As the lighter nights are rolling in and we begin to spend more time outdoors, it may be time to think more about the space you are spending your time in. If you have a garden, are you getting the most out of it? Are you moving back and forth between your house and garden when sitting outside with loved ones?
If this is the case, it may be time to consider installing your own outdoor bar. An outdoor bar will give you more time outside during the summer months and does not have to be an elaborate undertaking.
We have detailed, for you, the steps and materials needed to build an outdoor bar. If you are unsure whether or not this would suit you or if you have already made up your mind check out the below for further details.
You can really make this project as cheap or as expensive as you want. If you are looking to save money or if you just want a more rustic and weathered look to the bar, we recommend using recycled wood such as old pallets or timber. How much you will need will depend on the dimensions of the bar you wish to build.
However, as a minimum, you will need to ensure you have:
- Hex nuts
- Wood screws
- Flooring of your choice
You will also need to ensure you have appropriate tools to hand.
Making a Start
If you are using recycled wood, it is most likely going to be in need of cleaning. You can do this the easy or the hard way. The easy way is to use a pressure washer which will get the dirt off quickly and easily in most cases. Alternatively, if you do not wish to use or do not have access to a pressure washer, you can achieve the same effect with a bucket of hot soapy water, a sponge, and some energy.
The next step is entirely optional, and it is to stain the wood. This can be a great idea if you already have wooden garden furniture and you are looking to make sure your outdoor bar matches. However, if you are going for that rustic feel and think bare wood fits in better, then skip this step completely. If you do decide to stain the wood, ensure that it has a sealer included, or the elements might ruin the stain you painstakingly apply.
Once you have prepared the wood, it is time to secure it together. If you are using pallets, they make an excellent bar front, so you simply need to secure them. The easiest way to do so is to nail them together. Pallets will form the front and side of your bar; we recommend keeping the front pallets whole and cutting some down to size, depending on dimensions, for the sides.
Once you have the basic shape of the bar in place, it is time to make your bar top. You can do this simply with polyurethane. Using a wooden trim or sheet, apply polyurethane to attach the wood before decorating the top. For your bar top, you can use whichever materials you prefer; you could varnish a wooden counter, or you can lay tiles over the polyurethane. We recommend that whichever material you use, you choose something which is easy to wipe down in case of spillages. You will also need to ensure you leave enough time for any adhesive you use to set before the bar becomes operational.
It is important to consider where in your garden the bar is going to be located as you do not want to put this straight onto the lawn where rain or snow could cause it to sink over the winter. If you have decking already in place, you may choose to situate the bar on the decking to make this easier. Alternatively, you can lay some slabs of wood for the flooring and sit the bar on top of this.
Before you invite others around to experience your bar, think of the surroundings. If you are willing to spend a little more money, you can add a roof to the bar. You can also name and decorate the bar by getting a custom sign to attach to the front.
If you wish to stick to a budget, you can create a nice atmosphere with a good furniture layout surrounding the bar and fairy lights strung up on and around the bar. You can use a Bluetooth speaker or outdoor speakers to get the music going to relax your guests or to get them into the party mood.
You can add any other decorations you can think of, but we recommend keeping in mind the size of your garden and the size of the bar when thinking of decorations so that it does not become too cluttered.
Test it Out
Now that you have built and decorated your bar, all that there is left to do is pour some drinks and see how the bar works for you. When inviting friends or family over, it can be fun for everyone to take a turn behind the bar. You could always ask your guests to make their signature drink when spending time at your home bar. This makes for a fun and inclusive atmosphere and broader horizons than your usual drink of choice.