Are you wondering if it is worth the expense to build a home bar? We go over the pros and cons to adding a bar to your home.
When we moved into our first home with very little money, my husband said we need a home bar stat! I rolled my eyes because a man cave was low on the priority list.
Honestly, I didn’t see the need for a bar in our basement. Sure, I enjoy a couple glasses of wine here and there, but I was fine sipping my chardonnay on my sofa.
Several months later, I finally agreed to the bar project because my husband really wanted it. He said he would figure out how to build it himself, so he would save a lot of money.
A month later we had a home bar with 7 bar stools wrapped around the frame and tons of storage shelves behind the bar.
I was shocked my husband was able to build this on his own with only beginner woodworking skills.
While the bar looked great and we saved a lot by building it on our own, I still didn’t think we would use it that often.
Boy, was I wrong!
Date Night at our Home Bar
We used the bar a few times a week as a getaway from our main living area. Our upstairs was cramped and overwhelmed with baby equipment.
Walking down the basement steps to our home bar was like going on a date without the need for a babysitter.
We would grill up a NY strip steak, roast potatoes, and mix up a side salad for dinner after our son was in bed.
Then we would carry our dinner plates and baby monitor downstairs to enjoy a quiet meal at our bar.
Since we weren’t in the main living area loaded with baby toys, it felt like we left our house. When really we just went down a flight of steps to our home bar.
Home Bar AKA Crafting Station
My husband is not so thrilled about this, but the bar is great for crafting! I put on a movie or show in the background then set up all of my crafting supplies on top of the bar.
The long bar top has a lot of space to spread out and work on projects. I’ve even used bar to stain shelves and paint cabinet drawers.
Simply put a sheet over top of the bar and you have a crafting table or a place for various DIY projects.
Advantages to a Home Bar
We listed our house for sale a couple years ago and potential buyers went nuts over our home bar in the basement.
When potential buyers walked down the steps they gasped when they saw there was a large bar in the center of the basement.
The bar seated 7 guests comfortably, so this made up for the lack of entertaining space upstairs in the main living area.
Home Value: If done right a bar can add value to your home to the right buyer. We aren’t talking about a lousy home bar covered in floor tile from your previous bathroom renovation. A wet bar or a well designed dry bar can both add home value to the right buyer.
Escape: A home bar can be used for more than drinking a chilled beverage. You can enjoy a nice dinner in your basement with the baby monitor propped on the bar. The going rate for a babysitter is steep, so hanging at your home bar can save you $50 or more!
Additional Seating: The bar can be used on holidays and parties for additional seating. You can comfortable fit 7-8 people around a bar this size.
Focal Point: Our basement was long a narrow with no walls to break up the area. Adding a home bar in the middle of the basement helped divide the space and created a focal point.
Storage: I am not sure how we accumulated 37 wine glasses, 4 decanters, 19 shot glasses, and other various barware items. The bar is a great place to store all of these miscellaneous items and alcohol.
Disadvantages to a Home Bar
While there are quite a few advantages to a home bar there are some downsides. A home bar can be rather large and it might not appeal to everyone.
Space: Depending on the size of your bar, it can take up a lot of space. Our home bar is roughly 8 feet long and comes 5 feet from the wall.
Not for Everyone: A home bar is not for everyone. Everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to a home. So, be mindful when building your bar if you don’t plan on staying in your home forever.
It’s a Tank: If you build an 8 foot wood bar, it is a beast. A bar that size will most likely never move from your space because it is so heavy. You can attempt to cut the bar into sections to relocate it, but it probably won’t reassemble well.
What are the benefits to building my own home bar?
Building your own bar is significantly less than buying a bar or paying someone to build it for you. Paying someone to build it or buying a large bar will cost well over $1,000.
A DIY bar will cost roughly $500 in lumber depending on the size of your bar.
Even if you don’t have any experience with power tools or woodworking, these bar plans make it possible for you can take on this project.
Building a bar is a fun project that you can do with a friend over a few weekends while drinking some beers.
After building a home bar, you will feel such a sense of self satisfaction and you might even discover a new hobby.
When building a bar you will learn valuable woodworking skills and how to work with tools.
You will be able to take on other projects in your home that you thought were above your limits.
How big should my home bar be?
The size of your home bar depends on the amount of space that you have and how many bar stools you would like to have around the bar. We recommend a bar to have a room for a minimum of 4 bar stools.
Where do I start with building a home bar?
After you determine the amount of required seating, grab a roll of blue painter’s tape to map out the bar.
Place tape onto the floor with the exact measurements of the bar that you would like to build in your home.
Leave the tape for a few days to get a feel for the size of the bar.
You can even place furniture in this space to get a better idea of the actual bar size.
Once you settle on the size of the bar, determine where the opening of the bar will be.
Then decide where the bar shelving will be located and how much storage is required.
Building a Home Bar Frame
Next it is time to plan out the bar frame, purchase the materials, and gather the necessary tools.
The plywood attached to the frame acts as your blank canvas to design how every your prefer.
Once you decide on a design and install it, it is time for the bar top and shelving.
You can expect to spend 3 to 4 weekends building your home bar, but it is worth it the end result!
In our opinion building a home bar is worth it because of the entertainment value that it brings.
It defines the space and acts as a focal point for the room. It also, provides additional seating and separate area to relax.
A home bar is more than just a man cave!