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Old 08-03-2011, 02:44 AM   #1
Drzy
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Default Home bar build

Howdy. It's hard to call this "DIY" since I'm using a plumber and cabinet maker for the hard parts, but I'm converting a closet in my game room to a bar. Here are some pictures. The room is 30' long by 21' wide.





The current shelving and closet bar will be removed. I'll be cutting the top of the closet and raising the trim to 102" from the floor, to make it look less closet-y, and so the 96" cabinets in the back can fully open. The bar will come out from the side by the door, then L over to the left, where the opening will be. If it matters, I've already replaced the carpet with a nice wood floor, and painted the room a deep dark blue.

Unfortunately, I'm new not only to construction, but to home bars in general. I really have no idea how to best design a bar, or what I should put in there. My list so far consists of these items -- they link to the specific model I'm most considering so far.


I'll update this thread with build pics as I go on, but in the meantime, I'd love to hear ANY advice I could get. I'd imagine you get plenty of newbies in this forum asking this same question -- is there a good resource I can go to where it'll tell me common mistakes for a home bar to watch out for? Should I be adding any appliances or gadgets/gizmos other than the ones above? I'm really starting from scratch here. I've never even hooked up a keg before, it's kind of embarrassing --- I'd love to have at least 2 beers on tap, but I don't even know if I can fit two kegs in a standard kegerator.

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Old 08-03-2011, 03:29 PM   #2
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nice canvas to start with!

Get a chest freezer if you can fit it. I went with a mini fridge with a cold box added on and it's a bit of a pain. If I did it again, I'd get a freezer and put 6 beers on tap...I have 4 now. If you start with two, you'll want more eventually.

Good luck!

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Old 08-03-2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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Keep us posted...

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Old 08-03-2011, 08:02 PM   #4
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One thing to watch out for is where the appliances will dump their heat. Most of them are designed to be free standing without cabinetry around them so they dump their heat to the back. If you're really going to install them under the counter properly then you need to either get units designed for under cabinets OR build a means to push the hot air out (ie computer fans).

Just to get some ideas of what's available you can check out this website: http://www.beveragefactory.com/index.shtml

Good luck!

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Old 08-11-2011, 03:34 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice! Sorry I didn't post sooner, progress has been slow.

I'd really like to make this a built-in, undercabinet kegerator. Is anyone aware of a good option for that in stainless steel? I found one made by Summit (the SBC490BISSTB), but it's definitely pricey. Are there better options, maybe an undercabinet fridge that could be converted?

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Old 08-11-2011, 11:41 AM   #6
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Can't wait to see the progress! Just wrapping mine up...installing the drop ceiling and she's done....almost there, only 2 1/2 years in the making. Good luck and keep posting pics. as you progress.

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Old 08-12-2011, 04:17 AM   #7
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Nice bar Hoppopotomus, I just read through your thread! Ours are similar sizes, so definitely let me know if you have any advice from things you learned while building yours.

I took some pics this evening. Here are some shots of the game room as it currently is:







And also, here's an overhead view of my current under-cabinet plan:



I'd really, super genuinely appreciate any feedback or advice on that plan, even if it's just "looks okay to me." I'm extremely inexperienced with home bars and really have no idea what I'm doing here. I just threw that together in MS paint, and while I put some thought behind it, my 2 hours of thought is no match for most of your guys' years of experience with this. I'm looking forward to sharing progress and pictures in this thread, but to be totally honest, a big part of why I'm doing this is I'm hoping to suck some pointers from you all along the way.

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Old 08-12-2011, 09:02 AM   #8
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Jager machine in the corner! I'd be happy with that room as is. I'll be checking this thread often!

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Old 08-12-2011, 11:51 AM   #9
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What a great space. I assume by the cathedral ceilings that this is not a basement, so we need to know what you have to work with.

A few questions:

Are the water lines and drain already in?

Is there basement underneath this room?

What is the elevated door to the left of the closet for?

Is that a cold air return under the smaller elevated door?

With your current set up and desire to place the bar where you are thinking, you are pretty limited with the size and configuration that you can go with. Having the entrance way to the room on the right, the exterior door to the left and whatever the smaller door is above the cold air return, limits the size and configuration that you can go with. I ran into the same thing when finishing my basement...after framing for the bathroom, bedroom, etc. and with the drains already roughed into the floor, my bar area ended up smaller than I wanted, but I had to work with what I had.

If there is basement space under this room, then the skys the limit with such a large room. You could build a larger 2 sided L-shaped bar or 3 sided U-shaped bar on the complete opposite side of the room and not have to worry about where you are going to cram everything in. On the other hand...if this room is on a slab and your only options for plumbing are on the closet side of the room, then you have to work with what you have.

I do have a few suggestions for you current configuration. You have an 18" deep bar top figured in your design....correct? A typical bar top is 20" to 30" in depth, so you may want to go a little wider with that. I personally prefer closer to 30". Also you figured 36" of space behind the bar, which is a little tight, bearing in mind that you are placing your refrigerators against the back wall. I have about the same amount of space behind my bar, but I didn't have a choice. It's a little tight and I wish I had another foot or two of depth to move around, especially when getting things like my margarita maker out of a lower cabinet behind the bar.

With the size of the room, another 12" in width to the bar top would be really nice and another 12"-18" of depth space behind the bar would be well worth it.....and it would only eat up a couple of feet more of floor space, which isn't a huge deal based on the volume of space in the room. My two cents.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Old 08-12-2011, 12:09 PM   #10
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Looks like a fun project! I would reconsider the tv placement, maybe behind the bar in the center...that way you/guests can watch games, etc while shooting pool and not just at the bar. I'll second a wider bar as well, if only to keep drinks from being accidentally knocked off!

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