For many people, wine is a hobby. They not only enjoy a good glass of fine wine, but they also like to collect bottles of vintage wines for special occasions or just for occasional enjoyment. However, keeping all those bottles of wine around the house not only takes up precious counter space, but can be detrimental to the wine itself. Because wine often stores better at specific temperatures and humidity levels, many wine enthusiasts are seeking self storage locations that offer climate control to serve as a wine cellar.
But not everyone wants their wine so far away. Sure a storage unit wine cellar is safe, climate controlled, and ready to go, but you can’t just have wine on a whim when it is in your cellar. You have to plan for it instead. For those that wish to have their wine within a closer proximity, the latest trend has been building a wine cellar within their own home.
While this sounds like a rather large project, you can actually create a reasonable sized cellar for an affordable price in a few easy steps.
1. Pick a Location
While a basement setting is preferably, it isn’t always an option. If your home doesn’t have a basement, then try to choose an area that will be well insulated by adjoining walls. A wine cellar must be maintained at temperatures between 55-58 degrees, so placing it in your attic – an area which heat will rise to – will cost you an outstanding amount on utilities when trying to maintain proper temperatures.
2. Install Studs and Soffits
If you are installing your wine cellar in your basement, you will need to install studs and soffits. For studs, use with 2×4 or 2×6 – preferably 2×6 for better insulation. Installing soffits will allow you to hide all ducting and other unsightly ceiling fixtures, better insulate the room, and will allow you to bring better lighting into the room if you so choose. If you choose to install lighting, which you should, be sure to use IC lighting so that you can insulate around them.
3. Build in Refrigeration
There are several air handling systems that you can purchase for in-home wine cellars with WineZone‘s being one of the more popular options. Regardless of which system you choose to buy, they will each come with a complete set of instructions on proper installation.
4. Put in Insulate and Vapor Barrier
Proper insulation and a vapor barrier are perhaps the most important aspect of building your own wine cellar. Without putting in great insulation or vapor barrier, your climate control efforts will essentially be non-existent. Generally, you want to use a spray foam or a 6 mil vapor barrier with fiberglass batts. This will prevent air flow from an accidental puncture to your vapor barrier.
If you choose to use a vapor barrier over spray in insulation, you will want to place it over your studding before you place it against your wall. You will also want to overlap any seams with tuck tape.
Once either your spray foam or vapor barrier is installed, you will then need to cover that with fiberglass batting. If you chose to use 2×4 studs, you will have an insulation value of R-13, and R-19 if you use 2×6.
5. Install Electrical Outlets
When you go to install your electrical outlets, you will want to place them in dead space, such as the space in between two racks connecting in a corner. You also want to make sure that all of your lighting needs are placed on switches.
6. Put Up Wall Coverings
Not just any dry wall will do when it comes to wall coverings for a basement wine cellar. You will need to use materials that are resistant to humidity, in particular, high humidity conditions that are often present in cellar and basement areas. One of the best wall coverings to use is the same dry wall that is often found in bathrooms and kitchens.
7. Finish the Drywall
Once your wall coverings are up, you will want to attach a base molding and prime and paint the walls to your liking. You will want to use an exterior grade paint.
Just like everything else in your cellar, you are going to want to install a flooring that is resistant to humidity. Do not ever use carpeting because it will most likely retain moisture and rot. A better choice is to either leave the concrete and simply seal it or use tiles or hardwood flooring. If you choose to install wood flooring, remember to leave a ½ inch gap to leave room for expansion.
10. Install a Cellar Door
For your door, you will need an exterior grade door. You will need to make sure that it seals on three sides and has adequate weather stripping or your climate control efforts will be fruitless.
While it may take a bit of elbow grease, a reasonably sized wine cellar can be completed in a weekend. So if you have an affinity for wine, don’t risk your bottles going to waste on the kitchen counter. Keep them stored properly in a wine cellar right within your own home.