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What Are the Best Tips for Building a Home Bar?

By Eugene P.
Updated May 17, 2024
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Building a home bar can be one of the crowning achievements when renovating a basement or recreation room. Depending on the features that are wanted in the bar, the project can be fairly easy or relatively complicated. Either way, there are several things to be aware of before starting that can help to make building a home bar easier and more economical. From planning the use of space to finding the necessary supplies for construction, there are several steps that need to be thought through before starting the project.

First, it is very important to have some kind of building plan. There are a number of pre-made plans available for building a home bar. Using one of these professionally made designs can save a lot of frustration later. If none of the available plans is workable, then custom plans need to be drawn out before starting the project so no surprises arise later.

Another factor is to be conscious of the space where the bar will be built. There should be enough space available for people to stand on both sides of the bar. One should account for space that might be occupied by shelves for the liquor and any cabinets that might be installed.

When looking for wood to use to make the countertop and skin for the frame, architectural salvage is one option. Architectural salvage wood is perfectly usable wood that has been taken from another location to be reused. Especially in the case of the countertop for a bar, wood that has some use-related imperfections can add character to the bar once refinished. Using salvaged wood also is environmentally friendly and can help to lower the cost of the project.

If the bar will have electrical outlets and plumbing for a sink, then the bar should be placed near existing lines, if at all possible. This will make it easier to run pipes and electrical wiring to the bar and will prevent having to tear up large portions of the walls or run wires across the baseboards. Letting a professional actually lay the lines and wiring also may be worth the money. When a professional performs this part of building a home bar, the outlets and pipes will be safer than if they were done by a non-professional.

One last thing to remember is to install lighting over the bar. This step is frequently overlooked during the design stage of building a home bar. Space and wiring — for overhead lights that will illuminate the bar and the space behind it — are both critical elements. These lights can help to create a separate area for the bar and add to the ambiance of the room.

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