Whether you want to entertain your friends while watching the game, or you just need a place to unwind after work, escaping to your own bar may be just the right solution. You do not need to go far to find the perfect place for your bar. The basement is often the most underutilized space in a home, and the perfect place to build a bar with minimum remodeling.
Determine How Much You Want to Spend
As with any home improvement project, it is important to set a budget. Maybe you want a wet bar that makes even a professional bartender envious, or maybe you want to keep the project simple so you'll have more money left over to stock your bar. You should determine what kind of bar you want, and then do a little research on how much it will cost you.
Wet Bar or Dry Bar
Bars come in two main categories--wet and dry. Wet bars have a sink with a faucet and drain, and can even include a second sink with a strainer basket and drain for storing ice, known as an ice bin. Wet bars require some basic plumbing work, which you can do on your own, or contact your local plumber. Any time you install plumbing, it is extremely important to check with your local building code authority to determine if any types of work permits are required.
A dry bar, as the name implies, does not have any hookups for water. When you are planning your bar, keep in mind that a well-planned dry bar can be converted into a wet bar at a later time. All you will need is a place for a sink and a plumber.
Taps and Soda Systems
Most professional bars have a tap system for serving beer and a soda gun for dispensing cola, water, club soda, tonic and sour mix. Accessories like this are available for home installation, but they can be expensive. If you do not have the need for a full tap and soda system a small kegorator is a great choice to keep a beer keg cold while acting as a serving tap. A kegorator is really nothing more than a small refrigerator with a beer tap on top. For an even more compact option, consider purchasing beer in small "keg cans" and cooling them in specially designed counter-top dispensers.
Custom Made Bars
If you are the do-it-yourself type, building your own basement bar can be as easy or as challenging as you want. A simple bar can be made using a wooden frame covered in wainscoting, or another decorative material, with a counter on top. If you are looking for something more decorative, you can contact your local cabinetmaker or home improvement warehouse to see if they can design and install a custom-made bar for your basement.
If you do not have the need for a built-in bar, an alternative is to buy a piece of furniture designed to be a bar. In some cases, buying a manufactured bar may be cheaper than having one custom built. Manufactured bars are sometimes called portable bars, which can be moved out of the way when you need to use your basement space for another purpose.
Decorations and Accessories
Every bar should have a theme. Whether you choose your favorite sports team, a fishing theme, or even a 1920s speakeasy theme, decorating your bar area makes your basement bar more inviting. You can add custom lighting, posters and other memorabilia. However, do not forget the most important accessory: seating. Whether you choose to use standard bar stools or lounge chairs, make sure to have comfortable seating for maximum enjoyment of your basement bar.
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