Building a Garden Bar
Building a garden bar has been made easier with this comprehensive guide. This guide covers everything from planning to completion. We show you images of a real garden bar project, step by step! Not only is having a garden bar a great way to entertain your guests, it is also a fantastic addition to any home. Building a garden bar is as complicated as you want to make it. A project like this will help you unleash your creativity. There are no rules when it comes to bar decor, be brave and bold when it comes to the design. This article provides a step by step guide to building a garden bar of your dreams. 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. You will struggle to find a more detailed guide anywhere else online! There are over 70 images, and a video at the 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.
Fig 2. Garage. Before the bar conversion
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.
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.
Fig 3. Garage bar design. To scale
- The garage will have a pitched composite tiled roof installed.
- The new composite front door will replace the garage door.
Fig 4. Garage bar design. To scale
- 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.
Fig 5. Garage bar design. To scale
- 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.
Fig 6. Garage bar design. To scale
- 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.Fig 7. Removal of the garage door
Fig 8. Removal of the flat roof
- 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.
Fig 10. Removal of the roof
Constructing the New Timber Pitched Roof
Construction of the new timber roof was completed in two days.
- Timber beams were laid on top of each brick wall, which was then fixed to the brick using screws and restraint straps.
- The lintel was then installed at the front of the garage to provide support for the brick gable end.
- Next the pitched timber structure was created, which was fixed together using a nail gun.
- 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)
Fig 11. Constructing the roof structure
Fig 13. Constructing the roof structure
- 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.
Fig 14. Bricking the gable ends and around the door
Screeding the Floor
Screeding of the floor was completed in one day.
- First of all a DPC sheet was laid, ensuring at least 4 inches of sheet would be above the new floor level.
- 100mm celetex insulation was laid over the sheet, covering the whole garage floor.
- A screeding contractor poured concrete over the insulation. The total height of the raised floor was 150mm.
- Black Heavy duty DPC sheeting = Approx £40
- Celotex insulation 100 mm thickness = Approx £50 per 2.8 meter square
- Screeding Contractor to cover the sheet and insulation in concrete = Approx £300 – £500
Fig 15. Insulating the floor with 100mm celotex
Fig 16. Screeding the floor
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
Fig 17. Tiling the roof
- The flat sloped roof ensures water can run of it easily.
- A flat sloped roof surface also ensures minimal moss build up.
Fig 18. Roof inside
- 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.
Fig 19. Oak beam inside
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
Fig 20. Installation of the fascias
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
Fig 21. Bricking up the window
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.
Fig 22. Installation of the composite door
Fig 23. Installation of the composite door
Insulating the Roof
100mm thick celetex PIR was used to insulation the roof. It is important to ensure a tight fit when pushing celotex between timbers.
Fig 24. Insulating the roof
Fig 25. Insulating the roof
Fig 26. Insulating the roof
Fig 27. Insulating the roof
Fig 28. Insulating the roof
Building of the Stud Wall
Fig 29. Constructing the stud wall
Fig 30. Stud wall recess for beer and wine fridges
Fig 31. Stud wall recess for beer and wine fridges
Fig 32. Stud wall recess for drinks display
Fig 33. Stud wall
Fig 34. Stud wall recess for drinks shelf
Fig 35. Stud wall recess for drinks shelf
Installing the Power and Data
Fig 36. 2 X Cat 6 Ethernet cables inside a PVC conduit
Fig 37. 2 X Cat 6 Ethernet cables inside a PVC conduit
Fig 38. 2 X Cat 6 Ethernet cables inside a PVC conduit. Coming into bar from house
Insulating the Walls
The customer not only wanted this bar thermally insulation, but also acoustically insulated. A cost effective way to achieve both was to install a high density mineral wool. We decided to fit Rockwool Duo at a thickness of 100mm, between battens of the 100mm thick timber wall.
Fig 39. Insulating between the battens with Rockwool
Fig 40. White pipe is a wire feed tube from TV recess to back bar cabinet
Fig 41. Hole above TV recess is for general ventilation
Fig 42. White pipe is a wire feed tube from back bar to front bar cabinet
Fig 43. Rockwool insulation in recessed area is thinner to maximise space
Fig 44. White pipe is a wire feed tube from TV recess to back bar cabinet
Fig 45. Rockwool insulation around power sockets and switches
Fig 46. Rockwool insulation around a light switch
Fig 47. Rockwool insulation inside a drinks shelf recess
Fig 48. Bar has now been fully insulated
Fig 49. Installation of acoustic grade plasterboard.
Fig 50. Installation of acoustic grade plasterboard recess areas.
Fig 51. Installation of acoustic grade plasterboard recess for TV.
Fig 52. Installation of acoustic grade plasterboard recess for drinks shelve.
Fig 53. Installation of acoustic grade plasterboard on ceiling.
Sound Proof Testing
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.
Fig 54. Painting of the vaulted ceiling.
Fig 55. Leaf decorations painting on ceiling using a stencil.
Fig 56. Palm tree wall decal.
Fig 57. Construction of the bar using kitchen tall wall units.
Fig 58. Construction of the bar using kitchen tall wall units.
Fig 59. Installation of 2 beer fridges, plus 1 wine fridge.
Fig 60. 18mm plywood screwed to the kitchen unit top surface.
Then coated with PVA glue.
Fig 61. 6mm thick cement board screwed to the 18mm plywood.
Cement board screws were used.
Fig 62. 12mm thick quartz 600mm x 600mm tiles.
Stuck to the cement boards via flexible slow setting tile adhesive.
Fig 63. Installation of 2 beer fridges, and 1 wine fridge.
Fig 64. 1mm stainless steel edging around the bar top edge, fixed in using mirror screws (with caps).
Fig 65. 12mm plywood screwed to the front of the bar, then coated in PVA glue.
Fig 66. Looks like black fabric, but is actually made from 6 600mm x 600mm Gypsum 3D tiles.
The white tiles were painted to look like this!
Fig 67. Stainless steel panels were screwed around the edge of the bar front.
Fig 68. Intelligent LED shelf lighting.
Fig 69. Inside the bar area.
Fig 70. Bar seating.
Fig 71. With bar disco ball and ambient lighting on.
Fig 72. Back bar with LED shelf.
Fig 73. Back bar with LED shelf. Buy shelves like these at Amazon.
Click image above to see a video of the finished bar!
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