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OUR Irish Pub Home Bar Build.....From Scratch (that's Ireland not Notre Dame theme)

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 
]HIYA!
This group has given me a lot of great info in the years I have been a member. Home theatre stuff & most recently have been following the several bar building threads.
We have finally begun to build our bar area, (after planning for over 3 years) and I'd like to upload pictures of the things we have been working on.
I have called this thread the "Our Irish Home Bar Build... from scratch" since it really essentially is.
WE did a major addition build onto our home, and there was a spot in the back of the house that was a big "U" shape. we 1st thought of putting in a patio/hot tub/pool (I'd have liked to indoor it), but after thinking about it, we decided to enclose the area and turn it into an Irish bar ( we just fell in love with the Irish culture 10 years ago).
So. last year we extended my closet over the top of the area, and we finally had time to start the concrete work this January, during my Hubby's winter layoff.
WE had a hard time starting it, because stupid weather just did not freeze the ground here ( Northern Ohio, the lake did not freeze this year, even). Luckily my Nephew had a bobcat with tracks we could move the concrete to the backyard from the truck (although the ground took a major battle zone hit)
the concrete pour went 'fairly' well, although it started raining, and we only had 2 helpers. it looked pretty good, BUT I was to find out 2 weeks later that the concrete wasn't exactly flat. we ended up with a slight hump in the middle... ( more on that later).
Ok, so here are the 1st pictures of the build. I'll add more every few days or so, so not to bombard you guys.
& hopefully NOT bore you.

Thanks for reading




post #2 of 88
Keep the photos coming! Always love a good bar build. It's on my home theater bucket list.
post #3 of 88
Thread Starter 
Before I go on I want to say that I am just in awe of many of your mind blowing - jaw dropping home theatre/ bar builds in this forum. I can hardly think I can compare to those, but we are doing our best.

some background info. we built our house 25 yrs ago, and have kept going with builds over the years. (lucky my Hubby can do electric/plumbing/any construction) . It has usually been MY job to plan & draw up the project ( even the blue prints for the house).

Hubby's theory is that I design & he will build it. well that has been great in some parts , but not in others as my vision of what I am thinking, does not always translate in HOW that design can be completed. Most often, with us not connecting on thoughts, ending in apples/oranges & me often being called doofus or dork, when I am not anticipating a direction.... (lol). it eventually works, but can be very frustrating at times.!

One of our butting head moments was about the electricity. I can't ever think you have too many plugs/switches. I wanted a LOT. We have lighted bar signs, 3 sets of rope lights, other bar decorative lights , the booth light & the overhead lights. I did NOT want to have to tun off every item at THE item. or have the entire room on an on/off switch. "He" said I was nuts. & since he was doing the electricity, "He" balked. but I eventually got most of my switches/outlets. (G).


Below:
this is looking at the dining room wall we are tearing out


this is looking toward the dining room & great room where we are closing up the patio door


starting demolishing



post #4 of 88
Yeah, I think I had my bar 3/4 of the way finished before any of the other basement projects since a bar was high on my priority list. It was fun to build and I'm still tweaking and adding things. Right now I'm working on designing a tap handle display.
I-rish you great success! Keep the pics coming.
post #5 of 88
I'm a sucker for new bar builds! Look foward to seeing your progress.
post #6 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Javatime View Post

Yeah, I think I had my bar 3/4 of the way finished before any of the other basement projects since a bar was high on my priority list. It was fun to build and I'm still tweaking and adding things. Right now I'm working on designing a tap handle display.
I-rish you great success! Keep the pics coming.

I'd love to see what you do with your tap handles, as we have several we aren;t sure what to do with.
post #7 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyNow^ View Post

I'm a sucker for new bar builds! Look foward to seeing your progress.

thank you heynow^ I followed yours for quite a while.
post #8 of 88
^ We all followed Randy's (HeyNow) bar build at one time or another. I remember it waaaaay back when and he was the MAIN reason I started my bar build. I too love to see a new bar build thread, after all that is what brought me to AVS. It's a shame that there aren't more bar build threads popping up like there once was. And truly unfortunate that some of the REALLY good builds have been buried in the archives as there are some that have a ton of great info.
post #9 of 88
Thread Starter 
The area we were able to eek out of for room was about 12 x 14ft. I would have liked it larger, but considering how easy it was just to connect the 3 walls and plus only needed one side of a new footer, that size we were stuck with.
we opened it up into the dining room, so it will give a larger space.

I wanted a dark space for the bar, so we didn't plan windows, or use the patio door we took out of the living room wall. But decided to put in a wood door so we could head out of the bar to a deck in the back. It was difficult finding a solid wood door. we never did find one that was already assembled ( that wasn't less then $500). so we found a slab door & built the frame.

One wall was going to be used for the back bar, so we only had to put up drywall for 2 walls, and didnt have to do much finishing beyond taping since we were putting up wainscote & stucco finish onthe walls.

so the following pictures of are doing the wiring
and other finishing before the stucco.

















post #10 of 88
Thread Starter 
so, where are we.
ok, guess the next step to show is the stucco on the walls.

wayyyyyyyyyy back in the 70's there were many houses with either a Spanish feel to them or Italian stucco on the walls. I just thought it was so cool looking. one of my favorite affect was where the ceiling was painted a certain color ( red in most Spanish decor) & stucco was applied over it (usually in a white color) so the background color showed though in parts. it was really neat looking. although probably a nightmare if you had to paint over it.
there were * are houses with the cottage looking wood & stucco outside, ^ of course the look of stucco walls just evolves the thought of olde Irish (or Renaissance , for that matter) bars. THAT is what I wanted for this one.

now accomplishing this was easier said than done. yupp. I searched online for YEARS for internet help how to apply & then paint it with a color wash over it to look old. with ALL the stuff online, there is just not a tutorial on how to do this!! ok, I did find a few youtube vids that show somewhat stucco finishing, but it was not exactly what I had in mind. we had taken close up pictures of the bar walls we were in, to get a feel of what we needed to copy. *sigh*. a Lot of th Italian Stucco vids were a knock down/flat finish, we wanted a swirl like effect. soooooo Hubby did a couple of practice boards.

Now a note on Hubby. He is pretty much a jack of all trades, ( I am sooooooo lucky) but there are a few things that he hates with a passion. Laying Brick ( I had to practically hold a whip over him to get him to finish the brickwork around our fireplace (lol) & he Hates miter coping. Now it seems he has been dreading the stucco work with a passion,,, almost ,, almost wanting to hire someone to do it ( & that is NOT in his vocabulary,, he always does his own building).

Anyway, He put it off for as long as he could, then I said enough,, we have to get this done. I think he did a marvelous job, the only thing he kept doing that needed some nudging , was he wanted to sweep the trowel like he did on doing concrete work & he had to really concentrate to get the sweep going in many directions.



we put tape on the walls to get a clean edge from the stucco, for the moulding edges we are putting up.







what he felt was easier than just trowling on a glop from the bucket , was to slap blops on the wall & then smear/trowel them around to get the effect we thought was pretty close .



what the wall looked like dried. you can't really tell from the picture, darn, hard to take good pictures sometimes.

now the painting was left to me. & as with the stucco, I had a very hard time figuring out how to get the washed look. I thought I'd paint the walls one cream color. then roll on a darker color & wipe it off leaving the darker color in the nooks & cranies. I tried it on one of the practice pieces Hubby did. It actually looked ok... BUT it ws ONLY on a 2 ft square sample. the real thing, well it just did not work out the same on a larger wall!



for one thing I used flat paint. ( thiught that was the best, as I did not want a shiny wall. just an old dusty looking wall.), BUT the top coat went on, the bottom coat went :SSSLLLUURRRRRPPPPPP: IT Just sucked in the top coat & would not wipe off as I had wanted. arrghhhhhhhh. after staring at the wall & a good cry. I painted it back over again , and tried to figure what now..



this is where I tried the 1st painting, where you can see how horrible it is on the right, & on the left where I started painting it over again.

soooooo off to home depot again, to figure out what to do. sales person said I needed to glaze it. BUT she told me wrong measurements, she said 1 part glaze to 4 parts paint. but it was opposite, (crud) < and no I didn't read the can>. plus she said to use eggshell or semi-gloss ( & should be semi-gloss or gloss) . so next coat, I DID use semigloss, but only a partial amount for the glaze. It worked better, but dang, after I found out what I should have done, I was not going to repaint it.



here is the 1st wall , it looked "ok" but not perfect. as you will see in the other photos of the bar, you can see the swipes & smears of trying to wipe off the paint. Hubby does not really like it. but it's growing on him. he hates the smear look. BUT since then we have been in several restaurants where the walls are similar, & the stucco /paint work looks garbagy compared to ours. So Hubby is warming up to it. ALSO...... I keep reminding him that I am putting so much stuff ON the wall, you will barely see smear to smear...(VBG).
post #11 of 88
Thread Starter 
Here is another closeup of the wall. the color is off from the picture, but you can get an idea of the texture of the stucco



next up was the ceiling.
a tin ceiling was a must . We had seen the fake plastic ceilings online/home depot & even our local Irish bar. & we just could not see the appeal of it. it does not look like the real thing, and the cost was actually more than the real tin.

I had reallly wanted a starfield. there might have been a way to put the lights through the tin, especially if we chose a drop install ( which I didn't like), but it just came down to time, and what it would actually look like in the end,,since no matter how we did it, there would have been lines in it from grids OR joist lines. (dang I really wanted a star field)

the tin ceiling wasn't cheap, but not that bad either. each 2ft sq piece was $12. the shipping was a killer at almost $100.

now what you are supposed to do was start in the center of the room, and never have a cut piece along the wall. there are these border pieces that you were supposed to use. but our room was set up that I wanted to start in a corner without the edging, and above the back bar the crown would be up to the ceiling. I was going to put a 1/4 round around the ceiling ( which is another faux pas ) , but looking at the edges(they way they came out) it actually looks ok & we can always add something else later on if we get criticism.

Since I ordered the ceiling before we added on the soffit (that hides plumbing) & the exact back bar measurement, we actually ended up with 6 whole extra sheets. HUbby was able to turn the cut off pieces on the end , even with the notches for aligning, it worked out.
since we started in the corner, we had to be careful to match up the notches. the 1st couple rows went very well, then it got a bit off, and we had to readjust a few pieces.



the 1st piece of ceiling.



BELOW:

putting the rope lighting on the back of the crown moulding




this is the crown moulding on far wall & the ceiling lights over the bar.




Below :
the soffit between the bar & dining room with mugs hanging. you can see the speakers we put on each end of the soffit.




now speaking of the speakers..... several comments were, uh, won't the mugs fall off, by bumping or the speakers?? well actually no, the mug pegs were pretty reliable.. BUT, you'll see the pictures eventually of the back bar. we have glasses hanging from a ceiling rack. last week we were working on the far side of the bar and all at once **KAPOW** we heard a glass explode... seems that one of the wine glasses hanging from ceiling had walked its way OFF the rack!! (it was right next to the speaker) soooo what we ended up doing was putting some washers between the back screws & ceiling. so far they have stayed put.

ANOTHER question for you home theatre guys. we have our home theatre set up in the next room, with the speaker wiring going through the wall from the amplifier ( that the cd player /etc is hooked to). we also have another set of wires run through the walls from the bar back to the speakers ( not attached to anything yet).

what I WANT to do is have my laptop on the side/back bar with the music on there run on a program & into the speakers.
so how do I do that? I guess I need some kind of amplifier?
suggestions on a simple *inexpensive* one? also a simple computer program to play songs from? ( I am using media monkey for my library right now, but am not sure if thats the kind of thing I'd use??)

I would also like to run a touch screen with games running from the laptop. I have just started looking into that, & some help where I can find how to accomplish this would be helpful..

.
post #12 of 88
I use Albumplayer for my music. I purchased an inexpensive touchscreen off of the "bay" and mounted it in my bar using a tv wall mount bracket. The AP software is a touchscreen jukebox type software and is VERY user friendly. It lists all my albums by their cover art making it easy to select a playlist. I took an old Dell tower I had and cleaned it out so that the only thing running on it was the AP software. So far so good.

post #13 of 88
muffyn,

After seeing those photos with the tin ceiling and light fixtures installed >> I had to subscribe! Mission accomplished on getting that Irish Pub look!!

Also; glad to see your inspiration is "Irish-culture", and not Notre Dame inspiration
post #14 of 88
If we had any Irish pubs with Pachinko machines here in town I'd be there every night!
post #15 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

muffyn,

After seeing those photos with the tin ceiling and light fixtures installed >> I had to subscribe! Mission accomplished on getting that Irish Pub look!!

Also; glad to see your inspiration is "Irish-culture", and not Notre Dame inspiration

lol,, seems every time I searched for "Irish bar" it took me to places with a Notre Dame theme

wonder if I could change the thread title to make it more relevant?
post #16 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nebrunner View Post

If we had any Irish pubs with Pachinko machines here in town I'd be there every night!



it may look a little strange to guests, but I "like" my game machines


at our last party we had 8 yr olds playing those, & they caught on real fast how to put back the balls to keep playing. we adapted our game for the balls to roll out the side into a container & then a plastic container at the top for the balls to be poured into, so the machine didn't have to be moved when you were out of balls.
post #17 of 88
Thread Starter 
test?

shoot .. how do I fix the signature just to list the name, not the whole link?
post #18 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by muffyn View Post

test?

shoot .. how do I fix the signature just to list the name, not the whole link?

When you "add the link" it will keep a certain part of the link highlighted. Without moving your cursor just type whatever you want it to say over the highlighted area and presto!!
post #19 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

muffyn,


Also; glad to see your inspiration is "Irish-culture", and not Notre Dame inspiration


Hey hey HEY!!! What's the big idea here?? Don't you dare publicly insult my Irish

Shoot Craig as close as you are to me in South Bend you may as well be an Irish fan with me.
post #20 of 88
Mission accomplished! I knew that would draw you out, even on someone else's thread (muffyn - sorry about that brief hi-jack)
post #21 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iusteve View Post

Hey hey HEY!!! What's the big idea here?? Don't you dare publicly insult my Irish

Shoot Craig as close as you are to me in South Bend you may as well be an Irish fan with me.

awwwww no insult here. my brother attended Notre Dame

I am just trying to distinguish the thread, as someone MIGHT think it is actually a Notre Dame fan bar

(yes I know you are replying to Craig, just adding my 2 cents)
post #22 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iusteve View Post

when you "add the link" it will keep a certain part of the link highlighted. Without moving your cursor just type whatever you want it to say over the highlighted area and presto!!

thanks!!!!!!!
post #23 of 88
I know a guy here on AVS that has a real Irish themed bar.............
post #24 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iusteve View Post

I know a guy here on AVS that has a real Irish themed bar.............

link?
post #25 of 88
^ Check me signature me friend......"shameless self promotion"
post #26 of 88
Quote:


what I WANT to do is have my laptop on the side/back bar with the music on there run on a program & into the speakers.
so how do I do that? I guess I need some kind of amplifier?

I used albumplayer on my computer and then hooked it into my stereo under the bar on an auxiliary jack. Everyone on here talked me into albumplayer for the software and man am I glad. One of the best things about the whole bar.
post #27 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iusteve View Post

^ Check me signature me friend......"shameless self promotion"

oooh THAT one

been following you for years.

(I thought there was another thread I missed)
post #28 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by huskerfan62 View Post

I used albumplayer on my computer and then hooked it into my stereo under the bar on an auxiliary jack. Everyone on here talked me into albumplayer for the software and man am I glad. One of the best things about the whole bar.

I need "something" that goes between the computer & the speakers in the bar, since my other home theatre equip is in another room . this will be a whole seperate operation..
post #29 of 88
Thread Starter 
Now we are up to the part I **HATE** with a passion, & that is staining & varnishing.
over the past 30+ years I am the one stuck with the job. I must have stained thousands of board feet, & it mostly turns out fairly well. I had started with /sherwin williams stuff ( I loved the danish walnut color) but they stopped making their own brand over the years & I was pretty much stuck with Minwax.

Now, we have ALL seen some pictures on the web of some pretty bad staining jobs, (you know what I mean) with streaks & whatnots, I knew I never had problems with that before, so thought even though this was going to be a massive stain project , it should also be a no brainer. ha. little did I know, some *thing* decided to work against me on this project.

The 1st things I started was the wainscote... staining went ok. THEN I went to put on the minwax poly. it went horribly. it all applied with tons of little bubbles.. nooooo NOT the bigass bubbles you would get if you shook the can, it was like foam. now I had just , this past year did hundreds of feet of wainscote with minwax poly & no problems,, so could it be cause it was inside, in the middle of winter? smoothed it out best I could, but still looked like *yuck*. tried a foam brush, 2 other brushes, etc. called minwax, they said air must be getting in the brush, soak it in mineral spirits *sigh* ok, but that didn't work. I don't get it (hear me scream????)

after some other web searching, I decided to try general finishes wipe on poly. alrighty, that goes better, but still I can get it foaming in the cloth if I wasn't careful. & I wasn't too happy that it will take double the coats to get the same results as minwax.

at least I started with the pieces that don't matter that much & could be hidden behind furniture. Now as we went along, as I was starting to do the large sheets of oak veneer plywood, It looked pretty good. BUT when we put the pieces up next to each other on the bar front, it was very noticeable that something was wrong,,,,,,,,somewhere.

One piece was wayyyyyy darker that the others, & later on we noticed it was actually stripes of mismatched wood grain next to each other. what the heck? when we bought the plywood, we asked what was the better side? they said both were "A" side, personal preference. so we decided to use the side that did not have the stickers. now as I said the pieces looked fine laying down after staining & varnishing, but after upright next to each other, you noticed it.
It became obvious that we ("I") stained the wrong side. there was nothing we could do with the bar front, as that was glued, but the booth benches we took apart, & redid the other side. that resulted in some bad edges & holes where the screws were, but we are working to cover those with moldings.

Now I have seen on a few of the web bars of mismatched grain panels, does it matter to you? One I noticed on HeyNow^'s front BEFORE he stained it, , I can't tell if you can see a grain difference afterward, HeyNow^ maybe you can fill me in on that??
 
So, since it is the middle of winter when we started this project & I did not want to work in a bullet heater heated garage...... I stole the dogs room to stack up my staining. It wasn't a very big room, & spent weeks going through laying out boards/staining/varnish & moving them into any other room I could till we put them up. I never really had stacks of wood, as we pretty much purchased the stuff as we went through them.

I only had so long to use the Dogs room, since I was going to be kicked out of the soon since one of our dogs was about to deliver puppies... I then had to move the wood finishing into the bar area, ( the last thing I planned to work on was the bar top, so I just laid the wood on top for now to finish.)



The Dog room

Below: In case you are interested......








this is the mom.


Ok, back to building.
here is the first wall of the bar itself, you can see the far 4ft sheet of oak plywood that is darker.

post #30 of 88
Thread Starter 
ON to buiding the most important part of the room "THE BAR"

I had subscribed to several bar plan sites on the web & followed a few other websites ( other than here on
avs) & it just seemed like they were really all too complicated & lots of extra steps. since Hubby has built cupboards before he just basically built something of those, I just needed to give him basic dimentions.

so the start pretty much was a base platform that was the size of the cupboard base & he screwed the front pieces of oak veneer into them.
one 4 ft wide piece on each side of a 2 ft section.




now he put a top piece on, that the actual bar top will be ( we are using flooring) & then the bar rail will be on the edge.







ok, remember when I told you about the floor having a hump in the center?
well I kept investigating solutions, and kept coming across self leveling concret to level this out.
head to Home depot, check out the CORRECT stuff, & it costs 3x the price over the regular bag that says it can be USED as self leveling... Frugal Hubby insists he can make the regular bag work.

we use the bag of stuff, (of course mixing a dust cloud of cement in the room) & it kinda works, but the concrete floor already down sucks the water out of it & it kinda ends up in lumpy rolls... not too bad, better than what it was, but the next few days I think there has to be a better solution. decide to review youtube videos on what the correct stuff actually looks like.... so off to buy the correct stuff along with the spray sealer for the floor ( which is what we should have done in the 1st place.)

Below is working on that stuff.
it worked fairly well, although we really should have used 2 more bags for the floor.




gluing the veneer plywood together, you can see along front edge where the bar rail will be.






& putting the counter top in




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