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Build a great wet bar in your basement

Q: Mr. Carter, can you share any thoughts about wet bars? I want to include one in my home and don’t want to mess it up. Have you installed any, and what are some of the best practices? What’s the biggest mistake you’ve seen someone make? — Marty H., Pensacola, Fla.

A: Mr. Carter was my dad. My name is Tim, Marty. You bet I’ve got some thoughts about wet bars. I’ve built quite a few for customers, and I put one in the last home I built for my family.

You can get into trouble quite fast with wet bars. The biggest mistake I’ve seen is homeowners thinking they can use standard kitchen base cabinets for wet bars. They soon discover they can’t reach the bar surface without some discomfort.

The first thing I’d do if I were you is to go visit no less than four real bars. Do this when they’re not busy and chat up the bartender. Ask if you can take photos and some measurements. Determine the best width for the bar top. Do you want your guests to be able to have a plate of food on the bar or just drinks? The width of the top determines this.

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Pay attention to the width of the lower counter that the bartender works on. Note its height and the height of the actual bar. Ask the bartender what they love and hate about the bar. What would they change if given the chance?

You need to also decide which direction the bartender will face at your home. Most people want to face the guests they’re serving. Planning and getting the bar dimensions right are well worth the investment of time.

I’ve got great videos of wet bar ideas and concepts that you should see. Go to

Tim Carter can call you on the phone for free to solve your problem. Go to his website and fill out the form on this page: