Time Required: A weekend
Difficulty: Easy

Inspired by the swim-up bars at Caribbean resorts, Andrew and Kevin set out to construct one of their own at their lakeside cottage property, highlighted by underwater seating, a floating pool table and a gleaming bartop made entirely out of nickels.

Project Steps

Step 3

To make the Ultimate Swim Up Bar, we’ll require the following materials:

• Aluminum dock kits, including support posts and plastic decking

These all-in-one kits will be submerged underwater and form a stable floor for the swim-up bar.

• Lumber

To build the bar, side table and pool table. Budget a little extra just in case your big brother buys the wrong size of decking platforms and you’re forced to improvise. 

• $120 worth of 5-cent nickels

This will be the highlight of the bar-top and is the inspiration behind the name “The Barnickel Bar & Grill”. Depending on availability, pennies can be a cost-effective solution too.

• Two-part self-levelling epoxy resin

Once cured, this will encase the nickel bar-top in a clear-as-glass, durable plastic coating.

• Sign

We got some custom vinyl letters made up for our sign, but if there isn’t any room left on the credit card, it’s time to get creative with whatever tools and materials are on hand.

• Perforated steel sign post

Also known as punched steel posts, these will support our sign.

• Tree trunk sections 

To sit on! You’re looking for a section that is approximately 2 feet long and 1 foot in diameter.

• Quick setting concrete

General purpose concrete designed to achieve final set in 20-40 minutes.

• Large plastic garbage bin

A 20 to 32 gallon round garbage can should suffice.

• Cooking spray

Used to coat the garbage can before pouring in the concrete.

• Portable BBQ

• Fishing rod holder

For the Floating Pool Table

• Polystyrene foam sheet

This will form the core of our Floating Pool Table and enable it to float.

• Pool noodles

This will give your pool table a nice bumper and will keep the balls out of the lake.

• Branches for rustic pool cues

Take your time and choose carefully. Ideally, it’s straight as possible and without jagged little offshoots.

• Green carpeting

We went with synthetic outdoor carpeting that is water- and weather-proof over traditional pool table felt.

• Red cups

For the pool table pockets.


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The individuals featured in this website are not professional builders and the build of the projects featured in this website are intended to be for your entertainment only. Nothing in this website should be construed as construction/building advice. Check your local building/safety codes and consult with a professional before starting any building project.