March 21

Elevate Your Outdoor Space: Backyard Bar Edition


What better addition to your home if you already have an outdoor BBQ area is to have a backyard bar setup. This accompanies any covered kitchen area and allows family and friends to enjoy fresh cocktails and drinks to be served anytime you have a backyard event. But before you start, there are some important details that you’ll want to know to maximize bar counter space and the essentials you’ll need.

What do you need to start?

Sure, you could throw together something at the last minute with a few old crates and some planks nailed on top to call that a bar, but you would be missing out on many aspects of a backyard bar at that point. Careful planning is what makes a great bar work to your advantage, so you don’t want to waste an opportunity to cover the basics of a great bar design.

Perhaps you would like more in the presentation, rather than just the overall function of serving drinks. What about providing lights and decorative shelving, or the added feature of barstools and a seated lounge area? This is where it pays to collect ideas from several sources or perhaps from a collective of backyard bar ideas. This will serve as your rough model of what you intend to build on your own.

You want to incorporate built-in conveniences to house all of the items that make a bar easier to manage too. These items can include electrical appliances such as a mini-fridge, blender for cocktails, cup storage, an assortment of drink decorations, cutting board and knife for fruits and lemon wedges, and so on. Of course, you want to make sure that your bar is getting adequate protection from the outdoors, so it should be protected or covered.

On top of all of that, you want the countertop to be appropriate for the rest of your backyard presentation. As long as it goes along with a specific theme, you can’t go wrong. Many people who add on a bar that’s combined with an outdoor kitchen, this can either be a refurbished section that hasn’t been used yet, or totally new construction. Even if you don’t want to invest that much into a bar area, it shouldn’t fall apart in a day.

Sketch an idea for a bar area

Simple sketches are a great way to plan your next backyard bar so you can get a sense of what you like and what you imagine. You don’t need to be a great artist, so simple lines are all that’s needed. Use color pencils to shade in areas like a coloring book to give your sketch more definition. These sketches can evolve as you get new ideas for adding new adaptions to your original idea. Don’t forget to think about ambiance like lighting or additional areas like a fire pit.

Choose materials that work well outdoors

We all know that weather can turn nasty at a second’s notice, so it’s best to choose building materials that will last for a while. If you use wood, the best kinds that will resist weathering include redwood, cypress, and pine. If this wood is pressure-treated, then you’ve got an advantage already. These types of wood are treated to keep the elements from rotting or eating your wood for obvious reasons. You could also consider adding a pergola to help protect against weathering.

Any appliances and things of value should be stored in cabinets that protect them. This further keeps dust from settling on them too easily. Most people don’t realize how much dust is actually outside until you look at a cup that’s been left out in the backyard for a week.

Keep an eye out for sales and discounts

The best deals are always during seasons when many of the items you want to buy are not popular. Summer items are always more expensive except when they get discounted in the winter months. You can always scan local stores or home improvement outlets for clearance items or select appliances that were perhaps floor models. Just make sure they still work as new even if they might have a scratch or two.

Consult a carpenter or construction friend

If you have no idea how to build a bar, you can always get help from a friend who does. This goes a long way if you need help with electrical wiring and frame construction. This will work in your favor since this also creates a great opportunity for them to showcase their work to show off how nice your bar turned out as a dream project. This way, you can exchange a discounted fee for helping to build your backyard bar for favors that are returned.


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