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Building a Wine Cellar

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The time you take to plan and build your wine cellar can be a tough, but rewarding challenge. Building this type of an investment with someone who enjoys and appreciates wine will make it even more special. Don’t forget that building a quality wine cellar will also increase the value of your home, especially for other wine connoisseurs. Since the design options are literally endless, wherever your creative juices take you, you can create a space that is unique to your personality, displays your wines and provides a place to sample your favorite wines.

So, what will you use your wine cellar for beyond the obvious, storing and preserving your collection of wines? Will you be looking to maximize the space to store the most bottles of wine in the smallest space possible? Or will you be looking to display some of your favorite wines or wine related objects? Or will you be creating an elaborate wine cellar in which you have plenty of storage for your wines, but also enough space to have your guests in for wine tastings or other adult parties?

To build an effective and efficient cellar to store your fine wines you will need to take in to account a number of factors. You will want to find a well-insulated room or place in the house where the temperature is naturally cooler and more humid (or that you can build it). Garages and other such uninsulated rooms do not make good wine cellars.

Whatever cooling system you get will need to be serviced every few months to ensure the temperatures can remain consistent for your wines. You can build a wine cellar in any insulated room in which you can maintain temperatures to about 55 degrees Fahrenheit and with a relative humidity of 50 – 70%. Try to select a place in your home with as little exposure to direct sunlight as possible.

Determining which walls are interior and exterior will help you decide about the insulation and where to put the vapor barrier. You can get a self-contained cooling system to mount on the wall between the studs.

These are the most economical and don’t’ require the assistance of an HVAC technician. Split systems are often the most efficient way to cool the cellars.

These systems allow you to split the noisy and cumbersome parts of the cooling system to be located in another more convenient locale. You will need an HVAC technician for this type of cooling system. Duct systems can either be self-contained or split systems or usually require more insulation. These systems are for the particular wine collector who doesn’t want to see the cooling system in their cellar. All unites should be installed within 18 inches of the ceiling. They should also all be 110 volt 20 amps.

No matter what kind of system you use you are going to have to vent your heat somewhere. Keep in mind the thicker the cellar wall the better insulated your room. And all your windows must also be insulated. However, if you do use glass, you may need a large cooling system as glass in general is less insulated. You will need 6 mm plastic vapor barrier on the warm walls of your wine cellar.

The importance of the vapor barrier cannot be overstated. You should cover all walls and even the ceiling. It helps maintain the proper humidity without introducing mold. Install a door with a sweep. Make sure your door has complete seals to prevent the cool air from escaping. To prevent extra heat from the lighting, use low voltage lights such as LED or fluorescent.

There are a number of options you can use for the walls such as standard sheet rock, green board or even natural wood. You can also use many different floor coverings, but carpeting cannot be used. Slate, marble, vinyl or tile are all good floor options. The wine racks are usually made out of mahogany, redwood or cedar.

Written by Robert Thompson, owner of TLC Lawncare & Landscaping, where they are one of the preferred concrete contractors in Columbia, MO has to offer.

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