A firefighter spent $3,000 turning a broken swimming pool into a sunken man cave with a full-service bar. See inside.

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A firefighter spent $3,000 turning a broken swimming pool into a sunken man cave with a full-service bar. See inside.
Ethan Richards' man cave in a disused swimming pool in High Point, North Carolina, which was featured on the Instagram and TikTok account Zillow Gone Wild.Shelby Brown of Lighthouse Visuals
  • Ethan Richards turned his in-ground pool in North Carolina into a sunken man cave for just $3,000.
  • The 18-by-20-foot structure includes a working television, a refrigerator, and a full-service bar.
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When Ethan Richards discovered his High Point, North Carolina swimming pool would need major repairs, he dove headfirst into a new idea.

Instead of filling his pool with water, he'd fill it with a man cave.

The 18-by-20 foot structure was actually his wife's idea, Richards, a firefighter in High Point, which is about 90 minutes west of Raleigh-Durham, told The High Point Enterprise.

"When we found out what it would cost to repair the pool or fill it in, she asked if I could build something in the pool," he told the Enterprise. "I wanted something I could enjoy year-round, and this is what I came up with. It's perfect, because I tend to drink a lot more than I swim."

A firefighter spent $3,000 turning a broken swimming pool into a sunken man cave with a full-service bar. See inside.
The man cave has a fully stocked bar.Shelby Brown of Lighthouse Visuals

The entire project cost around $3,000 and took under two years to complete. Now, the man cave — along with the larger three-bedroom, two-bathroom house it serves as an escape from — is on the market for $340,000.

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The home's listing caught the attention of popular TikTok account Zillow Gone Wild, where a December 4 post racked up over 400,000 views and helped drum up interest in the property locally.

A firefighter spent $3,000 turning a broken swimming pool into a sunken man cave with a full-service bar. See inside.
In this aerial shot of Richards' home, the man cave in the pool can be seen in the backyard.Shelby Brown of Lighthouse Visuals

After 72 days on the market, the house is now under contract, but listing agent Carolyn Belk of Keller Williams Realty told the Enterprise the man cave attracted curious fans even before it appeared on Zillow Gone Wild.

"At the open houses I've done," she told the Enterprise, "we've had people who just wanted to come see the pool. They're kind of amazed by it."

Richards and Belk didn't return requests for comment.

What it's like inside the swimming-pool man cave

A firefighter spent $3,000 turning a broken swimming pool into a sunken man cave with a full-service bar. See inside.
The "front yard" of the man cave is made of turf and stones on the bottom of what was the swimming pool.Shelby Brown of Lighthouse Visuals

Take a staircase down into the pool and it looks like you've stepped onto entirely new property, with a mini turf lawn, a fire pit, and a welcoming facade with an oak door and two windows.

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Inside, the wood-paneled man cave is wired for prime television viewing with a surround-sound system. There's a full-service bar with vintage-looking stools, a refrigerator, and a dartboard for hosting parties.

A firefighter spent $3,000 turning a broken swimming pool into a sunken man cave with a full-service bar. See inside.
Inside, the wood-lined man cave has a table, chairs, TV, and a dartboard.Shelby Brown of Lighthouse Visuals

The cave has achieved some notoriety in Richards' neighborhood. It even played host to a local baby shower for nearly 40 people, where Richards said some friends who were initially man-cave doubters begrudgingly gave him accolades for his DIY project.

"Some of them were there drinking beer with me at the baby shower," he told the Enterprise. "They had to eat their words."

As a commenter on Zillow Gone Wild's Instagram post about the house, which has attracted more than 60,000 likes in three days, said: "Now that's a real dive bar."

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