How Much Does It Cost to Build a Bar in Your Basement?

Ginny Bartolone
Written by Ginny Bartolone
Reviewed by Andy Kilborn
Updated January 11, 2022
Chic living room with bar
Photo: bmak / Adobe Stock

Basement bar installation ranges from $800 to $22,500 once you include all design, materials, and basement renovation costs

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What if you could design your own personal swanky bar scene for friends in your finished—or currently unfinished—basement? From wet or dry bars and from custom to premade designs, expect to invest an average of $8,000 in this haven for hanging out. 

This guide will touch on everything you need to know from the floor up—from tiling and plumbing to the design of the bar itself.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Basement Bar by the Size of Your Project?

Installing a bar in your basement doesn't mean the same thing for everyone. Perhaps all you need is a pre-manufactured dry bar for your favorite bottles of wine, a shelf for those funky margarita glasses, and maybe even a small mini-fridge to keep your beverages chilled.

Or, you may be looking at a full basement remodel—new floors, plumbing, lighting, and, of course, a stylish wet bar with its own sink and soda gun.

Let's take a wide view to begin, considering the lower costs from pre-made bars to complete gut renovations.

Pre-Made Bars

Countless furniture designers and stores sell prefabricated bars, countertops, and islands that make excellent dry bars. (By dry bar, we mean you're not hooked up to any form of plumbing.) Between materials and labor for installation, pre-made options will cost between $800 and $6,000 without any extra bells and whistles.

Custom Bar Additions

Custom bar designs often include wet bar installation, lighting, refrigerators, counters, and floors. The most elaborate home bars overall can cost upwards of $22,500, but remember that basement bars tend to run a bit smaller than, say, one in the center of the kitchen.

Here are some additional costs for each part of a home basement bar, including both materials and labor.

Bar AdditionPrice
Sink$200 – $1,000
Additional plumbing$300 – $1,800
Countertops$200 – $1,000
Cabinets$900 – $7,000
Lighting and electrical$200 – $1,000
Refrigeration$500 – $5,000

Basement Renovation

Do you need to lay the groundwork for a great socializing spot before building the bar? If you're starting from the bare foundation walls and floors, finishing a basement costs between $30 to $75 per square foot depending on the needed level of work.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Home Bar Near You?

Friends toast
Photo: franckreporter / E+ / Getty Images

Most, if not all, home project costs vary depending on where you live. A city where most services  have a high price tag may see higher costs for labor, materials, and permits. On the other hand, rural areas with larger homes may increase the average prices, too.

Because basement bars are a collection of many smaller home projects, we'll take a look at the most common services and how much they cost in five regions of the U.S.

Hire A Plumber

You may need a local plumber for your wet bar sink, ice maker, or—if you're adding the fancy touches—a water gun.

  • New York: $200–$530

  • Miami: $170–$440

  • Houston: $180–$470

  • Cleveland: $170–$470

  • Salt Lake City: $200–$580

Often, you’ll need a new drain and vent, which could add $1,000 to $4,000 to your cost.

Install Countertops

Thinking of building a custom bar? Your countertops will affect its look, style, durability, and longevity. Here are some price ranges for both the labor and materials of countertop installation.

  • New York: $1,730–$3,900

  • Miami: $1,870–$4,180

  • Houston: $1,720–$4,220

  • Cleveland: $1,760–$3,560

  • Salt Lake City: $2,390–$4,300

Install Flooring

You may end up choosing different flooring below your bar area than the rest of your basement. Carpet is a budget-friendly and popular choice for the basement itself, but tiles and wood may be more ideal for a wet bar. Otherwise, you could spend a lot of time scrubbing out wine stains.

  • New York: $1,390–$3,930

  • Miami: $1,490–$4,370

  • Houston: $1,700–$5,400

  • Cleveland: $1,280–$3,690

  • Salt Lake City: $1,380–$3,530

What Type of Bar Basement Can I Get on My Budget?

Take a look at your space and try to envision what type of bar will best serve your hosting dreams as well as your budget. Remember that you can always add on to a dry bar down the line if you want more perks. 

“Building a basement bar can quickly become complex, especially when planning a wet bar,” says Andy Kilborn, owner of Andy’s Handyman. “Make sure you contact several professionals to give you an accurate quote/plan.”

Check out these common budget ranges and what type of basement bar falls in each category.

$800 to $2,000

This is the sweet spot for purchasing and installing a premade dry bar. The cost of the bar itself will start around $800 for a simple construction. Add in basic lighting design with the help of a local pro to stay under $2,000.

$2,000 to $10,000

Add extra perks to your premade or semi-custom bar, such as sink installation, lighting, and a refrigerator. You can also take care of some basic basement renovations in this range.

$10,000 to $20,000

Contact a professional basement renovation team to help design a bar that matches your unique space. Add extra plumbing for sinks and appliances, install shelving for plates and glassware, or add some wall cabinets for easy storage.

$20,000 and Up

You'll enjoy the most flexibility once you breach $20,000. Work with a contractor to design a custom bar setup, from the serving area to seating options and ambient lighting.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Bar Basement Yourself?

nstalling a prefab dry bar by yourself is an option—if you're up for the challenge. Like most large furniture items, you can either purchase the dry bar already constructed or in pieces. For comparison, the cost for a local furniture assembly pro runs from $90 to $150 an hour.

But once you get into wet bar or electrical installation territory, it's best to stick with the pros. Some locations and certain projects require that a certified professional completes the work, often with an approved construction permit.

Basement Bar Cost Breakdown

Taking on the job as your own bartender means you get to set up shop however you like. When designing a basement bar, walk through the steps of making a cocktail to know what pieces you'll need. To recap, consider:

Interior designer fees$2,000 – $5,000
Carpenter fees$50 – $100 an hour
Prefabricated bar$800 – $6,000
Basement renovation costs$30 – $75 per sq. ft.
Lighting and electrical$200 – $1,000
Cabinets$900 – $7,000
Flooring installation$3 – $22 per square foot
Sink and additional plumbing$200 – $1,800

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Bar in Your Basement by Type?

Before you opt for a complex wet bar, remember that you have your pick of sizes and varieties depending on your needs. A built-in cabinet bar can be just as elegant as a full-sized counter to shake up a fine martini.

Bar TypeCost
Wet bar$6,000 – $22,500
Premade sit-down dry bar$1,200 – $6,500
Freestanding bar cabinet$150 – $2,000
Built-in wall cabinet bar$900 – $2,500
Bar cart$150 – $1,000

What Factors Influence the Cost to Install a Basement Bar?

If you're on the verge of jumping into your project, how do you wrap your head around the possible final price tag? The major factors that will tip the scales of your basement bar installation include:

  • Basement renovation projects

  • Prefabricated or custom bar

  • Wet bar or dry bar

  • Extra perks like lighting, appliances, and flooring

  • Where you live

FAQs About Installing a Bar in Your Basement

Should I buy or build a custom basement bar?

Choose from either a pre-manufactured bar or a custom design depending on your budget and vision. You can purchase a dry bar for between $800 and $6,000 if you're comfortable installing it yourself. The second you get into sink, lighting, and ice-maker territory, call the pros.

What should I consider when designing a bar in my basement?

Envision the type of bar experience you'd like to create for your guests. For example:

  • Does your basement have enough finished space for bar stools or seating?

  • What type of additional lighting would set the tone for the room?

  • Are there basement windows or an HVAC system?

  • Do you need new plumbing in your basement for a proper wet bar?

What other projects should I do at the same time?

Adding a bar to the bottom level of your home is a fun time to reimagine your basement space. Always begin by inspecting your basement for projects that need attention before adding on. Reach out to your local basement remodelers to discuss:

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