Ready for the Tab? Here's How Much It Costs to Build a Wet Bar in Your Home
Whether you enjoy kicking back with family on weeknights after a long day at work or entertaining friends on the weekends, a wet bar in your basement, living room or outdoor patio is a great way to improve your home's appeal and versatility.
This May Also Interest You: What’ll It Be? When Building a Wet Bar in Your Home, Consider These Things
The cost of building a wet bar depends on many factors. Here’s what you need to consider when pricing out your project.
Does a Wet Bar Add Value to a Home?
According to Remodeling magazine’s cost-versus-value projection, a basement remodel with a home-based pub and bathroom is around 70%.
What's the Difference Between a Dry Bar and a Wet Bar?
No matter how flashy, simple, expensive or elaborate you want your new drink station to be, you have two options when it comes to designing and installing a home bar: dry and wet.
A dry bar includes a spacious countertop for making drinks and storing supplies, and it typically has an outlet for small appliances and a refrigerator to keep everything chilled.
A wet bar has many of the same components as a dry bar, but it also has a sink with running water, which can be a convenient feature for a bar space. A sink provides a place to drain and empty liquids, access to water and a place to wash dishes without having to haul everything back and forth to the kitchen.
Installing a sink and plumbing may be challenging, depending on how your house is outfitted and whether you can tap into a main plumbing source. A dry bar is typically a less-expensive option and can be as simple as converting an old armoire or large bookshelf into a creative place to store, mix and enjoy alcoholic beverages. You can even go with smaller options: a bar cart or antique table that allows you to keep your bar tools organized.
Cost to Build a Wet Bar
According to U.S. News, the cost to build a wet bar is around $8,000 (CAD 10,000) on average, or even more, depending on how elaborate your features are, whether your bar has a sink, and if you decide to go the do-it-yourself route or hire a professional.
Costs for materials such as countertops, cabinets, shelves, electrical wiring and outlets, lighting, plumbing and a sink (for a wet bar) depend largely on whether you're converting an existing space, refurbishing and repurposing furniture or installing a custom system.
À la carte wet bar costs might include:
- Countertops: $25 to $120 (CAD 30 to CAD 150) per square foot
- Shelves: $14 to $22 (CAD 18 to CAD 28) per linear foot
- Cabinets: $50 to $750+ (CAD 63 to CAD 940+) per linear foot
- Electrical work and plumbing: $40 to $150 (CAD 50 to CAD 190) per hour
- Refrigerator: $1,000 to $3,000 (CAD 1,250 to CAD 3,800)
- Sink: $400 to $1,000 (CAD 500 to CAD 1,250)
There are, as The Spruce notes, additional expenses — custom design, barware, a blender and other small appliances — that you may need to factor into the cost of your wet bar project.
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- How Much Does It Cost to Build a Dry Bar in Your Home?
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- 5 Finished Basement Ideas for Your Home
- Turn a Spare Bedroom Into Your Dream Home Office
Are Wet Bars Outdated?
During the 1970s and 80s, wet bars were popular among middle-class families and served as a symbol for up-and-coming homeowners that they had achieved success.
Today, the popular wet bar setup serves as a hub for making craft cocktails and serving beer and wine. Like many other trends — think man caves and she sheds — the wet bar has evolved and undergone a major makeover in recent years.
The wet bars of the olden days, with dark wood and mirrors, have become modernized spaces with lighter and brighter features. Even its purpose has evolved to double as a dessert station, coffee cart or wine bar with everything you need to host fun get-togethers.