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14 Unfinished Basement Man Cave Ideas

Are you looking at renovation ideas for your unfinished basement?  Fortunately, an unfinished basement can be the perfect place to turn into your very own man cave. Especially if your ideal man cave is a workout room, workshop, or a combination of a few ideas.  If so, then read on to learn our Unfinished Basement Man Cave Ideas.


1) Shop Lights

Whatever your plans for your unfinished basement man cave, you’ll want to make sure it’s well lit. If your basement only has a couple of pull string bulbs, consider hanging some shop lights. Sunco Lighting sells a six pack of LED lights that can be hung from an unfinished ceiling. Once hung, the shop lights can be linked together with included connectors, and then plugged into an outlet, allowing them to operate from one switch.

2) Paint the Walls

Most likely, the walls of your unfinished basement are made of cinder block or poured concrete.  If you have no plans to frame and finish your basement, you can still liven up those dull grey walls. Concrete and cinder block can be painted. It can be time consuming, and you’ll want to address any moisture issues that your basement might have first.  For a complete article about painting your basement walls, check out this link.

3) Multifunction Home Gym

One great idea for an unfinished basement man cave is to turn part of it into a workout area. If your space is limited, you can purchase a multifunctional home gym station like this one manufactured by Marcy. This multifunctional has a 150-lb stack of weights and will give you the option of over thirty different strength training exercises. It’s only 69” long and 36” wide, so it won’t take up too much room.

4) Free Weights

A multifunction gym night not work if your unfinished basement has low ceilings or if your basement entrance is too narrow for the machine to fit through. In that case, you still have the option of a workout man cave by going with more traditional free weights. If you decide to go with this route, the XMark Olympic Weight Set can be purchased at Amazon and is well reviewed.

5) Weight Bench and Rack

If you prefer to go with free weights, you’ll need to make sure that you get a weight bench and rack for your barbell. Marcy has you covered here as well, with their Adjustable Olympic Weight Bench and Leg Developer Squat Rack. The squat rack can be used with the bench or they can be easily separated to use independently. The unit also has a curl rack for leg lifts and arm curls.

6) Power Rack

For those of you who have higher ceilings and would rather go with free weights as opposed to a multifunction machine, you have the option to purchase a power rack for your man cave. At 81” tall, the HulkFit Multi-Function Power rack can be used for a variety of exercises. It also has two pull up bars in different diameters and spotter arms/dip bars as well. To shop for a HulkFit, click here.

7) ​​​​Exercise Mats

Finally, since your unfinished basement most likely has concrete floors, you’ll be smart to get yourself some padding for your man cave workout area. Concrete floors are tough on the joints and will be cold to lay on when doing sit ups or leg lifts. The most flexible solution? Puzzle exercise mats. ProsourceFit Puzzle Mats are are sold in a pack of six. They are 2-foot square, lightweight, and connect easily.

8) Work Bench

Perhaps your plan for your man cave is to turn it into a workshop or a craft/hobby room. The unfinished basement is the perfect place to do this. To start, every workshop needs a sturdy workbench. You can purchase a workbench at any home improvement store, but the 2x4 basic Custom Workbench is unique in that it is completely customizable. You can find it at Amazon. Just click here.

9) DIY Workbench

If your plan for your man cave is a woodworking shop, why not build your own workbench as your first project? Building a workbench is super easy to do and can be built much cheaper than buying one that is pre-assembled. There are plentiful plans and videos that you can find online, but to learn more about a real easy workbench you can build for under $60, follow this link.

10) Shop Cabinets

The second consideration for a basement man cave workshop is where to store all of your tools and hardware. One solution is a workshop or garage cabinet. NewAge products specializes in manufacturing a wide variety of garage cabinets that have a classic workshop look. Their Bold Series Two Piece Set comes with a locker and a Project Center. The Project Center is on casters, so it can be moved around your workshop as needed.

11) Rolling Tool Box

Perhaps you don’t have the space, or the budget for a set of expensive shop cabinets. The solution? A rolling tool chest. This High Capacity, 8-Drawer, Rolling Tool Chest by On Shine, is lockable and has a top that is detachable from the bottom cabinet. Need to take your tools on the road for an off site project?  Just detach the top, put it in the bed of your pickup and you’re good to go.

12) ​​​​​​Slatwall Panels

Slatwall panelling is a nifty way to hang tools and workshop accessories on the wall of your workshop to store and display them. Essentially, it's a high-end modular wall storage. The Proslat Basic Bundle is well reviewed on Amazon and ships with a 20 multi-purpose hook kit. This 8x4 panel is easy to clean, and is made of heavy duty steel, so it can hold up to 75 lbs per linear foot.

13) ​​​​​​​Pegboard

Of course, for the more budget conscious, pegboard is the original modular storage option for the man cave workshop. For a little over a quarter of the cost of the Proslat Bundle, you can purchase the WallPeg 4-Pack of Pegboard. Made of black plastic, this four pack will cover over 10 square feet of wall space. Furthermore, hooks and hanging bins for pegboard are less expensive and can be purchased at any home improvement store.

14) Dartboard

Now, we all know that all work and no play has the tendency to make Johnny a dull boy, so for those moments that you need to take a break from one of your projects, consider hanging a dartboard in a corner of your unfinished basement man cave. The Viper Hideaway Cabinet and Steel-Tip Dartboard includes the cabinet, dartboard, and 2 sets of starter darts. It also ships with its own mounting hardware.


Well, that wraps it up for our 14 Unfinished Basement Man Cave Ideas. If you’ve always wanted a workshop of your own where you can use your hands to build things, or if you love to lift weights, these are terrific ways to make use of an unfinished basement.  Maybe you are just looking for a way to store or display your power tools. Whatever the case, we’re sure that many of the ideas above will help you design the man cave of your dreams.

What are your thoughts?  Did we forget anything? Leave a comment and let us know!


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