How to Construct a Built-in Bar for Your Basement

This project describes how to build your own bar in your basement. This is fairly simple with some basic carpentry skills and tools. Some design ideas and specifications are also included.

Step 1 — Plan and Measure
Measure the length and width of the area where you plan to install your built-in bar. Sketch out what you want your finished project to look like, and don´t forget to include any bar stools, couches, lounge chairs, or other furniture you plan to add. It is recommended to build the bar against one of the basement´s shorter walls in order to give your guests more room to mingle in the basement area.

Step 2 — Select Fixtures and Appliances
Before shopping for your bar appliances, mark out space for them in your plans according to the dimensions that can best accommodate them. Also make a note of the electrical capacity requirements for appliances such as wine refrigerators, kegerators, mini-fridges, and any others you want to include.

Step 3 — Conceal Ceiling Pipes
Make sure you have enough 2×4 lumber to fit with the dimensions of your bar area; you will be using these to construct a drop ceiling over the bar counter area in order to conceal exposed ceiling wiring, piping, and duct work. When attaching your lumber pieces, locate the ceiling ledger, which is a piece of lumber that joins the ceiling structure to the foundation wall. You will need to attach your drop ceiling structure to the ledger for it to have enough stability.

Step 4 — Add Insulation and Bar Framing
If your basement has bare concrete walls, you will need to attach insulation to them around the bar area as a moisture barrier. Select 3/4 inch rigid insulation that has peel-off paper backing on the adhesive; this makes it easy to install. Build the front panel of the bar with your 2×6 inch lumber to the height of the new drop ceiling, and be sure to anchor it to the concrete wall. Add a plywood sheet for the bar top, and then secure it to the rest of the framing with 2×4 wood pieces. Finally build in cavity spaces under the bar top for your appliances.

Step 5 — Install Flooring, Countertop, and Appliances
Lay your countertop material over the plywood bar top and secure it according to the manufacturer´s recommendations. Install a flooring material that is sturdy enough to withstand spills. Connect your bar appliances to their electrical outlets, and lastly add your bar furniture.

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