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How to Build a Wine Cellar: 8 Things You Need to Do

How to Build a Wine Cellar: 8 Things You Need to Do

Every wine enthusiast dreams of having a wine cellar in their own home. Are you ready to make that dream a reality? Building your own wine cellar can be a challenging and rewarding endeavor, and you won't regret doing things right from the beginning.

How to Build a Wine Cellar: 8 Things You Need to Do

Get Your Room Ready

We suggest building your wine cellar in your home's basement. Before you start, you will want to make sure that the basement is well-equipped to keep your wine cool and safe. This means it's crucial to ensure the basement is well-insulated, that any obvious air leaks have been taken care of, and that you have a solid concrete floor laid in. A dirt or wooden floor just won't cut it for a wine cellar.

Taking the time to prepare your room will ensure that your wine cellar stays in great shape for years to come! Your wine cellar will quickly become your favorite part of your home, and it's important to treat it with care from the very beginning to minimize speed bumps along the way. Once the room basics are taken care of, you're ready to move on to the specific steps needed to create the perfect place for storing and enjoying your wine.

Put in a Vapour Barrier

For the best results, you will want to put vapor barriers behind the insulation within your wall. Vapor barriers are plastic sheets that will help keep your room properly insulated and temperature controlled. These are often added inside of the ceiling as well.
It may seem like a pain to install these within your wall, but we find this to be an essential part of building a successful wine cellar! Every piece of the puzzle will help keep your wine safe, delicious, and ready to drink.

Choose Your Electrical Outlet Placement

Building your wine cellar from the ground up means you have the luxury of making everything to you liking, even where your electrical outlets are placed! When planning, think about where you will be putting your wine racks, wine cooling system, and other furnishings.

We suggested adding your outlets in unobstructed areas, such as a corner. Also, be sure to check your local building codes to ensure that your placement is following the legal standards. You will likely want to hire an electrician to help you with this process.

Pick a Door

Choosing the right door for your wine cellar is more important than you might think! The right door should not create any air leaks and should deflect any heat coming from outside of the room by using a thick thermal pane.
Our experts suggest that your door be at least two inches thick. If you choose to go with a glass door for your cellar, make sure that the door is made of tempered glass, is double-paned, and is sealed within the frame for a tight fit.

Check for Air Leaks

Installing your wine cellar door will inevitably open your room up to potential air leaks. It is imperative that after door installation you check the room for air leaks and seal any that you may find. After closing your new door, make sure you check the following areas around the room:
  • Walls
  • Floor
  • Light switches
  • Vents
  • Pipes
The easiest way to identify air leaks is by noticing sunlight coming into the room. However, this may prove difficult in a basement. We suggest holding a piece of paper up to each area to detect any air pressure. If you find any air leaks, be sure to have them sealed before moving on.

Purchase a Wine Cooling Unit

The wine cooling system is the heart of your wine cellar. This system will ensure that your wine will always be cooled to perfection. This is arguably the most important part to consider when thinking about how to build a wine cellar.
There are many different wine cooling units available, so it is important to consider your personal budget and the needs of your room. For smaller rooms, we suggest the CellarPro Houdini and for larger rooms, we love any of the WhisperKool models!

Add Your Finishing Touches

Now that you've got all the logistics of your wine cellar out of the way, it's time to put the finishing touches on your dream come true! We suggest you start by adding a finish to your walls. You can either stain your walls or use water-based paint to bring some color into the room.
After you have finished with your walls, make sure you take the time to properly air out the room. You may also want to consider adding finishing to your floor to tie the room together. Think about the overall mood that you want to achieve with your wine cellar as you choose colors and styles.


The only thing left on this list is to decorate your wine cellar to your heart's desire! Consider giving the room a theme or a color story to help guide you. Do you want it to look rustic, romantic, or perhaps modern?

Your theme will affect your choice of lighting fixtures, storage space, and of course wine racks. Follow your heart when it comes to decorations. There is no right or wrong answer to decorating!


Trust the Process, and Yourself!

Building your wine cellar will take time and energy. Make sure that you trust the process and yourself as you embark on this journey. Take your time and be sure to treat each step with care. Remaining patient throughout each step, especially in the logistical stages, will pay off once you have the in-home wine cellar of your dreams!
The sky is truly the limit when it comes to wine. Have fun and let your imagination run wild during building! If you still have questions or want more valuable resources on how to build a wine cellar, visit Wine Cellar HQ and ask us about how we can help as you build your dream wine cellar.
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