Armchair Builder

The Ultimate Man Cave…Maui Style

Man Cave Maui Style

Photo Courtesy of Eric Newman

What do you do if you can’t agree on a price with your general contractor to build your man cave?  You build it yourself…duh.  That’s exactly what Eric Newman did for his new project on Maui.  Rather than pay the sometimes exorbitant prices for building on Maui, Mr. Newman decided he would take the project on himself as the general contractor to save money, get exactly what he wanted, and expedite the project.

If it looks like a barn, is on agricultural land, and is painted red…it must be a barn. Right? Not necessarily.  Don’t let this barn fool you.  With breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the Maui coast, this barn is a place most of us only dream about.  So what is the new structure really?  According to Mr. Newman, the structure is a combination workshop and greenhouse.

This story is a great example for other potential owner-builders who need encouragement to take on their dream project themselves.  In fact, this man cave on Maui has some great examples of what to do as an owner-builder.  So, what did Mr. Newman do right that we can learn from?

He Went for It:  Instead of paying full price for his new space, Mr. Newman charged forward (with a well thought out plan of course) and managed the process himself taking on the general contractor role.  His savings were huge…1/8 the price of the main house built by a general contractor (although I’m sure the finishes aren’t quite as nice as in the main house).

Control = Savings:  Mr. Newman was free to make last minute decisions that saved serious money.  By choosing closeout windows and doors from Lowes, the owner saved several thousand dollars.  Sure, the plan had to be modified slightly, but having complete control allows you to make these types of decisions.

Followed HOA Guidelines:  HOA = Homeowner’s Association. We never want to start a project without getting full approval of the community homeowner’s association.  This owner-builder made sure to follow all of the CC&R’s (Codes, Covenants, and Restrictions).  Instead of followed…I should probably say managed. Rather than cave into every design committee request, Mr. Newman worked with the board to come to mutually beneficial solutions.  After all, the goal for everyone involved is to maintain the quality look and feel of this great community.

Incorporated Green:  You can’t build a greenhouse without thinking about green.  Solar panels were installed that provide half of the power to the entire residence.  A rain catchment system with 6000 gallon water tank provides water to the “barn”.

Schedule:  This owner-builder was able to take control of the schedule at a pace that worked for him.  I love the pictures showing the framing of the barn that took place in February…Sunny and 70 degrees…you gotta love Maui!

If you get a chance, check out Eric Newman’s site for more great pictures and details.

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3 Comments for The Ultimate Man Cave…Maui Style

mancave2727 | December 28, 2011 at 7:14 am

Talk about the ultimate view. Only the ultimate man cave will do.

Eric Newman | April 4, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Thank you for the nice article. The barn / man cave was an absolute pleasure to build and is now enjoyed every day.

-Eric Newman

Author comment by armchairbuilder | April 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Looks like it was a lot of fun…I think you have inspired some owner builders out there. Aloha!