Tiki Fans can Build a Backyard Tiki Bar to Survive in any Climate

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Do-it-yourselfers can build tiki huts and tiki bars in almost any climate thanks to plans and instructions from Kevin Dunn, TikiKev.

Recently, the popular reality TV show Extreme Makeover Home Edition traveled to Philadelphia in aid of the Py family. The project, which incidentally involved a total home demolition and rebuild, also included a backyard makeover with a tropical twist. The tropics in Philadelphia, you ask? Oh yeah…. turn up the heat.

The backyard featured a tiki hut supplied by veteran Bucks County builder Kevin Dunn, also known as TikiKev. Dunn has been a professional builder for 20 years, and today focuses his business on creating custom tiki huts and tiki bars for folks all over the U.S., and Canada.

What’s the biggest surprise about thatched tiki roof? That with the right maintenance and care, it can survive for years almost anywhere. “They are not just for islands and white sand beaches,” Dunn laughs.

“The biggest question I get asked is how long the leaves last”, he says. “If you follow all my recommendations, your leaves can last between 7-10 years before any repair work or re-thatching is needed. The leaves will hold up in any climate as long as you fasten them correctly.”

And what’s the worst thing you can do to a tiki hut? “Well the worst thing you can do is cover the structure. I really get on people’s cases about this one. Never, never, NEVER tarp your tiki roof for more than a couple of days. Moisture will build up quickly along with mold and the leaves will fall apart. If you know of a storm coming, you can cover the roof but only for a short period of time.

He adds “For tiki bars, you should also NEVER EVER cover the roof and bar together. The wind will make the tarp act like a parachute and blow it right over. Always cover your roof and bars separately.”

Dunn builds custom tiki bars and huts that include TV's, stereos, refrigerators, beer misters, sinks, ice bins, ceiling fans, electric...you name it. But if you are considering building one yourself, Dunn has written a 40-page ebook that steps you through the whole process. “People have the hardest time with the roof framing and working with the angles,” he says. In the book, Dunn describes how to do this in detail with plenty of pictures, plus pictures of the thatching process.

By building a tiki bar yourself, you easily save thousands of dollars. The materials alone will cost you around $700, which is a huge savings given that a custom ordered bar from TikiKev’s shop can run you around $5000.

For more information about TikiKev's book or adding a little bit of Polynesia to your own backyard, visit http://www.deckdesign.learnabout.info/Build-your-own-tiki-hut.htm.


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Leanne Tremblay

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