Building the Geek’s Ultimate Man Cave on a Budget

Whether you’re a man’s’ man, a ladies’ man, or just an average Joe in search of some well-deserved R & R, there’s a man cave concept that will make you feel like the Cro-Magnon who outlived the ice age!

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Man caves are becoming more popular each month because of what they offer to men: privacy, a place to be gross and unruly, and an opportunity to express creativity without criticism. Unlike the rest of the house, the man cave is the area where clothes should be left on the floor, magazines can be scattered around, and loud burps are customary.

Ready to explore options for a man cave concept? Below are some of the easiest man cave ideas to implement for those on a budget. That’s right: you don’t need Bond’s cash to feel like 007.

1. Safari Surround Sound

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Teddy Roosevelt’s ultimate man cave dates back half a century, and stands as a legendary pinnacle of success for all men in search of a little den privacy. You can replicate this cool safari feel by decorating your den with wicker and thin, wood-framed and leather furniture ($59+).

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Search the hillsides and gather a few free deer sheds, or buy them from local hunters for about $100 each. Add an animal skin ($130), a bookshelf, and a surround sound system ($55+) to complete the jungle vibrations.

2. Laid-Back Mantique Lounge

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Start at a local flee market for cheap mantiques (replicas will work), and then accessories your laid-back lounge with a billiard table ($200), cool lighting from Corbett for 15% off, and a wide screen TV. Your man cave will feel complete if you maintain a set color palette, like nut-brown shades.

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To add some fun to this laid-back style, consider a dartboard, cigars with humidor, or a set of reclining chairs for you and your friends. Want to add a little ‘wow’ factor to your cave? Consider a neon, glowing billiards sign from a man cave store ($230).

3. Arcade Legends

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Although a full-blown arcade can be expensive for men with budgets, these machines can be found for as little as $300 if you check local garage sales. Think the rear end of a car made into a couch is too far-fetched of a dream? Find an old clunker in a junkyard, and make a hobby project of hollowing it out: once you’ve done that, having a couch installed can be as cheap as $400.

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To complete the arcade feel of a man cave, take a few old records and spray paint them silver and gold, stencil on the names of your favorite records, then frame them. These pieces will cost you little more than your time. What you really need for this room is a juke box: find a mini juke box for just $50 in department stores, or a full-sized, shabby juke for about $400.

4. 50’s Oil Shoppe

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Assuming you have a motorcycle, all you really need are bar stools, a stencil, and a few awesome signs to make your 50’s oil shoppe. Get your bar stools for $60 each, then hand paint the flames with a $5 stencil. Check out a man cave specialty store, flee market, or online auction site for old glowing signs, or replicas: these can range in price from $15 to $300. If you want to learn more about old fashioned oil shoppe and bar signs, watch American Restoration to learn about the history of American parlours.

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If you’re lucky enough to have a man cave in your garage, you can just open the door and have a BBQ, right in the comfort of your own hole. Get a portable grill for $75 that will last through the years, or class-up with a fine BBQ for $175.

5. Gotham Space Architecture

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Some men dream of space, while others just hope to have a little room of their own. Whether you want to reach for the stars or just kick-back in style, this man cave will suit you. Thin metal paneling can be found at stores like Home Depot for $15 a slat, and easily nailed to the walls for this space-aged feel. Can’t afford a $2,000 space suit replica? No problem! Fashion a space suit out of cardboard, then spray paint it black. Add a glass face panel that is backed by a painted face, or a clock if you’re feeling clever.

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A large, sleek leather sofa that fills an entire corner of the room will finish off your space architecture feel ($999). If you want to compliment and accessorize the space, add some black-framed black & white photos of space exploration to your lounge.

6. The Executive Suite

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The executive is a shark. A leader. A man’s man who knows how to get what he wants won’t settle for less than the best (even if he is on a budget!). For this guy, sleek furnishings can be found at IKEA nationwide ($600). Hard-edged aircraft light fixtures can be found for 10% off, and an sexy executive desk can stand with authority in any space for just $300.

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What man would feel like a pinnacle of success without a hidden flask of bourbon? For just a dollar you can get a steel flask that’s as cold and flinty as the average executive; but, the bourbon will run you anywhere $30 up to $3,000!

Still searching for something to class up our suite? A Humidor and starter set of eight cigars will make you feel refined and as stodgy as any old gentleman in England. Find these on FatWallet for just $15.

7. Pub Grub Man Hub

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For just $42 you can get your personalized pub started with a sign boasting “[Your Name]’s Pub.” Add a few tin, antique signs ($100) from bars and pubs of the past, and your walls will instantly feel the part. For the perfect glassware, expect to shell-out $30 for a personalized pitcher, and $40 for four pint glasses. If you really want to save cash, though, you can get these items without the personalization for much less money.

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Throw a Super Bowl champion rug on the floor of your pub for effect ($60), and a few old looking bar stools from a local Goodwill. For a real bar feel, stock a mini fridge ($100) with Hot Pockets, frozen sliders, and other microwaveable treats.

No pub is complete without big screen TVs to watch the game; make sure you pick one that is large enough to be seen by all pub patrons! Get a killer 55” flat screen Vizio from FatWallet for just $700, or a 42” LG plasma for just $400. If you watch for bargains closely, you could end up with a dartboard-beanbag combo for as little as $5.


A limited budget is no reason to feel limited in opportunities. If you want a man cave that feels personal, classy, and far removed from the stresses of everyday life, all you have to do is plan a style and go for it. Think about what you can create by yourself without shelling out money: building items for your cave will ultimately make it feel cooler. With a few trimmings from online retailers, your cave will make you feel free, relaxed, and fashionable.


  1. Safari: furniture, rug, surround sound
  2. Mantique: neon sign, pool table, lights
  3. 50’s: stools, signs, BBQ
  4. Space: couch
  5. Executive: couch, lights, desk, flask, cigars
  6. Pub Cave: sign, glasses, rug, TV, dartboard

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