Three Things to Consider Before Setting Up Your Home Bar

by Lauren Gregoire

Since you will likely be building your bar in your own home, setting up a bar may seem like something incredibly easy. You might think it is just about joining some pieces of wood, buying some stools, and finally stocking your favourite drinks. It doesn’t work that way. There are a few things you should consider for your bar before getting started to eliminate as much rework as possible. The things to consider include:

The Design

Designing your space helps a lot when setting up a home bar. Since the space is not so ample in most cases, you need everything in its perfect place. The design gets you to understand the type of furniture you will buy and the type of refrigeration you will need. Your design will help you understand how much time and resources to allocate for your bar to materialize.

It is the design you lay that will determine whether you will build it yourself or if you will hire a contractor. You also have the option to buy and install a Ready-To-Assemble (RTA) bar. If you buy a RTA bar, will there be space for an undercounter kegerator or an undercounter winecooler? The choice you settle for will depend on how much free time you have, how fast you want it built, the number of friends that will help you, how handy you are, and several more factors.


Budget affects the entire process of setting up your home bar from the way you set up your shelves, to how you stock the shelves, to the type of wood you use for your bar. You may ask yourself wether or not you need a kegerator and this all depends on how much beer you usually drink, and the types of beer you drink when you do buy. Like most items that you buy in bulk, a kegerator will quickly save you a lot of money after just a few kegs.

Freestanding wine machines and kegerators are relatively cheaper compared to built-in models. On a tight budget, a freestanding model is probably the better option. They are more popular and affordable and can be put virtually anywhere indoors. The condenser on the freestanding units is usually on the back, and it is not advised to place them underneath cabinets.

On the other hand, if you would like to go for an undercounter kegerator or an undercounter winecooler, these models generally cost more. You can place them in between cabinets or under the counter, so that they seamlessly blend into your home and save some space. Their convenience on space makes them cost a bit higher but their installation can be a bit more complicated.


Space mostly affects how you design your bar. It will affect the shape you choose – whether you will have L-shaped, horseshoe or rectangular design. It will also determine where you will build the sink. You will have to decide whether or not to make another bathroom specifically for the bar section.

Your space will partly determine the amount of budget you allocate for the bar. If you have enough space, you might buy freestanding wine coolers and kegerators. On limited space, you might have to work with built-in wine coolers and kegerators.


Setting up a home bar is not an easy task. You need to visualize the whole project and combine with proper planning to get it right. If you have everything figured out, you will have a well-built bar at your home.