Modern man has few essential needs — food, sports, beer, and the love of a good woman immediately come to mind. That’s pretty much it. These needs are normally satisfied once the honey do list is complete and the children are finally in bed, but some days even the happiest married man requires a few moments of silence to maintain peace of mind. He needs a place to unwind. A place of solitude. A place without children.

Long gone is the comfortable bachelor pad with the hand me down sofa, big screen TV, and fridge stocked with cheap beer and the random Hot Pocket, but that doesn’t mean you have to surrender the essence of that magical age. The man cave has become a necessity in the age of the cookie cutter, designer decorated home. Constructing this perfect in-house enclave requires a room, a man’s touch, a few cold ones and a little imagination. Not too much imagination. We are after all, a simple species. Here, we’ll cover the bare essentials every man cave must have for a gold-status upgrade on your man card.

The Atmosphere

While a man’s home remains his castle, a man’s cave is his sanctuary. Offering advice on all things in the manhood realm, the Mademan manual on man caves explains the law that the cave must be detached from the rest of the house. The attic, basement or even a heated garage are the best places to mark your territory. The walls should be covered with framed jerseys, neon signs and posters of Jessica Alba and Mila Kunis, if they won’t disturb the domestic peace too much.

A perfect man cave will have coin-operated, old-school video games such as “Pac-Man,” “Donkey Kong” or “Kangaroo.” Pool tables, air hockey, foosball and dart boards can similarly provide entertainment for the guys during halftime of Monday Night Football. There should one very comfortable chair, which only you can sit in, along with several semi-comfortable folding chairs or bean bags for company.

The Entertainment Center

The television is the center of attention in the man cave, as it provides a bulk of the entertainment. Any high-definition LCD or LED TV at least 40 inches in width is adequate. Surround sound will give the cave an arena-like feel, which is well worth it when you subscribe to the most comprehensive sports package your cable or satellite provider offers. A smaller, but no less important television for Xbox 360 and PS3 gaming can connect to the surround sound as well.

The Bar

The first question the boys will ask when they arrive on Saturday morning for a day-long marathon of college football is “where’s the beer?” A bar is something you can get quite creative with, depending on your budget and imagination. Any old table or dresser can be covered with a butcher block, painted to your liking and surrounded by stools to create a bar-like setting. A full-sized refrigerator that can hold several cases of your favorite brews is absolutely required.

If you want to go all out, installing taps and kegs will qualify your man cave for all kinds of coolness awards. Another kick-ass idea is to get an old soda machine, change the graphics and fill it with different kinds of beer. A few bottles of your favorite whiskeys will add variety and a means of making in-game bets payable by taking shots.

About the author: Tom Trainer’s first love is sports; after that, it’s definitely writing about sports and then reading the sports section in the newspaper. Tom does not like the op-ed section or shopping for clothes.