3.18.2013

basement bar

It's been a LONG time since my last post. If there's anyone out there reading this blog, I apologize. So what could I have possibly been doing these last 5 months? Getting stuff ready for the wedding. And building a bar in the basement. We knew we wanted a bar room in the basement since move-in day. But how we'd get to that point wasn't clear. After months of keeping an eye out for the perfect bar for our space in the basement, I came to the conclusion that the best option was to just build my own. So the research began. If anyone out there is attempting the same, I highly recommend using SolidWorks, AutoCAD, or something similar to layout your design before jumping forward to the building phase. I used SolidWorks and the project went almost completely without hitch (and therefore almost completely without curse words flying from the basement).

Once it was planned and drawn up I bought the frame work and cut it down to size and began screwing everything together.
I knew we had the room for an 8' bar, so I decided to start with that for the bar top width and basically worked my way down from there. The kegerator was my grandfathers and recently passed down to me in hopes to get more use out of it. It doesn't work at this point, but we're hoping it's fixable to avoid buying a new one. Once I had the frame work finished I added a junction box for an outlet inside the bar and planned the wire run so I wouldn't hit any snags when covering it all up with plywood.

Next came the plywood. I used birch plywood you can find at most any hardware store. Again the CAD model helped immensely, as I just had to check the drawing and cut each peace to size, then screw it on.

I used 1/2" thick plywood everywhere except in the places where the plywood acted as a support for anything else (side walls for shelving, bottom shelf, bar and counter-tops), in which case I used 3/4" thick plywood. The bar-top and counter-top are double-layered (screwed and glued together) for a total thickness of 1.5".

Next came the foot-rail. I went with the cheapest method I could think of and used gas pipe from the hardware store and spray painted it gloss black. I made shelving on the back wall from the same material. You can find tutorials on this piping for shelving ALL over the interwebs.

Next, came the iron-on veneer edging and arm rest moulding. Nothing to tricky there.
I decided to go with glass shelving for the inside of the bar. Why? This thing is built into this basement, so I wanted to make it nice enough that people hoping to buy the house down the road want to keep the bar. Plus, since I'm going to add lighting to the inside, there won't be a need to put a light in each shelf.
At that point, all that was left was to stain it (two coats Walnut stain), and polyurethane (two coats everywhere except the bar top and counter top, which each got four coats).
I also made some swag lights for above the bar. Simple project of buying a decorative cord, plug, and a few Edison-style bulbs.



25 comments:

  1. Kristy (kristiespost@yahoo.com)August 29, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    This is amazing!!! - I am trying to browse the web for something I could set up in our new basement as a "surprise" for my husband - who is convinced his dream of a man cave and bar is not in our budget right now. I was wondering how much it cost you to make this and on a level from 1 to 10 how hard was this to do? I am wondering if I (woman, medium skill level when it comes to crafts that go beyond painting and scrapbooking) could do it or should I ask someone with more skills to help me build it?

    Thank you for documenting this great idea btw!!

    Kristin

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  2. Hi Kristy,
    Thanks for a compliment! When it was all said and done, the total project cost was around $500. You can save quite a bit by using something other than bar rail moulding around the edge, which was very expensive (around $20/ft). As far as the difficulty, I'd stick this in the middle around a 5. The thing that helped the most was drawing out a plan ahead of time to work from. If you're comfortable using a circle saw and miter saw this shouldn't be too big a task. Best of luck!

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  3. Great work. Quick question: How tall are each of the two levels of the bar? I'm building one myself, (nothing this pro or fancy looking, though) and I'm thinking about what the best height would be. Thanks so much!

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  4. Standard counter-top height is 36" (the lower section of the bar), while standard bar-top height is 42" (the upper section). I believe technically, the top of the arm-rest molding is where the 42" measurement should be taken, but I was unaware of this at the time of building. Everything still works out fine though. Sorry for taking so long to reply!

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  5. great job! what color are your walls? they're stunning!

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  6. Really a nice post bro....!!

    Thanks for sharing bro....!!!

    Great basement remodeling ideas, I loved it...!!

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  7. Basement Finishing Videos teaches you how to finish basement.If you are looking for basement finishing cost then basement finishing videos would help you. How to frame a basement to how to finish a basement , such questions would be solved.

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  8. Do you have the plans for this bar?

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  9. Very nice. Im in the process of drawing up a plan for my own bar. I did not know how to build the frame seeing your pictures i now have a clear plan. The pipe foot rest is an awesome idea. Thank you

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  10. what's the dimensions for that piece of plywood looking from the side I know it's 42 inches for the bar top 36 for the lower counter but what's the width overall and the with were the counter is cut into

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  11. Amazing job. Are you giving the plans for this?

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  12. Could you upload the plans?

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  13. GREAT JOB!! Love the idea!!! Uploading the drawing would help a lot of us out, if possible? THX!!

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  14. Hi. I know this post is really old but my wife just sent it to me as i try to kick start my basement bar project. Where in the world did you find bar arm rest moulding (aka Chicago bar rail) for $20/ lf !!!!!????

    I was told it was way more than that like about $60/lf!

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    Replies
    1. just a local hardwood shop. sorry for the late reply

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  15. can you post a link to the design drawing. also what was the final cost for the whole project

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  16. How did you seal the wood top please? Thank you

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  17. Can you please share with me your cut list for the frame? I am trying to decipher it from your picture but I don't know the depth of your smaller cuts. I am assuming your longer cuts are 8' and 6' and your heights are 36" and 42@. I see a 1x2 is also 6'. Anyway, if you could help that would be great otherwise I'll figure it out as I go...thanks

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  18. I'm with Colin above... How about posting the drawings and materials list.

    Just in process of turning my single car garage (14w x 18d) into a Man Cave slash patio entertainment area. Bar, two loves eats, hdtv, stereo, lots of beer & sports stuff.

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  19. Hello:

    Will it be possible to get the plans in CAD? I want a bar basically the same as yours for my basement. I understand if you dont want to share them. Just please let me know

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  20. do you have any plans for this?

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  21. Great job on this bar, looks amazing. I'm curious on how wide the bar came out to be? How long are the cuts you made in the boards supporting the width?

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  22. Looks really good, great job. What is the depth of the bar and how wide are upper and lower counter-tops?

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