According to a recent homeowner poll, "man caves" are a highly desirable home feature, creating a place of refuge and relaxation for the man of the house. The poll, conducted by online home improvement marketplace ServiceMagic.com, examined the reasons men desire a room of their own and the elements they most want in their man cave.

Forty percent of respondents said they currently have a man cave in their home, while 13 percent reported their testosterone-centric room is currently in the planning phase or under construction. The trend has been driven mostly by advances in home electronics, video games, home theaters, and widescreen televisions, according to David Lupberger, ServiceMagic.com's home improvement expert.

Why do men want a room of their own? Mostly to get away from it all. Fifty-eight percent just want a spot to do their own thing without family activities intruding, while 49 percent say they'd like a little peace and quiet. For 45 percent it comes down to control over what to watch on TV, and 39 percent say they want one room where they can make all the decorating decisions.

Hanging out with buddies (27 percent), getting away from a significant other (25 percent), sparing a significant other from endless sports-viewing (25 percent), and the freedom to mismatch decorations and furniture (24 percent) also were cited as reasons men want "man caves."

"These aren't ordinary recreational or family rooms," Lupberger says. "These are rooms that fall solely under the jurisdiction of the man of the house. It may blatantly or intentionally defy the rest of the house's decorating style. It doesn't matter. The bottom line is, it's seen as the man's choice."

By and large, man caves are multipurpose spaces where a variety of activities may take place, from work to vegging out in front of a movie to a round of cards or indoor games. While 20 percent of respondents said a home office was their ideal retreat, 25 percent would prefer a garage, and 35 percent would claim the basement as their man cave.

Home electronics make the man cave, the poll shows, with 76 percent reporting they would want a widescreen television in their room, followed by a stereo (68 percent), a DVD player (67 percent), a computer (65 percent), and surround sound (64 percent). "Of course, men love gadgets. So professional designers and remodelers who say there's been a noticeable increase in requests for this space in the past few years are often basing their plans around a widescreen television," Lupberger says.

Because lounging appears to be the most sought-after activity in a man cave, 69 percent of respondents said a recliner is necessary for their comfort. All that manly activity works up a thirst, which is probably why 67 percent of respondents said they'd like a cooler or refrigerator in the room and 38 percent want a fully outfitted wet bar. Other desired features included sports paraphernalia (36 percent), a dart board or pool table (both 34 percent), or a poker table (19 percent).

Though the majority polled said they were likely to spend less than $1,000 on their man cave, 16 percent were planning to spend between $5,000 and $10,000, and 14 percent plan to spend $10,000.

Surprisingly, 66 percent of respondents said their man cave plan would receive no resistance from their wives or significant others. In fact, since the trend got started three to four years ago women have come to see the value of the man room, too, according to interior designer Lee Ann Van Loucks of Bella Casa Design. She believes it's because with the manly activities relegated to a specific room, women don't have to see the mess, hear the noise, smell the cigar smoke, or see the beer bottles.