What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

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What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#1 Post by HoosJustinG » October 18th, 2020, 9:37 am

I’m looking for general advice on what to tell our architect about wine cellar building in terms of insulation, materials, etc. I’ve screenshot the relevant portion of our plans below. The wine room is 11’2 by 5’10 with 18’ ceiling. Plan is for racking to go all the way up and have a library-style slide-y ladder to access the higher bottles.

The house will be made of white brick and located in NW Florida. I’m not sure how much of a concern humidity is and/or if there are cooling units that also control humidity and/or if so if they need to be connected to plumbing? I think if humidity isn’t a concern since we’re in Florida, just having a split and separate thermostat in the wine room would be nice for the sake of convenience.

-The house will have a whole house generator in the case of power loss
-Layout-wise, we do want it to be where it is in terms of having an exterior wall. I know that might make the compressor run harder, but it’s just where I want it in the house. It’s Florida, so no basement (but supposedly white brick is about as good as we can do in terms of heat reflection/insulation).

What should I ask for in terms of insulation or other considerations? Should a mechanical engineer review the plans for temperature calculations (I know for instance in our commercial bailout, AC tonnage was calculated based on a 95 degree day being able to keep the interior temperature at 75)? Any other thoughts?
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#2 Post by alan weinberg » October 18th, 2020, 9:41 am

the search function will give you all the info you need. My advice: overinsulate, rigid foam, consider cooling system redundancy, avoid diamond bins, look at Richard Gold’s How and Why to Build a Wine Cellar. We’ve done this thread many times.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#3 Post by dsimmons » October 18th, 2020, 11:53 am

Make sure the architect you hire understands vapor barriers.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#4 Post by Scott Jameson » October 18th, 2020, 12:01 pm

To me, the one "interesting" aspect of your room is the 18 ft. ceiling. I have a fairly hefty cooling system in my well-insulated cellar with an 8 ft. ceiling and I can see a 4 or 5 degree temperature differential between the floor and ceiling right after the system cycles off. I'm certainly not an expert here, but you may want to investigate adding a fan to improve the cooled air circulation or some other method to minimize the temp difference.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#5 Post by brodie thomson » October 18th, 2020, 12:12 pm

Scott Jameson wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 12:01 pm
To me, the one "interesting" aspect of your room is the 18 ft. ceiling. I have a fairly hefty cooling system in my well-insulated cellar with an 8 ft. ceiling and I can see a 4 or 5 degree temperature differential between the floor and ceiling right after the system cycles off. I'm certainly not an expert here, but you may want to investigate adding a fan to improve the cooled air circulation or some other method to minimize the temp difference.
I think Scott is being kind!

An 18 ft ceiling in wine ceiling is crazy. Google "thermal mass". Every wine cellar I have ever seen has a low stud basically to minimize the amount of air space in the cellar. Air has pretty much has zero thermal mass and with an 18 ft stud, I reckon your cooling system with run 24/7 for 6 months of the year. Good luck anyway!

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#6 Post by AndrewH » October 18th, 2020, 12:18 pm

Scott Jameson wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 12:01 pm
To me, the one "interesting" aspect of your room is the 18 ft. ceiling. I have a fairly hefty cooling system in my well-insulated cellar with an 8 ft. ceiling and I can see a 4 or 5 degree temperature differential between the floor and ceiling right after the system cycles off. I'm certainly not an expert here, but you may want to investigate adding a fan to improve the cooled air circulation or some other method to minimize the temp difference.
Agree this is going to present an additional challenge.

You may want to consult with an HVAC person as to the best way to do this, because I could envision having a system with return ducts at the bottom and supply ducts at the top for the cooling. It's more than just a split . . .
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#7 Post by Andrew Gold » October 18th, 2020, 12:41 pm

I'd agree with the above regarding the ceiling height.

It also strikes me that trying to load wine up an 18' ladder wouldn't be viable... or at least would become less viable every year you're in the house.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#8 Post by Chuck Miller » October 18th, 2020, 12:46 pm

While the idea of having 18’ ceilings and a library style ladder sounds ‘cool’ (no pun intended), I would rethink it. If you are going that high to boost capacity, meaning you will actually load the upper areas and use them, as I get older the idea of climbing a ladder with a bottle in hand doesn’t excite me. Also, the ladder requires the floor remain clear to move it around, so no stacking boxes on the floor. You could use the higher parts to store only long term agers, but then you are storing them where the air is warmest. I prefer keeping long term agers near the floor.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#9 Post by John Davis » October 18th, 2020, 1:03 pm

I, too, would re-think ceiling height. It might look cool but getting on a ladder to retrieve bottles or put them up can be a pain. When I built ours, I made sure that the builder and wine cellar sub were on the same page. The cellar builder knew what they were doing and consulted with both the architect and builder.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#10 Post by Ethan Abraham » October 18th, 2020, 4:22 pm

Not yet mentioned is the unrealistic width in your floorplan picture. If you assume a few extra inches for insulation and then use single racking on each side you're looking at under 3 feet width between the racks. That seems nearly impossible narrow. Maybe you can pull off double racking and then a ladder arrangement that pulls out, but again pulling from double racking 15 feet up seems like an awful idea.

Also interior temp at 75 on a 95 degree day? That's at least 10 degrees too high considering it gets hotter than that in FL! Even more if this is meant to be long term storage.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#11 Post by JDavisRoby » October 18th, 2020, 5:39 pm

Looks me to like the laundry/pantry and wine room need to be switched.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#12 Post by Dale Bowers » October 18th, 2020, 5:44 pm

Also, what would the weight be on the bottom of an 18' rack???
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#13 Post by ClarkstonMark » October 18th, 2020, 5:53 pm

Definitely add a ceiling that is 9-12 ft, then you can put a ledge above to put some decorations/trinkets (maybe old 12 L bottle or a wine barrel if looking for a wine theme)
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#14 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » October 18th, 2020, 6:27 pm

ClarkstonMark wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 5:53 pm
Definitely add a ceiling that is 9-12 ft, then you can put a ledge above to put some decorations/trinkets (maybe old 12 L bottle or a wine barrel if looking for a wine theme)
Or Madeira. But watch out for that ladder after having a few glasses. And up and down the ladder one bottle at a time?

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#15 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 » October 18th, 2020, 7:20 pm

I think everyone is spot on with the 18 foot ceilings. I can't imagine the temp swing on that or what the cost would be to try and keep that evenly cool. I went with 2x6 framing with spray foam insulation and a good portion is subterranean. I'm [still years later] messing with my liquid bottle probe moving it around and testing out the various aspects of the room, shocked at how much things swing with 8' tall ceilings. I just don't see keeping an 18' room balanced.

Plus as someones else pointed out, that ladder will get old. I hate dragging cases down now. Adding having to go up and down and manage inventory, check a bottle, move a case that is no longer where I want it to keep that region or got fragmented... would look cool, great work-out, however just not practical IMO. Lighting could be awkward too, might not be able to see too much up if shining down too bright. Maybe split it in top 2 floors with a spiral stair case and 2 zones of temp control. That is the only thing I would think that *might* keep it balanced, maybe. Bottom will be wayyyy frigid still, wines will kinda kinda stall on aging if too cold.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#16 Post by Max S. » October 18th, 2020, 7:42 pm

Dale Bowers wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 5:44 pm
Also, what would the weight be on the bottom of an 18' rack???
Good call, will definitely need additional support along the way... but that HVAC is a dealbreaker for me.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#17 Post by Jason T » October 18th, 2020, 8:25 pm

Ethan Abraham wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 4:22 pm

Also interior temp at 75 on a 95 degree day? That's at least 10 degrees too high considering it gets hotter than that in FL! Even more if this is meant to be long term storage.
I don’t think that’s the temperature being envisioned for the wine cellar - it was only an example.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#18 Post by David Wright » October 18th, 2020, 8:59 pm

Jason T wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 8:25 pm
Ethan Abraham wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 4:22 pm

Also interior temp at 75 on a 95 degree day? That's at least 10 degrees too high considering it gets hotter than that in FL! Even more if this is meant to be long term storage.
I don’t think that’s the temperature being envisioned for the wine cellar - it was only an example.
And it is unusal for the temp to reach 95F in Florida. (It's the humidity that kills you.)

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#19 Post by NED VALOIS » October 18th, 2020, 9:00 pm

Both 75 degrees & 18 ft are too high; Drop ceiling to drop down to 8 or 10 ft ?
I'm in Sofla and my wine cellar has 6 1/2 ft ceilings and is 4 ft in ground and about 10 ft X 13 ft. It keeps a steady 54 degrees with a Whisperkool 8000 unit.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#20 Post by David Wright » October 18th, 2020, 9:00 pm

Jason T wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 8:25 pm
Ethan Abraham wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 4:22 pm

Also interior temp at 75 on a 95 degree day? That's at least 10 degrees too high considering it gets hotter than that in FL! Even more if this is meant to be long term storage.
I don’t think that’s the temperature being envisioned for the wine cellar - it was only an example.
And it is unusual for the temp to reach 95F in Florida. (It's the humidity that kills you.)

But you have to wonder if this architect has any prior experience with wine cellars.
Last edited by David Wright on October 18th, 2020, 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#21 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » October 18th, 2020, 9:02 pm

David Wright wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 9:00 pm
David Wright wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 8:59 pm
Jason T wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 8:25 pm


I don’t think that’s the temperature being envisioned for the wine cellar - it was only an example.
And it is unusal for the temp to reach 95F in Florida. (It's the humidity that kills you.)]
Bu it does seem a safe bet that this architect has little experience with wine cellars.
I hope Robert isn’t moonlighting.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#22 Post by AndrewH » October 19th, 2020, 6:17 am

Chuck Miller wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 12:46 pm
While the idea of having 18’ ceilings and a library style ladder sounds ‘cool’ (no pun intended), I would rethink it. If you are going that high to boost capacity, meaning you will actually load the upper areas and use them, as I get older the idea of climbing a ladder with a bottle in hand doesn’t excite me. Also, the ladder requires the floor remain clear to move it around, so no stacking boxes on the floor. You could use the higher parts to store only long term agers, but then you are storing them where the air is warmest. I prefer keeping long term agers near the floor.
I'm not even sure one could safely install a ladder with only 5 feet - the minimum recommended ratio of run to rise is 1:4 (i.e., for each 4 feet of height you need 1 foot out from the wall. Assuming you need at least 1 foot at the bottom of the latter to mount/dismount (and that's small) you can't get more than 12' of ladder there).

A bit hard to visualize all that's going on, and what restrictions you face but can you connect the wine cellar to the pantry, and use some of the pantry space? If you want a window put it between that and the "summer kitchen". If you have 18' to play with, put a cooling unit up at 12' beneath a false ceiling, build a hatch, and let the A/C maintenance guys deal with the ladder once a year or so.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#23 Post by John S » October 19th, 2020, 7:36 am

I hate to say it but this is an example of why architects should not design wine cellars. You are wise to check in here. I would never want a tall ladder in a cellar as I hate even using a step ladder when fiddling with wine. So as noted drop the ceiling and insulate down to that 8-10' height or what you decide to use. Use closed cell foam insulation (probably 2" or 3") as that will both insulate and create your vapor barrier.

That room appears to have windows on the South side? I hoping this is wrong and you'd never want a window in a cellar. I'd personally double deep that South wall (corner to corner) and then see if you have space left on the North wall. I like to assume 4' between racks as working space but 3' can be Ok if needed. I prefer to rack wall to wall than try to rack 4 sides and waste corner space.

The HVAC stuff is simple once you have the layout, proper insulation, and vapor barrier done. A mini split with a coolbot is my current favorite cooling setup. Super quiet and cools great. If looking to save some $$ given you have an exterior wall you could put in a single wall mounted unit.

Having your own cellar is great. This is the one area of your house you will have to be the expert and drive that aspect of the project.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#24 Post by Chris Kravitz » October 19th, 2020, 7:47 am

As noted by others the room is not deep enough for a rolling ladder. The cooling will need its own system, I'd recommend a split DUCTED system with an outdoor condenser, with the fan set to run full time.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#25 Post by JIMCOH » October 19th, 2020, 9:02 am

AndrewH wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 6:17 am
Chuck Miller wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 12:46 pm
While the idea of having 18’ ceilings and a library style ladder sounds ‘cool’ (no pun intended), I would rethink it. If you are going that high to boost capacity, meaning you will actually load the upper areas and use them, as I get older the idea of climbing a ladder with a bottle in hand doesn’t excite me. Also, the ladder requires the floor remain clear to move it around, so no stacking boxes on the floor. You could use the higher parts to store only long term agers, but then you are storing them where the air is warmest. I prefer keeping long term agers near the floor.
I'm not even sure one could safely install a ladder with only 5 feet - the minimum recommended ratio of run to rise is 1:4 (i.e., for each 4 feet of height you need 1 foot out from the wall. Assuming you need at least 1 foot at the bottom of the latter to mount/dismount (and that's small) you can't get more than 12' of ladder there).

A bit hard to visualize all that's going on, and what restrictions you face but can you connect the wine cellar to the pantry, and use some of the pantry space? If you want a window put it between that and the "summer kitchen". If you have 18' to play with, put a cooling unit up at 12' beneath a false ceiling, build a hatch, and let the A/C maintenance guys deal with the ladder once a year or so.
The angle only applies if the top of the ladder if free and leaning against the wall. It doesn't apply if the ladder is anchored at the top or on a captive roller system. If it is it can go straight up at 90 degrees. I certainly assume it will be on a captive roller system. It's still a bad idea. It's fine for books, but who wants to haul wine bottles down from 18'? you would need to have a basket on a pulley system for both storage and retrieval.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#26 Post by Scott Jameson » October 19th, 2020, 9:52 am

JIMCOH wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 9:02 am
you would need to have a basket on a pulley system for both storage and retrieval.
Or a wine angel ...

https://vinepair.com/articles/las-vegas-wine-angel/

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#27 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 » October 19th, 2020, 10:14 am

Scott Jameson wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 9:52 am
JIMCOH wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 9:02 am
you would need to have a basket on a pulley system for both storage and retrieval.
Or a wine angel ...

https://vinepair.com/articles/las-vegas-wine-angel/
That is bad ass.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#28 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » October 19th, 2020, 10:18 am

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 9:02 pm
David Wright wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 9:00 pm
David Wright wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 8:59 pm


And it is unusal for the temp to reach 95F in Florida. (It's the humidity that kills you.)]
Bu it does seem a safe bet that this architect has little experience with wine cellars.
I hope Robert isn’t moonlighting.
HAHA, just saw this!

True, would be epic failure! Although, many of my projects from 25+ years ago are still standing (and all in hurricane zones). Alas, no wine refrigerators.

I am more than happy to provide the OP with consulting - architecture, law, life, wine, philosophy, how to have a chiseled physique at 54, men’s apparel and style - with wine as the fee. But, to be clear, I ain’t cheap. A billable hour will start with a mature Trotanoy.

BTW, I really do like the overall floor plan of the house, looks great! Hope to see pics!

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#29 Post by AndrewH » October 19th, 2020, 10:34 am

Rich K0rz€nk0 wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 10:14 am
Scott Jameson wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 9:52 am
JIMCOH wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 9:02 am
you would need to have a basket on a pulley system for both storage and retrieval.
Or a wine angel ...

https://vinepair.com/articles/las-vegas-wine-angel/
That is bad ass.
No kidding. I think you'll need that degree of flexibility *with a ladder* to negotiate an 18' column of wine with only about 3'x3' of floor.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#30 Post by Mark Stevens » October 19th, 2020, 11:01 am

I would suggest eliminating the window in the exterior wall of the wine room. Besides the increased temperature swings from the glazing and the possibility that the window would be perpetually foggy from the humidity in the room, the daylight would be detrimental to long term storage.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#31 Post by Brad Trent » October 19th, 2020, 11:04 am

Lotsa really good advice here...especially from Weinberg who said, "avoid diamond bins", cuz they suck!

But yeah...aside from the obvious cooling requirements, the 18' thing in a room that small is gonna make the place feel like a grain silo. My cellar had almost the same footprint as yours...6.5 x 11.3...and I managed to make it single-bottle racked for almost 2000 bottles!

Image

I used shallower racking (10" vs 12"+) and I strapped two columns together in the middle that held about 500 bottles alone!
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#32 Post by ClarkstonMark » October 19th, 2020, 11:10 am

AndrewH wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 6:17 am
Chuck Miller wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 12:46 pm
While the idea of having 18’ ceilings and a library style ladder sounds ‘cool’ (no pun intended), I would rethink it. If you are going that high to boost capacity, meaning you will actually load the upper areas and use them, as I get older the idea of climbing a ladder with a bottle in hand doesn’t excite me. Also, the ladder requires the floor remain clear to move it around, so no stacking boxes on the floor. You could use the higher parts to store only long term agers, but then you are storing them where the air is warmest. I prefer keeping long term agers near the floor.
I'm not even sure one could safely install a ladder with only 5 feet - the minimum recommended ratio of run to rise is 1:4 (i.e., for each 4 feet of height you need 1 foot out from the wall. Assuming you need at least 1 foot at the bottom of the latter to mount/dismount (and that's small) you can't get more than 12' of ladder there).

A bit hard to visualize all that's going on, and what restrictions you face but can you connect the wine cellar to the pantry, and use some of the pantry space? If you want a window put it between that and the "summer kitchen". If you have 18' to play with, put a cooling unit up at 12' beneath a false ceiling, build a hatch, and let the A/C maintenance guys deal with the ladder once a year or so.
The ladder issue is an easy fix, just build a drone to put bottle in and remove from the upper shelves.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#33 Post by Brad Trent » October 19th, 2020, 11:25 am

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#34 Post by MBerto » October 19th, 2020, 11:45 am

Don't let the haters get you down Justin. If they can play hockey in Texas you can have your 18 ft wine cellar in Florida.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#35 Post by David Wright » October 19th, 2020, 11:50 am

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#36 Post by SeanHarding » October 19th, 2020, 1:30 pm

Brad Trent wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 11:04 am
But yeah...aside from the obvious cooling requirements, the 18' thing in a room that small is gonna make the place feel like a grain silo. My cellar had almost the same footprint as yours...6.5 x 11.3...and I managed to make it single-bottle racked for almost 2000 bottles!
Brad, how big is the aisle between your racks, and do you find it adequate? I'm trying to figure out how small of a space I can fit my cellar into, and this looks similar to the space I have. Do you have any plan drawings you'd be open to sharing?

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#37 Post by James Mc » October 19th, 2020, 2:07 pm

SeanHarding wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 1:30 pm
Brad Trent wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 11:04 am
But yeah...aside from the obvious cooling requirements, the 18' thing in a room that small is gonna make the place feel like a grain silo. My cellar had almost the same footprint as yours...6.5 x 11.3...and I managed to make it single-bottle racked for almost 2000 bottles!
Brad, how big is the aisle between your racks, and do you find it adequate? I'm trying to figure out how small of a space I can fit my cellar into, and this looks similar to the space I have. Do you have any plan drawings you'd be open to sharing?
X2. Small space, high volume. Just what i need as well.
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#38 Post by Brad Trent » October 19th, 2020, 7:35 pm

SeanHarding wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 1:30 pm
Brad Trent wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 11:04 am
But yeah...aside from the obvious cooling requirements, the 18' thing in a room that small is gonna make the place feel like a grain silo. My cellar had almost the same footprint as yours...6.5 x 11.3...and I managed to make it single-bottle racked for almost 2000 bottles!
Brad, how big is the aisle between your racks, and do you find it adequate? I'm trying to figure out how small of a space I can fit my cellar into, and this looks similar to the space I have. Do you have any plan drawings you'd be open to sharing?
For reference, those floor tiles are 12”...so I’ve got about 18” between the wall racks and the center column. Trust me, It’s totally fine. I worked it out beforehand with cardboard boxes as stand-ins for the racks, so I knew I could live with a tight fit. I never wanted a ‘Show’ cellar with a silly tasting table and posters on the wall, but I did want it to look cool. I just wanted maximum storage in what was a pretty tight space. I did tongue in groove redwood walls and ceiling and terra cotta floor tiles and insulated the shit outta the thing. It’s built on the North East corner of my basement and in the winter (actually, late October thru April) the cooling unit almost never kicks in. As for plans...nah...me and my handyman put the thing together over a long weekend twenty years ago...so drawings? Who needs drawings?!! 😂 All/in, the materials...wood, tile, lighting, cooling unit, solid core door...was about $1800. I can’t remember what the racks came to, but I got them from wineracks.com cuz it was one of the only places that had (at the time) 10” deep racks. That was important, cuz it allowed me to build that center back-to-back column. And 10” racks hold a bottle just as well as a 12” rack!

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#39 Post by Brad Trent » October 19th, 2020, 7:46 pm

...Now of course, there’s another option that would basically give you a similar amount of storage if you don’t wanna do the center column.....you could double up on 12” racks against the long walls to go double-deep! So assuming you had a roughly six foot wide room, you could build out 24” deep of racking on the walls on two sides, single deep (12”) on the short ends, and still have a very roomy 24” open middle area. Dunno how the total amount of bottles would work out vs what I did, but it would hafta be pretty close...🤔
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#40 Post by Eric Michels » October 19th, 2020, 9:13 pm

Brad - You've got my ideal cellar. If only I had a little bit of space in the house I would build the exact same thing (minus the diamond racking). Well done for knocking that out yourself.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#41 Post by Jason T » October 20th, 2020, 1:49 am

Eric Michels wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 9:13 pm
Brad - You've got my ideal cellar. If only I had a little bit of space in the house I would build the exact same thing (minus the diamond racking). Well done for knocking that out yourself.
Same here. Looks sharp but not showy and maximises the space. I love it!
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#42 Post by Jim Clary » October 20th, 2020, 5:04 am

Andrew Gold wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 12:41 pm
I'd agree with the above regarding the ceiling height.

It also strikes me that trying to load wine up an 18' ladder wouldn't be viable... or at least would become less viable every year you're in the house.
I can attest to this. I have come very close to taking some serious falls off of ours loaded down with wine. We have a storage shelf across the top that can hold wooden cases. It’s a Cirq du Soleil effort to get them up or down without killing myself.

Another drawback to the ladder is that it is forever in your way.

Fun project, though. Good luck!
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#43 Post by AndrewH » October 20th, 2020, 5:35 am

Brad Trent wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 7:35 pm
. . .I never wanted a ‘Show’ cellar . . .
Also Brad:

Pictures of Screaming Eagle OWC and Petrus.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#44 Post by Ethan Abraham » October 20th, 2020, 5:58 am

Brad Trent wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 7:46 pm
...Now of course, there’s another option that would basically give you a similar amount of storage if you don’t wanna do the center column.....you could double up on 12” racks against the long walls to go double-deep! So assuming you had a roughly six foot wide room, you could build out 24” deep of racking on the walls on two sides, single deep (12”) on the short ends, and still have a very roomy 24” open middle area. Dunno how the total amount of bottles would work out vs what I did, but it would hafta be pretty close...🤔
Depending on how you lay out the doors this could also add room for the ladder to come out a bit further since you could extend it into the room. Of course you'd need really tall doors.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#45 Post by Ethan Abraham » October 20th, 2020, 7:29 am

OK here's an even stranger idea. What if you essentially separated it into two rooms, one on top of the other? The lower room could be a show cellar with glass doors, double deep racking, etc. Maybe 8-9 feet high so at most you need a stepstool. Then you add a second room above it accessed via a ladder (either from within the first through a trapdoor or exterior) where you can do more bulk storage. But at least you'd be able to stand in it and wouldn't be doing racking work while on a ladder. I imagine you'd have to do some work to get the lower room to properly bear the weight of the upper room.Also unclear where the extra 6 feet of height comes from since the living room is only 12 feet, I'm not sure how you'd get a proper height entrance into the upper area. But it's a thought.... Even the library ladders I see online only go to 12 feet so it seems like it'll be hard to use the 18 feet of height unless you add a ceiling/floor in between.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#46 Post by James Guthri3 » October 20th, 2020, 8:25 am

Such an interesting cellar design, had to jump in with my first post. I very much agree with what others have said about cooling challenges with that much height, the window being less than ideal and difficulty accessing top areas via ladder. Has the foundation already been poured? It looks like there's a dead space immediately to the right/east of the cellar....could the exterior wall be re-configured to incorporate that space into the cellar? If you could do that, bring ceiling height down to 10 or max 12 feet, nix the window and potentially even move the southern wall slightly further south to align with the laundry/pantry area, I think you would maintain the storage capacity you're looking for but with a more user-friendly design.

Having gone through this a couple years ago, the only challenge I had was with the spray-in foam insulation. My contractor had never done a cellar before and figured a couple inches would be sufficient...had to have him redo it to bring it to the full depth of the studs.

Good luck with the cellar and the rest of the home build!

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#47 Post by HoosJustinG » October 20th, 2020, 10:08 am

Thanks for all of the replies thus far.

The architect assures me that once I see the exterior renderings, it will make sense why both the cellar and pantry are “cut out” as opposed to having one continuous wall. I asked that same question as far as why not expand it all the way over.

As for a window, I think that’s actually a counter with racking for stems. That’s what I conveyed to him initially, though it’s definitely worth checking as obviously a window is far less than ideal.

I knew that a large ceiling would be a challenge in terms of air flow, but figured that was a “solvable” problem — even if it costs money. It sounds like it may be worth my while to engage a cellar consultant at this stage and bring them into the design process.

I also appreciate the thoughts about the ladder being a pain. Honestly I was fine with pulling DOWN bottles, but I also really didn’t think much about how bottles often come in by the case and putting a case of wine 18 feet off the ground will ... not be pleasant.

I’ll ask about a split level with “show” cellar downstairs and more bulk storage upstairs. That space is unfinished in the upstairs plans (obviously, since it will rise to 6’ above the floor height as currently designed, so it’s probably possible. Of course that’s the same level where the kids bedrooms are, but they’re currently 18 months and -6 months old, so I can get a lock when the time comes :)
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#48 Post by Brad Trent » October 20th, 2020, 11:21 am

HoosJustinG wrote:
October 20th, 2020, 10:08 am
Thanks for all of the replies thus far.

The architect assures me that once I see the exterior renderings, it will make sense why both the cellar and pantry are “cut out” as opposed to having one continuous wall. I asked that same question as far as why not expand it all the way over.

As for a window, I think that’s actually a counter with racking for stems. That’s what I conveyed to him initially, though it’s definitely worth checking as obviously a window is far less than ideal.

I knew that a large ceiling would be a challenge in terms of air flow, but figured that was a “solvable” problem — even if it costs money. It sounds like it may be worth my while to engage a cellar consultant at this stage and bring them into the design process.

I also appreciate the thoughts about the ladder being a pain. Honestly I was fine with pulling DOWN bottles, but I also really didn’t think much about how bottles often come in by the case and putting a case of wine 18 feet off the ground will ... not be pleasant.

I’ll ask about a split level with “show” cellar downstairs and more bulk storage upstairs. That space is unfinished in the upstairs plans (obviously, since it will rise to 6’ above the floor height as currently designed, so it’s probably possible. Of course that’s the same level where the kids bedrooms are, but they’re currently 18 months and -6 months old, so I can get a lock when the time comes :)
I'm just curious...how many bottles do you plan on storing? And where are you getting your racking from? The one thing nobody has mentioned yet is the sheer weight of 18 feet of wine! I would seriously look into the engineering aspects of stacking that much juice on top of itself, before you commit to installing what I'm sure is gonna be a very $pendy set of racks!
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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#49 Post by Ethan Abraham » October 20th, 2020, 12:59 pm

It really seems like the simple solution is just keep it the same height as the living room and give the rest of the space to your kids rooms.

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Re: What to tell architect for wine cellar - new construction?

#50 Post by AndrewH » October 20th, 2020, 2:28 pm

Ethan Abraham wrote:
October 20th, 2020, 12:59 pm
It really seems like the simple solution is just keep it the same height as the living room and give the rest of the space to your kids rooms.
Yeah - that's what I'd do - even if it's just a closet. (Though without second floor plans hard to know if this works).

If you keep the 18', what about not bothering with racking all the way up? Stop at 10' or so. Put in a large hanging chandelier or something. Finish the walls and put in wine-related stuff - posters or OWC lids. Or decorate like some sort of vineyard trellis. Or Trompe L'Oeil painting of wine bottles or a "cave" look.
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