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For the guys: Manliest homes in America

For some guys, a house is just a pile of sticks. But others see where they hang their hat as an expression of their true identity. "Masculine design can be seen in textures, colors and materials used," says Meg Caswell, host of the DIY Network's "Meg's Great Rooms." In other words, it's not just about that 60-inch plasma screen with the blabbedy-blah sound system and receiver. It's about finding the right chair to match that custom-built oak mantle. Or taking pride in the contours of an archway. Or, to paraphrase the Big Lebowski, finding a rug that really ties the room together. See, men don't just build. They create. For visual evidence, check out these modern American temples dedicated to testosterone.

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The Corleone compound

Leave the gun, take the canopies. This $2.9 million home located in the Todt Hill section of Staten Island, N.Y., was used in the classic film "The Godfather" (in the backyard, you might recognize where director Francis Ford Coppola staged the famous wedding scene and Don Corleone's untimely back garden demise). The layout of the Tudor home makes the place look like it's part of a true Family fortress, with amenities that include a basement pub, butler's pantry, four-car garage and two fireplaces. It also has an in-ground pool in case you want to sleep (or swim) with the fishes. And if that's not authentic enough, when the home went up for sale in 2010, owner James Norton threw in Marlon Brando's cue cards for additional bragging rights. Horse's head not included. 

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The Wright stuff

This 1,959-square-foot Cincinnati home is an architecture geek's dream. That's because it's one of the last works created by design visionary Frank Lloyd Wright (Brad Pitt is a fan). With 10-foot-tall doors that lead out to a terrace that wraps around the house, "it's hard to tell whether you are inside or outside," says owner Chuck Lohre, "but that was one of Mr. Wright's signature styles." Known as The Boulter House, the structure falls under FLW's "Usonian" moniker, meaning it's simple, yet sleek. That said, it doesn't skimp on unique extras, such as 24 feet of built-in seating and bookshelves, a suspended staircase, and 450 square feet of glass to gaze out at the surrounding forest. Purchased for $455,000 back in 2002, Lohre hasn't messed too much with the master's vision. The kitchen and carport have been restored, and Lohre also finished off a bathroom that was started in 1958.

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The pimped-out treehouse

Situated on 31 acres on top of a ridge, this 4,300-square-foot Tennessee home is the ultimate boys' club (without the girlie mags and secret passwords). To become one with nature, designer Brad Norris of Norris Architecture blended the design with its wooded surroundings. The living room and pavilion areas offer the visuals and openness of the great outdoors, while the office and bedroom cocoon inhabitants in a cave-like atmosphere. Almost every inch of the $1.99 million home is authentic, too, with actual cypress or western lodgepole pine trees throughout. "No fake stuff," says Norris. "Real stone, real wood, real structure." Real cool.

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The high roller's room

No need to leave home.
No need to leave home.Photo courtesy of

You can't spit without hitting something insanely fun in this 24,500-square-foot mansion located in Washington, Utah (and priced at $6.995 million). Previously featured on MTV's "Teen Cribs," the 10-bathroom home with an all-wood elevator features a two-lane bowling alley, two Cineplex-style home theaters, and a sports pub with four flat-screen TVs above the pool table for multiple viewing angles. "Having a bowling alley in your home says, 'You've made it!'" says Meg Caswell, host of the DIY Network's "Meg’s Great Rooms." After all, Richard Nixon installed one in the White House. But does 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. also have a handcrafted solid wood slide, a six-car garage, and 3,500 square feet of patio and deck space with its own outdoor kitchen? Yeah, didn't think so.

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The farmer's fantasy

Would you want to live in a barn? Richard Landry does, and he's pretty proud of it. The Quebec native designed this 5,000-square-foot Malibu home by incorporating remnants from a 100-year-old barn being demolished in his hometown. The aged timber is the main building material for this place, which sits on 15 acres that includes a running stream, a stable and a swimming pool of corrugated metal. Using frontier craftsmanship as the main design theme, this paint-free home also has concrete block and slab, pecan wood floors, and both marble and granite in the bathrooms. "Masculine design can be seen in elements such as exotic woods, steel, glass and natural stone," says Meg Caswell, host of the DIY Network's "Meg's Great Rooms." That said, Landry's place has plenty of modern conveniences, too, including surround sound inside and out, Crestron home control and an industrial-looking, butt-kicking gym.

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The home on the range

Going rustic doesn't mean you have to give up luxury. This Missoula, Mont., estate is part of a licensed shooting preserve that actually has a teepee on-site, but also boasts flat-screen TVs, leather seating, in-floor radiant heating and a 1,200 bottle wine cellar. Known as the Kootenai Springs Ranch, the compound manages to squeeze in a total of four stone, log and glass buildings into almost two acres. That includes a main house with a backup freezer and extra fridge (for your daily kill), along with a guest wing and a separate guesthouse. Oh yeah, and then there's the Boy's Club — a 508-square-foot space with floor-to-ceiling windows, a wet bar and all the comforts of your local sports bar (including poker table). In case you want to reel in the catch of the day, the room also has a few fly-tying stations. (Hall and Hall has the whole compound listed for $14.5 million.)

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The mile-high club

Homeowner Stan Holt's 12,000 square-foot Houston hideout is literally big enough to fit a plane (it's located inside a privately owned airport, after all). But it can also hold three NHRA drag race cars, a Ruckus scooter, two Harleys, several golf carts, a 1946 Stinson aircraft and a pretty insane vintage car collection. Guests can lounge in the Texaco-themed bar area with a matching counter, table and tons of memorabilia. Or kick back in the hangar's inside bar or theater room, which includes a 62-inch plasma HDTV, three rows of step-up seating and a candy counter. Not a bad way to wait out a long layover.

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The baller's bungalow

Eat your heart out, LeBron. This $3.2 million Hinsdale, Ill., home is a real hoop fan's dream since it comes with a full-size basketball court and gym, plus a second floor music studio (for those Shaq-like talents who want to branch out into a music career). Wood beam ceilings, stone fireplaces and an open layout complete the manly architecture. And in-between pickup games, the entire entourage can hang in the basement's pub-style bar, chill by the outdoor fireplace with built-in BBQ or take a steam. Yep, this is the life. Who's got next?

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The monster garage

Talk about an auto erotic fantasy. This Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., homeowner has his own 3,400-square-foot garage, which comfortably fits 12 cars — eight on the floor level and another four up on built-in lifts. The space also has its own guest quarters, exercise room and wine cellar. That doesn't include the actual house attached with another 5,555 square feet of living space, outdoor pool and security system. (On the market for $4.9 million.)

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The gangster's paradise

Say hello to my not-so-little friend. "Scarface" is the perfect flick to play at this massive Orlando, Fla., home, featuring a 240-inch (!) Stewart Filmscreen by the pool. And though the house itself looks a lot like the Santa Barbara location where the 1983 classic was filmed, Nael Yacoub, president and CEO of Crown Audio, says that the inspiration for the $250,000 install really came from the desire to watch football while wading in the deep end. The audio on this setup is equally gangsta, too — there are eight Niles Audio speakers throughout the pool area, all disguised as rocks, along with six Krell amps.

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The gambler's den

It's hard to imagine any gambling aficionado sleeping in a place that isn't pumped with fresh oxygen. But this Long Island, N.Y., homeowner does just fine in his half-acre ode to decadence, complete with a Vegas-themed bedroom and cabana designed to mimic the entryway to Connecticut's Foxwoods Casino. Looking like a scene from a Todd Phillips flick, the 8,000-square-foot home that sits on the water has a black jack room, custom movie theater, library, jacuzzi and outdoor fireplace with two-floor patios. Also, for those times when things get a little too dicey, there are docks that can hold a boat up to 75 feet-long, with Jet Skis ready to roll at a moment's notice.

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The NASCAR pitstop

Last Father's Day, you probably got your dad another tie. NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson enlisted help from the DIY Network's "Man Caves" crew to build a $35,000 custom garage for his dad's Statesville, N.C., home. The end result has a racing theme, complete with RaceDeck flooring, asphalt on the walls, custom cabinets made to look like a scoring tower, and plenty of photos of the owner's famous offspring. There's also a tool chest and workspace, a two-tiered bar, a touch-controlled Samsung 50-inch 3D TV, a hot tub, and a steel-veneer pool table. However, one feature that really revved up viewers of the episode is the underground hydraulic lift in the middle of the floor. Besides housing a brand new Victory Kingpin motorcycle, the lift has a remote-controlled rotating platform to automatically turn any vehicle around and have it ready for the next lap. 

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Slideshow: See the rest of the 25 manliest homes in America

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