How to Turn a Garage Into a Man Cave

So you scouted locations for your man cave and decided on the garage. It’s a good choice because the hardest and most expensive part of construction has already been done — building four walls, a roof, and a floor. Now, let’s explore how to convert a garage into a man cave that you can enjoy.

Man cave in the garage with epoxy floors and TV

Transforming your garage into a man cave is an exciting project requiring initial planning and actions to start. See our full gallery of man cave ideas here.

Man Cave Garage Design Elements

First, you must consider your interests and a potential theme, whether workshop, gaming, sports, home theater, or hobbies. Here are some actionable steps to begin:

  1. Plan your space – Determine the elements important to your needs and your new garage layout.  You can visualize your man cave garage more easily by using one of the garage design software programs currently on the market. These enable one to try our different elements, such as flooring, wall paint, shelving, and decor, to get the design you like before purchasing anything.
  2. Clear out the space – Clearing out nonessential items will help you when installing new elements, such as flooring and furniture.
  3. Insulate and Climate Control – For a comfortable space year-round, it’s necessary to Insulate walls and install heating and cooling solutions properly.
  4. Wall texture or paint – You can improve the overall look of the garage space with wall texture, panels, or even a new coat of paint.
  5. Electrical and light fixtures – Upgrading the outlets and electrical wiring will allow you to better install TVs, sound systems, and lighting to get the right ambiance. Consider additional overhead lighting to improve the overall environment.
  6. Flooring – Decide if you want to install new flooring or use floor coverings like area rugs. A brand new epoxy coating can do wonders to elevate and add style to the design.
  7. Shelving and Storage – You’ll most likely have a bunch of stuff that needs to be moved or put somewhere. Utilizing overhead shelving and storage cabinets can help you get organized and find a place for those things you’ll need.
  8. Furniture and decor – Choose comfortable chairs and seating that will provide ample space for relaxation and facilitate entertaining with friends. Now’s the chance to setup your favorite Lazy Boy chair.
  9. Entertainment – Install your entertainment system, including TV, gaming consoles, and sound systems. Double-check that you have a reliable Wi-Fi connection, and if not consider installing a mesh system to boost your home’s signal.
  10. Personal touches or theme – Add your own personality to the space by bringing in your favorite sports team memorabilia, trophies, mounted animals, or anything that has been deemed not worthy of the inside that you’d like to display.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, lets touch on some of the individual elements that can enhance the floor plan and make it more livable.

Garage Flooring

Garage man cave conversion with pool table foos ball porcelain tile floor

You have two options for that oil-stained, unfinished concrete garage floor. You can either spruce it up, add a finish, or cover it up. No matter your choice, 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.

You can also put in a subfloor if you’re going for a more polished and permanent renovation. That allows you to lay down wooden flooring or snap-together composite floorboards.

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

Garage with stone epoxy floors

Consider a layer of stone epoxy if you do nothing else to your garage floor. 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. You can see more man cave flooring options here.

Garage Lighting

Garage with wall tool storage with recessed lights utility ceiling lighting epoxy floors

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 fixture in a drum style will shed the most ambient light while taking up the least headroom.

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

Next, add task lighting. If you add a wet bar, you’ll want a wall-mounted light in the work area. Hanging a pendant lamp overhead for the poker table will ensure everyone can see their cards.

Texture the Walls in Garage

Garage with brick accent wall and shelving

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.

A textured wallpaper in a dark color adds instant sophistication to any room. You could use pallet wood or wood paneling to achieve a lodge atmosphere. Check out our article about man cave paint ideas for more inspiration.

Garage Shelving & Storage

Garage with tile floors locker storage as partition wall

The main barrier to relaxing in your garage is clutter. If nothing else, purchase some cheap garage storage such as wire shelving, spray paint them, and get everything off the floor.

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-organized 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 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

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 in to help regulate the temperature.

Another option for partition walls is cinder block. If you’re comfortable working with concrete and can access 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.

Garage Furniture

Garage game room with carpet foos ball table small table chairs

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.

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

Depending on the beam structure of your garage roof, you could even install a swing chair or hammock. See more garage living room ideas here.

Garage living room conversion with polished concrete floors downlights kitchen sectional sofa

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 purchasing decorative items or painting, choose one main color for the space and one or two accent colors. Ensure that at least one of these colors 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 color and make it intentional.

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

A few technical notes: You’ll want to use moisture-blocking paint since the garage likely lacks air circulation. Consider running a dehumidifier when the weather is soggy — you want your man cave to be clean and dry.

Garage conversion with painted wall panels, custom drawers and TV

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 open doors. Toxic gases can build up and become dangerous or even deadly. It is better to brave the elements than the emergency room.


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.

You may need to consult with the local planning committee if you live in a housing association or a listed building. Converting your garage into a living space without authorization can cause problems if you want to rent or sell, so take the time to follow the proper process.

See more garage makeover ideas on this page.

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  1. I think you’ve got a useful list. You mentioned a soundproof door but one thing I think your missing is adding acoustics soundproofing. I like to play music when I’m playing cards with my buddies and we also drink and talk loud. I think adding some soundproofing is a must have if you don’t have solid walls.

  2. I’m looking at creating a hangout space in my garage and think I’ll try going the subfloor and carpet method. I think this is only a good idea for those who are set on keeping the garage as a living area as it seems difficult to remove it later. Carpet just feels better to me for a relaxing entertaining room and I can always use it as a bedroom if needed.

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