Building a Garden Bar

Building a garden bar is a fantastic addition to any home.  It is a great way to entertain guests.  Also it provides a good place to have a drink or two after a busy day at work.  Most people assume a home outdoor bar would be expensive to make.  However, building a garden bar is as complicated as you want to make it.  This article provides a step by step guide to building a garden bar.  It is actually a project that Warton Woodworks done for a customer in Essex, United Kingdom.  They converted the customers garage into a bar.  Read this article to follow the story from beginning to end.

The Garage as it Was

The old roof consisted of a marine plywood sheet structure.  It was flat but had a slight pitch to it.  To protect it from the weather, layers of green mineral shed felt had been applied.  The felt was secured to the plywood via bitumen and clout nails.  Unfortunately this roof had reached its end of life, and was therefore starting to leak water inside.

Over the years the garage was used as an office.  But eventually turned into a storage area due to issues with damp, coldness and the impractical garage door.  The customer wanted a practical use for this garage as it offered lots of space.

Our Ideas:  Building a Garden Bar

The customer asked if we could turn their garage into a garden bar.  Of course we said yes, and offered some great design ideas.  The main ideas we suggested were:

Construct a new (more durable) roof

Lets face it, flat felt roofs are far from ideal.  Felt is easy to rip and can deteriorate in extreme weather.  Also a flat roof means there is more chance of water creeping in when there is a leak path.  The new design would consist of a modern looking composite tiled roof, with a pitch of 30 degrees.

Brick up side window

This is not just a bar, but also a man cave.  The bar will have this window bricked up to make it more insulated (temperature and sound).  Doing so will also make furnishing the bar inside easier too.

Insulate Floor

The old garage did not have a Damp Proof Course (DPC).  This is a must if you want to keep damp and rain water out.

Remove the garage door

The old garage door needed to be removed, then replaced with a secure composite door.  We needed to ensure the new door was stylish and modern to suit the bar.

Decorated bar inside

Building a garden bar does not need to be boring.  The best thing about a bar is that you can be very creative.  You do not have to decorate it the same as your home.  We ensured this man cave contained all the typical features you see in a bar such as drinks shelf’s, bar tops, stools and more.

Our Design Plans

Due to the level of detail the customer required, we decided to have the bar drawn up using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software.  Such plans make building a garden bar easier.  Below are the CAD drawings of the bar design.

  • The garage will have a pitched composite tiled roof installed.
  • The new composite front door will replace the garage door.

Building a garden bar area

  • Inside the bar will consist of two bar worktops, one for the front and back.
  • The back bar will have a double fridge and wine rack.
  • Beer pumps will be fitted to provide an authentic bar feel.
  • Shelves on the back wall will be installed.  This creates an excellent display of drinks.

  • The TV on the back wall is raised high so everyone can see it.
  • The roof inside is pitched, rather than plaster boarded horizontally.  This provides the illusion of more space as the ceiling is very high.


  • The remaining space is large enough to fit a sofa and bar stools.

Removal of the Old Roof

Removal of the old roof was completed in one day.  The main tools used to remove the roof was a crowbar, claw hammer and circular saw.  Once the plywood boards were removed they were then cut in half with the circular saw.  This ensured the boards would easily fit into a skip.

  • Even though the old roof was flat, it was raised at the front.  The new pitched tiled roof needed to sit level on the garage walls.  We therefore needed to chisel the wall at the top so they are completely level, as in the image below.

Constructing the New Timber Pitched Roof

Construction of the new timber roof was completed in two days.

  1. Timber beams were laid on top of each brick wall, which was then fixed to the brick using screws and restraint straps.
  2. The lintel was then installed at the front of the garage to provide support for the brick gable end.
  3. Next the pitched timber structure was created, which was fixed together using a nail gun.
  4. Finally a light breathable roofing membrane was installed, ready was tiling.


  • Concrete Lintel 65 x 100 x 2700mm = £65 (from local builders merchants)
  • 50mm X 150mm sawn treated .  16 pieces X 4.8m = Approx £230 for 78m
  • 50mm X 100mm sawn treated.  4 pieces X 3m = Approx £22 for 12m
  • 50mm X 150mm sawn treated.  2 pieces X 3m = Approx £20 for 6m
  • 600 x 100 bend simpson restraint straps = Approx £14 for 6
  • Light breathable roofing membrane 1m X 25m = Approx £45
  • Bricking the roof gables using breeze blocks.  Bricking the entrance at the bottom = £300 (Materials and Labor)

  • Once the wooden roof structure was assembled, the gable ends were then bricked up.  The bottom of the entrance was also bricked up to a height of 6 inches, which will be the DPC height.

Screeding the Floor

Screeding of the floor was completed in one day.

  1. First of all a DPC sheet was laid, ensuring at least 4 inches of sheet would be above the new floor level.
  2. 100mm celetex insulation was laid over the sheet, covering the whole garage floor.
  3. A screeding contractor poured concrete over the insulation.  The total height of the raised floor was 150mm.



Tiling The New Roof

The tiling of the new roof was completed in one day.  Tiling was carried out via a professional roof tiling contractor.


  • Labor and materials to tile the composite tile roof = Approx £1000

  • The flat sloped roof ensures water can run of it easily.
  • A flat sloped roof surface also ensures minimal moss build up.

  • An oak beam was installed in the roof to get it extra strength and support.  It also acts as a fantastic feature, making the bar feel more natural.

Installation of Soffits and Fascias

The new soffits and fascias were completed in two days.  As you can see the garage is now looking like a miniature house.  The soffits have air vents installed to ensure damp does not build up inside the roof.


  • 200mm X 18mm white fascia = Approx £140 for 4
  • Hollow soffit board white 300mm = Approx £30 for 2
  • Corner trim white 450mm = Approx £10 for 2

Bricking up the Side Window

A bricklayer completed this job in a few hours.


  • Materials and labor to brick the side window using breeze blocks = £150

Installation of Composite Door

A modern looking composite door was installed, with a window each side.  These types of doors have excellent insulation properties and security features.  The width of the door and windows matched the width of the garage opening.  The door fits under the concrete lintel.


  • Composite door plus side windows = £1400 Approx.
  • Contractor to install the door and windows =£150 Approx.

Insulating the Roof

100mm thick celetex PIR was used to insulaiton the roof.  It is important to ensure a tight fit when pusing celotex between timbers.

Building of the Stud Wall

Installing the Power and Data

Insulating the Walls

Sound Proof Testing

Our solution to excessive noise:

  • Intalled high density mineral rool (Rockwool Duo 100mm) between the 100mm thick timber stud wall.
  • Installed 12.5mm thick Knauf Sound Panel plasterboard for walls.
  • Installed 15mm thick Knauf Soundshield plasterboard for the ceiling.
  • Installed 15mm thick Knauf Soundshiled plasterboard in area where less than 100mm was used, such as recessed areas for TV, drinks shelf, etc.

View our video below to see the difference acoustic insulation makes.  The video gives you an idea on the sound levels experienced before and after sound proofing.

Video Coming Soon


This ‘Building A Garden Bar’ project is still in progress



LED Drinks Shelf and Bottle Display

These LED colour changing drinks shelves look great in any bar!

Solid Oak Whisky Barrel

A great storage facility for your wine bottle.  Also doubles up as a stylish drinks table.

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How to Build a Garden Bar
Article Name
How to Build a Garden Bar
Ever wanted a Garden Bar? This articles provides a step by step guide to converting a garage into a man cave.
Publisher Name
Warton Woodworks
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Posted on 7th August 2017 at 8:00 pm

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