Looking to Build a Tiki Bar in Your Backyard? Get started with these free plans!
Having a bar in your backyard adds a real ambiance to a party or gathering.
It makes a focal point. On the surface, some may consider having a Tiki bar in your backyard is a bit of an extravagance – it would be expensive and it requires a high degree of do-it-yourself skills.
Actually neither of these is true. Below we have selected 6 different designs, some of which can be downloaded free, from these you can either follow exactly or mix certain elements from one plan with features that you like from another.
If you don’t mind spending a tiny bit of money for extremely detailed plans, I HIGHLY recommend reading my other article on building a tiki bar.
Popular Mechanics’ Backyard Tiki Bar
This is a very easy to build bar with easy to follow step by step instructions. There is virtually no complicated joints to cut – nearly every joint is square. The only area where there are joint is where the roof joists intersect with the top of the frame. On the pdf plans that this design was created from there are no joints at all. So, depending on your choice you can use the birds-mouth notch or lay the rafters straight on to the front frame and secure that way. Whichever method you choose it is a good idea to taper that bottom of the rafters to help increase the headroom. Although not strictly necessary the corner blocks do add to the overall look. You can make them ornate as shown in the instructions or just have them plain. If you decide to have a deck in front of your bar, don’t forget that this will reduce your overall headroom – this is particularly important if you go with the slightly rusted roofing tin for the roof.
DIY Network’s Tiki Bar
The Popular Mechanics’ Tiki bar was set against the side of a house of garage, the DIY Network’s offering is a stand-alone project. It is 4 sided and has a double pitched roof. There are 19 step-by-step stages, but the information does assume a reasonable level of knowledge and skill from you. There is not a detailed parts list, it tells you what you would need but not the quantities. So you would have to do some calculations before you start the project to know what materials you would need. There is a list of tools required to complete the job, although you may want to add a saw to that list. As this is a stand-alone bar it does need more space in your yard than a bar set against and existing wall. So while this may not be practical for everyone, it does have some great ideas that you could incorporate into your own design.
Portable Tiki Bar
While this is site does not give you plans to build your own Tiki bar (it is trying to sell you a manufactured version), it does give some great ideas for making your own portable Tiki bar. Instead of using wood for the frame, 1 ½” PVC is used and PVC joints are used throughout. To make the bar portable, do not glue all the joints where the front joins the side sections. Just slot them in. for the uprights that support the roof, you can use real bamboo or make fake bamboo from 3” PVC pipe. If you check out all the features you can see how things are built and use those ideas on your bar.
Atomic Magazine’s Build Your Own Tiki Bar
These are some plans that go back to 1999 and appeared in the now defunct Atomic Magazine. Although it is written in a tongue-in-cheek way, it does have all the information that you need to reproduce the bar. Even if you decide not to build this particular bar, it is quite amusing to read.
Cali Bamboo Tiki Bar
This is very similar to the Tiki Bar Central portable Tiki Bar, but this one is made of real bamboo and plywood. This makes it stronger and also heavier. Detailed plans are not given but by deciding what size you want to make your bar, you can calculate the amount of material that you will need.
Tiki Bar from Wood Pallets
This Tiki bar uses recycled wood pallets and plywood as a result it is very inexpensive to make. With a bit of work and ingenuity, the final result looks great. While the counter looks great, it is quite difficult to get a final result without having unevenness in it, plus it can be very messy to do. However, this bar manages to achieve a rustic look without looking as if it’s just a couple of pallets that have been stood on end with a bit of plywood stuck on top.
Tiki bars can add a real tropical atmosphere to your backyard and, as you’ve seen, can be very easy to make.
What you end up with will depend a great deal on the money you want to spend and the space that you have. All these plans and ideas can be adapted to suit your needs in terms of space and elements from one plan can be taken and added to another.
When considering the materials that you will use it is worth taking into account the climate where you live. A thatched roof does look great but if you live in a wet region it may not last too long or attract mold and begin to smell.
What finishes the look of the bar off is accessories. Old hurricane lamps not only look good but, if they work, also supply a nice ambient light.
These bars are all relatively quick to build and, if you invite a few friends to help you with the build, you can get the construction out of the way pretty quickly, then move on to the important part – testing the bar for functionality (so make sure that you have some drinks on hand, purely for testing purposes, of course).