My Backyard Hangout

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When it comes to outdoor bars, there is no shortage of ways to add one to your backyard. If your carpentry skills are practically nonexistent, you may be tempted to buy one online and have it shipped to your house. Or to hire someone in your area to build one for you. While this is arguably the easiest option, it isn’t necessary. Before you commit to that route, take a look at this list of 8 DIY outdoor bars that nearly anyone can create.     

Note: Before building any structure, you should consult your local building and permit office to apply for any permits you might need. 

1. DIY Outdoor Bars With A Roof

If you’re looking to build an outdoor bar but don’t have an overhang or covered patio area, one option is to build a stand-alone bar with a built-in roof. While this seems hard to do, especially if you don’t have much experience, there are plenty of beginner-friendly downloadable bar plans. You still have to do the work to build your outdoor bar, but using plans provides you with a list of the all materials you need and step-by-step instructions. Aside from being cheaper than buying a prebuilt bar, you can also choose to make changes as you go, if you decide to. 

2. Lean-to Shed with Bar

Another way to build an outdoor bar is to use a lean-to-shed. You may already have one in your backyard. If not, there are downloadable plans for those just as there are for bar plans. This option is ideal if you want a larger space for your bar to add more seating, for example. Or you might want to add something like a pool table. Many people who choose this route build a bar top around one or more of the edges. Another common way is to build a free-standing bar counter (jump to the free-standing section to read more) and place it somewhere inside the shed.

3. Gazebo Bar

Similar to a stand-alone bar or a lean-to-shed, you could also convert an old gazebo into a DIY outdoor bar by simply adding in a bar top and counter around the edges. Additionally, you could wall in one or more of the sides to add some shelves for your liquor collection, hang a bar sign, etc. While you can make any gazebo you have work, I think octagonal-shaped gazebos add an extra sense of uniqueness. They’re a nice choice for quaint garden bars. They also work well as tiki bars. For example, you could add thatch to the roof, and buy bamboo siding to cover the bar counter. 

4. Shipping Container Bar

There has been a trend in recent years centered around unconventional housing. For example, building “tiny homes” or upcycling shipping containers to make homes. Some people have chosen to use the latter for their outdoor bars as well. Out of all the options on this list, this is probably the most expensive option as well as the least practical. If bought online, shipping containers often cost $2000 plus, not including shipping. It is included here for those who either already have access to a container or can obtain one locally. If you’re one of the lucky ones who can, shipping container bars are fairly easy to create. Many people create an opening in the side that lets out into an awning and install a bar top beneath it. Some also choose to expand their shipping container bar by adding a patio with a railing on top.             

5. Storage Shed Bar 

If you like the idea of an enclosed bar, but don’t have access to a shipping container, you could build or buy a storage shed and convert it into a DIY outdoor bar. Like with the shipping container, you could create the same side opening that lets out into an awning. Or you could even build a lean to the front of the shed and use the sides as the bar counter like these outdoor bar owners have done. In addition to offering more space to add things like arcade machines or other forms of entertainment, you could potentially make use of your bar year-round. Even if not, it makes storing your bar stools and other bar accessories more convenient. 

6. DIY Outdoor Bars for your Patio

If you already have a covered space, for example, a patio beneath an overhang or a pavilion, you might consider creating an outdoor bar area there. If you wanted to keep it simple, you could build a bar table and maybe add in some shelving (floating live edge shelves, for example). Or, if you have some railing around your patio, you could mount a bar top to it, similar to a balcony bar. Alternatively, you could build a freestanding bar counter, and even make it mobile by adding some caster wheels. 

7. Freestanding Bar

If you don’t intend to add any electrical appliances to your bar, such as an outdoor fridge, you could leave your bar counter uncovered. There are many instructional plans online for making bar counters out of wood. Some other materials you could use include concrete, stucco, or stone. Personally, I think having some cover is best. You could add a pergola, for example, which can also be used to hang LED string lights or outdoor swings (a fun alternative to bar stools).

8. Pallet Bar

Similar to the freestanding bars mentioned above, which are often made from new wood, you can also reuse old pallets to create a bar counter. A pallet bar is one of the best DIY outdoor bars to build, especially if you don’t have a lot to spend or you want to incorporate a rustic theme. Even better, they’re often easy to find and make. Check with your local Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. to see what their policy is regarding the disposal of pallets.


While buying an outdoor bar or paying someone else to build one for you is a convenient option, it is also expensive. For this reason, many people choose to build their own backyard bar. Whether you want to build a standalone bar with a roof, or some other covering, such as a lean-to shed, there are several detailed bar plans that can guide you through it. You could also choose to repurpose things like a storage shed, gazebo, shipping container, or even pallets. Whichever you choose, there are an unlimited number of ways to make your outdoor bar comfortable and unique with any budget.  

Which way would you choose to build your outdoor bar? Leave us a comment down below and share this article.     


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