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How much do the materials cost and where do I get them from? Our Patio Bar (at about $150) and our 8 foot straight bar (at about $175) are the least expensive to build. This is because they are designed utilizing the least expensive lumber available, namely Pine. Other designs such as our Wet bar, our Shape-Shifter series and our "Classic" series can also be built using Pine but are usually constructed of Oak or Maple. If you elect to use Pine, it is best to use clear (knot free) Pine for the moldings and trims. The plywood used should be a good grade of sanded Pine or furniture grade plywood, not BC plywood or sheathing. All of our bar designs use American standard size "dimensional lumber" and plywood sheets. All lumber and hardware used is generally available from your local "Home Center" store with the exception of custom cut mirrors (where used) and brass bar railing. For an approximate materials cost to build a specific model please contact us.
What is the difference between the "Classic" series and the "Customizable" series plans? Our Classic series bar plans were developed as a means for those with average woodworking abilities (using average shop equipment) to build a high quality home bar without having to pay the enormous cost of having a bar custom built and installed by others. In comparison to the Classic L shape series, the Customizable series is somewhat easier to build and less expensive to buy the materials. You can of course "dress up" the customizable series with additional moldings, etc. The customizable series is designed to facilitate easy change to the bars length and other features. It also accommodates changes to the cabinetry, allowing for installation of beer dispensers and other under-the-bar equipment.
Do your plans include instructions on how to install electrical wiring in the bar? Although we design many of our bars to include space for concealed electrical wiring, we do not provide information on how to install it. Electrical codes can be very strict and vary from one locality to another. Before you install wiring for outlets, lighting, etc. in your bar, we suggest you contact your electrician so that your installation will be in full compliance with your local electrical codes.
What tools and/or equipment do I need to build a bar using your plans? To make the parts for any of our bar designs (except the "Speedy-Build" models) you should have a table saw, router, jig saw and an electric drill. To assemble your bar you will need some basic hand tools such as a hammer, power screwdriver and gluing clamps. Our "Speedy-Build" models do NOT require a router or a jig saw. A table saw is helpful, but not necessary. The only power tools required for the "Speedy-Build" models are a circular saw and an electric drill.
Can the bar be installed over carpeting? If you will be installing your bar in a previously carpeted room, it is best to set the bar directly on the carpet (Do not cut the carpet out for the bar). In time, the bar will "settle" into carpet the same as a large china closet or an entertainment center would do. On the other hand, if the room is not yet carpeted, you can secure the bar to the floor, and have your carpeting installed around the base of the bar if you wish.
What if I want to install my bar outdoors on a covered patio? Any of our bar plans can be constructed for outdoor use, however you must use appropriate materials. The lumber and plywood used should be resistant to insects as well as moisture. A good choice for the lumber is Cedar (often used to build decks). The plywood can be TX-111 which is made from Cedar. All fasteners should be rust resistant (use galvanized deck screws and galvanized nails). You should also protect the bar with a good quality spar urethane finish with UV protection. How hard is it to build the Classic L shaped bar? You don't need to be a craftsman to build the Classic L shaped bar from our plans. Most of our customers are do-it-yourselfers with basic woodworking knowledge.