How to Design a Backyard Tiki Hut

Backyard tiki huts or bars bring a bit of the islands to your summer parties. The structure is simple, and there are many ways you can accessorise your tiki hut depending on your style. Before you build your hut, carefully plan out the design.

Scope out a location in your backyard for your tiki hut. A patio provides a good base, and it makes sense to locate it in a corner or against a wall to provide a backdrop for the bar. You can also create a freestanding tiki bar. Make sure you choose a location with level ground, and measure the area to determine how large you can build your tiki bar.

Decide what kind of base, or bar, you want for your tiki hut. You can re-purpose an old bar or use a sturdy table, or build your own platform. If you are the do-it-yourself type or have a very specific design in mind for your tiki hut, you can build a base out of two-by-fours and cover it with sheets of plywood. Bamboo fencing or matting is commonly used as an exterior cover for the bar. You can also build the structure from bamboo poles, which are tied together at the ends. Veneered plywood is an adequate surface for the bar top.

Determine the design for the roof of your tiki hut. The roof is the most identifiable element for a tiki bar, so make sure you achieve an authentic look. You can purchase pre-made tiki roofs, or create your own by using thatching. Unless you possess thatching skills, nail the thatching in thick layers to a wooden frame.

The roof will need supports, and bamboo poles are the most common choice. Depending on your roof design, you may need several supports. You can build an umbrella-style roof with a single support, or a longer structure that is held up at each end by bamboo poles.

Add some personality to your tiki hut design by selecting authentic accessories. Tiki masks, mugs and statues as well as tropical flowers, tiki torches and candles add atmosphere. A must-have tiki accessory is a blender and book of tiki drink recipes.


If you need inspiration for your tiki hut design, there are many websites with plans for purchase. Sketch out your design on paper and confirm that the proportions and dimensions are appropriate. You can also purchase a ready-made tiki bar if you'd rather not design your own.

Things You'll Need

  • Sketch paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Measuring tape
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About the Author

Dorian Gray has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009. She has written extensively on the topics of architecture and design for national magazines such as "Architectural Record" and regional publications such as "At Home in Arkansas." Gray also writes about the topics of beauty, health, nutrition and travel. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arkansas.