How to Build a Cellar for Wine

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are a connoisseur of wines and you have started to amass a considerable collection of wine bottles, it might be time to consider installing your own wine cellar in your home. Wine cellars provide dedicated storage for your wine, and a properly constructed wine cellar creates the optimum temperature conditions to protect the investment you have made in your wine collection. Installation of a custom wine cellar can be a time-consuming process and may be expensive, but you can build your own wine cellar in just a couple of days with the right building plan and a few basic materials.

Choose an area in your home to build your wine cellar. Pick a spot like a basement or closet area that offers cool temperatures, high humidity and shelter from direct sunlight. Whenever possible, a wine cellar should be constructed in the coolest and most humid area of your home, with temperatures from 12.8 to 14.4 degrees Celsius and humidity levels from 55 per cent to 75 per cent.

Mark out the area for your wine cellar, and determine the placement of framing for the wine cellar walls and the ceiling, if applicable. Leave a space in the framing to install a door, and lay down a pressure-treated sill plate, using screws at 3- to 4-inch intervals to secure it to the floor. Position 2-by-4-inch studs at 16-inch intervals around the perimeter of the wine cellar area, and secure the studs to the ceiling and sill plate with screws.

Select a moisture barrier that is made from at least a 6- or 8-millimeter plastic sheeting. Lay the vapour barrier over the wall and ceiling framework and staple sheets in place with a staple gun. Place staples along the studs every 1 to 2 inches to keep the vapour barrier from shifting. Overlap the ends of each sheet to provide complete coverage

Place traditional fibreglass or foam insulation between the studs on top of the vapour barrier layer. Trim the wallboard sections to fit with a sharpened utility knife. Hang the drywall or wallboard onto the studs using drywall screws, and seal the drywall seams with drywall tape. Install decorative bead-board panels or other wall and ceiling finishes as desired.

Install a cooling unit or refrigeration system according to the manufacturer's instructions if you desire. A wine cellar built in a cool, dark basement may not need extra cooling, but a cooling system is a valuable option for a wine cellar. Hang shelves or bring in a wine rack, and install a door to complete your wine cellar.

Things You'll Need

  • 2x4-inch framing studs
  • Pressure-treated 2x4 sill plate
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Utility knife
  • Vapour barrier
  • Insulation
  • Drywall
  • Drywall tape
  • Cooling system
  • Shelving
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About the Author

Sara Melone is a mother of three and a graduate of UNH. With prior careers in insurance and finance, photography, as well as certifications in fitness and nutrition, Melone draws directly from past experience and varying interests. She contributes with equal passion to birth journals, investment blogs, and self-help websites.