I don't know why I keep entering these contests. I never win. Okay, almost never...
Anyway, I gots this email this mornin' from the DIY Network, where they are going to pick one lucky sucker to give $50,000.00 to for the ultimate Man-cave.
Now clearly, a TROGLO-dad is worthy of such a prize.
Of course, I won't win. I won't win because I know exactly what I'd do to make my "dream mancave".
First off, I'd tear out the 2x4 and paneling walls in my current work-in-progress man cave. No wussified lumber for me- I'd surround myself with honest-to-goodness concrete block walls- filled with concrete. That way, if any tornado swept by, my basement would survive.
Secondly, I'd fix up the kids' playroom that takes up a good third of the basement. Got to have some way to divert the little monkies so they stay away. Because an ideal mancave would be kid-free. And the only way to make a mancave kid-free is to give them their own cool room. Fixing up said playroom would mean lots of storage- to put away all those damn toys they leave out and I'm always stepping on. They'd also need a comfortable couch, and a big-ass TV (so they would quit hogging my TV). They've got a DVD player and PS2. I guess I should upgrade them to a PS3 or Wii to keep their grubby hands off my Xbox 360 controllers. No need for a surround sound system, though- kids talk through all the movies anyway, and don't appreciate Digital Dolby in the least bit.
Next, I'd go ahead and put that bathroom in the basement I'd like to have. True, it's on the kids' side of the basement, next to the laundry room, but that's good. If a bathroom was ajacent to the mancave half of the basement, then I'd have kids running through my room, disrupting my TV viewing on their frequent potty breaks. And stinking up my mancave, no doubt.
Bathroom and playroom in place, the next step would be a nice steel, sliding door to seal my man cave off like a frickin' bunker. Diversion isn't enough with my kids- they'd still want to come pester me. I'd include a video equipped intercom as well, so that I wouldn't get tricked into opening the door for nothing.
Ah, now I'm sealed behind a foot of concrete and steel, in my half of the basement (when I bought the house the whole basement was my territory- darn kids are encroaching on me).
In hindsight, maybe I should get a reinforced roof put in as well. That wood floor above my head transmits the jumping, running and hooliganism of the wife and kids like a frickin' bullhorn...
My current mancave ("Daddy's Movie Room") is one-third office (storage room) and two-thirds movie room. I'd keep that arrangement, and add in a concrete wall between office and movie room. Odds are, one day the kids will encroach into the mancave, and I'll need a fallback position. Again, a steel door, preferably like something you'd find on a submarine, would be nice. Inside the office, I'd have a nice work bench with my tools, for all the hobby stuff and toy repair I do ("Daddy- fix this!"). And an awesome bat-cave-like computer setup, with multiple monitors, a huge-ass recliner and some state of the art gaming PC. And a back-up Xbox for when mine Red-Rings. Again. To round it out, I think I'd go for an overall bunker look in the office, and throw in a gunsafe for that non-existant gun collection the wife won't let me have.
Moving out of the office, I'd put in some nice, thick carpet in the movie room. Something soft for my feet- a welcome change from the ever present barbie shoes, ello building blocks, crayons and play jewelry. I'd replace my modest 32" TV with some giant ass 55 inch, OLED, hung on the wall theater-style. Which would of course require rebuilding my shelves and bookcases. Then I'd replace the brokedown couch the kids have about worn out. Maybe add in a PS3 for myself as well, and go ahead and get some wall and ceiling-mounted speakers for my surround sound. I appreciate surround sound.
Then it's time to finish, or perhaps, redo, the rough dry bar I put in two years ago. Or rather, started, two years ago. Maybe add in a functioning sink. Throw up some better lighting too.
Not sure what kind of ceiling to put in the wood paneled mancave. I was planning a nice black-felt ceiling to absorb sound and continue the theater theme.
If there's money left over, it'd be time to go back to the wall between office and movie room and put in a nice wood-burning stove or small fireplace. Caves can get cold in the winter.
And then there's a generator. I mean, if this is a true "Dream" cave, you can't have a storm knocking out power right in the middle of the 300th screening of "Predator". And not some damn generator I'd have to go outside to start- no, I'd want a remote-start one. Which means pouring a concrete pad outside, and upgrading our house to 200 amp service, with an emergency generator switchover panel. I guess I could share generator power with the kitchen, to keep the bulk of my food intact and kep the family out of my mancave in storms.
Finally, any true mancave needs a trophy. So I think I'd purchase a nice shotgun and sign up for one of those weekend deer hunt excursions and bag myself a trophy. The head could be put in the new mancave, and the meat- well I could put that in a freezer for grilling up later. If only I could put a grill in the mancave, too...