Garage Man Cave or Attic Man Cave
September 13, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hello everyone! This is my first post, and my first day on the site and it is fantastic! It has become clear to me that I will be losing my current man cave inside the house as my wife and I plan for a baby in the future. I don't want it to be baby time and then I'm left with out my man cave. So in the spirit of things, I'm lookin to start a discussion.

I have two options. The first, is my garage, which will always be for me when the rest of the home is hers. The second is the attic above the garage.

I've put a lot of thought about what I would like to do with a Garage Man Cave, and it's coming along, but have yet to begin work. I live in a small, single family ranch home with a two car garage with each car getting it's own garage door. I don't have a lot of money, as is with most of us these days, so any wood I use will most likely be from pallets or recycled. Since I am a musician that's really into blues, it will have a juke joint theme.

The difficult part of this is that I still need to be able to park my cars in the garage and use it as a work area if need be. All tools will be concealed, and I'm building a workbench/bar that has wheels. The "bar" side of the bench will be just deep enough to hold liquor bottles and some misc items. The "workbench" will be accessed by swivelling the unit around, hence the wheels, for access to storage, tools, supplies, and other garage type items. I have an open cut out/storage space that houses my hot water heater plus anything else I can fit in the space. This will be covered with a faux pallet wall that will open up like your standard door for access if needed.

Additional bar seating will be provided along one wall having the "bar top" fold up/down, and secured for eating and drinking with chains attached to the wall essentially forming right triangles.

Does this sound crazy or getting close to well thought out? There is still the matter of doing something about the concrete floor and decorati
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Emily Hurley
Hey, MisterMullins! Welcome to Houzz! First, I love that you are planning ahead. When the time comes for a baby, you'll be busy with projects for him or her, so it's smart to get the Man Cave squared away first.

Do you happen to have any photos of the garage you can attach here or drawings (saved as jpegs) of the layout to get a better idea of how you can make it work?
September 13, 2012 at 2:50PM   
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I say do both "man caves". The attic one would give you a place to be without sawdust/oil/dirt and working around cars on bad weather days. It would also be a better place for a t.v., sound equipment and instruments. It sounds to me like you have it very well thought out, so go for it. After being married for over 30 years, I discovered my husband never felt like he had a place to call his own inside the house. Fortunately, we have a large house, so we were able to establish a room for him. Unfortunately, we don't have very much money either, so there's a lot of repurposed/remade furniture. It's gradually coming together.
If you really want to do something with the concrete floor: concrete paint, epoxy finishes, interlocking rubber mats, even carpeting designed for parking cars.
The photos are from my own Ideabooks of things I would love to do. I have a lot of my grandfather's old tools (beautiful tools, many over 100 years old) that I want to display somewhere, somehow.
Also look to thrift stores for old furniture you could use in new ways. Just don't spend all of your time in the "cave" hiding from the kids!
Highcroft Hunting Barn
Dining Pitchfork Chair
Atlanta Botanical Gardens Spring 2012
Potting shed
Studio and Office
Fractured Fairy Tales by Thomas Wold
MLB Man Cave
Bertha Lake://
Ferry Rd
Reclaimed Pallet Table Set
I think I had better stop -- I'm having too much fun with this!
September 13, 2012 at 3:08PM   
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P.S. If you want to use your attic for music, insulate first, both for climate control and for sound!
September 13, 2012 at 3:10PM     
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I vote for Garage!
September 13, 2012 at 3:16PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
What's the weather like where you live? If you live in Honolulu, we won't have to be concerned about climate control. But if you're in Montana, it's a different story.
September 13, 2012 at 3:19PM   
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September 13, 2012 at 3:31PM   
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Wow, thanks everyone! I'll get some pics of the garage and attic to you no later than Saturday. I do want to say, I don't work on cars and do much woodwork. I know more about working on and playing guitars more than anything. I'm really excited about this project, and have thought about the suggestions made for the concrete except paint. It didn't even occur to me that paint was an option. Another thing to look into.
September 13, 2012 at 4:57PM   
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Bellagio Custom Drapery
I love the workbench/bar idea! I have found over the years anything that is on rollers is good! Keep the attic empty and maybe you will be able to really jazz that up in the future. Good luck!
September 13, 2012 at 5:00PM     
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There's also a process called "acid etching" or staining for concrete, but I don't know if it can be a DIY project.
September 14, 2012 at 2:05PM     
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Personally I would have the man cave in the attic since it allows you room for seating and watching games or movies, and keep your tools and work bench separate from where you relax.

September 14, 2012 at 5:07PM   
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Alright everyone, I've got pics. After getting up in the attic to take them, I'm not sure that the attic is the best option. As for the garage, I had thought about only using one side with a curtain divider that I could roll back for bigger man cave events. Looking forward to your thoughts.
September 15, 2012 at 8:55AM   
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More pics.
September 15, 2012 at 8:56AM   
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Last batch
September 15, 2012 at 8:58AM   
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Nancy Hehmann
If the last is a picture of your attic space, you probably are going to have to make sure the floor is supported properly so you wont fall through. You need to consult a contractor or get a code book. My other thought is if you like to play guitar, you can find a way to hang them on the wall for "wall art' I would be careful though about using your garage for your good musical instruments unless you do make sure it is insulated, and heated and cooled properly b/c sometimes garages can get a little damp and things could rust or corrode.
September 15, 2012 at 9:13AM   
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Thanks for the tip. The guitars will only be in there when being used for practice or entertainment.
September 15, 2012 at 9:37AM   
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Did I spy a UNICYCLE??? I'm impressed!
Here's another photo.

Your garage space looks great; the attic looks quite challenging. You might want to talk to a structural engineer regarding options for the attic. I think you have great ideas for the garage. Please be aware that if you enclose the water heater with a door that it still needs air circulation. You might want to talk to the city building permit department to find out what is allowed. And be careful of anything flammable near the water heater.
Moveable oil pans for under the cars to catch oil drips and guck might help to keep the garage cleaner for when you want to use the entire room for entertaining. Good luck!
September 17, 2012 at 12:56PM   
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You did. I should probably learn to ride it.
September 17, 2012 at 1:17PM   
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Vikrant Sharma Homez
The attic looks like a Challenge , its better to consult with a GC or a Structural expert to help you with the Attic .
September 17, 2012 at 1:26PM   
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Custom Home Planning Center
Attic is out. Way to costly to modify the trusses and floor system for the limited room available.
Don't pass up a tax credit for replacing the how water with a tankless one. Mounted up high you can use the nitch as your back bar. Look at slot wall to organize your stuff. You can make it with a router and a bit applied to your skid wood. or buy it in sheets.
September 17, 2012 at 1:42PM   
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K.O.H. Construction Corporation
I really like the idea of using pallet lumber. A very good source is from Lumber Liquidaters. Local 84 lumber and other lumber yards. The pallets there are larger therefore the boards would have less joints. A good web-site for pallet projects is Membership is free and the ppl are helpful and friendly. I don't know what your skill level is threrefore it would be hard to guide you along on this site, but on lumberjock ppl can assist you. I do like the idea of a wall or two covered with wood with cut outs of instruments and music riffs, paint the other walls to blend in with the lumber and add a punch of color here and there. Tankless heaters are very expensive and the payback time is too long. Stained concrete and a good grade of an epoxy floor finish is good and a DIY project. Rugs that you can roll up and move when the cars are in will work. Look into storage above the doors and higher up. Good luck to you
September 20, 2012 at 4:34AM   
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S. Thomas Kutch
I would stay focused on the garage. Your attic will be too expensive as someone has already posted. There are a number of structural issues up there that will suck whatever budget you have in mind just to get a clean palette to work with. The first big issue will be those mid span "A"braces and the existing ceiling joist members.......they look like 2x4's and that's no where near code to carry floor loads of a living space.

You would be better off applying that money to insulating the garage and finishing out that space for your man cave.
September 20, 2012 at 6:19AM   
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Need size measurements of garage. Attic is major structural change$$$$. Garage best option..and somehow guys love to hang out in a garage rather than an attic. I built storage above the garage door. When the doors are open you cannot see all the storage shelves. They are easily accessed when starting a project. Wall organizing 'strip' system is functional and looks good. I have on demand hot water now. Gave up water tank. It has been fine for me. In garage you may want to consider hot water radiator heating or best, new thermo (under ground) water recycling. Electric may be very expensive to operate...but don't know if you are in Florida or Wyoming? I also insulated garage door. You can buy ready made panels of various 'R' values that can easily attach to standard doors. Please send measurements... Oh, and don't forget to wire for baby monitor !!
September 20, 2012 at 8:11AM   
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Took another look at attic. I had similar when in Florida. Put in heavy duty, pull down stairs for easier access. Since limited size access, I cut plywood into 2 1/2' x 8' strps and laid them across tresses (floor boards) in attic. Installed light switch at top of stairs as you enter attic space. Used industrial construction lamp to easily see (stops accidentially going through garage ceiling). Stored items which would not be damaged by heat and humidity such as, decorations, plastic chairs, tarps, extra roof tiles, etc. But NEVER furniture (too heavy), paint supplies (hazardous), feather pillows (attracts mice and squirrels), etc. Makes more room in garage...I also stored out of season rakes, shovels, etc in attic ...even toddler tricycles!
September 20, 2012 at 8:37AM   
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Thanks for all the great tips. I decided to go with the garage and just use the attic for storage. I should also mention, I live in Georgia, and while it does get cold, it doesn't get that cold. Hot and humid though.
September 20, 2012 at 8:45AM   
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1st Choice Garage Outfitters Inc.
Some wall organizing will help with getting the cars parked in there, and keep you organized!
October 6, 2012 at 12:34PM   
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