You may be a home improvement guru, or you may be just beginning with the DIY projects, but every DIY'er, no matter the level, could use some help and guidance throughout some steps of the way to their next home improvement glory.
If your next goal for your home is a custom home bar, you're in luck. You'll find your tips right here, but can we just reflect for one second on just how awesome it will be to have your own bar right in your home? You'll be able to invite friends over to your house instead of going out to the bar and enjoy the same settings in the comfort of an environment that you choose.
Bottom line: home bars are awesome. And if you haven't thought about building one in your home yet, maybe the next few minutes will inspire you.
Choose Your Layout
Once you make the initial decision to build a bar in your house, your first step should be to determine a layout for the bar. Is it going t be a 3-sided square that uses your wall as the 4th edge? Or just a straight bar, either up against a wall or free-standing? Do you want your bar to be a cart that's on wheels for easy relocation? Indoor or outdoor?
These are the first decisions you should make when thinking about building a home bar, even before going out to buy the supplies. You'll have a better grasp over what supplies you need once you know what you're looking for, anyway.
The next natural step is to begin mapping out the design of your desired new home bar. If you've chosen a larger layout, the designing process will be more work, whereas a small bar will take less design.
Be sure to take into account any built-in shelving or sink options you'll want in the bar, and map them out. Start thinking about your options for displaying and storing your alcohol, too. And make sure you design a nice place for the bar glasses!
This is the time to actually write out dimensions so you'll know exactly what you're shopping for when you get to the hardware store. Map out any electrical appliances you'll need so that you can build those areas around an outlet or power source.
Enlist the Help of Friends
When it's time to start building, you'll quickly see that building your own home bar (depending on the intricacy of your design) can be quite simple, but any DIY project is easier, and oftentimes more fun, with friends.
Gather up a group to help you cut wood to size, nail or screw pieces into place and just overall build the bar. They'll be happy to help, most likely, knowing that they will reap the benefits, too.
Think About Drink Selection
Once you've built your bar, think about the selection of drinks that you are going to serve, keeping in mind that it's easier to add to the bar than it is to remove parts of it. Meaning, if you have the inclination to make it a wet bar, you should plan on having to install shelving to house your liquor, but if you decide late in the game that you want a kegerator with a tap, that's an easy addition.
If you decide to serve both beer and liquor at your home bar, or even possibly wine, make sure you are stocked with the proper equipment and glassware to do so. You should have a refrigerator to keep wine, juices and sodas (for mixing) cold, as well as some sort of tap for your beer, if you really want to class it up.
Show off some of your best selections in a glass case with a lighted bottom or something of the sorts to really make it flashy. Also, have an ice maker somewhere in or on your bar for convenience. This often gets overlooked.
Bar rails are a surprisingly simple installation, and there's something totally awesome about pulling up a bar stool and having something to rest your feet on at your home bar.
If you want to install bar rails, they can be added immediately after the bar is built or they can be one of those things that is totally on your own timeline. All you have to do is select your material (brass is the most popular), select your style and install.
Add Some Personality
Here's the fun part of having a home bar - it's completely yours and yours alone! That means that if you want 60's-inspired nylon bar stools in neon green, you can have them!
Try to refrain yourself from going overboard, though - choose a bar stool that fits the style and mood of your bar. Wood is classic, metal is urban and nylon is retro. Choose a theme and stick with it throughout the bar.
Throw some lights underneath the bar hang over for your patrons to admire, or even wrap lights around a wine rack or place in a display cabinet (as mentioned earlier).
And don't forget bar signs! You can say pretty much anything you want with a sign that you hang at your bar - you know, the ones that aren't "appropriate" for the rest of your house. They'll go great at your new home bar! You can buy fluorescent signs of your favorite drink brands or even flaunt memorabilia from your favorite professional sports team. As the saying goes - whatever floats your boat.
When your bar is finally finished, throw a killer party, maybe even hire a bartender, so you'll never forget the first time you put your home bar to good use.
After that, be sure to invite your friends and neighbors over all the time for a drink or two or three, and get the most out of your new home bar as you possibly can. Keep it stocked and ready at all times, and most of all, enjoy yourself!
About the Author: Jackie Ryan is a freelance writer who loves doing home improvement projects. Her latest project: installing wire shelving units in place of a closet for ultra-organization. She lives by the idea that there's never a bad time to improve your home!