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  • Writer's pictureRE/MAX All Star

How To Plan Your Outdoor Bar Design

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

An outdoor bar gives you a perfect place to entertain during the summertime. With everything you need at hand, throwing a spur-of-the-moment party is easy and convenient. When you design your outdoor bar, think carefully about how you will use it. Here are some details to consider.

Location What are the best views in your landscaping? A golf course? A lake? Do you have a pond? Placing your bar in view of these amenities is a great idea. On the other hand, placing your bar too close to your home's entrance or in clear view of your neighbor's kitchen window will decrease your privacy and make for uncomfortable social gatherings.

Shade As you consider your property's best spots for an outdoor bar, think about shade. If the best spot in your yard is in full sun, you might want to consider adding shade with an awning, a pergola, or some other shade-providing structure. If you have mature trees already, you may have to work around them to find the best spot for your bar.

Base Material Outdoor bars can be built out of many different landscaping materials, depending on the look you're going for. If you want to create a cohesive design, consider using masonry that matches your home's exterior. Alternatively, Unilock segmented wall pieces create a beautiful bar base, and there are a variety of them to choose from.

Counter Tops Choose a countertop material that you love because it's one of the most visible parts of your bar. Just as there are many different materials for indoor kitchen countertops, you have a range of materials for topping your bar:

  • Natural Stone (limestone, sandstone, etc). Natural stone is beautiful and helps your bar to blend in with its surroundings, but it requires frequent sealing to keep it from absorbing stains.

  • Tile Tile is very easy to keep clean, and the design options are virtually limitless. However, it is subject to cracking and breaking as outdoor temperatures rise and fall.

  • Granite. Like natural stone, granite blends in with the outdoors. Granite is also the most resilient material for an outdoor bar. It requires sealing only once a year, and it doesn't crack or break with fluctuating temperatures.

Bar Dimensions

The dimensions of your outdoor bar may be dictated by the available space, but if you have enough space to be picky, consider the following:

  • Each seat at the bar requires 2 to 2 1/2 linear feet. Therefore, a bar that seats four people should be at least 8 feet long.

  • An outdoor bar could feature a cantilevered area or a high-top table.

  • Countertop height for an outdoor bar should be either 36 or 41 inches, depending on your preferred height.


Consider including cabinets in the base of your bar for keeping supplies handy while you entertain.


Downlighting and under-cabinet lighting are not only practical for after-dark parties, but they also create a warm ambiance.

Seating A good host provides seating for guests, allowing them to stand and mingle or sit and chat. Decide whether or not you'd like to provide seating just on one side of your bar or on both sides.

Grilling Area When you host parties, will you grill for your friends and family? If so, will your grilling area be incorporated into your outdoor bar, or will it be placed in a separate area?

Add-on Options

  • Sinks

  • Storage garage

  • Ice maker

  • Cooler

  • Refrigerator

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