How to Install a Home Bar

It is fairly certain to say that there is nothing cooler than having a home wet bar installed in your home, perhaps in your finished basement. Some individuals, whether they are young professionals or urbane retirees, esteem some of the finer things, and having a wet bar allows one to truly entertain, enjoy some warm fellowship, as well as share in a few select wines with your gracious guests.

How can one go about installing an upscale bar into their home? Well, are you a do-it-yourselfer or would a project like this start with a phone call? If you want to take on the venture yourself, there are web sites that will get you started, or you can purchase how-to books that include this project. Some kits are available, but they’re somewhat standard as to design. If you’re looking for some variance, a contractor is the way to go. But you can certainly design the bar to your liking and preference.

What is the best room to locate the bar? What kind of features should it have?

For starters, decide how detailed you want to get. Do you want a wet bar or a dry one? A wet bar, simply put, includes a sink with running water. If you’re unable to easily hook up into existing plumbing, then a dry bar with all the embellishments is more than ample. Are you going to run electric to the bar? It’s a good idea to if you can, considering some of the small appliances you may want to include.

Generally, an in-home bar is thought of as being in a finished basement, no doubt because if you have a finished off lower level, chances are you do most of your entertaining there. If you have a pool table, with a 42-inch plasma, then you already know where the bar is going. But the rule is to locate your bar wherever you entertain your guests. A bar in close proximity or right off your kitchen is a great place to have one too. Especially if you choose not to install a small built-in fridge to your bar; you’ll keep access to the martini olives just a few steps away.

Though not essential, having a refrigerator included in your bar arrangement offers you the convenience of keeping beer cold, wine chilled and garnishes fresh. If you’re more of a wine enthusiast, you may want to consider a temperature controlled wine cooler. An icebox is going to be an indispensable item. You can build it in or just purchase a standard one.

Give consideration to the shape of your bar, and the building materials. Wooden bars have a certain nostalgic, pub-like charm. Or if your taste and decor is more contemporary, stainless steel may be the way to go. Clean-up is easier with stainless steel. If you choose wood for a surface top, make sure it is properly sealed or laminated. Your guests won’t want to be scolded for not remembering the coaster.

A straight bar, an L, or U shape are all fine designs. Think about how many seats you want to accommodate, and the placement of them. And don’t think you have to purchase only the typical swiveling barstool. A high backed seat with armrests will be appreciated by your bar patrons.

Make sure you have enough storage area underneath and behind the bar. Top-shelf liquors are generally displayed in the rear, giving your guests a nice preference to opt from. Mixers and cheaper well-drinks are stored underneath. You’ll also want to be able to stock your drink glasses in an area that keeps the bar surface uncluttered. Overhead racks to hold your wine goblets, champagne flutes, etc., not only look fashionable but serve your needs well. Chilled mugs and glasses can be kept underneath.

And don’t forget all the accessories that will keep your in-home bar running smoothly. Shakers, stirrers, coasters, cocktail napkins, bottle and wine openers, etc. are all a must. Blenders, shot caddies and ice crushers are all nice compliments too. And of course, a classy wall hanging or neon sign is the tops.

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