Bar Building Blog

3 Tips for Balancing Quality & Cost in Your Bar-Building Project

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Choosing to build a custom bar means you have full control over the entire project. From where to build it right down to the lighting you’ll use, you get to make all the decisions.

For many bar builders, their dreams get a little out of pace from their budgets, with great ideas flowing faster than the cash to purchase the necessary pieces.

If you want to create a high-quality custom bar without totally breaking the bank, follow these 3 tips:

Prioritize & Make Necessary Cuts

Being on a budget with any project means you’re unlikely to get everything you want at the very beginning. Instead, you need to prioritize the pieces of your project and, where necessary, make cuts to save money for the important things.

If you’re dead set on getting a more expensive bar rail, for example, you may have to decrease the length of your bar in order to spring for the bar rail.

Making cuts doesn’t always have to be making huge changes to your plans. Even small cuts here and there can add up.

If you’re considering a wine fridge, built-in shelving, and other smaller features, eliminating some of these smaller expenses can help you make room for the bigger purchases that you want to make.

Before you get married to any particular design elements or features, sit down and make a list of the items you’re considering adding to your bar.

Include everything – style of bar top, size, any appliances you’ll need to buy, decor. Once you’ve gotten it all written down, begin ranking every element by importance. 

If you just can’t imagine having a bar without gorgeous shelving on the back wall, make sure that gets put high up on the list of priorities. There are no right or wrong answers here; this exercise is all about looking at what makes a great bar for you and helping you achieve that.

After you’ve finished your list, take a look at the items near the bottom. What ones can you downsize or eliminate altogether? If you take those items out of your list, how much money do you save and can you shift that money to another item?

Using a ranking method allows you to choose your priorities and make room for the elements that are most important to you.

Consider a Staged Process

Just because you’ve deleted an item from your list early in the process doesn’t mean you can never have it.

If you decided to forego the fancy wine fridge to make room for a little more money elsewhere, consider saving up and buying it down the road. 

For projects where budget is a big concern, think about a staged build process.

Stage 1 can be getting the bar structure built. Throw your budget into this process and look for creative low- or no-cost ways to round out the other elements, such as taking decor from elsewhere in your home or using your existing upstairs refrigerator to store beer and mixers.

When you’ve saved up enough money to add extra elements, such as appliances, furniture, and decor, purchase them and add them to your bar area. 

Repeat this process as many times as necessary to get the bar of your dreams!

Choose Quality Where It Counts

Is it really going to make much difference if you go with the $300 bar stools over the $50 look-alikes? 

Unless your bar is getting heavy traffic and people are sitting on those stools for hours a day, every day, it probably won’t matter much.

Look at your list of plans and think about what really needs to be high-quality, and what you really want to be high-quality. Your bar’s basic structural pieces, such as the bar top, the bar rails, and the bar front, should be of the highest quality materials you can afford.

Pick quality on the areas you want to last for a long time and that would be difficult to replace if they fall apart. For everything else you can shave little bits here and there, at least initially, to give yourself a little more budget to work with.

Build a Bar with High-Quality Materials Made in America

You deserve the best hardwood products when crafting your custom bar. Whether you’re looking for exceptional bar rails made out of oak or you want a unique live-edge bar top from an exotic hardwood, Hardwoods Incorporated can help.

Have questions about building your bar? Check out our Bar Building Resources section, email us at info@hardwoodsincorporated.com, or call us at (301) 665-9505 or (240) 285-0565.

Thank you for choosing Hardwoods Incorporated.

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