From an unfinished basement to The Ultimate Man Cave

My husband decided to build out our basement and transform an ugly, unused area of our home into his ultimate #mancave. The process took about six months from start to finish, with my husband working nights and weekends to complete the job. As you can see in the "Before" Photos- there was one room with mirrored walls and a bathroom already built out, but everything else was unfinished.
We stayed close to our $7,500 budget by using these tricks:
DIYing most of the work. My husband and his dad did all the framing, insulation, and sheetrock hanging. They installed all the cabinetry and the doors. We hired subcontractors to lay the flooring and finish out all the paint and trim work detail. We also hired a friend who is an electrician for all lighting and electrical. The painted stairs were done by yours truly. :)
Shop for bargains and use what you've got. We found a discontinued floor display at a local cabinet shop for just $750, so we bought it and delivered it ourselves then my husband reassembled it after the floors and walls were finished. The granite was a scrap piece that we got at a huge markdown. All the furniture was either hand-me-down or purchased used from Craigslist. The wall art was my own photography enlarged to poster size at Costco and framed in Hobby Lobby discounted frames. I work in the construction industry, and had the flooring material leftover from another job so we only paid for labor.
Use free programs such as Sketchup to draw out the space before construction to see how it will look afterwards. It's better for everyone to see things in 3-D to you can all be on the same page with how it is supposed to look.
Now my husband has a great place to escape all the cartoons that play on our living room tv for our 5 year old. It's also a fun place to host Polar Express showings every Christmas. The kids love the arcade and the foosball coffee table.
Actual theater seating from The Alabama theater with photos of The Alabama framed poster size above.
Unique trim details and surround sound mounted by my husband.
We scored this cabinetry for just $750 from a local cabinet maker with a floor sample that had been discontinued.
One of a kind poster from a vineyard in Long Island. They weren't for sale but we got them to sell us one anyway!
The lamp is an old meter that actually spins whenever it's turned on.
Before final decorations were complete.
Rope Lighting on a dimmer switch above the crown molding is great for movies.
Before and after of staircase leading to basement.
Water heater plumbing access- the other side is wide open to the unfinished part of the basement.
They boxed in around the ductwork and got creative with the ceiling heights and trim to get as much height as possible.
DH framed out the cheap mirror with decorative trim for a nice effect.
Slide out pantry storage
Pacman anyone?
Craigslist finds.
Sketchup drawing before we started construction
Here is the room BEFORE. It was completely mirrored on 2 walls. Instead of removing the mirrors we just sheetrocked over them.
The arcade area BEFORE

To see more:

  • Dawn Howard
    Dawn Howard Shepherd, MT
    This is nicer than a man cave... It's elegant!
  • Karyn Faircloth
    Karyn Faircloth Middletown, RI
    Amazing !! Wow if I had that I'd probably still be married :) He could have lived down there . lol
  • Maria Riccomini
    Maria Riccomini Mchenry, IL
    Wow, wow and more wow!!! Truly impressive!
  • Rose
    rose Lansing, MI
    Curious about the mirror wall that you drywalled over? Did you glue the sheet rock on?
    • Jeremy
      Jeremy Birmingham, AL
      Rose We added a layer of Expanded Polystyrene Foam Board Insulation and then a full studded installation with two by fours and sheetrock.
  • Ric27
    Ric27 Brentwood, TN
    All very good work but not a masculine space. I'm thinkin' you had a lot of influence on the design.
Beth at Unskinny Boppy

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