How to Build a Deck Bar

Building a deck bar requires solid planning and preparation before construction begins.

However, with some basic knowledge and carpentry skills a bar can be built, with difficulty. An outside deck bar can also be the centerpiece of entertainment. .

Decide where on the deck the bar will be placed. Measure the space. If it will be a free standing bar there should be enough room for people to walk around the bar without bumping it. Have plenty of room behind the bar for the bartender to work. Allow for any low roof eves or overhangs if there are plans for a roof. Decide on the type of bar top that will be used. A granite or slate top requires a much heavier base to support it than a wooden top.

With all the measurements of the space recorded, sketch the design of the deck bar on paper. Decide on the exact measurements of the bar and mark these measurements on the design. The standard height for a bar is 43 inches and the depth is usually 42 inches. The top should overhang the base by about 12 inches.

Make a list of building material to be obtained using the measurements from the design. The base may be constructed by obtaining standard kitchen cabinets or it may be built from stick lumber and facing boards. Include any hardware needed as well including nails, screws, bolts and cabinet hardware. Obtain all building material.

Build the base of the deck bar either by using prefabricated cabinets or from lumber. If prefabricated cabinets are used attach them together with bolts for better stability. Build the base and place it where it is to be and check for level before placing the top. Shims or extensions may be needed to make the base level. Now is a good time to finish the base with a stain and water proofing to prevent water and weather damage.

Attach the top. If a wooden top is used, apply the finish before attaching it to the base. Lay the top on the base and check for level. Adjust the top to assure its level by using shims or spacers between the top and the base. Attach the top with screws from the base into the bottom of the top. Assure the top is secure.

Things You Will Need

  • Pressure-treated or outdoor lumber Simple carpentry tools Power saw Power drill Measuring tools Paper and pencil


  • The base may be attached to the deck for added security.


  • Because the deck bar is exposed to the weather, use all stainless steel or other rust-resistant hardware.

About the Author

Jeffrey Ware is a surgical assistant with more than 32 years of experience in clinical practice and education. He has written for textbooks for major publishers including Delmar Learning and Elsevier. He has also written numerous articles that are published on websites such as Ezine.com, eHow and Demand Studios.