Wine is temperamental and it almost always needs to be stored in specific conditions, but how do you insulate the cellar you keep your wine in?
If you’re building a wine cellar, you can use traditional insulation, packed into the walls, and sealed with plastic tape – this is a ‘vapor barrier’. Alternatively, you can use closed-cell foam. Also, you must use a waterproof sealer on the floor to insulate from below.
Read on to learn more about wine cellars, how to insulate them, and how easy they are to build by yourself.
The Origins Of The Beverage
As a species, we’ve adored wine for thousands of years, ever since it was discovered – likely by mistake – by ancient civilizations. It’s thought that wine was stumbled upon accidentally, when people ate rotten, fermented fruit, and enjoyed the after-effects somewhat.
From that point, the human species began experimenting with this concept, before eventually learning that grapes were the best thing to use. We’ve found tangible evidence of wine production stretching back to as far as 8000 BC in places like Georgia and China.
In some cultures and civilizations, wine was quite literally worshipped as a beverage sent straight from the Gods. It has even been suggested that wine was a more common drink during the Middle Ages than water, owing to a universal lack of clean water sources.
Today, wine is still appreciated, perhaps even more so, and it’s still an extremely common drink that humans around the world enjoy. It comes in many diverse forms, flavors, and styles, and there are quite literally tens of thousands of variants to choose from.
It’s a common practice to build up a collection of wine, which can range from a few bottles to a few million bottles. Whether you’re in the north, east, south, or west, there are a staggering number of homes that have at least one bottle of wine laying around.
However, if you’re a collector of fine wines and beverages, you’ll need somewhere to house them, right? To that end, you might consider building a wine cellar, which isn’t as difficult as it might sound.
If your collection has outgrown something as simple as a wine refrigerator or cooled wine rack, you’ll need to construct something specific to house it. Fortunately, a wine cellar is just a few steps away, and it’ll come even quicker if you already have a space standing empty in your home.
Grab Your Toolkit
Admittedly, it doesn’t take all that much time and effort to build a wine cellar – or a wine room – and you don’t really need too much DIY knowledge. It’s even something you can technically do entirely by yourself if you don’t have anyone to help you.
It can be remarkably expensive to hire someone to do the job for you, and you can make it a neat little project, provided you have the time.
In most cases, a wine cellar or a wine room will be a room within a room, with a frame being constructed in the existing space. This frame can be built on all six sides using a traditional timber frame; that’s the top, bottom, and all four sides.
Now, once you’ve constructed that timber frame using your studs, you’ll need to insulate it – and this is an extremely important step. If you don’t effectively insulate the room, you’ll have a hard time controlling the temperature, humidity, and moisture levels within the wine cellar.
To that end, you can either use traditional insulation padding, expanding insulating foam, solid foam sheets, or polystyrene boards. Regardless of which you choose, every gap must be filled, and in some cases, augmented with plastic sealant.
If you’re using traditional insulation padding, you’ll need to strengthen the vapor barrier by sealing the seams with thick, plastic tape. If you’re using a ‘fake floor’, you’ll need to insulate under there as well, but if it’s a concrete floor, you can make do by just using a waterproof sealant on it.
Once you’ve put up the interior walls, such as plasterboard, you can get started fleshing out the space. This part of the process includes ventilation and temperature systems, refrigeration units, and of course, wine racks.
You’ll also need to include lighting if it wasn’t already there, and any customization options you’ve chosen, such as furniture and fittings. After all, this is your creation, and you might want to have an isolated space to relax and enjoy your wine.
Ultimately, look at the space in pride whenever you go in to fetch a bottle – you’ve built this.