How To Build A Garden Bar: A Step-By-Step Guide

There are many ways to upgrade your patio or garden, but nothing beats an outdoor bar! This will become your favourite spot to hang out, especially if you love having family and friends around. Your dream to flaunt your bartender skills and gather your friends for an evening drink can now become true!

cocktail on table with lemons and ice around and blurred background

A garden bar not only looks good but also offers additional space for fun, drinks, glasses and other utensils. Even if you don’t have any woodworking experience, we are here to help with a step-by-step guide to building the highlight of any party!

5 benefits of having a garden bar

Does having a garden bar in your back garden sound fun to you? Oh yes, it is! But this is just one of the many benefits it has. Keep on reading to find out all the reasons why you should build your own as soon as possible.

1. You can host any kind of celebration

Either it is birthdays, Valentine’s day, or just a simple summer-y day; there are many occasions to celebrate throughout the year. Make them extra special by hosting parties in your garden. You can decorate as you like, arrange themed parties, wear fancy clothes and choose your favourite playlist! 

2. You can have fun no matter the weather

Do you hate it when you are all dressed up to go for a drink, and you end up arriving at the pub soaking wet? No rain or snow will ruin your night when you have to travel the furthest to your back garden. Having a weather-proof garden pub, with roofing or a shed, you and your friends will enjoy a drink no matter what all year-round

3. You have an excellent excuse for trying new cocktails and drinks

Is there a hidden mixologist inside of you? Having a garden bar gives you the perfect opportunity to experiment with new drinks and cocktails. For the ultimate exotic experience, get a cocktail making set, some classy-looking cocktail glasses and buy all those strange spirits you’ve seen on your travels. To never stress about ice, get yourself an ice maker and let your guests enjoy your refreshing cocktails with crisp, chewable ice cubes!

Zombie Cocktail with Rum, garnished with lime. Cold sweet summer fruit red alcohol cocktail, refreshing drink on wooden table

4. You can keep your alcohol out of the house

Do you have an indoor bar? It would be wise to keep any wines and spirits away from the main house when you have small children or teens. You can lock your bottles in your garden to keep your alcohol supply intact and discourage any sneaky teenagers from diminishing your stock.

5. You can save money

Having your own garden bar will save you a lot of money in the long run. It is a lot cheaper to have a night in at home with a few drinks whilst meeting friends and family in a bar or pub instead. Drinks are a lot cheaper when you buy them from a wholesaler or the supermarket. Also, you can host a party in your place without having to worry about paying for venue hire.

Planning for your garden bar

Before you start with your DIY project, there are some essential things you need to consider first. Find here all you need to know to plan the outdoor bar of your dreams.

Choose the right location

  • Consider where you want to build your garden bar
  • You can build it just outside the house to support an organic indoor-outdoor flow.
  • You can have it in your garden or even near a pool.
  • Consider choosing an outdoor space with a level surface and suitable ground conditions.
  • Build your home bar on a solid surface to support the structure and protect it against the elements. Some suggestions are patio stone, concrete slabs, concrete and decking, plastic or woodshed bases. 

 two orange cocktails besides the pool

Design the layout

  • Consider your surroundings and see if you can use any existing structures, garden zones or shade.
  • Imagine the finished bar area and how you want to use it. This will determine the spaces you will leave for people to move around, the seating arrangement and much more.
  • For a relaxing result, you will need enough space.

Work with a suitable weather

  • Plan ahead, considering the weather elements to avoid working with wet treated wood. 
  • Make sure your timber is dry. Cover or better store the wood if the weather takes a turn for the worst. Let it fully dry out before you continue your build.

Stay safe

  • Wear heavy-duty gloves and protective goggles when using a chop saw or drill.
  • Before you plug in the chop saw, inspect its cables and blade to ensure they are in good condition. Replace any elements needed before construction begins.
  • Ensure your construction area is ventilated and well lit.

Safety spectacles gloves on scratched metallic background construction concept.

Prepare the area

  • Remove any garden debris or furniture.
  • Make sure that the ground is level
  • If the area around your bar is grassy, use a lawn mower and fix it so you can work with ease.

Determine the size of your bar

  • You will determine the size of your backyard bar on how big you want it to be. It can either be a small stand for storing drinks or a large centrepiece for your outdoor parties.
  • A good average size for a garden pub is 120 cm in length, 38 cm in width, and 130 cm in height.
  • All the measurements in the following guide will be based on the above dimensions.
  • If you want a bigger or smaller bar, you can adjust the measurements as needed. 

Choose a strong wood for your bar

  • You can use many beautiful hardwoods for your outdoor bar, like cedar, pine, redwood, cypress, and oak. You can even make a bar out of pallets, but that requires a different process..
  • If you want a different look for your sides, tabletop and frame, you can choose among multiple varieties.
  • Make the proper measurements to ensure you have enough pieces for your outer frame.

Step-by-step guide to building your garden bar

You are now ready to build your DIY bar. Follow our step-by-step guide and make your outdoor garden bar come true!

What you’ll need

  • Circular saw or handsaw
  • Lumber
  • Cordless drill
  • Protective eyewear 
  • Gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Speed square
  • Long sleeve clothing 
  • Wood screws
  • Measure tape
  • Sandpaper and sand
  • Primer and paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Waterproofing sealant
  • Woodworking clamps

Step 1: Cut your lumber to size as you work

  • For the average-sized bar, you will need 6.1 m of 5.1 by 10.2 cm boards, 12 m of 2.5 by 10.2 cm boards, and 3.7 m of 5.1 by 15.2 cm boards.
  • After you’ve bought your lumber from a construction store or lumber yard, use a circular saw to cut it.
  • Cut the lumber for each following step to avoid ruining large amounts of it through miscalculations.
  • Remember to wear a dust mask, protective eyewear, gloves and long sleeve clothing to stay safe from shards of flying sawdust.

man cutting lumber with circular saw

Step 2: Create the rectangular frame for the base

  • To create a rectangular frame for the base, you should drill 4 lengths of lumber together.
  • For your base, lay 4 lengths of 5.1 by 10.2 cm lumber on the floor. 
  • Put 2 longer lengths of wood parallel on the ground. 
  • Create a rectangle by laying a shorter length on the inside of the longer pieces at each opening at the end.
  • For your frame boards, use 2 wood screws, at least 6.4 cm in length, and drill them through each long piece of wood and into the middle of each shorter piece. That way, you will secure your frame.
  • The long lengths should be 120 cm long, and the shorter pieces 38 cm long to build an average-sized table.
  • Ensure that each of the corners is 90 degrees using a speed square. 

Step 3: Make the top of the bar

  • To make the top of the bar, you must create a second rectangular base
  • Lay 4 identical lengths of wood on top of your first set of frame boards. 
  • For the base, you’ve already made to match the pieces’ shape on the top, line the pieces up.
  • Drill the second set of pieces into place as you did for your first frame. 
  • These 2 rectangular frames must be identical in shape to have a stable bar.  
  • These frames will serve as the base for the bar’s bottom and the base for the tabletop.

Step 4: Stand your frames up lengthwise

  • Work on a perfectly flat surface.
  • Stand your frames up lengthwise.
  • Line up 2 legs against the ground. 
  • Turn each set of frame boards up on its side. The shorter sides should be perpendicular to the ground
  • Clamp each piece in place to keep the bases from falling
  • Lay a 5.1 by 10.2 cm panel on the ground running from the corner of one frame board set to the other. 
  • Adjust the leg panels and frame boards to flush each end of the panel with each set of frame boards’ exterior edge.
  • These panels are 100 cm in length for an average table.

Joinery. Carpenter clamping plywood parts. Woodworking and carpentry production. Furniture manufacture. Close-up

Step 5: Make 4 exterior legs attached to your frame boards

  • Drill 6.4 cm wood screws through the centre where the wood overlaps to secure each leg panel end to each base at the top and bottom. 
  • Repeat this process with your second leg panel on the opposite side. 
  • Gently rotate your frame boards so that the 2 leg panels you’ve drilled into place are parallel to the ground. 
  • Drill a pair of leg panels into each base where it meets the floor on each side.
  • What you have now should resemble a table
  • Check your angles with a speed square. 

Step 6: Finish your legs

  • Carefully stand the frame up. Get your tabletop facing up.
  • Grab a 5.1 by 15.2 cm panel and hold it vertically next to a leg panel on the frame boards’ open side.
  • Secure the second leg board to the base’s long side at the top and the bottom using 6.4 cm wood screws.
  • Repeat the same process 3 more times on each of your remaining legs.
  • For an average bar, these panels are 100 cm in length.

Step 7: Install your floor slats

  • Having your table standing, slide your first 2.5 by 10.2 cm slat into the base’s far left at the bottom. 
  • Drop it on the bottom base’s top
  • Line it up so that it’s parallel to the short side of the frame it’s resting on. 
  • Slide a second slat next to it. 
  • Continue adding parallel slats until you cover the whole base of your bar.
  • Use 3.2 cm wood screws to drill each slat into the base where the slats meet the frame, at the top and the bottom.
  • This is the bar’s bottom.
  • These slats are 46 cm in length for an average-sized bar.

A man drilling a hole in wooden block

Step 8: Make sides

  • Stand up vertically, a longer slat of 2.5 by 10.2 cm. 
  • Hold it against the bar’s shorter side, on either side.
  • Line up the left edges
  • Check to ensure that the slat’s edges are flush with the frame of your bar.
  • Secure the frame by drilling 3.2 cm wood screws through the top and bottom of the slat where the wood overlaps in the middle. 
  • Add parallel slats next to your first side slat. 
  • Repeat the process till you cover the side entirely. 
  • Repeat this process on the bar’s opposite side
  • These are the bar’s sides.
  • Use 100 cm lengths of lumber for your vertical slats for your standard bar.

Step 9: Make the front

  • Use the same style and size of lumber that you used for the 2 bar’s sides.
  • Choose 1 long side of the bar to be the front
  • Put your first slat against the far left side of the frame
  • Drill 3.2 cm wood screws into the top and bottom the same way you did on the sides.
  • Continue adding parallel slats to cover the face of the bar
  • Leave the other side of the bar open to access your shelves easily.

Step 10: Install a partition wall in the bar’s centre

  • Purchase a standalone shelving unit that is smaller than the interior of your bar.
  • Drill 1 screw through each slat at an angle to attach it to the bar’s bottom.
  • The support bar is 41 cm in length, and the slats are 90.8 cm long for a standard shelf.

Step 11: Create platforms for shelves

  • Take thin wood pieces and drill them into the slats on the bar’s partition wall and interior sides.
  • Create platforms for slats or sheets of plywood. 
  • Test each slat before drilling it using a spirit level. 
  • These platform panels must be 46 cm in length for your standard bar.
  • Add your custom ordered shelves.

Shelving with wine bottles and glasses on wooden wall background

Step 12: Create a flat tabletop

  • Use a single sheet of wood as your tabletop
  • Measure the dimensions of the table frame’s top.
  • Cut a sheet of wood that matches it.
  • Lay the wood sheet on top of your bar and use 6.4 cm wood screws to secure it to each corner’s frame
  • Add additional screws every 10–20 cm for more stability.

Step 13: Install long boards on top of the bar

  • For a matching look, use a sequence of parallel slats to line the top of your bar
  • You can use vertical or horizontal slats
  • Ensure that your first slat is flush with the sides and drill it into place using 6.4 cm wood screws. 
  • Add more screws over the centre to attach the tabletop to the partition wall.

Step 14: Add a border

  • To hide the screws on the sides and front of your bar, install a large single wood length on top of the screw lines.
  • You can either screw these border pieces into place from behind or use wood glue to secure them.

Step 15: Waterproof and paint your bar

  • Sand all the external surfaces with 120- to 220-grit sandpaper.
  • Prime the wood before painting it.
  • Paint it using exterior wood paint designed for porches, adding multiple coats.
  • Use a waterproofing sealant to waterproof your bar. 

hand wearing working gloves painting wood with paintbrush

Step 16: Add the finishing touches

  • Add all the must-have barware essentials, like glasses, shakers, coasters and drinks!
  • Add roofing or a pub shed to enjoy your bar all year-round.
  • Put up string lights in and around your bar for a relaxing feel.
  • If you don’t have a garden shed already, go for a bar shed or gazebo to keep you and your drinks cool.
  • Add bar furniture around for you and your guests. Swing chairs, bar chairs, and sunloungers are some great additions.
  • You may want to take it to the next level and get a bbq or even build an outdoor kitchen.

How much will it cost to build a garden bar?

  • The lumber’s price will vary depending on the species of wood you choose. It may cost £40-140, but it could run up to £700 depending on your preferences. This is still cheap for an outdoor bar, considering the cost of buying one!
  • Purchasing a home bar costs £5.000 on average or £600 to £16.000, depending on its size and features.

garden countertop with snacks and drinks on, people on the blurred background sitting
Building a garden bar can definitely be a makeover DIY project. Follow our step-by-step instructions and make the best garden bar. Your garden will transform into a tropical paradise with a tiki bar, and you will enjoy your nights like you never did before!

Scroll to Top
Send this to a friend