Before you get started on your home bar you should take a few minutes to think about the look and layout you want to have. If you take the time in the beginning to make a solid plan for your home bar you will be happier with the results. We have compiled a list of questions (don't be alarmed by the number - they are painless) that you should ask yourself before you get started. There is no right or wrong answer, just questions to get you in the proper mind frame to build your perfect home bar.

  • Is this going to be a moveable bar or a permanent structure?


  • Are you going to build this yourself, maybe with the help of a few friends (future barflies) or are you going to hire a contractor/ carpenter?


  • Is there a theme to your home bar? Irish/English pub, game room, sports bar, a tiki bar or are just trying to replicate that college bar feel?


  • How much time are you going to spend in your bar room? If it's in a basement, would you be spending most of your time down there or is the bar only for entertaining other people? Or is the bar going to be the focal point of a room?


  • Are you going to set a budget and stick with it or throw caution to the wind and go for it no matter what the cost?


  • Will you be putting in a back bar or just some simple wall shelving behind the bar?


  • Will this be a wet bar or dry bar? In other words, will you have a sink behind the bar? If so, you'll need to run water lines and a drain system, you might want to get a plumber involved.


  • Will you be installing a draft beer system? If so, how many faucets? Usually 1 or 2 is plenty. Remember, running beer lines long distances is very expensive. The systems that commercial bars use cost thousands of dollars.



  • Will you need an exhaust system? If you've got smokers in the crowd then this is a must.



  • Will you be adding a big screen TV or entertainment center? Positioning these correctly is key.


  • What kind of restrictions or obstacles are there? Low ceiling height, sump pumps, odd shaped room, water and drain lines, electricity, cable TV outlets.


  • How much storage area do you want? Glassware, liquor bottles, cocktail recipe books, bar tools and blenders all take up space.


  • A bathroom? If you drink, you pee. If you have the space, consider adding a half bath nearby. When you have a nice crowd over for the big game, having a bathroom close by keeps people from trekking through your house.