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Home Bar 101: Your Guide To Buying, Installing, And Maintaining Them

Home Bar 101: Your Guide To Buying, Installing, And Maintaining Them

Home bars transform the look of your apartment. It creates new options for entertainment for you. Those days of congested bars are gone. You can host a company of friends at the comfort of your home.

You don't always have to go visit the lounges or clubs for some drinks. Have you thought of owning a bar in your home? When you attempted to own one, what were the challenges you encountered? Why do you think you need a home bar? There are some questions you need answers to in relation to having one. Here is detailed information on how best to buy, install, and maintain it.  Let’s dive in!

Why Do You Need A Home Bar?

Having a bar in your home can serve multiple functions. You need a detailed plan on how to organize one. You don't just own one because others have it. It can become a space your friends would always want to sit and have some wine.

Let's provide some answers to the question, "Why do you need a bar?” This will help you see the reasons to plan before owning one.

  • The right spot for unwinding

The bar could be your favorite spot for unwinding. Having gone through a stressful day at work, you could always retire there. It's a cool relaxation spot. This is one of the basic reasons people own one.

Ensure that you design it to your taste. Don’t plan it in a hurry because it needs the right structure. Use proper pieces of furniture and everything should be properly installed. It is for your comfort, and so, should be well planned. With soothing music and beautiful designs, you will be entertained. It is a great way to unwind.

  • An opportunity to have a variety of drinks

Having a bar allows you to have all kinds of drinks at home. You can stock it up with a variety of bottles of drinks. Buy the essential liquors of your taste. Let it fit your individual style. You can get flavored drinks, vodka, bottles of rum, and whiskey. Also, get the mixers you love.

  • A space to entertain guests

A bar gives you a soothing relief from stress. You don't have to go through unnecessary stress to entertain your friends. It is a place of comfort. All you need is to get the right drinks! No bills on you after your buddies are gone.

When you entertain guests frequently, you get to sharpen your mixology skills. With a well-stocked bar, you can invent your cocktails. You can also have any kind of mixed drink for your friends. It is pure fun within the four walls of your home.

What Should I Consider Before Having a Bar for my Home?

Before having a bar in your home, there are many factors to consider. It is just like embarking on a project. Own a space of style and comfort.

There are mistakes people make in the process of owning a bar. They don't consider the structure. What should everyone consider? Let's take a look at them.

  • Space

This is the primary thing you consider. Do you have space for it? Don’t forget it is about comfort. This can limit your bar’s size. If it is too stuffy, then you’ve made a poor choice. Let your bar get enough ventilation. The area you allocate for it also determines the size of your drink collection. You can't have a narrow bar and want to fill it up with a large collection of drinks.

Be realistic when planning your bar. If you don’t have enough space, it limits every action that occurs in there. It might take an entire room or basement. All you need to ensure is getting the space needed.

  • Cost

This is another factor you should consider. Do you have the funds to maintain the standard? If you run out of liquor, can you get more bottles immediately?

The question is, "how much do you want to spend on your bar?" Structure it according to your budget. Do not just shop.  Consider the cost of having a bar in your home. Of course, there are budget-friendly bars you can have. Ensure you can maintain it after you have started.

  • Organization

How organized are you? Some people feel they don’t have to be, before owning a bar. You do not leave it messy. Tidy it up. Don't just leave everywhere disorganized.

Consider this. Some people stopped having one after finding out they could not maintain it. Organize it. Arrange the bottles of drinks neatly. Clean it up regularly.

  • Drinks

Don’t think it's easy to get collections of drinks on the bar. Trying to sound modest, consider the type you want. Buy your taste. Get a list of your most preferred cocktails and wines.

Note that it is not only about you. If you plan to receive guests, consider getting a variety of drinks. This can impress your friends. Also, you need some glassware and bar tools.

Get the necessary ingredients needed to make the cocktails you love. Make yourself super comfortable first. Do not consider getting the drinks your friends’ alone love. You’ll end up hating the collection of drinks in it.

As you progress with growing it, you can add more drinks. You can then buy a variety for your friends and guests. If you can start with buying different cocktails and wines, that isn't a bad one.

How much does a Home Bar Cost?

It’s important to consider the cost of installing a bar in your home. To get a fixed amount of how much it costs may not be possible. This is because there are different prices in various cities. It all depends on where you reside. The prices of commodities around you affect everything you purchase.

Sometimes, you end up spending more than you bargained for. The materials you use affect the cost. What you’ll spend on a large bar is different from a small one. This implies that size plays a huge role. When considering the amount involved in owning a bar, look out for the following. You will pay:

  • Your interior designer
  • For the installation
  • The carpenter, mural painter, and other services
  • To laminate worktop, quartz worktop, and granite worktop.

There are a lot of things to pay for when setting it up. Where you decide to build it also affects the cost. The budget is not what you rush to do. Your location matters. Building costs depend on how materials are expensive in your city. The bar tools also determine how much you’ll spend.

A bar may cost between $500 - $22,500 on average. It depends on what you are setting up. The one for the basement may cost you more than other kinds. If you intend to have a rugged dive one, then the cost would be different. You spend differently when creating a stone or a stainless-steel bar.

The drinks you buy are included in the budget. Your bar isn't complete without stocking up the bar. The furniture is part of the cost. The stools, the seating styles, and every piece of furniture are included too. Your materials can range from $150 to $750. This depends on what you are buying.

Also, the cost depends on if you are buying a pre-made bar or if you are handling it yourself. Different factors contribute to the cost.

Where Should a Bar be Placed in a House?

Most times, people are always bothered about where to place their bars. This is because we all want convenience. Place your bar in an area you are most comfortable with. Here, we shall look at the different spots you 

can install one.

  • Living Room

This is one of the most common locations where people build their bars. This is because it is easy to access. Don’t create one in a space you are not okay with. Setting it up in the living room makes it more attractive. 

Having it here doesn't hinder you from styling it to your taste. In fact, this is where you consider transforming it in the most creative way. In this room, your bar can also have different games. When your guests come around, they certainly have everything needed for their entertainment. 

In this space, it becomes visible to everyone that comes in. While here, do not place your bottles directly to the window. Don't let them have direct contact with the ray of sunshine. Also, ensure your living room is well ventilated. Let there be enough space for movement.

  • Dining Room

This is another portion of the house where people install their bars. When people build here, there can be a mini-fridge in the storage. Also, an icebox can be there. Having the bar in the dining room makes it easier for you to wine and dine without restrictions. With different collections of liquor and mixers, you can always invite friends over.

  • Bedroom

This is a discreet place to install your bar. For those who love their privacy, they prefer the bedroom. Here, it isn't easily open to everyone.

Sometimes, people build their bar here to avoid unnecessary distractions. All that matters is the comfort you get. Some bars are meant to be private. If you have decided to have a private bar, your bedroom may be the best place to install it.

Structure your bar to your taste. If you are considering others first, then there wouldn't be the need to have it in the bedroom. Most times, people just want to be in a serene environment. Choosing the bedroom is cool. Choose your space wisely. You can use complementary pieces of furniture for your bar. Whilst setting up, be creative with your designs. With soft lighting, you’ll get the most natural feel you can ever think of.

  • Kitchen

You can also install your bar in the kitchen. If it has the space needed, set it up there. You can stock up a variety of drinks here. Don’t just place empty bottles in the bar. Replace empty bottles as soon as you can.

  • Basement

Your bar can be in the basement. It is all about enjoying premium comfort. If you have such a wide space in this location, install it there. Also, choose this area if it suits your lifestyle. Lifestyle is one determinant when it comes to choosing a location for a bar. Here, you would have to store your glasses, shakers, ice buckets, and napkins.

  • Garage

This is another part of the house people don't consider when installing a bar. Your garage isn't only meant for parking your cars. You can be creative and build a nice bar here. This is quite similar to a basement bar.

If you don't want people to always come into your apartment, the garage is the perfect space for your bar. The garage bar is simply a way of having fun outdoors. You can enjoy the cool breeze of the evening anytime your friends come to visit.

What do you need for a Basic Bar?

This is very interesting. If you are building a bar, you need some essentials. Without these, it isn't complete. They are the basic bar tools that you need. Without these tools, there is no way you can have all the fun you desire. With your well-stocked bar, it is the perfect time to have some drinks at home. For a decent setup, let's consider the basic needs.

There is essential liquor you should have at the bar. You should have vodka. Vodka is used for cocktails. Interestingly, there are varieties of vodka brands you can choose from. You can get flavored vodkas too. Other basics needed at your bar include Martini, Daiquiri, Gin, Egg Nog, and Irish coffee.

What Should Every Bar Have?

Your bar needs to have the right tools. You also need the right drinks. The essential things you require are those items you cannot do without at the bar.

Muddler: With your muddler, you can extract flavor from your fruit. You can also do this with herbs and spices. You need it for some cocktails too. Mojito made with light rum requires it.

Also, caipiroska made with vodka requires one. Get it, if you intend to have a bar. You should note that you do not need everything at your bar.

Shakers: You need the bar shakers. The shakers provide you with the fastest way to mix your drink ingredients.

Bar Blenders: This is one item the bar needs. You can blend a variety of ingredients with ease. It is possible to make blended drinks quite available using this item. Purchase the right bar blender for your use.

Liquor Cabinet: You need a very good liquor cabinet for your bar. This is also called cellaret. This cabinet is available in different shapes, colors, sizes, and designs. It is used to store your whiskey and all alcoholic beverages. With this cabinet, you can store a variety of drinks without stress.

Bar Signs: Your bar should have some signs. It cannot be complete without some. You can be creative using your name. You may also use a meaningful logo that says it all. If you are building one with your family, you should consult them before making a decision.

Wine Decanter: Your bar is not complete without the wine decanter. You can store your wine here. All you have to do is choose the right one. This is mostly for people who love wine.

What Equipment is Needed For a Bar?

If you are just installing your bar, you need some equipment. Without them, it isn't complete. You can start with the simple ones. Anything you purchase is basically for your comfort. Let's consider some of what you need for the smooth running of your bar.

Bar Mats

Bar mats are items you should never ignore. This is because it serves many functions. One is that it allows the flow of liquid across its surface. It prevents drinks from slipping off.

You can have customized bar mats. You can personalize any word of your choice on the mat. This can be done creatively. These are produced from thick and strong rubber. It serves as drainage for spilled drinks.

Bar Spoons

Bar spoons are very important tools needed for a bar. This is because you stir while you mix your cocktails. You should not use just any kind of spoon for your stirring.

They have long and twisted handles. The handles make the stirring easy. They stir the ingredients and mix them appropriately. They can be used for mixing both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and drinks. When making your cocktails, you can use your bar spoon.

Bottle Opener

You can never ignore this tool in your bar. You will need the bottle opener for capped drinks or beverages. Sometimes, you may have to take some beer.

Speed Rail

It is also known as cocktail rail. The speed rail is an important bar tool used for holding liquors and mixers. They keep your liquor close to you for easy access. This item can always hold your favorite drinks. You don't have to be troubled before you gain instant access to your drink. You can attach this tool to the side of your bar for convenience.


Why would you build a bar without the corkscrew? This is unarguably one important tool you need at your bar. This is just like the bottle opener, but it is quite different with some features.

This tool helps to open the corks from your wine bottles. It has the worm-like attached to its handle which makes it easier to screw out the corks. The most common bar tool you can find is the corkscrew. Get one that you can easily use.

Ice Bucket

You need the ice bucket to keep your ice from melting away. The ice buckets are mostly produced from stainless steel.

You can place it on the bar table when you are hosting some friends. All you need to do is fill the ice bucket with ice. You can add some water and drop your bottle into it. Your guests will certainly enjoy some chilled drinks.

Pour Spouts

The pour spouts easily fit into the mouths of liquor. This allows your drink to flow at a consistent rate. This also prevents spills.


You need your jiggers for measurements. It is a small glass used for measuring your drinks. These cups are designed primarily for drinks. They are very important for your bar.

Glass Rack

This equipment is necessary for keeping your glassware safe. It helps to protect your glasses. You can buy a metal glass rack for your bar.

Bar Caddies

This equipment is used to hold your cocktail napkins, coasters, and straws.


You need some glassware at your bar. Get a jug and some tumblers. You can also buy some tall glasses, Martini glasses, beer mugs, and rocks glasses.

What Should I Stock My Bar With?

You may have wondered about the kinds of drinks or boozes to stock up your bar with. This is a reflection of your personality. This means that it shows your taste.

  • Drinks

To make standard cocktails, stock it up with some drinks. These vary from orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, to tomato juice. You need the right mixers too. Also, you may need some tonic water, club soda, and cranberry juice.

  • Essential Liquors

Get the essential liquors. Get some gin, liqueurs, and non-alcoholic beverages. Also stock up Tequila, bitters, rum, mescal, vodka, Bourbon, Scotch, and Brandy. Buy some garnishes too. The kind of garnish one adds to a drink depends solely on the drink.

Above all, stock up your bar with a variety of drinks that you love. It is about what you enjoy drinking.

How Many Glasses Do You Need For A Bar?

There are essential glasses you need at your bar. These glasses are useful for your cocktails, wine, liqueurs, and beer. The home is filled with different kinds of glasses. Each of these glasses serves different purposes. Each is used for certain drinks; you can't use the same glass for all kinds of drinks.

You may need the following glasses at your bar. There is no specific number of glasses you need. Just get the essentials.

  • Highball and Collins Glasses
  • Old-fashioned glass, also known as Rocks Glasses.
  • Shot Glass
  • Margarita Glass
  • Champagne Glasses
  • Beer Glasses
  • Wine Glasses
  • Tall Specialty Cocktail Glasses
  • Short Specialty Cocktail Glasses
  • Martini Glasses (Cocktail Glass)

How Do I Install and Maintain My Bar?

So much has been discussed about the bar. You can certainly buy some bar furniture. Some opt for pre-made furniture, while others buy their bar online.

Installing Your Bar

  • Before installing your bar, you could have a mock-up.
  • Be very careful when installing your bar. You can choose a cabinet with floating shelves. 
  • For installation, it is advisable to hire a professional to fix your bar for you. 
  • You also need an electric screw gun, shims, and level.
  • A standard bar height is about 42 inches. The overhang is about 8 inches. The barstools could be 30 inches tall. The foot rail could range from 7 to 9 inches off the floor.

How Do I Decorate My Bar?

This is very important. You need to be creative with your designs. If you cannot think of nice designs, you could get an interior designer. Don’t forget this is a spot for you to unwind. You may add unique artwork to your bar. You can get trendy bar stools or vintage furniture.

Maintaining Your Bar

Below are some tips on how to maintain your bar.

Clean it up

This is your responsibility. Ensure the bar is kept clean at all times. You could have a daily routine for this. Make sure your bar equipment is neat. Wash off any mess immediately.

Everything should be in place

You shouldn’t find it hard to locate whatever you need. Organize your bar tools. Set it just like commercial ones. This helps in increasing the service speed. Also, it ensures order and cleanliness.

Move with purpose

With so many friends around, a mess will amass easily. However, when you slow down things, you’ll be more efficient. Don’t rush. Let every action of yours be on purpose.


By now, you must have learned how to buy, install, and maintain a home bar. Having the best goes beyond stocking up your cabinets with booze or a variety of wines. It is about turning your space into an entertaining and friendly environment. 

When creating your bar, keep it simple but inviting. Also, set aside some time to maintain it.; this is important in ensuring its longevity. Adhering to all these means you can transform your space into something inviting. Get started today!

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