By Chloe Taylor
Having your own cabin is a dream-come-true, and once you are done with décor, patio landscaping and other essential projects, you are probably going to wonder what to do next. Well, if you are an avid wine collector, you can join your two passions and build a beautiful wine cellar in your cabin. This way, you will have a place to store wine, and some of the most beautiful easy-drinking, taste-buds-tickling wines at your reach. Although the end results are fantastic, the path to them is not paved with roses. Building a wine cellar requires a lot of considerations, careful planning and hard work. Hopefully these tips will help you get there faster and without any major problems.
Decide on the Location
Location is everything for building a functional wine cellar. Basement is, of course, the best option, but if that is not a possibility then you should decide for any room that is not directly exposed to the sun. Here are some two to keep in mind when choosing the room:
- The ideal temperature in the room should be about 55 degrees Fahrenheit (with tolerance for up to 4 degrees above or below).
- The ideal level of humidity is 57 percent. Anything below 50 can cause the cork to dry and ruin the wine, and anything above 70 can cause the growth of mold inside the cork.
Framing, Insulation and Drywall
The thicker the wall is the better, because you will have more control over the environment, but essentially, the framing can be handled with some basic 2-by-6 walls. One of the best solutions concerning the insulation is spray-foam, because, besides being an insulator it is also a vapor barrier. You should apply a 6-millimeter poly moisture barrier on the outside of the previously framed walls. In the interior of the cellar you should use mold- and mildew-resistant drywall.
Installing a Wine Cooling Unit
Unlike the regular cooling units, the one you choose should also control humidity and remove excess moisture. The best solution here is a through wall unit, which works by creating a cold room on one side of the wall and warm on the other. The exhaust room (the space where the cooling unit “sends” the heat) should be large enough to absorb the heat.
Choosing the Lighting
You could spend tons of money on achieving the proper atmosphere with lighting, but you can achieve similar results with inventiveness and creativity. An overhead light is the easiest, but you should also arrange some accent lighting above the wine shelves. Just make sure you avoid incandescent and halogen bulbs, and opt for LED lights which emit no heat.
Creating a Doorway Seal
Glass doors are always the best option, because you want to showcase your amazing wine collection. Use frameless 10-millimeter glass to get the best viewing into the space. You will also need to create a seal in the doorway by using an exterior-grade, insulated door and dual paned glass.
This is, actually, the easiest part – buy a simple affordable humidifier and place it somewhere in the room. Now, if you want to achieve some ‘wow’ effect, you can even build your own indoor fountain. Although this might sound too complicated and expensive, it can be done with nothing but a container, a pump and green plant and beach stones for decoration. In the end you can have your perfect fountain for a price of about $20 and some DIY efforts.
Displaying the Wines
This can make or break the appearance of your wine cellar. You can use several methods of displaying the wines: storage, display, bulk and racks. The best cellars combine multiple methods. You would not display specially selected wines acquired in, for example, a distinguishable bottle shop in Melbourne the same as you would some everyday choices you got in a supermarket, right? You can save some money for the shelves by using ready-made pine or metal racks, instead of the custom solution.
Having a wine cellar is like having a little treasure planet inside of your cabin. Not only it can elevate every conversation and cause the good-kind envy among your friends, it can also help you meet new people interested in this topic. Luckily, the time and money needed for building the cellar are nothing compared to the lifelong pleasure when it is finally done.