I was re-reading my last post and at the end, I asked if anyone has ever built a home bar and had stories to share to let me know in the comments section. I completely forgot that we disabled the comments section soooooo . . . If you have any stories or advice to share shoot me an email at Marshall@scofflawsden.com and I’ll share in the next post.
We’ve been in the house for a little over two weeks now. Moving was an experience. We were scheduled to move on a Saturday. The weather gods decided that Saturday was the perfect day to have a huge snowstorm on the East Coast. So the move was rescheduled to the Thursday before the storm. It was hectic. The movers finished everything by Thursday afternoon and on Friday, I had four contractors out to look at the basement, take measurements and prepare quotes. We also had the cable/internet guy out and luckily got everything hooked up just before the storm hit.
Dealing with the contractors has been interesting. Most came in, measured the space, talked briefly about the project and left. Some, spent considerably more time discussing the project, providing ideas and suggestions, and generally seemed to be more interested in the job. After a week of having a couple more contractors in, we slowly started to get estimates. Some were laughably high. Some pulled out of consideration because the project was “too small” for them. One of these latter contractors actually said that he would be happy to do the work, even though it was too small, if I agreed to meet a minimum of $25k. Twenty. Five. Thousand. Dollars. Right, that was ridiculous. I mean who would say yes to this? It’s not like we’re having the entire basement remodeled. Crazy. A few of the estimates came in under our budget but still seemed high for the work we wanted to do.
When we met with all of the contractors we clearly detailed everything we wanted done to the space – two walls to tear down, some plumbing and a sink installed, light electrical work, and cabinet purchase/installation. After receiving a handful of quotes, we decided that the plumbing aspect was too time consuming and too costly at this particular time. It was a very intense discussion with my wife over making this a true “wet bar.” It would be fantastic to have a fully function sink right behind the bar to wash glasses, tools, fruit, etc. and not have to cart dirty items upstairs to the kitchen. However, there is a full bathroom right around the corner from where the bar is being placed with a perfectly good sink installed. And truly, I don’t think we’ll be serving so many people at one time that taking a few dirty glasses to the dishwasher in the kitchen is a big deal.
I also went to Home Depot and met with a kitchen design person and had them draw up plans for a service bar counter and cabinets. I’m currently waiting for the finished estimate on these to see if Home Depot is a good option for this aspect of the bar. It was really exciting to see my vision put in a 3D print out containing many of the very specific details I requested. I’m looking forward to seeing the final numbers.
As promised in my last post, below are a few pictures of the basement as it looks now, before any work is done. In the next post, I hope to have some “after” shots of the basement and some more info on the service bar area.