Practical Considerations To Know When Building a Wine Cellar
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Practical Considerations a Builder Has to Keep In View While Building a Wine Cellar

Wine cellar

14 Aug Practical Considerations a Builder Has to Keep In View While Building a Wine Cellar

When you are getting a wine cellar built from a builder, there are a number of practical considerations that have to be kept in view. It’s important that all these be taken into account while choosing the location, materials and in the actual designing of the work. If you are planning to get an active wine cellar installed, just installing its cooling unit in a wall without actually converting the room itself can cause damage to the structure of the room and most of your wine collection too.

Proper Preparation is Important

The key to effectively controlling the environmental factors is proper preparation of the wine cellar. When you have a properly-constructed cellar, it allows you to use a smaller cooling system. It will also help the system work optimally and reduce the overall energy bills and make the installation cost effective for you. Let’s take a look at all the practical considerations a builder has to keep in view while building a wine cellar:


This must have the required R-19 insulation as well as a vapour barrier. If you want a concealed system, a minimum additional 300mm ceiling space will be required to hide the ducting.


Any kind of concrete ground floor will need only a vapour barrier (this will be sealed with a concrete sealant). Above-ground floors will need R-19 and a vapour barrier.

Vapour Barrier

The vapour barrier (a 6/8 mil plastic sheeting is recommended). This will have to be installed on the insulation’s warm side. This means it will be protected from the wine cellar (cold side) by insulation. This barrier has to be applied to the outer walls and ceiling. In most instances the entire interior is wrapped with the insulation to create a complete vapour barrier.

Conversion Steps for a Typical Wine Cellar

  • The concrete floor will have to be sealed with a water-based sealant (If you are going to have a tiled floor, ensure that the sealant is compatible with the tile adhesive)
  • Vapour barrier will have to be installed on walls and ceiling
  • Using fibreglass insulation will need 2” x 4” and 2” x 6” fur-out to achieve the necessary R factors and it’s best to use a rigid foam board insulation
  • Expanding spray foam should be used to fill the cracks
  • With wine cellars, the standard rule is “thicker walls mean better insulation” and this helps the cellar remain at a constant temperature
  • Select solid, good door/s. It must be insulated or solid core. Glass doors should be dual-pane insulated glass and should be weather-stripped and air tight
  • Check thoroughly for air-leakage in the room, vents, pipes, switches and other sources
  • If there are windows (preferably there shouldn’t be any),they should be double-paned too
  • Ducted-system installations are inconspicuous and the best option. The ducting & line-set will also have to be installed while the cellar is being built. The system will need an electric and drain line and it’s best to have outdoor access
  • When it comes to lighting, avoid any recessed fittings. Instead, use low-voltage track style lighting. Always remember that you can never over-seal or over-insulate your wine cellar
  • Drywall (preferably green board) or Redwood and other rot and mildew-resistant woods should be used for the finished wall-surface materials
  • Once the walls have been insulated and you have found the appropriate cooling unit, you will also require some wine racks. This is available in a range of woods and metals. Common woods used include redwood and mahogany as they are moisture and rot-resistant. Cedar has a strong odour and should be avoided. Wire lattice is another option for racking or modular or semi-custom racking systems can be installed. Full-custom designed racks can be installed too
  • Humidifier fountains and furniture or anything that suits your personal style can be added later

Designing and building a custom wine cellar is a specialist’s job. For expert custom wine cellar installations, call Signature Cellars on 02 9340 7515 or use this contact form to get in touch with us.

Thanks for reading,
Neil Smallman
Signature Cellars
02 9340 7515

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