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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 1.  Garage.  Before the bar conversion

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.

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.

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.

Building a garden bar area

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.

building a garden bar design stage

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 9.  Removal of the roof

Fig 10.  Removal of the roof

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)

Fig 11.  Constructing the roof structure

Fig 12.  Constructing the roof structure

building a garden bar roof

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.

  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.


Fig 15.  Insulating the floor with 100mm celotex

building a garden bar screed floor

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.

building a garden bar in the uk

Fig 22.  Installation of the composite door

building a garden bar front 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

building a garden bar insulation

Fig 26.  Insulating the roof

Fig 27.  Insulating the roof

Fig 28.  Insulating the roof

Building of the Stud Wall

building a garden bar 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

You can buy flexible durable conduit like this from the Amazon store.

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

building a garden bar electrical

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

building a garden bar insulation

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.

building a garden bar recess shelfFig 52.  Installation of acoustic grade plasterboard recess for drinks shelve.

building a garden bar ceiling

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.

You can also view this article on “How to Soundproof a Garage or Bar” here.


Fig 54.  Painting of the vaulted ceiling.

building a garden bar ceiling decor

Fig 55.  Leaf decorations painting on ceiling using a stencil.

building a garden bar decor

Fig 56.  Palm tree wall decal.

Bar Construction

Fig 57.  Construction of the bar using kitchen tall wall units.

building a garden bar using kitchen 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.

building a garden bar using kitchen units

Fig 64.  1mm stainless steel edging around the bar top edge, fixed in using mirror screws (with caps).

building a garden bar front

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!

building a garden bar using kitchen units 2

Fig 67.  Stainless steel panels were screwed around the edge of the bar front.

Building a garden bar

Fig 68.  Stainless steel panels were screwed around the edge of the bar front.

Fig 69.  Bar optics and pump.

Fig 70.  Bar fridges.

Fig 71.  Intelligent LED shelf lighting.

Learn How to Build this light up Shelve here.

building a garden bar fridges

Fig 72.  Inside the bar area.

building a garden bar uk

Fig 73.  Bar seating.

building a garden bar essex

Fig 74.  With bar disco ball and ambient lighting on.

Fig 75.  Back bar with LED shelf.

Fig 76.  Back bar with LED shelf.  Buy shelves like these at Amazon.

Fig 77.  Bar exterior silicon render.

Fig 78.  Bar exterior silicon render.

Click image above to see a video of the finished bar!




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