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What is a Patio Bar?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2016
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A patio bar is a beverage or dessert center set up on the patio of a home. The bar may be equipped with wine and spirits, fruit juices, or ice cream and sodas, depending on the preferences of the homeowner and the nature of any social event set to take place in the back or side yard. A patio bar may be a relatively simple device or be a permanent structure complete with appliances.

Bars for patios are often portable devices that can be set up whenever needed and then stored away when not in use. There are bars constructed with a metal frame that collapses for storage, but can be unfolded and set up in no more than five minutes. A bar of this type usually includes a countertop that swings into place and rests on the frame.

Another patio bar option is a wicker model. The lightweight construction makes it easy to move the position of the bar whenever necessary. While the wicker designs do not fold for easy storage, they do provide a sturdy structure that includes storage shelves inside the bar.

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Another option is a patio bar constructed with different types of wood. Wooden bars are more difficult to move, since they are heavier than other portable options. Still, a wood bar often includes extra storage not available with other types. In order to protect the bar from weather damage, the structure is often sealed and treated to prevent mold, mildew, and deterioration from moisture. When covered by an umbrella or an awning, the wooden bar can last for a number of years.

Along with portable versions of the patio bar, it is also possible to construct a permanent bar for the patio. These built-in designs are excellent options when the homeowners entertain often and want to enhance the basic function of the bar. A permanent structure makes it more practical to install fixtures similar to those found in the home. These include sinks complete with plumbing and running water, a refrigerator, a drain and pipe for the sink, and storage space for glasses and other supplies.

A permanent patio bar is often created using materials such as brick and mortar, wood, and metal. The sink may be porcelain or stainless steel, depending on the preferences of the homeowner. In addition, a permanent bar can be as large or as small as desired. That is not always the case with portable bars, which tend to come in standard sizes.

Building a patio bar can be a great weekend project for homeowners who are handy with tools and masonry work. Alternatively, it is easy to hire professionals to design and construct the bar. For a quick solution, portable bars in a wide range of colors, designs, and materials are found at many furniture stores.

A patio bar is a great addition to the home, especially if the owners enjoy backyard or garden entertaining. Establishing a bar that is on a section of the patio covered by an awning creates an inviting location to prepare drinks or desserts on a sunny day. For more elaborate events such as a cookout, the patio bar can be positioned to work well with the arrangement of seating and the grill or grills used for the party.

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