Is there anything better on a sunny day than kicking back with your favourite drink and soaking up the sun? We think not but heading to the pub beer garden every day throughout the summer can become pretty expensive.
That’s why a lot of Brits are now creating their very own slice of boozy heaven in their backyards and installing an outdoor bar shed. Whether you want the best wines, a refreshing beer or even a non alcoholic mocktail, having your own bar can turn your garden into somewhere for entertaining, relaxing and simply having a great time.
There are a lot of options when it comes to outdoor bars but one of the most popular is the outdoor bar shed. These are ideal as they provide a sheltered location from which to serve drinks and when you’re not using them, they’ll appear as nothing more than an ordinary shed.
With lots of sizes, shapes and styles to choose from, we’ve created this guide that tells you everything you need to know to choose the best outdoor bar shed for your garden. All you’ll need to do then is install it, stock it up and start enjoying!
Outdoor Bar Sheds - Our Top Picks
Since the first Covid lockdown in 2020, there has been a massive surge in the number of outdoor bar sheds being sold. It’s no wonder since at that time, we were hugely limited on what we could do and enjoying some drinks and snacks in the safety and comfort of your own back garden was pretty much all you could do.
Since then, the trend has continued. If you look on Instagram or TikTok, you’ll find a plethora of videos and photos of proud outdoor bar shed owners showing off their unique style. You can get on board with the trend and it all starts by choosing the best outdoor bar shed. Here are some that we think deserve a special mention!
OUR TOP PICK
This small garden bar is ideal for compact spaces but it still has a beautiful aesthetic that will give your garden a really sophisticated look. Moreover, it’s made from pressure treated wood which has a whole world of benefits. For starters, this treatment ensures high resistance against insects, weather resistance and extreme durability.
These features mean that the Forest Garden Store bar is great for heavy duty use and if it’s well maintained, it’ll be something that’ll last a lifetime. Also keep in mind that, during winter, the garden bar can be used as storage so you’re killing two birds with one stone.
The entire front portion of the bar opens up so this one is excellent for entertaining when you want something extra special for your guests. However, since it is quite small, it might not be ideal for larger gatherings if everyone wants to sit around the bar together.
Beautiful aesthetic design
Not good for larger parties
Very strong and durable
Strong hidden hinges
Bifold opening for easy entertaining
Some garden bar sheds, like the one we looked at previously, come ready painted and treated. That’s great if you’re looking to save time and effort but if you really want to put your own stamp on the bar then this one is ideal. The wood has not been treated or painted so you can really make it your own. Of course, you will need to make sure that you treat it in some way or another because failing to do so will shorten the lifespan of the wood quite significantly.
What’s also great about this garden bar shed is the wide serving kiosk. Where the previous bar shed we looked at had a split kiosk, this shed has one large opening. That’s great if you don’t want to be hindered by an additional panel. The only downside is that the additional panel would give a little more stability to the kiosk which does let this one down slightly.
That said, this is quite a durable bar shed. Delivery from the company that handmakes the shed is quick and covers a good chunk of the UK. However, there have been some complaints of missing fittings but these have been resolved pretty quickly.
Untreated wood allows you to create your own visual appeal
No delivery to some parts of UK (Devon and Cornwall)
Strong and durable wood
Large opening for entertaining
Perfect size for compact spaces
Internal fittings to add extra shelving
One of the first things we noticed about this bar shed is just how sturdy and durable the structure is. If you’re looking for something that will be as low maintenance as possible then we’d recommend this one. Of course, you will need to treat and care for your wood but the fact that this one is so strong in the first place helps a lot.
It comes in a lovely honey shade which will fit into any garden but as with any wooden shed, you’ve got the option to paint it, should you wish. You can also customise which end the door goes on which makes choosing the placement of the shed a lot simpler as you’re not limited in any way. That certainly makes this one stand out from its competitors.
The dual opening hatch provides you with plenty of space to serve your guests and during the winter, the shed will double up as storage so you have somewhere to keep your patio furniture. There really isn’t much we could find not to like about this bar shed. The only thing we would say is that due to the compact size, it might not be ideal if you tend to have large swathes of guests over at once. Other than that, it’s a pretty excellent piece, even if it is a little more expensive than the bar shed we looked at previously.
BEST BASIC OUTDOOR BAR SHED
You need to hear us out when we say basic, because the first thing you’re going to pick up on is the fact that this is a much more expensive bar shed; by a couple of hundred quid! This is due to the build quality and materials so you can feel confident that you’re getting something strong and reliable.
However, it’s basic in the sense that it’s a put up and go kind of bar shed. This is because there isn’t the option to switch the side of the door. So if you have an exact location for your shed in mind, this would fit right in. The downside is that while it does come with a wood treatment, you have to apply this yourself, so it’s a little more work in that respect.
It’s got a lovely large canopy to keep the bar in shade which is great for those scorching summer days and everything you need to get your bar shed up and ready is included. The delivery options are very generous and you get a 12 month guarantee.
Door not interchangeable (could be a plus for some users)
Covered by a canopy
Have to apply own wood stain
Great for small spaces
FSC certified wood
Strong and resistant pine construction
Things To Consider When Buying An Outdoor Bar Shed
With the sheer number of outdoor bar sheds available, you might find yourself scratching your head and wondering where to begin. But by comparing features and planning your shed before you buy, you’ll find it much easier to choose between products. Here are our top tips for preparing to buy an outdoor bar shed.
One of the first, and most important things to think about when choosing your outdoor bar shed is its size. There’s very little point in buying a huge bar shed if your garden is only small. All this will do is take up a massive amount of space leaving you with nowhere to relax.
If you’re lucky enough to have a much bigger garden then your options suddenly open up and you’ll have the freedom to choose something much bigger. You’ll also want to think about whether you want a bar shed from which you’ll just serve drinks or if you want something that more closely resembles a summer house where you and your friends and family can sit inside.
As well as considering the size of your new bar shed, you’ll need to think about where it’s going to go. Once installed, the last thing you’ll want is to have to move the shed. This is a lot of work so choosing the best spot from the off is essential.
Do you want your bar shed to be somewhere with full sun or would you prefer a shady spot? Do you have a decked area of patio that would be perfect for seating? If so, can you place the bar shed close to this?
Once you have decided on a location, you’ll also need to make sure that there is a stable base for your shed. You cannot place a bar shed, or any other outdoor gazebo building on grass, soil or any other soft surface. This will cause the structure to be unstable and you’ll also face a whole host of problems related to groundwater.
The location you choose should ideally be made from concrete. If this material isn’t already present, it’s worth installing a concrete base before you get going. Yes, it’s more money to spend and more labour but it’ll be worth it if you want a long lasting, sturdy structure.
Most outdoor bar sheds are made from wood and this is an excellent material for this purpose. Wood is incredibly durable and will resist the elements well. Not only this but it makes for a very stable structure that won’t be affected by high winds and other factors.
That said, you must consider that wood does need more maintenance than other materials. You will need to apply wood treatments at least once a year and you’ll need to repair any holes or other damage as soon as possible. If you take good care of it, a wooden bar shed will last a lifetime.
Moreover, wood is much nicer to look at than other materials and you can make it your own using wood paint. If you have a certain theme going on in your garden, you can make it fit in and become a stunning focal point.
There are some plastic bar sheds out there but these aren’t something we would recommend. They’re nowhere near as stable or as good looking and they certainly won’t last as long as wood. While plastic sheds are great for storing everyday garden equipment, they’re not quite as good for buildings like bars and relaxing spaces.
Ease Of Installation
Once you have purchased your bar shed, it goes without saying that you’re going to be eager to settle down and enjoy your first refreshing drink. But you can’t do that until your shed has been put up. So, for the sake of saving time, you’ll want to find a shed that’s easy to install.
You’ll find that some companies offer to put the shed up for you at the time of delivery but of course, this will mean paying an additional fee. If this isn’t the case, and you need to do a DIY job then it’s imperative to make sure that everything you need is included.
Make sure that there are screws, fittings, roof felt and other things so that you can complete the job in one. If the shed doesn’t come with these things, you’ll have to ensure you purchase them separately before you start building.
Also do keep in mind that many companies offer limited delivery. A lot of sellers online, especially on sites like Amazon, are local companies and so they will only deliver within a certain area. Even some of the national suppliers may have restrictions on where they will deliver so it’s essential that you check this before hitting that ‘buy now’ button.
If you want somewhere to entertain family and friends and relax this summer then why not consider putting an outdoor bar shed in your garden? It’s the perfect place to kick back after a long week and your place will soon become party central for your loved ones.
There are lots of outdoor bar sheds to choose from but it is important to make sure that you weigh up the pros and cons of each. Ensure that you have enough space and a stable base before installing an outdoor bar shed. But once you’re done, it’s time to live the high life without having to leave the comfort of your own home!