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Basement Finishing: Building a Man Cave

This guide on how to build a man cave will help you design a killer basement.


Basement remodeling has gained popularity in the last few years. If you’re a guy, you’re probably excited with the idea of a man cave where you have your own rules of home décor and can relax with those in your social circle.


Given the amount of space and privacy offered by a basement, it makes sense to convert your basement to a man cave. If you’ve already decided to remodel your basement and have arrived here to explore some options, then here is a complete guide on how to build a man cave.


How to Build a Man Cave

Decide the Theme of Your Man Cave


Think about your underlying purpose in building a man cave. Are you a passionate gamer or a football fan? Or do you prefer spending time drinking with the guys or watching movies?

The Man cave is a broad concept that allows you to choose from various different options. For instance, you can go for a gamer’s paradise, a movie theater, a sports arena, a playroom, a bar, and so on.


We recommend a multipurpose man cave that caters to several needs. For instance, more value can be generated from a home theater where you can watch your favorite movies and use the same screen for gaming purposes. You can also include a bar at the side and a billiard table in the play area.

Here are some ideas for your man cave:


Movie Theater: If your primary purpose for building the man cave is to enjoy movies, plan it accordingly. To create the feel of a cinema, put framed posters of your favorite movies and exciting upcoming releases on the walls. You’ll need a large screen and a projector, and perhaps an advanced sound system. Ideally, the theater should contain cinema-style seating and carpeted floors.


Gamer’s Paradise: A secluded man cave is the perfect place for enjoying video games. Again, a big screen with a sound system attached to your consoles should create a lively gaming environment.


Sports Arena: Your basement can also serve as a safe haven for watching all your favorite matches. Use sports posters, memorabilia, and equipment to decorate the walls. Get a season subscription to NFL, NBA and MLB, and a screen TV, and you're all set for the most exciting season.


Bar: This is among the most desirable basement renovation ideas for adults. Enrich your bar set up with relevant posters such as those of your favorite brands.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a man cave. If you decide to go for a multipurpose man cave, be sure to plan the space carefully.


Set Your Budget

Once you’ve decided on your man cave theme, begin developing your project budget. Take the necessary measurements, including the basement’s height, length, and width.

Then, list down all materials you’ll require to finish your basement, such as the paint, flooring material, drywall, etc. Keep in mind that the quality of materials will also depend on the measurements you obtained.


Check the material prices, multiply them by the quantity needed, and add up the costs to obtain a rough estimate of the renovation budget. A reliable basement finishing company,such as BCR Basements, can help you understand what you need and provide an estimate. We suggest that you keep a cushion in your budget by overestimating the costs by around 15% to account for any added costs. Also, be realistic with what items you want to choose under your budget.


When you are planning your budget, it is the perfect time to obtain estimates from contractors. It’s highly recommended that you rely on a contractor to handle your renovation work.


Prepare for the Man Cave

The preparation work is among the most critical steps in building a man cave. Rushing through this step could lead to never-ending problems down the road. Follow these preparation steps:


Eliminate Moisture Issues

Basements are highly susceptible to moisture issues, such as mold growth. This is because they lie below ground-level.

If your basement is prone to leakages and water damages, it might be a good idea to install perimeter drains in basement walls and join them with a sump pump. Also, you can choose to install an efficient waterproofing system and dehumidifier to keep moisture at bay.


Use the Right Building Materials

Use inorganic building materials that resist moisture and mold damage. Avoid using cellulose-rich materials including paper-based drywall or framing lumber because they create ideal breeding grounds for mold, which not just produces an unpleasant, musty odor but also causes allergic reactions and respiratory illnesses.


Don’t Neglect Insulation

Insulating the basement space makes it energy-efficient and more comfortable. Consider using rigid foam for insulation as it doesn’t lose insulating value, attract mold, or absorb moisture. You may also want to insulate the basement ceiling to reduce sound transmission, which can disturb others.


Go for Egress Window

Ideally, your man cave should also have a large window to allow for a quick exit in the event of an emergency. In addition, the window helps bring some natural light into an otherwise dark basement.


Consider Walls and Floors

Aim for flooring and wall options that would be indestructible and easy to clean. We recommend low-profile, high-strength floor tiles as they never crack, warp, or cup. Whether you use a vacuum cleaner or a map, these won’t require refinishing. Wall panels coated with textured vinyl are great for basement walls.


Go for a Flexible Floor Plan

When planning your basement renovation, try to keep your floor plan flexible so that your basement space can be used for different things. For instance, open space will give you room to add a pool table, a pinball machine, free weights, etc.


Consider the Power Source

Your man cave will most certainly have entertainment tech, such as a TV screen, DVD players, a projector, video games, and perhaps a refrigerator. You’ll certainly need an electrician to arrange for the additional electrical receptacles and sufficient lighting.


Get New Lighting

You'll need to pay more attention to artificial lighting if natural lighting is not an option for your basement. Look for a suspended ceiling that combines overhead lights with ceiling panels. Use wall-mounted fixture, and task and accent lighting with lamps to brighten up the space.

Whatever you choose, make sure you have great control over the light levels.


Don’t Overlook Plumbing

Plumbing is often overlooked as it is considered too expensive. Yet, bathrooms and toilets allow for more prolonged stays in your basement space. Thanks to relevant advancements, the installation of basement bathrooms has become faster and easier for professionals. Look for compact, self-contained toilet options.


Keep the Space Clean

If you wish to keep your man cave open to outsiders, be sure to arrange for plastic garbage bags and recycle bins, and the necessary cleaning supplies. These tools should help you keep your space clean for visitors at all times. Incorporate a small closet in your floor plan to store these supplies.


Also, basements have a bad reputation for being cluttered. If you do wish to use it for storage, get proper shelves for items to avoid clutter.

All in all, planning is extremely important when it comes to basement finishing. If you don’t want to deal with all the stress, you can hire a basement finishing company. From moisture control to the installation of flooring, walls, and ceilings, the professionals will handle everything for you!


Decide Your Man Cave Décor


Your man cave décor should set the mood for everyone. Not only should it be inviting and aesthetically appealing, but since you plan to spend considerable time there, it should also be as comfortable as possible.


This is where seating comes into play. The comfort level of your man cave is greatly determined by the quality of the seating. Take the time to search for luxurious seats that will truly allow you to relax.


Nothing beats the feeling associated with sitting back with your feet up on a 'lazy boy' seat while viewing the big screen. However, if your man cave has a sports theme or a bar, you'll need chairs and/or bar stools.


Regardless of the theme, your seats should be comfortable enough to enable your friends to spend hours, playing, watching TV, and having fun. Take a look at these seating options and their cost:


o Low-Budget Option: Octane Seating Cloud XS850- $389/chair

o Mid-Budget Option: Paliser Vertex- $1463/ chair

o High Budget: Fortress Seating Madison- $3900


Choosing the Tech

TV and Projector

To truly turn your basement into a man cave, you need to ensure that it hosts the right technology. When you’re investing in a man cave, you can’t just bring down the 32-inch LED from the main floor to the basement.


For a thrilling movie or sports watching experience, choose the tech that offers mesmerizing visuals. Remember, it’s not just about the size. Choose the latest technology for the projector and TV, perhaps the 4K, which provides a 3-D feel through the right image depth and a brighter, more detailed picture.


If you want an optimal viewing experience, pair the 4K technology with a screen that is at least 55 inches. We recommend these options:


TV Suggestions

o Low-Budget Option: TCL 55S517 55” 4K UHD TV - $479.50

o Mid-Budget Option: LG 65SK8000PUA 65” 4K UHD TV- $1,196.99

o High-Budget Option: Samsung UN75MU800 75” TV- $2,012.46


Projector Screen Suggestions

o Low Budget Option: STR-16992 Silver Ticket 4K Ultra HD 92” screen- $174.98

o Mid-Budget Option: Elite Screens ezFrame 2 Series 120” screen- $559.99

o High-Budget option: CimaWallscreen by Stewart Filmscreen- $1,894.5


Projector Suggestions

o Low Budget Option: Optoma HD142X Projector- $489.00

o Mid-Budget Option: Ben Q HT3050 HD Projector- $849.00

o High-Budget option: Optoma UHD60 4K Projector- $1,784.28


Sound System

To enjoy your favorite movies or sports, a high-quality sound system is a must. Since it greatly impacts your overall man cave experience, you should pay particular attention to ensure you have the right set up. Ideally, you should go for a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system. Anything higher might prove to be overwhelming for an enclosed basement space. Anything lower might ruin the environment you are trying to create.


Base your decision on the amount of basement space. The 7.1 surround channel comes with seven speakers— two front speakers, two side speakers, and three back ones. That’s exactly what you need for large basements.


The 5.1 setup comes with five speakers, one of which is directly positioned behind the seating. Two are placed at the front and the remaining two can be placed on sides or at the back.


Take a look at these options:


o Low-Budget Option: Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound $295

o Mid-Budget Option: Bose Acoustimass 6 Series $499.00

o H9gh-Budget Option: Onkyo THX Certified 7.1 Channel Surround Sound $1,297.99


Gaming Consoles

If gaming is your passion, consider getting PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X, both of which have 4K resolution to provide more depth and detail to the graphics. These should also help you make the most out of your 4K projector or TV.


If, however, you’re interested in affordable options, check out Nintendo or Super Nintendo consoles. If you’re a gaming fanatic, you might as well choose to buy both PlayStation and Xbox. Here are some suggestions:


o Low-Budget Option: Nintendo and Super Nintendo - $70.19 and $79.96respectively

o Mid-Budget Option: Playstation 4and Xbox One S - $299.99 each

o H9gh-Budget Option: Playstation 4 and Xbox One X Pro and $464.89 and $481.27 respectively.


Final Word

We hope you enjoyed our basement finishing guide on how to build a man cave. Follow these steps and choose the right items to build your dream man cave.

For more information on how to build a man cave, get in touch with BCR Basements. To request a quote, click here.

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