Does A Wet Bar Add Value To A Home? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

If there is one thing that I can attest to, it’s the power of a wet bar. Wet bars are excellent for creating a place for people to hang out around—especially if they enjoy a tasty cocktail like I do. They’re all the rage in Hollywood mansions, not to mention a favorite among summertime fans. But, are they popular enough to warrant more value to your home.

A wet bar has the potential to add value to a home, but the ROI that is often quoted in typical setups hovers around 70 percent. In other words, for every $100 you spend, you should expect to get $70 of it back. Therefore, wet bars need to be seen as “icing on the cake” rather than a serious investment.

While I am always going to want a wet bar in my basement or porch, I’m also aware of the fact that it’s not the best investment. This article will help you understand why that is.

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What Is A Wet Bar?

A wet bar is an area in your home that has a sink and running water that is not a part of your kitchen or bathroom. In most cases, wet bars are going to be the place where you serve drinks. In some cases, they may also have a mini fridge too.

How Much Value Does A Wet Bar Add To A Home?

This actually was extremely difficult to find out. Most studies that involve wet bars and their ROIs do not separate wet bars from other upgrades like new plumbing or a basement bar. As a result, we cannot actually offer up a specific return on the wet bar alone.

However, we were able to dig up a couple of statistics related to wet bars. The most commonly cited one is that basement bar areas have a 70 percent ROI. So, for every $1,000 you spend, you will be able to get $700 tacked onto your home’s price. With the right eye on improvements, it could be worth your time.

Are Wet Bars Popular?

Yes and no. Wet bars were once considered to be one of the best additions that you could have to a home. However, things are starting to change. While wet bars are still popular, they’re not the be-all, end-all of home entertainment they once were. Even so, people always like them and view them as a major attraction for party homes.

Though they tend to be popular, there are still some issues that you need to be aware of. The popularity of these bars are not even across the board. Here’s what to know:

  • Wet bars are best used as amenities for homes that already have most of their functionalities fixed or upgraded. If your backyard is ramshackle and your water heater’s about to blow, you should focus on those first. Fixing those will do far better for your bottom line than a bar.
  • If you have a vacation home or live in a resort town, it’ll add way more value than normal. Vacations mean that people are going to want to party. Wanting to party is basically a greenlight for all things bar-related.
  • On the other hand, if you live in an area that is famous for not having many drinkers, a wet bar probably won’t get that much interest. For example, if you live in area like Salt Lake City, the local religious makeup makes drinking a no-go for many people. In some more extreme communities, a wet bar could be almost a stigmatized item.
  • Houses that want to be the “game night” venue for the people in the neighborhood should get a wet bar. We have all seen that one house in the neighborhood that acts as the party place come sports season. If you want to market a home based on that angle, then a wet bar absolutely makes sense. With that said, not everyone wants to have that type of home. So your mileage may vary.

How Much Does Adding A Wet Bar Cost?

This varies greatly depending on what you have currently set up in the area where you want to add a wet bar. If you already have all the plumbing ready, then you might not have to pay much. Otherwise, the call to the plumber alone would be enough to be somewhat prohibitive.

Adding a wet bar can cost anywhere from $1,000 to upwards of $20,000 to install complete with plumbing. Most wet bars are going to cost around $3,000 to $5,000 for the countertop, plumbing, sink, and cabinetry involved. It’s a pretty hefty project to have, even when you have the bare minimum.

Don’t Forget Wet Bar Accessories!

Wet bars aren’t just about having a sink and a counter. Most of the ones that truly sway buyers have a ton of accessories and accents that make them unique. This is particularly true if you want to install a wet bar near your patio or deck. Things like mini-fridges, tiki accessories, or even a nice set of barware can make a huge impact on how your bar looks.

When you are trying to piece together your wet bar setup, it’s important to factor accessories into your setup. Even getting

Is Getting A Wet Bar Worth It?

Honestly, it depends on what you want out of your wet bar. In terms of a home improvement project that’s meant to fix and flip your home, a wet bar is only “so-so” on that scale. You can honestly get more mileage out of lawncare or even a fresh coat of paint. This is especially true when you take into account the 70 percent ROI.

While it’s not exactly great for adding value to a home, it still can add value. Moreover, it’s actually a great idea if you want to have a place to bring your friends or just chill out in a bar setting. A wet bar can be a great choice for people who want to have a man cave, or even their own tiki lounge.

So, I suppose the best way to explain this is that it’s all about what you want. If you want a place to build memories, it’s a smart move. If it’s solely a business idea, then you’re better off going with something else.

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Related Questions

Is having a wet bar outdated?

It all depends on how you work it. In many situations, particularly outdoor situations with a “tiki deck,” the look is probably going to be retro. However, there are moments where the overall look of a wet bar may be a bit too retro. If you want to have a wet bar, make sure that it’s modern and avoids the 80s cliches from when these were popular.

What can you do with a wet bar if you don’t drink?

Wet bars can still be remarkably good for entertaining if you don’t drink. You can use them as a great place to prep food (like a sushi bar) or make it into a full-blown juice station. Many other homeowners use their wet bar as a place for snack storage or as a place to do spa treatments. In some rare cases, it also can make sense to turn them into partial bathrooms.

Should I have a basement wet bar if I have kids?

Yes and no. There are plenty of homes that have wet bars that also happen to have kids. However, there is that issue of having kids and a bar area: there’s a chance they may drink. There is no need to remove a wet bar from a basement just because you have kids.If you are concerned about child safety around your wet bar, the best thing you can do is lock your cabinetry that contains the alcohol and stock your mini-fridge with juices instead. That way, if they are thirsty, your kids will have ample access to healthy, non-alcoholic options.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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