The Best Way to Build a Bar in Your Basement

installing a bar in your basementOnce you’ve decided to build a bar in your basement, the planning can begin. Everything from budget and timeline, the type of bar, accessories, lighting, entertainment, and the size of the basement, must be considered.

Budget and Timeline

As with any home improvement project, setting a budget and timeline for completion are the two first actions you need to take. An adequate budget and a realistic timeline will not only help you decide what type of bar you are going to build and what it will include, but it will also keep you focused on the task at hand.

Your budget will also point you in the right direction when it comes time to choosing between custom-made or store-bought cabinetry, solid wood or metal bar stools, glass or crystal glassware, big screen or bigger screen TVs, and so on.

Types of Bars

The two main types of bars are wet bars and dry bars. Wet bars have water and drainage hook-ups for sinks, dishwashers, and self-draining ice bins. Special planning must be taken into account for wet bar construction, particularly when it comes to connecting to the home’s plumbing systems.
Dry bars on the other hand can be put almost anywhere, as they require no plumbing hook-ups. Just remember – with proper planning a dry bar can be easily converted into a wet bar in the future.


Whether it is country and western, a certain sports team, or an Irish pub, choosing a theme for your basement bar will make picking accessories much easier. Everything from the height and material of the barstools, to the type of glassware needs to be considered.


Personalised lighting can have a huge impact on how your bar looks, and there are many options to consider. Recessed overhead lighting, in-cabinet lighting, lighting under the bar, and even hanging lighting over a pool table are all great ways to customise your bar and make it look fantastic.
But lighting, much like plumbing, needs special attention in the planning stages, as code requirements, permits, and expensive labourers may all be required.

Basement Size

The size of your basement and the area you have to work with can directly affect a lot of your decisions. While your imagination can run wild with fun and exciting ways to fill a very large area, a smaller bar area is much harder to plan.
The size of the bar itself, how much seating you will have, the size and number of TVs, and entertainment factors such as pool tables and arcade games can all be affected and hindered by a small work space.

Building a bar in your basement can be a great way to bring new life to an underused part of your home. With proper planning and consideration, your new bar can be a great success and continue to provide endless entertainment for years to come.

For more information about DIY projects and electrical setups, visit Electric Point.

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Updated: October 15, 2013 — 9:57 am

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