Skip to main content

First, proof to show the doubtful wife (or girlfriend, fiancee, etc.):

Yes, building a man cave can increase your home value.

They are not a waste of money!

My goal is to help you maximize your return on investment building a man cave and potentially make money in the process.

The truth is that you might not get 100% of your investment back when you go to sell your home. Your ability to recoup the man cave investment and make money in the process depends directly on what type of man cave you build and how you build a man cave.

Let’s start with looking at the types of man caves that are good for maximizing you return on investment.

What Man Caves Have the Best Return on Investment (ROI)?

Here is a list of man caves and their general return on investment (ROI). These numbers take into account all costs, like you paid a contractor to come in, do everything for you, and you turned around and sold your home.

These numbers do not take into account the tips we will go through later in this article to increase the ROI.

Average Investment and ROI of Different Man Caves

TypeAvg. InvestmentAvg. ROI
Covered Outdoor Kitchen w/ Patio$16,000 - $20,00075-85%
$40,000 - $80,00070-80%
Detached Addition$30,000 - 80,00070-80%
(with A/C, heat, electric, etc.)
$16,000 - $25,00065-80%
Garage$25,000 - 100,00055-75%
Basement Renovation$50,000 - $80,00060-75%
New Room Addition
(200 sqft)
$40,000 - $52,00050-60%

Man Caves with the Best Resale Value

As you can see above, different types of man caves have different return on investments. Keep in mind when considering this list that the ROI for you in your town, city, county, and state (and country for all our international readers) will be different. Although the order of the list will be similar to these estimates based on United States averages, your specific home town might have higher or lower ROI percentages.

Outdoor Kitchens

Overall, we found covered, luxury outdoor kitchen patios experienced the best ROI when building a man cave at home. These tend to be less common types of man caves, most people do not want to go through the hassle of building them. Yet, people are willing to pay a higher premium for them when buying a house and bundling it into the home price.

Detached Buildings

Next up are all of the exterior building man caves, which include finished barns, small outbuildings, sheds, and garages. Some of these may also be attached to the house, but the ones away from the house tend to have a higher ROI. This is because of men’s desire to want to just get away, into their own area. Truly escape from the house.


The final types of man cave on the list include basement renovations and new room additions, which tend to have the lowest man cave resale value return on investments. Ironically, these are the most common man caves.

How to Make Money Building a Man Cave

My goal with this article is to allow you to figure out how to build a man cave without worrying too much on recouping the value. Obviously, losing 40-50% of your investment is not ideal.

My guess is losing this amount of money when we are talking about a potential $30,000 – 80,000+ man cave build investment is that you would rather go out and buy a sport car and call it a day.

Yet, there are a few things you can do to cut out up to 50% of the cost in your man cave build.

Instead of “how to make money building a man cave,” let’s turn to How to Save Money Building a Man Cave, which would actually allow you to make money when you go to resell the house.

How to Save Money Building a Man Cave

To make money at the sale of your house on this man cave build, you need to save money in the build process.

Here are a 10 ways to save money on a man cave build. I personally used each and every one of these to save over $10,000 (about 33%) on my school bus conversion man cave.

1) Monitor Material Choices

2) Shop on Clearance & Rebate Sales

3) Look in the Damaged & Returns Section

4) Be Your Own Labor (& Watch YouTube)

5) Trade Services (Keep it “G” rated here…)

6) Enlist Friends with Bakery & Beer

7) Scout Craigslist for Deals & Freebies

8) Make a Facebook Request for Items

9) Contact Companies for Discounted Media Opportunities

10) Sell Items to Buy New

Best Man Cave Designs for Resale Value

In general, you want to make sure you are designing a man cave for resale by keeping it neutral, clean, and more of a family oriented space. Even though you might not let your family normally into the space, you still want it to look and be able to function as a general family space for potential new buyers.

There are certain features you can maintain in your man cave design to ensure the highest resale value is achieved. Here are a list of things to keep in mind when designing your man cave to earn top dollar:


Chris Kochan

Chris Kochan

I'm the owner of Man Cave Classifieds. As an outdoor enthusiast raised in Wisconsin, I enjoy sharing my passions for hunting, fishing, camping, backpacking, hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, and all things outdoors through my research and writing here on MCC.

Leave a Reply