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Design a bar and outdoor kitchen for your house in Costa Rica

Bar and outdoor kitchen design for your house in Costa Rica

If you haven’t already bought a house in Costa Rica through a GoDutch Realty agent, I’m sure you will as soon as you learn how to design the coolest bar in the neighborhood.

Now, I’m not trying to turn you into an alcoholic, actually quite the opposite. If you have a cool bar in your backyard, you’ll want to invite some friends to come over once in a while and have a good time together, instead of having to drink on your own all the time or wait for someone to invite you.

Costa Rica is famous for its year round weather conditions, so for sure you will do a lot more outdoor living than you ever did in your life. That’s why you moved to Costa Rica, right? This makes your outdoor space even more important than the indoors.

You already have a pool and an awesome view? There are many ways to do a cool bar even if you have no pool. If you already have a huge covered terrace, you can take advantage of all that space to build a bar, which for easy use should stay as close as you can to the kitchen.

A gazebo that doubles as bar and outdoor kitchen

A gazebo that doubles as bar and outdoor kitchen

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a bar that you only get drunk at. You can easily include a cool grill and other features without spending a lot of money. Check out your options of designing a bar or outdoor kitchen for your house in Costa Rica:

Features 

Before you start building, you’d first want to decide what kind of features you’d like to include:

  • Do you want a roof over the bar? It rains in Costa Rica and you’d like to use the bar during the rainy season too. Do you want a thatched roof, maybe a pergola or a tiled roof, one that matches your house or quite the contrary?

Would you like a pergola over your bar in Costa Rica?

Would you like a pergola over your bar in Costa Rica?

  • Do you want your bar above ground or in the ground so it can be part of your swimming pool?

You have to level the pool with the floor of the bar

You have to level the pool with the floor of the bar

  • You’re going to need a sink? A single or double bowl sink?
  • Include a barbecue and grill.

Include a barbecue and a kitchen sink

Include a barbecue and a kitchen sink

  • Beverage and glassware storage.
  • A refrigerator.
  • A smoker.
  • A wine cooler or beer cooler.
  • Ice storage or ice machine.

Include a smoker, a wine cooler, a refrigerator, a flat screen TV, a smoker and even a warm drawer

Include a smoker, a wine cooler, a refrigerator, a flat screen TV, a smoker and even a warm drawer

Create a theme

Do not build something that will last forever and that is very difficult to change, you might get bored after a while and that will get you drinking more than you really need. It’s quite easy to find themes and you can purchase posters and other paraphernalia online. Here are a few ideas to decorate your new outdoor bar:

  • Sports bar

Posters for your sports bar are easy to purchase online     You can ask your family to find sports posters for you and send them down

If you love sports you can change your bar by the season

  • StarWars or Startrek

You're a Star Wars fan?    You're a Star Trek fan?

Are you galactic and a space fan, try Star Trek and Star Wars

  • Tiki bar or beach bar

Build your own Tiki Bar in Costa Rica    Looking for a beach feeling?

Try for a tropical outfit of your bar

  • Music bar – Jazz, Country, Rock ‘n roll or hard rock

If you love B.B. King    If you love Rock

If you love music, you have so many options, you can change your theme several times a year

  • Fishing and angling bar

Love fishing?    Love angling?

If you love fishing or angling, you can design an amazing bar.

  • Super heroes bar

Love Spiderman?    Or do you prefer Ironman?

Back to your childhood?

  • Gangster movies or the Six Million Dollar Man bar

You love gangster movies?    You love old action movies?

You can do gangster movie or old action movie themes for your bar

  • Martial arts movies bar

Is Bruce Lee your guy?    Or is Van Damme your guy

Bruce Lee or Van Damme, as long as you dont’ start fighting after a couple of drinks!

  • Maybe your wife would like her own bar!

You love Chanel?    You love your fashion magazines?

Ladies, this is your chance! You’re own woman cave!

Design tips for your bar

Think well about the following details before you start building your bar:

•    Combine your bar and cooking area in such way that you can attend both without having to hire a crew to entertain your guests.

•    Bar dimensions are 42 inches tall with 30-inch bar stools.

If you are a beer lover, you can collect beers from all over the world

If you are a beer lover, you can collect beers from all over the world

•    Ladies like to sit, guys like to stand or hang.

•    Spend time and effort on creating the right ambiance.

•    Consult a contractor to design the electrical and plumbing.

•    Choose building and finishing materials that stand up to all the elements.

•    If you’d like to integrate your bar with the pool area, you need to bring your pool up to a certain level to make it functional, ask your contractor.

If you are a whiskey or single malt lover, you can collect bottles from all over the world

If you are a whiskey or single malt lover, you can collect bottles from all over the world

Design tips for your outdoor kitchen

A good design of an outdoor kitchen needs a lot of thought and planning:

•    Find the best location for your outdoor kitchen. You don’t want the smoke to blow into your house.

Build your outdoor kitchen in the right location

Build your outdoor kitchen in the right location

•    Build it as close as you can to the kitchen.

•    Don’t block the views from your living room and master bedroom by building your new outdoor kitchen.

•    Think about the weather conditions you can have at any given time and where wind and rain will be coming from.

•    The best outdoor kitchens are as functional as an indoor kitchen, as welcoming as a living room, and as entertaining as a family room.

Think about the weather conditions before you build your outdoor kitchen

Think about the weather conditions before you build your outdoor kitchen

•    The same working triangle used in your home kitchen should be applied to your outdoor kitchen. The ideal working triangle places the sink, cooktop and refrigerator in a triangle setting. Keep the legs of the triangle no less than 4 feet and no longer than 9 feet. A good rule of thumb for distances around appliances is 36” for every person in the kitchen.

•    Appliances will determine the kitchen size so decide first which appliances you’d like to include.

•    Traditional 36” high counters are perfect for standing pre work and cooking, 30” high surfaces are ideal for sitting and eating, and 42” high bar tables are great for standing or resting food and beverages.

•    Design sufficient counter space for a buffet and drinks.

•    Blend your design theme into the surrounding area, don’t make it stick out.

The best outdoor kitchen is entertaining as a family room

The best outdoor kitchen is entertaining as a family room

•    Think well about the countertop materials and flooring materials for easy cleaning.

•    Create enough walking space between back and front for several people attending at the same time.

•    Consult a contractor to design the electrical and plumbing.

•    Design lighting for having smaller and larger crowds. Spend time and effort on creating the right ambiance.

•    Choose building and finishing materials that stand up to all the elements.

Design lighting for having smaller and larger crowds

Design lighting for having smaller and larger crowds

Rancho or gazebo

If your house in Costa Rica does not have a large covered terrace but you have a lot of outdoor space, you might elect to build a gazebo or rancho as we call them in Costa Rica. The advantage of a rancho is that you can not only build a nice kitchen and bar but can also add a toilet, so you can keep your guests outside the house.

You can build a gazebo or rancho

You can build a gazebo or rancho

Small spaces

Do you have very little space left and still thinking of building a bar? Have a good look at this murphy bar and the caravan, great ideas.

Working with small spaces,? Try a Murphy Bar    Small yard? Try this one

Build a bar with very little space available

Construction permits

If you keep you the construction of your bar and outdoor kitchen smaller than 30 m2 (3,300 sq.ft.), you don’t have to get a full construction permit from your municipality but only:

1.    Fill out the form for “construcción de obra menor” and a copy of the registered survey of your property (plano catastrado), sign by owner and contractor.

2.    A design with its measurements and the location on your property, height of the construction, construction materials you’ll be using, distance from the neighboring property,

Once your bar is built, send out party invitations to break in your new bar and don’t forget to invite your favorite GoDutch Realty agents.

If you haven’t found the right house for that dream bar you’d like to have, contact us, we’ll not only find you the right house in Costa Rica, we’ll hold your hand through closing, find you a reliable contractor and will introduce you to the right people to invite to your party.


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I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. I know you all meet people on the plane, in the supermarket, at yoga, at the gym, at the Blooms ladies club, at the potluck organized by your community. Please remember the GoDutch Realty agents when you talk about your home in Costa Rica, when you meet someone who wants to purchase one, we appreciate it.

We Love your Referrals at GoDutch Realty

 

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Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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