I have seen some pretty sloppy attempts at building a home bar. They weren’t the best my friends. So, what does it take to really make your home bar special? How do you bring it home?
I walked into a friend’s house one day and in his basement was what I would call a wooden box with stools. Hey, you can drink beer there. But, class it up a bit. What in the world have you done with your imagination?
So, as we sat there drinking some beer and talking about everything else but his bar, I brought up the conversation. I asked if he had any ideas for his bar. Unfortunately, he thought it was perfect and he was done with it. Fortunately, I talked him into some possibilities.
Jump On Deals
The next weekend, we started. It was a rather inexpensive makeover because we were able to find most of the materials we needed for free or dirt cheap. I had visited a construction job where there were some extra 2x4s left over. Before the contractor got the chance to grab them up and use them for another project, I asked the owner of the house if I could get them.
What some people don’t know is that after a construction job, the contractor will act like he’s doing you a favor and getting rid of the excessive materials. But, you’re still paying for them and he’ll use them on another job where he’ll save money charging them for the materials again. After explaining that to the owner, I was able to pick that wood up for next to nothing.
It’s almost the same story with the paneling only my friend already had that. It was leaning up in his garage and had been for years after the kitchen remodeling job. So, we’re there. Only a few more things to get and we’re on our way.
Get as creative as you want! When you’re finished, it will look great. But, we basically built a four foot high structure, a foot and a half wide that stretched from the wall to the entrance way about eight feet. Skinned it with plywood and covered with paneling.
The bar itself is in three sections with the largest section being in the middle about four feet. The two side sections will be for refrigerators. The middle section is for the kegerator. We ordered a massive three keg kegerator that will be great for mixed company with different tastes in beer.
We finished the inside of the bar with a dark wood finish before building the top of the bar. It just makes better sense. But, we built the top of the bar with an eight inch overhang on the outside. Plywood under a nice layer of interlocking wood flooring. Yes, flooring. It looks great. But, remember not to go up to the edges of the base. Depending on the width of your rail, leave some space for installation.
The railing can come from any home improvement store. You don’t need much so you might as well go all out on it. We used a four inch thick border. The same that you would use around your home to add style to your ceilings. It’s called being creative.
Then, we finished the bar with the same dark finish we used on the inside. It took awhile, but we finally achieved the rich dark color that brought the paneling out more. I would have to say that if my friend wanted to be done at this point, he could have been. Now, he had a beautiful bar. But, I wasn’t quite finished yet and I talked him into a few extras I thought he could use.
The Extra Touch
This is where the payoff comes. Never leave a bar hanging without the touch that brings it home. I installed track lighting over the bar. Put the flat screen behind the bar with an entertainment system that I had to talk my friend into installing under the television. We knocked hole in the wall and went to town. But, it looked good when we were finished.
Drilled a hole through the center of the bar top and installed the beer tower for the kegerator. I had purchased a few unique beer taps for the occasion. A few bar stools and we were done, or so we thought.
That’s right! I found a deal on a bar top card game. It takes quarters and everything. What bar wouldn’t be complete without a bar top card game. It’s even something to do when you don’t have company and just want to relax one night with the football game on and play a few games of cards with yourself or your spouse.
The refrigerators and kegerators were installed neatly under the bar and it was time for the christening. I didn’t let my friend know until he was surprised, but I had invited a few friends over for the occasion. They were amazed by what we did with just a little bit of material and an otherwise empty room. You can have that too. Enjoy!