Has anyone constructed built-ins for a bar fridge/wine cooler using drywall?

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Posted by: from Calgary
12/5/2014 at 1:04:16 PM

As part of our basement development, we asked our contractor to create a built-in bar fridge and wine cooler space as part of our dry bar. Our understanding was that the fridges would be surrounded by wood, similar to how base cabinets surround dishwashers and other built-ins in a kitchen. In fact, this is what we explicitly explained was to be done.

What the contractor has done however, is framed and drywalled two small walls on either side of where the fridges will go, with the intention of placing a laminate countertop on top of them. I should also note that these were constructed on top of a concrete subfloor. I've attached a picture of what they did.

I have searched the anals of the web to find an example of where this has been done before, because I've personally never heard of it, and I can't come up with anything.

Is anyone here even familiar with this sort of setup? Is this even a proper way of doing things?

Thanks in advance.

Has anyone constructed built-ins for a bar fridge/wine cooler using drywall?
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Date/Time12/5/2014 at 2:13:15 PM

What he's done is the proper way. No need to worry.

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Date/Time12/5/2014 at 4:41:55 PM

The only other applications that I've worked on would be with custom millwork surrounding the fridges, with options for a counter and sink to complete it for wine/food prep.

Did you give the contractor drawings or pictures of your ideas to work from?...or are they the designers as well? Otherwise, you do have a simple solution there, although we haven't seen your appliances. What will the final fit be? Is there enough ventilation for the fridges?

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Date/Time12/5/2014 at 6:41:57 PM


I see no problem with the structure built for the fridge and wine cooler. So long as there is proper ventilation and the electrical is suitable for the two units.

You do however say that you asked explicitly for wood cabinetry.

If that is the case. I would ask that the two side walls be removed and the cabinetry you asked for to be installed. Be sure you were very clear on what you expected. And then act accordingly.

Good luck with your project.

James Fram

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Mark from CMJ Renovations in Oakville
Date/Time12/7/2014 at 8:46:30 AM


I have to agree with James, although what he has done is not incorrect, it will be difficult to adjust the size if in the future you change appliances. It would have been easier to buy and install two cabinet end panels.

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Nicole in Calgary
Date/Time12/7/2014 at 11:18:35 AM

Thanks everyone for replying. It's good to know that at least it is done properly, but as you've mentioned, it's not what we asked for. I didn't mention initially, but we've got a large 6 ft long) maple wood bar and wood floating shelves on the adjacent wall, so the drywall bar we feel looks quite out of place here.

Also as James and Mark mentioned, this now becomes a very permanent structure that could affect us or resale down the line. We've gone back and insisted that what we asked for be carried out, I'm still waiting on their response.

I'll post an update when completed.

Thanks again!

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