Thursday, October 24, 2013

Building the Ultimate Man Cave (Part 2 of 2)


There are some projects you just never finish. They start as errands on a checklist and end up becoming part of your identity. Part 2 of my man cave building experiment is all about expansion. I started with a trophy room that extended outward into a bike garage. This is meant as a place to store, clean and fix bicycles as well as being a hang out spot beneath the house. Originally I hoped to limit it to a finish date but I might be working on this for years to come. So here I give you the first wave of changes.

As stated in the previous article (Which can be read here) I'm on a severe budget so everything has to be on the cheap. The only things I have an abundance of are effort and determination. In the first photo above you can see that most of my time has gone into cleaning and painting. Removal of cobwebs, vines and random nails was followed by white and green paint. At the bottom of the shot you can see a blue tarp and brown hose which has become a bike cleaning station.


The workbench is now actually being used for work tools, go figure. After a good cleaning and paint job you can see that I added some BMX trophies to the shelves, some recent magazines under the desk light and a television which is hooked through the wall to a DVD player. Now TVs in both the trophy room and bike garage can play a simultaneous feed. By the way, a used TV at a thrift shop only cost five dollars.

Seems easy enough right? Always keep in mind that for one change there are fifteen steps along the way. I've had to adjust electrical wires so that I have power only when and where I need it. I've had to sort through and throw out barrels of junk and then sweep the rugs regularly before adding new ones. It was originally a dirt floor.


Speaking of junk, that twisted metal mess of a shelf was nailed to the wall. After detaching it, removing extraneous screws and repositioning all of the wires, I set to painting yet again. The old blocked doorway had to remain blocked but I took to the outside and added screens to keep out the bugs and rain. The full garage is 15 by 25 feet with a 12 foot ceiling and by adding to the current construction it is now 80% screened in.

Finally, the biggest part of the project was the front doors. The old ones were tattered wood, off kilter with broken pieces and no lock. After removing the lattice I put down a base coat of paint, then a second coat so it would be bright white. Then I buried a rock and a cinder block at the base of the hinge beam so that the door would swing evenly. The vinyl lattice had to be cut for a perfect fit and nailed into place. Finally I added a coil that pulls the door closed along with multiple locks to keep it shut. From all angles, it looks beautiful.


Concerning the budget, well, it did start to grow in cost but so far it has stayed under $200. in total. Concerning the bikes, I'm still working on how best to use the space. I have many ideas but from this point on each step will take more time and planning. What I can say is that it has all been worth it and I'm enjoying the process. The house, even the neighborhood, benefits from these upgrades in ways both seen and unseen.

I look forward to developing this project in the future and one day I still might have a garage party to display the renovation of a space worth celebrating.


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