Designing the perfect man cave or woman shed

Bench saw

'Man caves' or 'Woman sheds' are one of those new-but-old phenomena that have had somewhat of a renaissance in the modern world. They have come in all shapes and sizes in the past: Sheds, offices, even literal caves if you go back far enough.

But they all try to adhere to one particular idea: That a person sometimes needs a place to retreat to, to be able to indulge in their own hobbies and interests. If such an idea is appealing to you, here's what you need to know before you start investing in that 60 inch television for the rugby.

Comfy socks, snuggling in front of a fire with tea

How long are you planning to have it?

As exciting as the thought of having your own private space to lounge about in is, there are questions of practicality that need to be answered. Your property is probably one of the most significant financial assets that you have, and the addition of a man cave might not be the best idea if you are planning to sell it soon. Russel Poole, managing director of Pzazz Building, explains further:

"A man-cave is a classic example of something that doesn't appeal to 90 per cent of the population," he said in a 23 August article with QV.

If you've retired and this is going to be the last home you buy; go ahead. If you aren't planning to move, feel free. But if you are intending to buy your next home or want to use it as an investment property, it might not be the best idea.

Where is it going to go?

Space is the next practical factor to keep in mind. You might have a spare room (or even two in some cases), but they may not be suitable for your man cave. When and how it is going to be used is integral to this question; is it an evening-only sports-viewing station, or is it a noon-day workshop? 

The former could be fine with a smaller room on a non-sun-facing side of the house, whereas the latter is going to need more of a space commitment and likely some natural light. Furniture can take up a huge amount of space, so you might be surprised with how little you have to work with once you've factored in the bookshelves, sofas, TVs - perhaps even a home bar. Measure twice, cut (or in this case, design) once, and you'll find that cave appears without an issue.

How are you going to finance it?

This is probably the toughest question of all. Large renovations can be expensive, and getting all that specialist equipment and/or furnishing can end up doing a number on your bank account. If you find yourself strapped for liquidity, you might still have some money in the attic - so to speak.

A home loan refinancing could free up the capital you need to do this renovation, and might even make your mortgage repayments a little cheaper along the way. Get in touch with the team at Squirrel to find out more.