Pub Shed Vs. Indoor Home Bar: Pros And Cons

The popularity of the pub shed and indoor home bar have grown in the last few years. And there is good reason, it all started when we all got lockdown and the pub was out of bounds.

So what did we do?

We decided to build our own, and why not. After all creating a unique and personalised social space at home has got to be a winner.

But which is better the humble pub shed, or a bar set in the comfort of your own home?

The pub shed offers an outdoor experience, can be fully customised, and it creates a separate social space. But they can be weather dependent, expensive and timely to maintain. On the other hand an indoor home bar is convenient and accessible, easier to control the temperature, and offer more privacy and security. However they can be restricted by space limitations, restrictive on design and lack the outdoor ambience.

In this article we will weigh up the pros and cons of both a pub shed and an indoor home bar.

The Charm Of A Pub Shed

Pub Shed vs. Indoor Home Bar: Pros and Cons

There is something charming about having a pub shed. A completely separate space for socialising with family and friends.

There is no impact on your private home space, and guests can feel more comfortable, like they would down the pub.

The pub like atmosphere is relaxing and social. A pub shed can be made into any kind of theme, there is no limitation on what can be achieved. Whether it be a traditional style pub or a modern bar or nightclub complete with light show and disco ball.

The connection with nature and the outdoor experience is easily achieved. Adding a decking area or patio in front can double the size of the entertaining area.

Outdoor seating with tables, lights and even a barbecue area can all enhance the pub shed experience.

There is nothing like opening the doors to a pub shed and stepping behind the bar. It really is a pub like experience.

Indoor Bar: Convenience And Accessibility

On the other hand an indoor home bar can be more convenient. It is right there inside the home and a lot easier to access.

Depending on space it can be set in its own room, making it a social area separate from the rest of the house.

You have easy access to facilities like the kitchen and bathroom, never having to leave the house.

Because it is set within the home it does make an indoor bar completely private. Likewise it is also more secure too.

So an indoor home bar does have its advantages.

Design And Space Considerations

Pub Shed vs. Indoor Home Bar: Pros and Cons

There can be a world of difference when it comes to the design and space considerations between the pub shed and the indoor bar.

However both can have huge scope as well as limitations.

The Pub Shed

The size of a shed is only limited to the outdoor space available. The bigger the outside area the bigger the shed can be.

This just means there is more scope to fit the things you really want to. A pool table is going to need a larger shed, so will rely on plenty of outside space.

Having said that, it doesn’t really matter the size of a shed when it comes to design. Because it is its own building you can go for any style without clashing with any home decor.

The imagination can run wild with a pub shed when it comes to design.

Indoor Home Bar

The size of a home bar depends on the space available in the house. A big house with a spare reception room will have a lot more scope that trying to fit a bar into an existing space being used daily.

Just like a pub shed you can run wild with the design if you have a spare room to use as the home bar.

But if you are fitting a bar into a room in daily use, then it can be more restrictive in terms of design. You have to take into account the decor in that room.

An indoor bar might have to be a little more conservative on design.

Cost And Budget

Pub Shed vs. Indoor Home Bar: Pros and Cons

Obviously the cost of both a pub shed and an indoor bar can amount to a lot of money. However both can be fairly cheap too.

It all depends on your budget, but the basic cost can differ a lot between the two.

The Cost Of A Pub Shed

I would say that a pub shed will cost more than setting up an indoor bar. Here are the main things to consider:

Buying a shed is not cheap, and if you go for a summer house or cabin, then be prepared to pay even more. Even building your own timber building from scratch will cost because timber is expensive.

Converting an existing shed will work out cheaper, but there may be repairs to consider first.

So there is an initial out lay for the building itself. On top of that there is the cost of the base that the shed will stand on, and the labour involved.

This is all before you even start to fit out the pub shed.

Electrics will have to be fed from the house with armoured cable and a separate consumer unit fitted in the shed. Insulation is another factor to include in the expenses too.

These are above and beyond what you will need to do in an indoor bar. Building the bar and seating area, as well as the decor and all the fixtures as fittings will be similar to an indoor bar.

But the cost of a pub shed, while can be done on a tight budget, does pose more expense than an indoor bar.

The Cost Of An Indoor Home Bar

This can be significantly cheaper to achieve, unless you are going crazy with extravagant fixtures and fittings.

There is no building to construct, which means there is no base to construct either. This knocks off an hefty amount of money out of the box.

There may be some electrical work or alterations to be done, but not on the scale of a separate building. So again this will be cheaper too.

Once you have decided where the bar is going, it is about decor, building the bar and any seating. Then fixtures and fittings as well as some pub stuff.

Of course you can easily get carried away with the budget on both a pub shed or indoor bar. But there is considerably less to do indoors than with a pub shed.

This will reflect in the cost too.

Maintenance And Upkeep

Pub Shed vs. Indoor Home Bar: Pros and Cons

The basic maintenance and upkeep of both the pub shed and indoor bar are mostly the same. Both will need cleaning regularly, the indoor bar is more accessible for cleaning and will probably fit into the normal home clean routine.

The shed is a separate building to clean, so is a little more of an inconvenience in that respect.

Maintenance is similar too, the upkeep of decor and equipment will be pretty much the same.

However there is one extra maintenance issue that comes with a pub shed. Timber needs to be looked after to keep it in good condition. Treatment of the outside of the shed will need to be done annually. Which comes with a time cost as well as a financial cost too.

Weather Conditions and Seasons

The weather and seasons are something to take into consideration. This will depend on where you live in the world of course. In the UK the weather is up and down, it seems like sometimes we get all the seasons in one week.

A pub shed can get very hot when the sun shinning. Likewise it can get very cold in the winter too. Insulation can help this, but it can make the use of a pub shed uncomfortable at times.

On the other hand an indoor home bar is protected from the weather and will be aided by the home aircon or heating.

While you can heat or cool a pub shed with an aircon unit. This does pose another expense on top of cooling or heating the home.

Making The Right Choice

Pub Shed vs. Indoor Home Bar: Pros and Cons

So lets look at the pros and cons of both the pub shed and the indoor home bar in terms of choosing which to go for.

Pub Shed

Here are the pros and cons of the good old backyard pub shed.

  • Independent Social Space: Having a separate building for entertaining guests without disruption to the living areas of the home, is a definite advantage.
  • Increased Hosting Capacity: A pub shed can accommodate larger get togethers and parties utilizing the outdoor space.
  • Customization: A pub shed is not restricted by home decor, so you can create a unique and personalized space with any theme you choose.
  • Outdoor Experience: As the pub shed is an outbuilding it can take advantage of the outdoors and gain even more space too.
  • Escape And Relaxation: Because a pub shed is separate from the home it creates an escape from daily life. You leave the home just like you are going to the pub.
  • Initial Investment: The biggest con to a pub shed is the initial investment it takes to build it.
  • Weather Dependent: A timber building is susceptible to extreme weather conditions. Either too hot or too cold, which can limit their use.
  • Space Utilization: A pub shed can eat up the space in a garden which could restrict other garden activities.
  • Maintenance: A timber building needs to be annually treated to protect it against the elements. This adds an extra annual cost to this type of home bar.
  • Limited Winter Use: For those who get cold winters a pub shed might be off limits in the winter months.

Indoor Home Bar

Here are the pros and cons an indoor home bar.

  • Convenience: An indoor bar is at hand because it is inside the home. Giving year round access making it ideal for frequent entertaining.
  • Accessibility And Facilities: An indoor bar integrating within the home is easily accessible without leaving the house. Plus facilities like the kitchen and bathroom are easy to access.
  • Temperature Control: Indoor bars get cooled or heated by the home system, ensuring a comfortable environment at all times.
  • Privacy And Security: Being inside there is better privacy as well as security compared to an outside building.
  • Easy Maintenance: It is easier to keep a home bar maintained and clean because it is not affected by the elements.
  • Limited Space: Indoor bars are normally more restricted to the amount of space there is in the home.
  • Home Disruption: Not all the members of the household may want to be in the bar. One person inviting friends to their bar could disrupt the rest of the household.
  • Design Restrictions: Because of indoor decor and possible limited space this can restrict the design aspect of a bar.
  • Outdoor Space: Unless your indoor home bar happens to be in a room that has doors to the outside. It will lack the outdoor space you can have with an outbuilding.

Both options of a home bar have their pros and cons. To make the right decision you will need to think about your lifestyle, preferences and the space you have either indoors or outdoors.

Also your budget may dictate which type of bar you decide to create. A pub shed is probably going to cost more, as well as take more time to complete.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to think about before you take on a home bar project. Especially if you are going down the pub shed route. There is more to think about when creating a completely separate building.

A lot of it will come down to personal choice, space and budget. I personally prefer the pub shed options. However the biggest downside for me is the time and cost of it.

Having said that for me it is just the best thing to have a bar outside the house. It is like you are going out to the pub. Having an entertaining area separate from the house is great, and guests love it.

If you are thinking of starting a home bar project, then I hope this post will help you in your decisions. If you have any questions then do share them and I will endeavour to help answer them.

Likewise if you have built a pub shed or an indoor home bar, then do share your experience and what you love about it. Or what you might do different.

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