What’s your favourite thing to with your boys? Do you get together to watch the game, play videogames, take the cars off-road, or have fishing trips with your kids? Maybe you’re more the solitary type. Maybe what you really want is space away from the wife and kids (that you love very, very much). A little quiet time to read your paper or tinker with your toys.
As sexist as it sounds, when a woman wants some room, she will go to the kitchen (because none of you will follow her there, not even the kids, because chores!) Or she might go to the spa or beauty salon and have herself made over. She might meet her girls for wine and ‘book club’. Or maybe she’ll go shopping. Of course there are girls with other interests. She might clear her head by riding her Harley or curl up in the bedroom with Sudoku.
A room just for you
You probably want your own special space, where you can do your own version of self-care. Something with a big imposing door where you can post a ‘keep out’ sign, and where everyone will respect your private moments. After all, you might pay the rent, but if you have a family, it’s not really your house. Enter the man-cave – your own undisputable domain.
The second you tell your loved ones they can’t come in, they’ll do everything possible to breach the boundary. At least you’ll have the option. Plus, you can be more sneaky about it. Don’t wall them off. Instead, invite them in once or twice, just to quell the mystique. But design your man-cave in a way that is so ‘you’. This way, your ‘visitors’ will soon get bored, realising there isn’t anything in there to hold their interest even though it fully sates yours.
Style and substance
Your best option is a PVC garden shed. They come in calm, neutral sheds that range from green to beige, so they’re suitably manly. Nothing too loud or garish. You can even order it in off-white. Don’t worry about it getting dirty – it’s easy to clean. Just hose the shed walls and you’re done. No scratches, no rust, no fuss. If a spot of dirt is particularly stubborn, you can clean it off with some soap and a soft brush.
Your man-cave won’t look boring, because there are multiple styling options. Sizes range from a little over a metre to six metres long, though they’re always one-story units that are two metres high at most. You can opt for single or double doors, with hinges or sliding mechanisms. You can buy a flat roof, a gable, or a skillion, complete with gutters and sidings. That way, you can connect the roof to a tank for harvesting your own rain water supply.
What sorts of things will you put in your shed? You might want to kit it out with a gaming console, a sound system, and a massive flat screen. Or maybe you’re more interested in an analogue set-up, with a pool table, darts, table tennis, or foosball. If your man-cave is more hobby-oriented, maybe you want a work surface for your tools, or a table and a reading lamp.
Whatever you’re doing in your little room, it will help to have some kind of storage space, whether you’ll use it for books, tools, or manly crockery. Talk to your shed supplier. A lot of them offer shelving systems that you can assemble with the same ease it takes to install your shed. They’re lightweight but sturdy, and easy to maintain.
All set for stargazing
It’s not just star-crossed lovers who gaze into the night sky. Sometimes, you want to count the constellations without worrying about mosquitoes. Or maybe you’re more interested in daytime use. Natural light is great for painting and photography, and it can make the room quite warm. It brightens your space in a way that light bulbs can’t.
Some shed providers give you the option of a fibreglass skylight that can replace a section of your roofing, letting the sun (and the moonlight) into your little cave. It’s a simple feature, but it will really make your garden shed stand out from your brother-in-law’s shabby shack. You can even extend a car awning past the roof boundary, to park your wheels or bike.
Bring in the boys
Pre-fab shed suppliers can install the shed for you if you want them to. It costs a hundred dollars on top of your buying price, maybe two hundred if your shed is big and fancy. You don’t need it though, because part of the joy in a dream man-cave is knowing you put it up with your own bare hands (and a power drill). It only takes a few hours, and the pack comes with clear, easy-to-follow instructions. Or you could just look up a tutorial on YouTube.
If this is going to be a club house, get the other members involved. Think of it like a tree-house, but for grown-ups, so everyone has to do their bit. Get the barbie running and chill some beer, then work out a system so you can each raise a wall or screw something in without getting in each other’s way. It’ll be fun, you’ll get to bond, and everyone will have a stake in the cave, which will be important when it’s time to clean the cave and do the dishes.