will show you everything you need to convert your garage into a man cave to enjoy for years in the future. The process is easier than you think!

Before you can get to the fun part of enjoying your new sanctuary, there’s some planning to be done first. The garage is the perfect place to set up mainland in your home, but you have to check off these steps to get it ready for the finishing touches.

  • CLEAR OUT THE GARAGE. If you’re like most people, your garage is full of random bits and pieces, tools that are never used, and old Christmas decorations from a decade ago. The first step is to clear it all out and get it organised to have enough room for your new oasis.
  • PREPARE THE FLOORS. A garage floor is usually made of concrete, and if you live somewhere that gets cold, you’ll want to insulate it. This can involve adding a subfloor and installing insulation below your final floor covering or using some smartly laid rugs to help keep it warm.
  • PREPARE THE WALLS. Most attached garages already have insulation if they’re part of the house, but if not, this will be important to add. You’ll have to choose a colour scheme for the paint and get that job done before you start putting in the furniture.
  • FINISH THE CEILING. The ceiling may need to be covered with a layer of drywall to finish it; otherwise, a fresh coat of paint if it’s already done. Map out where you might need electricity for lighting, fans, and other devices, and have these installed by a licensed electrician.

Considering Acoustics And Insulation

Both acoustics and insulation of the man cave depend largely on how you upgrade the garage walls. Do not hesitate to splurge here a bit (if possible) and get top-notch panelling or add drywall on top of it all to ensure that the winter chill and the summer heat is firmly kept away. 

Insulation extends to the ceiling and the garage door as well, and you might want to plug in any cracks and crevices that let out the heating or cooling. Top-notch insulation creates a cozy man cave that will serve you well for years to come across all seasons and at all times.

Plan For Plugging Things In!

Modern man caves were very different from their predecessors several decades ago. The image of a middle-aged man hanging around with his friends or sitting in solitude while gulping down a beer or five might have endured. 

But today’s best garage man cave ideas are much more plugged in. Plan for all the electrical outlets and where you want your giant TV, the sound system and anything else electrical to go. This reduces the hassle of extension cords and painful rewiring once it is all done.

Style Of The Space

How do you want your man cave to feel? This is probably the most important question, and it all depends on your personality and taste. Maybe you want a man cave with a pool table, a dark ambience, spunky lighting, that transports you back into your favourite pub when you were a teen. 

Maybe you prefer a breezier, relaxing man cave filled with books and solitude. Some might want a recliner, a TV and plenty of peace! It is this choice that will shape your man cave.

Décor And Accessories For The Man Cave

Once you have turned the garage into a comfortable, safe and stylish setting, adding the furniture at the end is the easiest and most fun task. A cool recliner is an absolute must, and this will be your throne over the years to come. 

Add additional seating for friends in the form of a sectional or a smart couch. A small bar in the corner, a fridge to store everything you need and some shelf space are all you need for a fun-filled weekend here!

Man Cave Garage Flooring

You have two options for that oil-stained, unfinished concrete garage floor. You can either spruce it up and add a finish or cover it up. Whatever choice you make, power washing the floor is the first step.

The quickest flooring solution is to lay down interlocking rubber floor tiles. They’re comfortable underfoot and easy to source, clean, or replace as necessary.

Carpets can help you achieve a feeling of separation between garage space and living space. Laying carpet padding and wall-to-wall carpeting will dampen sound, keep the temperature steady, and be more comfortable underfoot than bare concrete.

If you’re going for a more polished and permanent renovation, you can also put in a subfloor. That gives you the option to lay down wooden flooring or snap-together composite floorboards.

Large area rugs are less labour-intensive and work well, but consider sealing and finishing the concrete first.

If you do nothing else to your garage floor, consider a layer of stone epoxy. This will hide imperfections and improve the visual appearance of the existing floor. Best of all, it can be completed by an amateur in one weekend. 

Man Cave Garage Lighting

Most garages don’t have windows and are lit by bare bulbs, giving them an uncozy interrogation room feel. Changing the lighting is one of the easiest ways to transform the feel of the space from a ‘storage area’ to a ‘hang-out zone’.

There are three types of lighting you need to think about; ambient lighting, fill or task lighting, and accent lighting.

Start with adding a light fixture to the overhead bulb. A translucent semi-flush ceiling light fixture in a drum style will shed the most ambient light while taking up the least headroom.

If you choose, try to install this fixture closer to the back of the garage, away from the door, where it’s darkest. To fill in any dark corners and make the room feel larger, add torchiere style floor lamps.

Next, add task lighting. If you’re adding a wet bar, you’ll want a wall-mounted light shining on the work area. For the poker table, hanging a pendant lamp overhead will ensure everyone can see their cards.

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Texture The Walls In The Garage

Throwing up a coat of paint will improve the appearance of your man cave, but to take things to the next level, consider adding texture.

Brick or stone veneer is easy to install and will give the impression of sturdiness and solidity.

Textured wallpaper in a dark colour adds instant sophistication to any room. You could even use pallet wood or wood panelling to achieve a lodge atmosphere. 

Man Cave Garage Shelving & Storage

Brick or stone veneer is easy to install and will give the impression of sturdiness and solidity.

Textured wallpaper in a dark colour adds instant sophistication to any room. You could even use pallet wood or wood panelling to achieve a lodge atmosphere. 

Man Cave Garage Shelving & Storage

You’ll be amazed at how it transforms the area from ‘storage space’ to ‘living space’. If you don’t have a ton of clutter, well-organised open shelving is perfectly acceptable.

You can also purchase freestanding storage and use it as a makeshift partition. A series of large cabinets or wardrobes give you lots of space to hide away your tools and gardening supplies.

To the extent possible, based on your space and circumstances, try to remove any visual reminders that you’re in a garage.

Garage Partition Wall

Adding a partition wall of any height is a great way to section off your man cave from the rest of your garage. Accordion walls and room dividers can be purchased and installed with minimal hassle.

For a more permanent solution, construct a timber frame. Before you cover it with drywall, put some insulation to help regulate the temperature.

Another option for partition walls is a cinder block. If you’re comfortable working with concrete and have access to affordable cinder blocks, this is a decent solution, especially in warmer climates.

If you get cold weather where you live, you may regret passing up the opportunity to insulate your space.

Man Cave Garage Furniture

When it comes time to furnish your man cave, make your mantra ‘seating and surfaces’. Are you planning to entertain in your man cave?

You’ll need a seating area with enough room for all your buddies. A couch and a few chairs should do it — bonus points for including a plush recliner.

Chances are you plan to enjoy a beverage in your sacred relaxation space. No matter where you sit in your man cave, there should be a surface within arm’s reach where you can rest your drink.

This will also prevent your guests from putting their drinks on the floor, where they could get kicked over and ruin that carpet you just laid.

If you don’t have enough space for a living room set, consider a poker table instead. With comfortable, plush chairs, you may not miss the couch. 

Depending on the beam structure of your garage roof, you could even install a swing chair or hammock.

Man Cave Garage Decor

If you have memorabilia that clashes with the interior design of the main house, the man cave is the perfect place to display it with pride.

This room should make you feel happy and relaxed, so choose items for inclusion based on that criteria. Framing posters before you hang them will make the space feel more permanent and finished.

If you purchase decorative items or paintings, choose one main colour for the space and one or two accent colours. Try to ensure that at least one of these colours is present in any design element you add to the space.

If you’re adding wire shelving, grab a can of spray paint in your accent colour and make it intentional.

Buying a new couch or painting the walls? That’s where your main colour should be used. Need some extra cushions on the couch? Look closely at the colours in the pattern — even small details can help tie the decor together.

You can visualise your man cave garage more easily by using one of the garage design software programs currently on the market. These enable one to try out different elements such as flooring, wall paint, shelving and decor to get the design you like before purchasing anything.

A few technical notes: You’ll want to use moisture-blocking paint since the garage likely doesn’t have the best air circulation. Consider running a dehumidifier when the weather is soggy — you want your man cave to be clean and dry.

What To Avoid For A Man Cave Garage

At the bare minimum, remove any toxic or dangerous chemicals from the space. A spill or leak could become dangerous.

Never smoke inside your man cave unless all fuel has been removed and no car is present. If you want to grill, you’ll need to open the door and step outside — consider adding an awning or other protection to keep you out of the weather.

Never use propane, kerosene, butane, or charcoal indoors, even with the door open. Toxic gases can build up and become dangerous or even deadly. Better to brave the elements than the emergency room.

FAQs About Garage Renovation

By building a simple partition wall, you can break up your garage into two separate spaces – a handy workshop when there's work to get done and a comfy room when it's time to relax. Add storage racks and cupboards, and you can keep the whole space a lot tidier too!

A TV can get cold as long as it's brought back up to temp slowly. Inside your garage, the temps should not vary that much over 24 hour periods, and in winter, the air is dryer anyway, so when you kick on the heater, you should be fine.

A detached garage conversion is a great way to add space to your home, especially now that most of us work from home. Since it is separated from the main house, you have the freedom to make as many changes as possible without disrupting your family's routine.

It's okay to store it in the garage, but if you bring it inside from a very cold/damp place, I'd recommend you let the TV set for a while to allow for any condensation to evaporate before plugging it in. An hour should do it.

If done well, a garage conversion can add up to a whopping 20% to the value of your home. Converting your garage into a bedroom with an en-suite bathroom achieves the biggest added value, at around 20%.


Converting your garage into a man cave is a dream for many and a surprisingly easy project to tackle if you have the time.

Whether you’re lucky enough to have a garage that’s insulated and ready to go or need to spend some effort getting it prepared, the outcome will be worth it. 


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