How difficult is building a home outdoor bar?

With ready to assemble BBQ Island cabinetry and drop-in outdoor bar components, it has never been easier or less expensive to assemble your own backyard bar. Snapping together your very own outdoor kitchen bar doesn’t take much time or money — just a little know-how and elbow grease! Once that’s done, it’s simply a matter of customizing your outdoor bar island with components and applying countertops and finishes.

We speak with authority here, because we’ve been helping our clients design and build their fantasy outdoor kitchens for over 20 years. In this guide, we’re giving an overview to the benefits of home outdoor bars. We’ll point you to the components you may want to include in your build, as well as a few examples of what you can reasonably accomplish in your own backyard. Shall we get started?

Advantages of a Home Outdoor Bar

Easy to DIY

It’s never been easier to assemble your own backyard bar with ready-to-finish cabinets and drop-in components. Just think… pallets on Friday, bar by Monday!


You can save your entertaining space some serious budget by building your own outdoor bar island, as opposed to hiring a contractor.

Stocked With Your Favorites

Curate your own selection of your favorite beer and wines. Forget the old you! The new you never settles for “whatever’s on tap” again!

No Last Call

When it’s your backyard bar, that means you’re calling all the shots — and guess what? Suddenly, closing time runs on your time!

Control the Guest List

Owning a home bar keeps the rules at your fingertips. Enjoy the intoxicating power of deciding both max capacity and the VIP list.

Long-Term Savings

Think of all those bar tabs you’ll save buying by the keg or bottle, rather than the pint or glass. They add up fast!

Shop Top Outdoor Bar Equipment Brands

Outdoor Bar Essentials

The easiest way to build an outdoor bar is to start with bar island frame kits, which are storage components that form the base of your island. From there, you’ll fill them with the bar accessories that are right for you, from sinks and refrigeration to beyond. The most crucial components will be the wetworks (think sinks, bar centers, and ice bins) — these should form your overall centerpiece, surrounded by key elements of outdoor refrigeration.

small outdoor undermount sink with two martini glasses and lime

Outdoor Bar Sinks

If you are truly surprised by a sink being the heart of this design, you may need to brush up on your bar plans — you wouldn’t patron a bar where they house out glasses in the sprinkler, right? Sinks allow you to quickly wash glasses, store ice, and rinse out your handy bar rag. While there are more sink types than you’d imagine, bar sinks make the most sense for your plans: just big enough for washing up glasses without devouring counterspace. Should you hate ample counterspace but find more washing space endearing, consider a slightly more ambitious kitchen sink.

built-in outdoor bar center filled with ice, bottled drinks, and containers of drink garnishes

Outdoor Bar Centers

A sink is great. You know what’s better? An all-in-one solution! Enter the humble bar center: it comes equipped and prepared to transform your regular old outdoor kitchen island into the beating heart of any party. If you really had to choose, forget the sink (sinks are so last paragraph) and get one of these instead. Bar centers take the sink concept, slam back a few shots, and go wild with ice bins, towel holders, bottle openers, speed rails for mixers, and even blender stations. Add a compact refrigerator and kegerator or wine cooler for a complete starter bar.

outdoor sink full of ice with mason jars of ice water with lemon

Outdoor Ice Bins

Picture a sink. Insulate the walls. Ditch the faucet and give it a great big lid. Congrats — there’s your ice bin. They keep ice chilled (surprise!) and whisk away the melt through a central bottom drain. If you love entertaining, these come in handy to help you swiftly mix drinks for those thirsty guests. Pair your ice bin with an ice maker and you’ll keep a summer party rocking all day. Furthermore, you might have realized by now that an empty ice bin also makes for quality dry storage. Hand towels, dishes, or even extra glassware are always hungry for space!

Outdoor Bar Components

Now that we’ve covered the foundation of your home bar, it’s time to have some fun! From outdoor refrigeration and cocktail equipment to quality-of-life perks, here are the most common components that’ll make any bar shine. No matter your outdoor space or renovation budget, you can truly build a spectacular speakeasy with even a few of the following popular categories. Take a look for yourself, and start dreaming!

Examples of DIY Outdoor Home Bars

Ofttimes, we mention our amazing outdoor experts — and why wouldn’t we? For over 20 years, they’ve helped our clients build the outdoor bars and kitchens of their wildest daydreams. Our incredible outdoor design team alone has plotted out thousands of outdoor spaces throughout the nation. Available 7 days a week, they’ll answer your questions, guide you through the planning process, and ultimately provide you a perfect outdoor kitchen or bar design. Here’s a small taste of their work.

3D design of outdoor bar with sink, built-in refrigerator, and built-in ice maker

Affordable DIY Outdoor Bar

First up, we have a simple outdoor bar with some key components and a flagstone façade — it includes a sink, compact refrigerator, ice maker, double access doors, and bar-height outdoor stools. This one’s simple to assemble with just 2 people and a single weekend. Even better, an island of this size with these components should be an easy fit for those budgets in the four-figures range. Special requirements will include electricity for the refrigeration components and plumbing for the sink and compact refrigerator. As always, check with local code and permit offices before you get cracking!

3D design of large Luxury outdoor bar area with multiple built-in beverage coolers

Luxury Entertainment Outdoor Bar

How about we raise the bar? If you throw the best cocktail parties in town, you might want to dream a little bigger — such as this entertainer bar design. The design features a wine cellar, compact refrigerator with freezer, cocktail station, double access doors, an ice maker, kegerator, and bar-height outdoor stools… all installed around a gorgeous stone island (Lynx appliances pictured). Now, bear in mind: ambitious in mind, ambitious in budget. While this could certainly be a DIY job, consider hiring a professional contractor to install that luxury outdoor bar. There’s no dollar tag that matches complete peace of mind.

Feeling inspired? We sure hope so! Our talented outdoor design team would love to hear your ideas for your dream project—and they’ll help you make those ideas real. They can even connect you to trustworthy, top-rated contractors all over the contiguous United States through the BBQGuys Pro Team. What are you waiting for?