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Wine Cellar

The Ultimate Step by Step Guide On How To Build A Wine Cellar (For 2022)

Having a wine cellar is a unique and great way to increase the value of your property while also providing a space for entertaining guests, displaying your wine collection, and drinking and storing your favorite wines. While hiring an expert professional is usually the best idea, if you're seeking for something to Do Your self, these tips on how to build your own wine cellar would help

The main goal of your cellar is to make it fully controllable and manageble, no matter what time of day or month it is. The wine must be perfectly cold and stable; there should be no temperature fluctuations! Furthermore, no bright light (UV light) and no movement are necessary. To prepare your cellar area, follow these simple instructions:

In this segment, we'll focus on actively cooled cellars (where a cooling unit is utilized), as it's the most common form for most individuals.

But First..

Do You Need a Building Permit to build a wine cellar in my basement?

You may need a permit before you begin constructing your cellar. Not all projects require one, but it's a good idea to contact your local building department to ensure that your basement satisfies local, state, and national building standards.

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    Cracked floor in nasement1: Check the room you plan on building your wine cellar for leaks!

    The goal is to create a room that can be completely sealed of air (Hermetically). A hermetical area is completely sealed, so it protects its contents from outside air and contamination. A hermetic device can maintain pressure or temperature without the use of a vacuum pump. Check for air leaks and prepare for the possibility of hidden danger in the walls, such as rodents or bats. You must arrange the space in a way that you may regulate all environmental variables potentially affecting wine aging. This area will become your fixation, and it won't damage your collection if you don't check for air leaks, light leaks, or water leaks properly beforehand.

    When examining the space, make sure the ceiling is at least R-19 insulating. What exactly does R-value mean? In a nutshell, it's a measure of thermal resistance. The R-value represents how well insulation prevents heat movement. A wall with an R-19 ceiling and a roof with an R-30 rating is essentially talking about the same thing: its ability to keep heat out.The floor should be made of concrete and secured using a suitable concrete sealant - more on that later.

    wine cellar basement2. Choose Your Wine Cellar Location Wisely

    Wine cellars should be kept in a cool, dry part of the house away from natural light, vibrations, unpleasant odors, and extreme temperatures.

    It's simpler to manage these things when you start in the right position, which is why it's frequently advised that you install your wine cellar in your basement, since it's significantly colder and more humid than the rest of your home (usually around 70% in the basement vs 30% in your house), and because it's typically free of other problems like odors, noises, and natural light.

    These arenthe most popular places wine cellars are built in:

    • Basement
    • Pantry
    • Hall closet
    • On a wall in your dining room
    • Under the stairs
    • Guest room

    Furring walls2. Furring/Framing Your Walls and Ceiling

    Furring is the process of adding strips of wood to raise surfaces or prevent dampness, as well as make space for insulation.

    We recommend using 2x6 framing timber for the frame of your wine cellar walls.

    You may also choose a larger timber size to maximize the R-value of your wine cellar and give it better insulation. This will improve the energy efficiency of your wine cellar, since the depth of this lumber size allows you to use thicker insulation with a greater R-value (R-value is simply a measure of how well a two-dimensional barrier withstands heat flow).

    If you're starting from the ground up, pressure-treated wood is a smart option since it prevents decay.

    For constructing the ceiling, we recommend using 2x10 framing lumber since it allows for R-30 insulation installation.

    vapor barrier3. Insulating Your Wine Cellar Room

    Vapour barrier plastic sheets are frequently installed behind the insulation on the warm side of the wall (the interior of the wine cellar is the cold side). The vapour barrier serves to protect both sides of the insulation. You might be wondering why vapour barriers aren't used on the cold side (otherwise known as the wine cellar side). The reason for this is that humidity condensates when it's run on the cold side, resulting in moisture. Mold may develop as a result of such rot. A dense pocket might harm an entire home, and worse, printed paper wine labels may be ruined by mold!

    It's critical to install a plastic surface on the outside ceiling or walls. If you can't put it on the exterior, apply the plastic sheeting from within the cellar and work your way out. It's typical to start with the interior and ensure that there is enough room for insulation between the studs in the stud cavity by wrapping it first. Install a total vapour barrier over both the ceiling and walls of the space.

    The ideal wine cellar insulation is closed cell foam insulation, as it eliminates the need for a vapor barrier and thus saves money. It also keeps humidity under control (ideal for those who live in a humid environment), unlike other choices.

    Although closed cell spray foam is the most popular, there are alternatives that may be used in certain circumstances. Rigid foam board insulation and fiberglass batt insulation are two alternative options. These other two do not have the same energy efficiency as closed cell spray foam, and they certainly do not provide moisture control. They also need a plastic sheet vapor barrier to be put over them.

    Choose a minimum of R-19 on the walls and R-30 on the ceiling when picking an insulating material. (The greater the R-value, the more insulation it contains.)

    Spray foam with a closed cell structure in general has an R-value of approximately 7 per inch of thickness, however be sure to check the maker's specifications.

    room drywall4. Installing Drywall & Outlets for Wine Cellars

    Due to the nature that cellars is are high humidity rooms, you’ll need to install a type of water resistant drywall known as green board.

    Green board is a type of hardboard that has been treated with a water-repellent coating. It's used to finish the interior walls of basements and crawl spaces. Green board can be found in two forms: green board on roll, which is ideal for finishing corners, and green board on sheet, which is ideal for ceilings.

    This drywall is used in alot of kitchens and bathrooms making it easier to find and resists mold and moisture, making it much better than sheetrock for this application.

    After you attach all the green boards to your studs, you’ll need to cut holes for electrical outlets and make your path for the ductwork required for the cooling unit being installed. Make sure all the holes you created for your cooling unit, light switch, or general outlets are covered properly.

    The end goal is to achieve an airtight space, and that starts behind the drywall.

    wine cellar doors5. Choosing Your Wine Cellar Doors

    When choosing your cellar doors, glass options may look more sleek but they are not the best doors for the purpose of storing your wine. Glass definately has a better look but isn’t great for wine cellars. If you want a more sleek look and go with glass doors, make sure you choose one that provides the most protection against moisture. Single pane glass doors are not a good insulator. The reason we use two panes of glass on our windows is to have air flow in and out of your home, keeping it cooler inside during the summer months and warmer in the winter time. So if you should go with this type of door, it should be it’s at least 1/2 inch thick, UV-protected, and tempered. Another option would be framed glass, thermally broke frames with dual pane glass, similar to what you would use as a door to your home.

    If you want to build your own wine cellar, the door will first be constructed of wood. If that is not an option, a solid exterior door with weatherstripping and insulation is your next best choice. Interior hollow core doors won't provide the same level of insulation as you need.

    If your door is not insulated and you are looking to save energy, consider the following tips:

    Place a thermal blanket on the floor. It will help keep heat in during the winter months. Place a good quality dehumidifier in your cellar or basement to remove moisture from the air. Keep all vents closed while away from home so that they don’t suck hot air into your home. Make sure that you have high-quality fans installed with low flow rates. These will help reduce humidity levels in your cellar or basement as well as provide fresh air ventilation throughout your house. The objective is to have a door that will effectively seal your wine cellar. Because of the air resistance, it should be difficult to push the door shut.

    If you open your door, it will likely make a loud pop. This sound will ensure that your cellar is properly sealed. Also, it would be a good choice to choose a door that swings inward into the cellar.

    The majority of glass paneled cellar doors only have a thin layer (less than 3 mm) of glass within their frames, despite the fact that they are quite beautiful and widely utilized. Within a wine cellar, they offer very little R value (insulation). If you're using glass, consider getting a larger BTU output cooling unit to compensate for the lower R value. In general, the next size up will be sufficient in compensation, however bigger cooling units can never truly compensate for an inadequately insulated wine cellar.

    The glass in the door should be a thermal pane unit with a total thickness of 5/8” or ¾”. Glass should be sealed around the frame's edges. A wine cellar door must be an exterior grade front door with weather strips and a suitable threshold.

    As stated before When closing the door, it's crucial that it make a loud sound and seal against the heat and warmth of the house. What thickness should the cellar door be? A 1 3/4" thick door is advised. Double-paned glass doors (at least) must be used, as well as tempered glass in the glass components (if applicable)

    You can check out all the different options of wine cellar doors here.

    Wine Cellar walls idea6. Finish Your Cellar Walls

    Finishing the walls will help you get the style and elegance you want for the cellar area while also keeping wine at a consistent temperature. Make sure that the interior walls are painted with water-based paints or stains.

    It's also critical to allow fresh air in after painting or finishing the wall surfaces so that the wine cellars' odors don't build up when the humidity and cooling systems begin working.

    You should choose a wall finish that complements the style you want for your basement while also being resistant to dampness.

    After you've installed the drywall, you may apply any of the treatments that produce your chosen aesthetic, such as:

    • Real rock
    • Brick
    • Tile
    • Stucco
    • Wood
    • Faux Rock

    concrete floor sealed

    7. Sealing Wine Cellar Floor

    Concrete is the greatest option. In fact, anything that isn't properly sealed concrete is suspect, and even concrete may be surprisingly permeable. Rugs and hardwood floors are not suggested for wine storage rooms. They are far too permeable and porous.

    Whatever flooring you choose for your wine cellar, it must be fully sealed. Concrete is by far the finest option since it is naturally permeable and porous. Cork, hardwood, porcelain, stone, or artificial marble are some of the most popular flooring materials after the concrete has been allowed to cure for at least 28 days.

    wine cellar cooling unit

    8. Installing a Wine Cellar Cooling Unit

    A wine cellar cooling unit is required, no matter how big or little the space is. This machine will be the heart of your temperature-controlled storage room. Wine cellars are chilly and keeping things consistent is critical to success. As a result, you'll need one of these tiny refrigerator units to keep the chill in bright weather.

    There are a variety of criteria to consider when selecting the best cooler for your area. It's time to install your cooling system at this stage. The wine cellar cooling unit must maintain optimal storage temperatures and humidity levels throughout the whole space, and it's never a good idea to cut corners in this area.

    You may save money by purchasing a smaller unit, but the savings are only temporary. You'll spend more in electricity bills over time since it consumes power to maintain a space that is too large for it while cooling.

    A cooling unit that is used frequently will require more frequent maintenance and will develop more pre-mature wear. You can anticipate to use your cooling unit for the full life of the device and perhaps even longer if you size it correctly.

    Keep in mind that all through-the-wall cooling units will create some heat and noise in the adjacent area at the back of the cooling unit. If this is not okay, a ducted or split system may be worth considering.

    A through-the-wall application system, for example, may be necessary if you have limited space or need to install an application closer to the surface of your driveway. You can select between a split system (i.e., one part runs through the wall and another outside), ducted system (i.e., the hot air is ducted

    Calculations Before You Choose Your Wine Cellar Cooling Unit

    1. Room Volume

    When selecting a cooling unit for a particular area, keep in mind that the "up to" manufacturer's estimates for how many cubic feet it may cool under ideal conditions are always the absolute maximum. If your circumstances aren't perfect, the device will struggle, so it's usually best to go bigger.

    Use our Wine Cellar Cubic Feet Calculator do determine which unit might be the best for you.

    If you have a large 1450 cu. ft. cellar, for example, the Breezaire WKL 8000 (up to 2000 cu. ft.) is roughly about $220 more than the Breezaire WKL 6000 (1500 cu. ft.), but it may save you hundreds of dollars in expenses over time since it can efficiently cool the area without having to work too hard.

    2. Ambient Temperature

    Remember, the objective of your cooling system is to maintain a temperature of 55°. The greater the gap between the air around your wine cellar and its ideal condition, the more work your equipment must do to achieve it.The cheaper cooling units are generally capable of withstanding a 30° difference in temperatures before breaking down. As long as the ambient temperature in your wine cellar is no more than 85°, you should be able to find a unit that will work for you.

    When it comes to wine cellars, the most important factor is humidity. The ideal relative humidity (RH) for a wine cellar is between 50% and 70%. RH is the measurement of how much water vapor is in the air. The lower the RH, the drier the air; the higher the RH, the more humid the air.

    If you're using a self-contained air conditioner that vents into another room, the temperature in that other room should not be higher than 85 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid overloading the cooling system. This prevents you from venting into hot attics, closets, and other unventilated areas.

    There are 3 Types of Cooling Units

    We'll go over the three distinct sorts of cooling units, as well as their benefits and drawbacks:

    Self-Contained Systems

    • These may be installed by a handyman or a general contractor without the need for an HVAC engineer.
    • The most cost-effective cooling alternative
    • Depending on the manufacturer, some units can be ducted to add installation versatility.
    • Installation is usually straightforward and does not require significant changes to the space.
    • Certain manufacturers provide quieter self contained options.

    Cons:

    • For smaller wine cellar projects, this would be a suitable option.
    • These units are usually the Nosiest cooling option
    • They are usually noticeable in in the wine enclosure

    Shop all self contained systems here.

    Ductless Split Systems

    On a ductless split system, the condenser is separated from the evaporator, which makes them quieter than self-contained ones. This also allows you to make more installation decisions since the noisy, hot condenser can be placed somewhere where it won't bother anyone.

    Pros:

    • Can handle a larger cubic feet cellar
    • Less noisy than self contained units
    • Increased ventilation for better air circulation
    • These systems can have lines sets added, so with this type of system, you will need less "behind-the-wall" access than other methods.

    Cons:

    • More costly than self-contained units
    • For installation, a licensed HVAC technician is required.
    • More planning is necessary for connecting the evaporation and condensation units.

    Ducted Systems

    Ducted systems, which are also known as split systems, can be either self-contained or split. These allow you to position the cooling unit as far away as 25 to 50 feet for noise reduction and a better aesthetic.

    Pros:

    • The majority of the largest wine cellars may be serviced by these systems.
    • Noise levels that are almost unnoticeable
    • Humidity can be added or removed.
    • Since the unit is not noticeable, it makes the area aesthetically look better

    Cons:

    • Its a more expesive system to Install
    • A licenced Hvac technician would be required for this installation
    • This type of system Requires you to have full access behind the walls and ceiling this can be planned ahead while building your cellar or it will require renovating the room to have this equipped.

    Some of the most reputable manufacturers of cooling equipment are: WhisperKOOL, Breezaire, Wine Guardian, WineZone and CellarPro.

    You can browse our entire range of cooling units on sale here.

    9. Prime and Paint Walls

    After that, you'll need to do one more thing: finish the space with paint. Make sure you prime and then paint with a water-based, zero VOC exterior grade paint.

    Interior-grade paints are more prone to fade and yellowing over time, making them less suitable for a wine cellar. Oil-based paints have an unpleasant odour that lingers and is hard to remove, especially in a hermetically sealed space like a wine cellar. Before adding bottles to your wine cellar, make sure the paint has dried fully.

    wine cellar lighting

    10. Install Lighting

    Last but not least, illumination is the finishing touch to your basement. Because it's better to build a dark cellar with no natural light, you'll have to provide your own illumination. Thermally fused can lights (also known as IC rated cans) may be used in airtight environments.

    Fluorescent lights, which can give off harmful UV radiation, should be avoided. LED lighting is also a great option.

    Install a motion sensor or a timer on your lights so you don't forget to turn them off and allow your wine to soak in the light.

    wine racks11. Install Wine Cellar Racking

    The racks are the core of your cellar, and you can opt for either kit solutions or bespoke racks. The kits are ready to assemble, pre-designed, and manufactured in bulk. Standardized sizes and shapes make them more cost-effective than handcrafted racks.

    Wine storage racks are custom-made to fit your wine cellar space and shape, with the goal of holding your wine collection. This is the best alternative if you have odd shapes and curves to fill, as well as superior craftsmanship and detailing.

    To keep the corks moist and prevent air from leaking through the cracks in the cork, wine should be kept at an angle.

    Wine Rack Styles

    Diamond Bin

    This design can also be found in square bins or cubes, which give you a lot of versatility when it comes to different bottle types.

    Standard

    A standard rack is typically the most cost-effective alternative, but it can only house regular wine bottle dimensions. It's difficult to accommodate magnums and other unusual shapes on these.

    Corner Racks

    To make the most of limited corner space in your cellar, consider utilizing a pair of these. As the name implies, they're constructed at a 90-degree angle and are ideal for using corner space.

    Magnum and Split

    These racks allow you to arrange larger bottles or bottles of various heights in a more flexible way.

    Shelves and Double Deep

    This wine rack combines classic style with modern technology. It is designed to fit most decanters, and the cable management system keeps it looking neat and organized. Shelves allow you to store wine when you don't want to open the original cases, and double deep doubles the capacity of standard racks while still retaining enough room for your bottles.

    Credenzas and Bars

    A wine cellar is more than just a place to store your wines. It may also be the focal point of your collection, as these are frequently handcrafted and serve as the centerpiece of your wine cellar. They might have rolling shelving, sliding pocket doors, stemware racks, and other features that make them ideal for sampling.

    Wine Display Racks

    These racks are comparable to conventional racks, but they have a middle display row for displaying bottles.

    Tasting Tables

    These are popular as wine cellar décor. The smooth surface is utilized to open and pour your bottle.

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