Building a Man Cave in the Backyard

There’s nothing barbaric about the whole “man cave” concept, even here in 2019. All it is, is an oasis for husbands and common law counterparts, a place to escape and enjoy a setting that would otherwise render the design and decor of a home downright ludicrous. However, dedicating the basement or a room in the home may not be viable, especially once children have entered the equation and gobbled up the last remaining block of available square footage. That’s why there is a significant number of homeowners searching for information about building a man cave in the backyard of their property. Still, the last thing they want to end up with is a glorified aluminum shed. Fret not, because there is a better better way to build this detached extension for your clients. Let’s review.

5 Reasons Why Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) Are Perfect for Building Detached Man Caves

1. Weatherproof (even in Central Alberta)

A backyard man cave may seem appealing on the surface, but when Alberta homeowners consider the autumn, winter, and early spring weather, it quickly turns into a summertime only vision. This doesn’t need to be the case when using insulated concrete forms. While it’s still recommended to install an HVAC system as one would with a detached guesthouse, occupants won’t have to worry about out of control heating and cooling costs to maintain all year comfort. ICF construction offers superior thermal resistance, with an R-Value of nearly R-24. And if owners plan on skipping HVAC and opt for portable heating (winter) and fans (summer) ICF is absolutely the only way to go.

2. Soundproof

Man caves also serve as entertainment centers, a place to stream favorite action movies, to watch sports, and play video games and preferably without regard for sound transmission. However, the latter is often a pipe dream. But thanks to ICF construction, it doesn’t need to be. NUDURA ICF has a Sound Transmission Class of STC-50. That means other household occupants and neighbors alike will be none the wiser with it comes to pushing the limits of installed audio systems. On the flip side, outside noise won’t interfere with the interior experience either. Learn more about ICF’s superior soundproofing qualities.

3. Security

One thing about man caves, is that they typically house an extensive collection of kitsch, vintage signage, sports memorabilia, barware, and wonderfully tawdry items that boast real and sentimental value alike. Then there’s the aforementioned home entertainment electronics, along with leisure appendages (pool table, etc.) and more. With thousands of dollars loaded within, owners essentially need the space to serve not just as an escape, but a vault. There is no better way to provide this sense of security, than to construct the space with insulated concrete forms. ICF is being used today for municipal, provincial, and federal building security, and is even employed for panic room construction. Learn more.

4. Built to Last

Criminal intrusion aside (addressed above), owners also want to protect their backyard escape from Mother Nature. In Alberta, the space will be exposed to extreme wind, snowfall, flooding, and even hail (Central Alberta is located with Hailstorm Alley). There is also the ever-present risk of fire. Once again we see that ICF is the answer. For more detailed information about each concern, view the following:

Simply put, ICF offers your client’s outdoor man cave resistance against any and all elements.

5. Built Fast

When inspiration strikes for a man cave, it strikes fast, and the client doesn’t want to wait long before they get to enjoy it. When constructed with insulated concrete forms, the oasis can be constructed within the month. ICF installation time for a reasonably sized space will take a few short days (possibly just one, if going small). From there, remaining work can be completed, finishing can be applied, vintage Coca Cola signs can be hung with care, and the cave will be ready for action….or lounging. Learn more about why ICF construction is much faster than traditional builds.


Help your residential clients realize their dreams for the perfect backyard escape. Contact Total ICF today to learn more about how insulated concrete forms can be applied to practically any detached home extension project.