Bar None: Creating Your Own Home Bar

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Who needs the local watering hole when you have a bar right in your very own basement? It’s cheaper, safer, and less crowded; you can invite whoever you want, and there’s no risk of noise complaints or the hustle of getting a drink before last call. The ambiance is just right, your favorite beverages are always on tap, and you get to choose the playlist.

Sounds pretty great, right? If a home bar seems right up your alley, why not consider investing in one of your very own? It can be a great place to kick back and relax or entertain friends and family from the comfort of your own home. But before you break ground, there are a few questions you should ask yourself:

What Kind Of Bar Will It Be?

By that, we mean, what is the intended purpose of the bar? Is this a sporty hangout where you can watch the game and slam brews with your buddies? Is it a comfy lounge for relaxing and sharing a glass—or a bottle—of Chardonnay? Maybe it’s a quiet spot for sipping whiskey and reflecting by the fire. Ask yourself how you intend to spend your time in your home bar. What kind of events are you hoping to have here? How many people do you expect to host? In short, what is the atmosphere of the space?

What’s The Style?

Yes, the atmosphere is different from style. If you’ve determined what kind of bar you want, it’s time to think about the look you wish your bar space to have. This is where you get to be crazy and creative! There are so many options to choose from: cozy English pub, rustic tavern, French countryside, sleek and ultra-modern, luxurious traditional, hip and grungy, fun and funky, and so much more.

What Kind Of Space Are You Working With?

A bar can be any size. Whether it occupies a room or a wall, a bar is a bar no matter how small! Rhymes aside, the square footage of your intended bar doesn’t really matter; if you know how to use the area to its best advantage, you can create a style and atmosphere all your own. Maybe it’s a single cabinet in your kitchen, or perhaps it takes up most of your basement. There’s no prescribed way to create an amazing home bar.

What’s The Budget?

You can’t have a renovation without first planning your budget. Again, you can create a bar on a limited budget; you just have to be conscious of the space and what you want to do with it.

A Note on Budgeting

Before you plan your budget, you need to know what your home bar bill may look like. According to Home Advisor, installing a home bar can run you anywhere from $500 to $22,000, with an average cost of around $8,000. That’s a pretty big range, so let’s break it down even further.

The materials for custom work can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000. The more complex the design, the higher the cost. A premade bar unit can ring anywhere from $800 to $6,000. On top of the price of materials, labor can cost between $200 and $8,000.

Do It Yourself

If a professionally-built bar is a little out of your price range, why not try it yourself? It is possible to DIY a home bar, depending on your skill level and the tools you have at your disposal.

For the crafty upcyclers, Architecture and Design has assembled a collection of nifty DIY projects. With a few nails, some paint, and a little bit of moxie, you can turn these pre-loved items into a cool new bar. You can almost certainly accomplish a project like this for under $500. These bars may be small, but they are mighty!

For the handy folks and woodworkers out there, you may want to try building a simple bar from scratch. Obviously, that’ll take a lot more time, patience, and expertise, but the result and sense of accomplishment you’ll get is well worth the effort! Check out this step-by-step instructional guide from Rock Solid Rustic or this one from Family Handyman.

If you do choose to go the professional route with your bar, Winthorpe Design & Build can help you create the home bar of your dreams. We always start by collaborating with you to understand your vision for the space that will become your home bar. After that, we’ll create our design, order the materials, and build it custom, just for you. Cheers to your new space!



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