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Adding a Wet Bar: Step-by-Step Considerations

Adding a Wet Bar: Step-by-Step Considerations

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March 9, 2010

If every dinner party or evening with friends ends up in a crowded kitchen, adding a bar to your home can offer more space to mingle, as well as more counter space for beverage preparations. Whether it is hidden away or in full view, wet bars are becoming increasingly popular additions, and are often built into the design of custom homes.

Can Your Home Handle a Bar?

Wet bars are perfect for entertaining, but there are a few serious points to consider before you decide to take that remodeling plunge:

  • Seated or standing? A standing bar is just what it sounds like--there are no places to sit. Instead, the bar is more of a serving area, with room for the person mixing the drinks or serving the foods. A seated bar requires much more space to move around, and is usually a bit longer than the standing bar, the better to accommodate the stools that sit in front of it.
  • Free-standing or built-in? Free-standing bars are often built like a kitchen hutch--stand alone--and can be moved from place to place. They work well for areas where space is limited. Built-in bars take a bit more time to build, but have the advantage of working sinks, electricity, and other convenient perks.
  • Check out the electricity. Most wet bars need a blender and other appliances that require an electrical outlet. If you are going to incorporate a larger appliance, such as an oven, you need even more power. Consider what it might cost to add electricity if your chosen area doesn't have the proper outlets.
  • Water lines and drains. A working sink is an essential part of a wet bar. The area you choose to build your bar should have water lines and drains. Consult a plumbing contractor about what it might cost before you make the decision to build in your bar.
  • Serious storage. A classic wet bar for drinks and entertaining needs a great deal of storage. You need a place to tuck away the wine glasses and other drinking vessels when they are not in use, as well as a place to store a variety of drinks. Some bars include built-in taps, entire closets full of glassware, and cabinets on top and bottom. Smaller bars might boast only a sink and a few cabinets to hold the glassware, allowing the homeowner to display bottles on the counter.

Once these considerations are out of the way, you can raise a toast to a successful wet bar remodeling project!


About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.
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