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10 Shipping Container Man Cave Ideas

Amazing ideas that can inspire you to use a shipping container as a man cave, or even build your next home.

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Shipping container homes are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people are starting to discover the benefits of using shipping containers as living spaces. Shipping containers are almost the perfect material to construct a personal space, and can be easily stacked on top of each other and converted into full-size homes. However, you can also use a shipping container to make a smaller, more intimate space. Case in point- shipping container man caves! If you want to make a dedicated space to unwind, relax, and focus, consider constructing a shipping container man cave on your property. Below are some ideas that can inspire you to use a shipping container as a man cave, or even to build your next home.

Table of Contents

1. Use a Smaller Shipping Container

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If you’re not very experienced in construction and have a tight budget, you can purchase a shipping container that is smaller than the large, traditional 40′ shipping containers used for lengthy sea travel. Shipping containers come in various sizes, including 10′, 20′, and 40′ sizes. A 10′ or 20′ shipping container will work well to make a small man cave. You can fit it easily in your backyard, or on another part of your property and use it as a traditional shed to store your tools, or a small office space.

Using a small shipping container is also good if you’re looking to save costs on heating. When you think of a shipping container as a big metal box, you can see why it’s so important to heat it properly. By using a smaller shipping container, you won’t have to install a large HVAC unit, and can instead opt for a smaller, more cheap heating and cooling system.

2. Insulate your Shipping Container Man Cave

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Speaking of heating and cooling, most shipping containers will not come with insulation installed. This is because most shipping containers are used to transport materials, and not for someone to live in! Fortunately, you can insulate your shipping container easily through either spray foam, building out your walls, or insulating the exterior and covering it with exterior cladding. If you’re using a 40′ shipping container for your man cave or as a primary home, you can opt for building out your walls and using insulation on the interior of your space.

However, if you’re using a smaller 10′ or 20′ shipping container, it’s best to insulate the exterior and have maximum space inside. Not insulating your container can make it extremely hot or extremely cold, making your man cave an uncomfortable space as opposed to a dedicated space to unwind and relax!

3. Install Windows

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Installing windows is a great way to make your man cave feel more open, inviting, and let in some natural sunlight during the day. You can install windows on your own if you have experience in welding, and know how to use tools to cut through the thick metal on shipping containers. Use custom-made windows and use their exact dimensions before you make any sort of cuts on your shipping container. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, use professional services to install your windows for you.

4. Install Sliding Doors

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Although shipping containers already come with a built-in door (if you can call a giant opening a door), these are extremely heavy to open, and only provide one way in and out of your container. Installing sliding doors can allow you to also install a patio around your man cave, and make the space feel less claustrophobic. The beautiful thing about sliding doors is that they serve as a barrier against the elements if you set up your man cave outside, while also providing a window to the outside world!

4. Use Portable Lights

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From Christmas lights, to LED string lights, or even portable lamps, using portable lights in your man cave can brighten up the space and add a bit of character to your man cave. String and LED lights are a good way to light up smaller man caves, such as for a gaming nook or personal movie den!

Portable lights are also a great solution if your man cave is off site your home and not near any outlets. Industrial strength portable lights are a better choice for bigger shipping containers, such as 40′ or 20′ containers. They can be relatively inexpensive, ranging from under 30 dollars. You will have to charge your lights beforehand.

6. Install a Skylight

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Make your man cave the perfect getaway by installing a skylight to your ceiling. Just like you can install windows on the side of your storage container, you can also install a skylight to get a gorgeous view of the night sky. Skylights are also a good way to provide roof access if you ever want to climb on top of your storage container and use the roof as a second patio. Simply install a ladder leading out of your skylight, and set up a rest area on top of your roof.

7. Make a Mini Bar

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What’s a man cave without a mini bar? Mini bars are a cheap way to add sophistication and an adult-theme to your man cave. If you’re not near any outlets or power sources, you can use a portable mini fridge to keep your drinks cool. You can also set up a bar area using some luxury-style bar stools, a cocktail kit, and of course, a bucket of ice to cool down your liquor. Whether you’re in a shipping container or making your man cave elsewhere, mini bars are a must have!

8. Use Sleek Furniture

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Being inside of a shipping container can feel a little square…literally. There’s no better way to offset the basic structure of your shipping container man cave than with sleek, uniquely shaped furniture. Sleek furniture can not only add some unique style, but also help make your container space feel more open. When you’re relaxing in your man cave, you don’t want to feel like the space is cluttered.

9. Use Space-Saving Furniture

Although shipping containers can be fairly long, they are not very wide and as such can feel very cramped. Using space-saving furniture, such as foldable tables and furniture with storage, can help make your man cave feel more open and offer more room for guests. Other space-saving furniture includes couches with storage, hidden shelving, futons that can convert to beds, or even loft-style beds (if you’re planning on spending the night in your man cave).

10. Install a Tiny Bathroom

Installing a bathroom is a great way to convert your man cave into a legit living space. Although this might be a big project, it’s well worth it! By installing a bathroom in your man cave, you can save yourself on trips to the home or having to go outside to do your…business. You can reach out to professional plumbing services to install your bathroom if you plan on using your man cave for living long-term. Alternatively, you can also have a port-a-potty nearby that can also function as a bathroom.