Having a minibar in your home is not only reserved for the rich and famous — it’s actually far more achievable than most homeowners think. And the best part is that you can DIY most of it!
If you’re lucky enough to have a basement in your home, this is not a space you want to waste. A basement conversion is among the top 10 home remodeling projects you can undertake for improved home value and return-on-investment.
Want to learn how to build a mini bar and make the most of your empty basement space? This is the blog for you.
Have a Clear Vision of Your Mini Bar
When it comes time to turn your dream into a mini bar reality, you’ll need to consider what you want this area to look like. You’ll also need to think about the layout, and function of the space.
In other words, you want to clear plan before you bring out your tools.
The best place to start is by creating a wish list for your mini bar area. What would you like the main features to be? Will it simply be a bar or a complete entertainment space? Maybe you want to create an entire man cave that features a mini bar?
Whatever your vision is, sit down and write out a list of all the necessary items you’ll need. Next up, you need to consider how much available space your basement has to offer. Not-to-mention the available amenities such as existing plumbing and electrical outlets.
You want to work with what your basement already has if you plan on doing most of the work yourself, and it’s also a great way to keep your budget low. Speaking about budget, this is also the best time to think about what you have to spend on this project.
Ultimately, your budget will determine how elaborate or how simple your mini bar will be. Your last step before you get started on the actual work is to do some research on local permits with regards to basement renovations.
You want to ensure you work within local allowances and stick to all remodeling pre-requisites.
How To Build a Mini Bar: The Key Components You’ll Need
Once you’ve planned out your vision and all the key features of your mini bar, it’s time to start gathering all the key components. If you plan on doing it all yourself, you want to keep things pretty standard in terms of spacing and sizing.
This means you’ll be able to get your hands on materials, furniture, and appliances quite easily and you won’t need to get anything custom-made, which can is always very pricey.
For mini bar design help, there is a myriad of pre-designed plans and other resources you can find online.
Consider Your Mini Bar Layout
This is the first place you need to start before you begin investing in your bar components. Your floor plan will determine the size of each component and how much you need to fill the space.
Your floor plan depends on the shape of your basement and as well as your vision of your mini bar. Do you actually want a bar that you can sit at with friends? Or is it just a space to pour and serve drinks?
Before you figure out the layout, you might want to ask yourself these questions about your bar:
- What is the sole purpose of the bar? Is it just for drinking, beverage storage, or a complete entertainment space?
- How many people would you like to entertain around the bar at once?
- Do you want your bar to include other components for entertainment, i.e. a TV, a dartboard, etc.?
- How much available space do you have for a bar tap system or a couple of beer fridges?
- Do you want to add any other components to your basement for entertainment, i.e. a pool table, air hockey, etc.?
Try to add as much detail as possible when you answer these questions. This way, your bar area will actually look like a functional space, rather than just a random floating bar in the middle of your basement.
Here are some of the standard mini bar components to begin collecting:
- A bar countertop — opt for a standard height of 42 inches and depth of 24 inches, keep the countertop no more than 16-20 inches wide
- Bar stools — it’s best to opt for bar stools with support, such as the lucite barstools with backs, and stick to a standard height of 28-32 inches
- A bar foot rail — this is an important component for comfort and adds a professional touch, opt for a foot rail of 7-9 inches above the ground
- Bar molding — this helps to define the edge of your bar and also prevents drinks from sliding off
- A workspace countertop — this is the area behind your bar where you can prepare drinks and add in a small sink too
- Undercounter refrigeration — this is the best option if you don’t plan on installing a bar tap system
- A bar tap system — if you have the budget for it, you’ll need to leave from for bar taps, a drip tray, and keg lines
If you opt for a bar tap system, remember that you’ll need to clean the system every two weeks or so, and you’ll also need a kegerator to keep your keg(s) cold.
Save Money With Pre-Fabricated Bar Parts
When it comes to DIY basement bar installation, you don’t need to break the bank on key components. And you don’t need to re-invent the wheel either. This is where pre-fabricated parts are your best option.
There are plenty of home bar kits available today which can find online, at your local home and garden store, or even your local homebrew supply store. Some of the ready-made mini bar components to consider include:
- A keg tap kit — you can find full keg tap kits ready-to-install for $200-$300, and they include every last detail that you need to set it up yourself
- Kegerators — this bar essential is a combination of a keg and refrigerator and you can find them ready-to-install
- Bar refrigerators — you can get your hands on an affordable bar fridge/wine cooler for storing other drinks besides beer
- A ready-made ice maker — this is self-explanatory and you won’t need to worry about refilling ice trays!
- Pre-fabricated bars — you can find pre-made bars online and many large home improvement stores which range in price from $300-$3000
Finally, the most important component of any basement mini bar has to be the beer. Without out, what is the point of your bar anyway? You can find beer kegs in a variety of sizes today. But for a home bar, you want to opt for a 5-gallon keg which should last you a good while.
Before you invest in your keg tap kit, make sure that it’s compatible with the keg and brewery you buy from!
How Much Will This All Cost, Anyway?
Obviously, this is one of the biggest factors to consider before you even begin with this type of project. But there’s much to consider when it comes to a basement remodeling project because it’s all so customizable according to the space you have.
If your basement is unfinished and you need to add flooring and ceiling tiles, this is a whole separate cost on its own. You’ll need to look at the state of your basement before you actually begin on building your bar.
So, if your basement is bare as bones and has absolutely no infrastructure, i.e. you’re starting from scratch, it could cost you an average of $18,400 on finishing. If you want to keep the finishing quite basic and low cost, it could set you back as little as $2,800 — according to HomeAdvisor.
In some cases, it may be best to approach the installation of a basement remodeling project in phases according to your budget. You may want to finish your basement first, then approach the bar installation.
In terms of bar component costs, this could cost you anywhere from $200-$2,000 depending on the size of your bar. After you’ve installed the basics such as a bar countertop, workspace, and bar seating, you could begin adding other features, such as refrigeration, a bar footrest, TV, pool table, etc.
All in all, the average cost of a DIY mini bar installation at home could set you back $2,000-$10,000. If you throw in basic basement finishing before, you’re looking at a total cost of about $20,000.
However, this figure depends on the size of your basement and how elaborate or simple you want your bar to be. As mentioned, prices vary, and it depends on the materials you choose, too.
If you plan your bar installation well, only buy what you need, and work with your materials in a smart and efficient way, you could end up spending far less than $20,000!
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The best advice anyone could give on how to build a mini bar in your basement is planning. If you are meticulous about how you plan out the layout and exact materials you need, there’s no room for overspending!
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