Diary of a Dream House – Part 6: The Man Cave

Every building project is different, but I never heard of the “man cave” being the first place to be “decked out”! Here’s how it happened.

The property that we purchased came with three structures on it, a pump house, a tree house and a garage – the home had already been demolished. The pump house is located closest to what is left of the cement driveway. It’s very well worn and the doors look like they haven’t been opened in years. A very brave look inside revealed a bank of cabinets, shelving for gardening products, etc. and no snakes, so all’s well. On the back of the building are the electrical box for the out buildings and the pump for the well.

Man Cave - MattandShari.com

Twenty five steps east of the pump house is the garage. It is a 30′ x 40′ cement block structure with a few cabinets, and garage doors at each end. Our initial plan was to house the tractor and tools to take care of the 6 acres and pond. However, when the house we were living in sold before we even had new house plans, we knew we needed to find shelter for our family and our cats!

So, my mom’s condo has become our home, all of our belongings are in storage, and the kitties fate was to become “barn cats”! Thus the making of the “man cave” under the guise of the “kitty barn”.

Man Cave 2 - MattandShari.comWe started by asking our builder to help us convert the garage into a space for the cats. We decided to build a wall dividing the garage into two spaces: one third of it for the tractor and tools, and two thirds for the cats. We had to buy windows for three openings that had only screening and louvers, build a sliding barn door between the two sides, and most importantly, add air conditioning!

A week before we got started, we had a pretty wicked rain storm and discovered that the garage roof was leaking.  That put the renovation off until a new roof could be added. This freaked me out a bit because I had to make a decision on roofing materials…for my home (because I want the roofs to match of course) even before I had an idea what the finished house is going to look like.

I chose shingles to replace the barrel tile roof because of cost. Then I picked a color in the gray/brown family so any color would go with it. Well, that is a whole other story and I’ll write about that as well because the idea of selecting the roof, the exterior siding color, trim and accents is daunting as many of you know!

Man Cave 3 - MattandShari.comAnyway, the transformation took about 7 weeks, and during that time the ideas on how the kitty space could be used were flying! Our outdoor furniture (that will go on the lanai and porch of our new home) is now the furniture for the newly dubbed “man cave”. This includes a sofa, swivel chairs and an ottoman, a dining table and cushioned chairs, and a couple of chaises. Not too shabby for a bunch of barn cats.

Man Cave 4 - MattandShari.comWell, even though this has the makings of the best man cave ever, it is still missing a couple of creature comforts….can you name any? How about a television? Yes, we now have that, with Direct TV and the football package. How about refrigeration? Yes, we now have a mini fridge for refreshments. Snacks? Well, there is a beautiful oak cabinet my husband bought to set the TV on, and it holds snacks.

I really hate to admit this, but I’m becoming very fond of the man cave idea. I’m pretty happy about all of the additions, and now I’m jumping on the bandwagon. I have already added a couple of lamps on timers that I was going to take to Goodwill. They are a bit too French Country for a true man cave, but I’m sure they’ll be booted out of there once the house is built!

Now, I’m on a mission to find an outdoor area rug on sale to define the living area, dress the windows (to eliminate the glare on the TV of course), get a grill, and most importantly, find a suitable solution to the agonizing bathroom problem. You see, there is no running water on the property yet, so inviting any other females to enjoy the man cave is pretty much out of the question…as you can imagine, the guys are having no issues with this at all. My boys are telling me that is why it is a man cave!



  1. Linda Baird says


    Thanks so much for sharing your story of building your dream home with us all. I don’t know if you can recall getting the before and after pictures of our dream home. It’s been about 10 years. We inherited my Mom’s nearly 100 year old 1700 square ft. farm house and increased the square footage to 3000sq ft. We matched all the original woodwork and wood floors, doing all the interior work ourselves, only having the builders do the rough in. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

    We hope you will enjoy your new home and surroundings as much as we are enjoying ours.

Leave a Reply to Mary Lee Rossmaessler Cancel reply

one + 4 =