Listen, I know you want the easy and inexpensive way out and would otherwise not think twice about building a tiki bar using portable tiki bar plans. But I’m telling you to think twice.
Let’s say you’re having a party. You’re a cool guy (or gal) and that’s why you have a tiki bar. All cool guys and gals have tiki bars of course.
But I digress. You’re having a party. People come from the far corners of land to be at this party because you’re cool. They’re congregating around the tiki bar (as people should and will do).
Then all of a sudden someone leans on the table top of your poor little tiki bar too heavily and before you know it the entire tiki bar is upended.
Here are the thoughts that will immediately go through your head (in order):
1) “NO! My tiki bar!”
2) “No! The drinks!”
3) “Am I going to be remembered as the guy that built his tiki bar cheaply using portable tiki bar plans?”
3.5) “Damn, I could go for another beer right now…”
4) “Is anyone hurt?”
These are normal thoughts to think. But look on the bright side: you don’t HAVE to use portable tiki bar plans!
Now I don’t want to keep this charade going. That above scenario didn’t happen to me. Why, you ask? Because I wasn’t cheap and I used simple tiki bar plans that were effective and I built my tiki bar as it should be built.
To drill in the fact that you shouldn’t go the mobile route, let me break down exactly why you should construct your tiki bar with solid materials:
First, a portable tiki bar is usual very flimsy. You don’t want people to knock it over by leaning on it too much. And hell… it’s a BAR! People are going to be hanging around all over it.
Second, portable tiki bars don’t handle weather too well. To make them light and portable, they’re often made of plastic or extremely on-durable wood, like balsa wood. Not good. In the hot summer they can too dry and can splinter, and in the cool months (or winter, if you have winter), they crack under snow.
Third… REAL tiki bars look better
So that’s the daily tiki rant. Don’t go the cheap-o route building your tiki bar using portable tiki bar plans. Build it right, and built it to last.
These are plans that anyone can follow to build a solid, durable tiki bar no matter if they’re in the tropics or just want to bring a piece of the tropics into their back yard.
And you can always…
Popular Mechanics has a great post for a simple tiki bar plan that takes you step-by-step through the building process. This free tiki bar blueprint even has a PDF for tiki bar plans that you can use for a reference architecture.
Here is a quick sample of the tiki bar building materials needed:
Tiki Bar Plan Materials:
- 1/2 yard driveway gravel or other aggregate (for foundation base)
- 11 – 3 ½ x 3 ½ x 8′ pressure treated fence post (or 4 x 4s if desired)
- 12 – 1 x 6 x 8′ pressure treated radius deck boards
- 21 – 2 x 4 x8′ boards
- 7- 2 x 4 x9′ boards (for rafters)
- 35 – 1/2 x 6 x 4′ fence cedar fence boards
- 21 – 2 x 4 inch brackets (Simpson strong ties)
- 24 – 2 x 5/8 inch lag bolts
- 500 or more deck screws sizes ranging from 1 ¾ inches to 3 inches
- 1 – 2′ x 8′ x 1/2″ plywood G1S (good one side, for your countertop)
- Wood Stain
- Decorative theme objects — fishnets, lanterns, coconut shells, Tiki torches, Tiki carvings, etc…
Let’s face it: tiki bars are the center of attention.
They’re refreshing, tropical, and induce an easy-going and light atmosphere.
They’re the center of parties and the one structure which all other guests tend to hover around.
You know what that means, don’t you?
It means that if you want to make a tiki bar on your own, you can’t mess it up.
Right, I’m sure that wasn’t the verbal equivalent to dropping the hammer of Thor or anything, but seriously… Before even attempting this tiki fate by yourself you need to learn how to build a tiki bar, and preferably from reliable tiki-bar-building plans.
We’re talking high-quality plans, here. Plans that anyone could follow. But since I’m not showing you plans right now and instead just TELLING you about how to build a tiki bar, allow me to go over some of the finer details.
A standard tiki bar (a GOOD one, mind… not one of those portable tiki bar plans) really only has 5 structural components:
1) the frame of the bar
2) the counter top surface of the bar itself that sits on the frame
3) vertical bamboo posts on either side of the tiki bar holding up the top frame
4) the top frame of the bar (a horizontal board across the top, serving as a roof)
5) the thatch that is applied to the top board
That’s it, really. Not too hard, eh?
Now granted, you can get complicated and start adding a bunch of things to it, but in their core, these are the only things you need to build a tiki bar.
So where can you get them? Well, the frame of the bar (both for the lower portion AND the top board) you can simply get at any hardware store that sells lumber. Any wood will work, essentially, don’t be picky.
It’s the bamboo and thatch that will most likely prove a little difficult to find. You can easily head to Google and do a quick search and get both items for fairly cheap. The thatch will come in bundles, so make sure to get a few so you don’t run out of thatch half-way through your roof.
It’s also very important to make sure the bamboo posts are cut evenly and the same length, and are strong enough to support the top post. The thatch by itself isn’t too heavy, but putting a ton of it on will definitely weigh down the board so you need to make sure your bamboo posts are strong enough to hold that.
Remember: it’s all fun and games until the tiki bar breaks.
If you want to learn exactly how to build a tiki bar, you’re in luck. I know of one resource that has tiki bar plans that are not only easy to build, but look simply incredible.
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When you think of outdoor bar plans, what do you think of?
You know what I’m talking about… You see them all the time in pictures of Hawaii, The Bahamas, or anywhere else tropical.
A tiki bar is one of those bars with the bamboo support posts, that classic rough-looking, straw-like thatch roof, and always seem to have a margarita sitting on them. They’re the staple of tropical vacation get-aways and always put everyone at ease.
What I wanted to talk about here is how you can bring that piece of vacation home with you, how you can put it in your own back yard.
I’m talking about how to build a tiki bar of course!
But what I wanted to cover were a few perils I see with tiki bars in general, so you know what to avoid when building a tiki bar.
…Because there ARE perils, you know.
The first thing are the tiki bar blueprints you use to help you do the job. Don’t settle for anything less than high-quality plans, now. That’s perilous.
What makes a good tiki plan? Pictures are a must, especially when applying the thatch. It’s no walk on the beach, so make sure find plans that are up to snuff.
The second thing is to avoid (at all cost) portable tiki bar plans. You should obviously avoid all portable bars whatsoever, but especially portable tiki bar ones.
Here’s why: your tiki bar will likely take up permanent residence outdoors, unless I totally underestimate your income and your house is large enough to accommodate an indoor tiki bar. That means that your tiki bar is subject to battering wind, pelting rain, foul snow (depending on your area), and potentially even thieving neighborhood scoundrels.
That means you need something durable. You need the King Leonidas equivalent of a tiki bar, and sorry- a portable tiki bar won’t make the cut.
It’s best to make the thing yourself from scratch with your metaphorically bare, manly, calloused hands (any blueprint will show you exactly how to do this, like this one here) so you can build something that will last and isn’t prone to walking away in the dead of night.
Third, and in my opinion most importantly: Don’t ever… EVER… Under ANY circumstance…
…Ah, I won’t even go there. Just remember those other things and you’ll be golden.
And since building a tiki bar is the best move anyway, here’s something for you to check out that’s going to make this whole thing MUCH easier: How To Build A Tiki Bar.
That’s a guide that shows you exactly how it’s done. Go ahead and check it out. Craft a tiki bar yourself and enjoy a fine margarita beside it. Cavort with friends if you will. Enjoy the free-spirited atmosphere gained by the addition of a tiki bar and live the lavish tropic-away-from-the-tropics lifestyle.
Here’s the link again to check out if you’re interested in building a tiki bar: Check Out The Plans!
Don’t miss out!
For more information, here’s another awesome resource to check out: How To Build A Tiki Bar You’d Be Proud To Drink At
If you’re looking for simple tiki bar plans or are wanting to make your own tiki bar, then there’s a few things you need to know. This article help shed some light on tiki bars, and why they’re not as hard to make as people seem to think (or as expensive).
Here are some of the basics of tiki bars. Because of their ‘coastal’ feel and difficult-to-construct appearance, most people OVERPAY for tiki bars by a huge margin. I once saw a plastic tiki bar (a portable one) on sale at my local hardware store for $499. It even looked cheap, and was clearly not meant to last.
That’s the first thing you need to know: a tiki bar is simply a standard bar (as simple or complex as you make it), with a thatch-roof and bamboo supports to hold that roof up. Honestly, there’s not much more to a tiki bar. They’re clean and simple in design, but can really decorate and accent an entire room, giving it a tropical feel all by itself.
Let’s look at the counter top of the bar. You can use virtually any counter top from a hardware store (your local Ace Hardware or Home Depot is fine), and a table. The hardware store will even mount the counter top ON the table for a few extra bucks, so that’s simple to do.
Now let’s look at the rest: bamboo support poles extending out vertically on either side of the counter top and thatch mounted on a wooden plank supported by the bamboo posts. Simple, right?
The thatch may be a little tricky, but with some clever looking you’ll be able to find it. I’d recommend you check nurseries, hardware store, or a home-goods store. If nothing else, just order it online. It’s not too expensive nor hard to find.
The same is true for the bamboo posts. You’ll most likely have to order them online, but they ship quick and are inexpensive to boot, so just make sure you size your bar and order the right length of bamboo and you will have no issues.
Now let’s talk about how BIG your tiki bar should be. The majority of tiki bar plans will say to size your bar between 6 and 12 feet long. If you have a counter top surface area larger than 12 feet, then you’ll most likely have to custom order the material which can run you a decent chunk of money. Besides, 10 feet is plenty big for most areas.
For the counter top, you could always just use something like plywood and apply some kind of glossy finish over it. Plywood is very inexpensive and can be found at ANY local hardware store. The actual construction of the tiki bar may a little tricky, but all outdoor bar plans should come with fully-detailed drawings and schematics that make the process much easier.
Those are some tips on how to build a tiki bar, so I hope you use them and construct your very own tiki bar. Remember to find tiki bar plans that show you what you’re doing in case you get lost.
And lastly, remember to enjoy your new tiki bar. Have fun and relax, even enjoy some drinks. You don’t need to travel to the tropics to enjoy sipping a cocktail by a tiki bar!
Now, if you’re looking to build your own tiki bar, then you need high-quality but simple tiki bar plans so you know what you’re doing.
For more information, here’s another awesome resource to check out: The Perils Of Building A Tiki Bar
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