Small Wine Room Project

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AZMDTed

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I've decided to move forward with plans for a small 500 bottle, plus about 6 carboys, AC cooled wine storage room in my basement. I was thinking about going entirely passive, but as Mike pointed out a small room AC is cheap to buy and in a properly insulated wine room cheap to operate.

So here's my plan. in a section of unfinished basement that I have that is about 10x19, which includes my geothermal AC/Heat unit, Water Heater, Radon pump, and electrical panels I'm going to build a 8'x5'8" exterior dimension wine room.

Since my electrical wires run under the overhead floor joists and I don't want to move them or block them, I'm going to keep the 'roof' of my room to just underneath them, leaving about an inch gap from the top of my room to the wires. If anyone has a better idea please let me know.

The room will be 2x4 construction for the four walls and ceiling. The floor will left exposed to the concrete basement floor for a little bit of passive cooling assist there.

I'm going to use spray closed cell foam from FoamItGreen.com. They report that it will create an R value of 7 per inch. For my size room and size of the kit I bought that should be enough to give me about R21 in all the walls and the ceiling. Since it's closed foam I won't put in a separate vapor barrier. The door will be a 32 inch pre-hung insulated exterior door.

Cooling will be done by a cheap 5K BTU AC unit. I think I need to choose one with simple fan and cooling knobs as opposed to it's own thermostat. I will run an electric box into the room and plug in an Inkbird ITC-308 controller that will operate an outlet based on my set point temperature and an acceptable range. It will then turn on and off the plug depending upon my settings. For planning purposes I'm thinking of starting with a set point of 60 with a 3 degree range. I'm hoping that with good insulation and a concrete floor 6 feet below grade that the AC won't run too much.

The room will have one ceiling light, probably LED to keep the heat down, with a switch outside the door. I will get a switch with an indicator light on it so that I can see if I forgot to the turn the light off without having to open the door.

Inside I will drywall with Green drywall and then exterior paint. Outside will be regular drywall and interior paint.

I'm planning on a 32" walkway in the room with two Seville 168 wine racks on the right, another on the left, and then shelf units to hold up to six carboys for aging.

Obviously I would like go bigger and fancier, but space limits me to pretty much a purely function wine cellar. I will post pictures as I go along. I hope to start framing this Saturday.

Any thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

Working Diagram.jpg

Basement Wiring.jpg

Foam it Green.JPG

AC box.jpg

InkBird controller.JPG
 

ibglowin

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Looking forward to the pics of the progress. :pic

Just in case you haven't seen the @Norcal thread for his Garage ColdBox make sure to check out what he did. You may not be able to reach 60F with that unit but you might reach 64-65 without much difficulty.
 

NorCal

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Starting in a basement in Maryland gives you a big advantage over a garage in Sacramento. Our summers include plenty of 100+ degree days. I find the AC unit itself runs out of steam around the 60 degree mark. You may need to look into a CootBot for your unit, then it would maintain 55 degrees all day long. Good luck, post lots of pics.
 

AZMDTed

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Starting in a basement in Maryland gives you a big advantage over a garage in Sacramento. Our summers include plenty of 100+ degree days. I find the AC unit itself runs out of steam around the 60 degree mark. You may need to look into a CootBot for your unit, then it would maintain 55 degrees all day long. Good luck, post lots of pics.
Thanks for your post on the cold room, very informative and helpful to me as I planned this. I suppose a Coolbot is always possible if needed, but instead of $300 I thought I'd give the $38 controller a try. I looked at the Coolbot site and videos and an impressed with their work, but what do you think makes it work down to 55 instead of the 60 that your controller, or possibly wine won't do?
 

Johnd

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First let me say how envious of the ease of building a room in basements is, what a great starting point.

Were it me, I'd be concerned about those electrical and water lines being inaccessible above my ceiling, might consider foaming the underside of the floor and your joists and enclosing the lines in an accessible manner in that area. That way you can get to them if you ever need to without having to look at them in your room.

Might want to check into the pricing of having a professional do your foam work for you. When I did my walls and ceilings a month ago, I priced the kits and did the math based on how many inches of thickness I wanted, the materials alone were more costly than the $ I spent hiring a subcontractor to come in and do the whole closed cell foam job for me. I have no idea of pricing trends in your area, but it worked out that way for me down here in the deep south.

Regarding your cooling, after extensive research, yes, 55 is like the holy grail of wine storage temps. That can be kinda hard with A/C units, and has humidity implications, but regardless of the temps you desire to maintain (I'm speaking about temps below 62 or 63), far more important is the consistency of the temperature, so don't get too worked up over the 55 degree grail.

Looks like a really cool project, have fun and keep posting those photos!!
 

bkisel

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Great project. Good luck with it. Look forward to following the thread - with pictures I hope.

How will the water, coming from the air conditioner, be collected and disposed?
 

ibglowin

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Those little AC Units have their own self contained catch pan that collects any condensate on the backside bottom. They do not produce very much in my experience.
 

AZMDTed

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First let me say how envious of the ease of building a room in basements is, what a great starting point.

Were it me, I'd be concerned about those electrical and water lines being inaccessible above my ceiling, might consider foaming the underside of the floor and your joists and enclosing the lines in an accessible manner in that area. That way you can get to them if you ever need to without having to look at them in your room.
Thanks John,
I appreciate your posts and follow your project closely, I will try to keep posted on my progress. I'm concerned about those lines too, which is why I'm building my wine room as a box underneath them. I will have a separate ceiling (basically horizontal stud wall) on top of wine room walls which will be drywalled on top (before I raise it) and that top will get to about an inch below the wires. So the wires will still be accessible above the wine room. I hope that makes sense. Without them I would have just boxed off the existing joists and foamed in there and drywalled underneath. But it's too much work trying to reroute them, so I will have a room that doesn't quite reach the joists above.

I agree on the temperature. I'll be very happy with anything in the low-mid 60s and steady year round, especially if the concrete floor will provide the cooling from fall to spring.
 

Johnd

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Just from the pic, I don't know what all of that stuff is, so you're certainly a much better judge of that than I, but I wouldn't want to see them if I didn't have to either.

Since you're going that route, and unless there is a reason for the drywall on top other than something to spray foam against, there is another option there, one I used in my room. You could build your walls and ceiling framing and simply pull Tyvek over the top of your ceiling joists and tack it down to the top of your side walls, it'll hold the spray foam no problem. Once dry, the foam installer said I could walk on it, which I won't. Should be a lot easier framing job and no lifting of a heavy drywall ceiling structure to set on top of your walls.
 

AZMDTed

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Just from the pic, I don't know what all of that stuff is, so you're certainly a much better judge of that than I, but I wouldn't want to see them if I didn't have to either.

Since you're going that route, and unless there is a reason for the drywall on top other than something to spray foam against, there is another option there, one I used in my room. You could build your walls and ceiling framing and simply pull Tyvek over the top of your ceiling joists and tack it down to the top of your side walls, it'll hold the spray foam no problem. Once dry, the foam installer said I could walk on it, which I won't. Should be a lot easier framing job and no lifting of a heavy drywall ceiling structure to set on top of your walls.
That's a great idea, I'm going to do that. I didn't realize that the foam would stick to Tyvek. That saves one hernia, Thanks.
 

kevinlfifer

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Drop ceiling?

I built in the basement, sectioning off the boiler area with a hollow core bi-fold door. The boiler area is always around 80f, the wine area around 62f (68f when it's really cold out and the boiler runs a lot). It has the floor and 2 walls that are cooling. I'm not sure the a/c unit is necessary.

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46912

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48048

My links to what I did.

If you get any ideas from what I did I'll be proud.
 

AZMDTed

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Drop ceiling?

I built in the basement, sectioning off the boiler area with a hollow core bi-fold door. The boiler area is always around 80f, the wine area around 62f (68f when it's really cold out and the boiler runs a lot). It has the floor and 2 walls that are cooling. I'm not sure the a/c unit is necessary.

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46912

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48048

My links to what I did.

If you get any ideas from what I did I'll be proud.
That's some beautiful work, well done. Thanks for sharing. Unfortunately, I think I'm in a warmer area and I wish that I had two walls to put this room against, but I've only got one to work with. That's why I'm not sure that a wholly passive system would work well enough. The AC and controller are less than $200 and I think that's cheap insurance to build in. But thanks for sharing. Your wine racks from the trees are awesome.
 

AZMDTed

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Things are moving. I've got the basement cleaned out. I have a lot of sorting and soul searching to do because there will no longer be space to put most of this back after the wine room is done.

Second pic is after it was cleared out, and the third pic is a full size floor mock up I did. This let my wife choose where in the room it's going to go. Based on this I've chopped 3 inches off of the length to give me just a bit more room to get behind it as well as to make the door more comfortable to open.

I've already moved the far light which would have interfered with the room.

Framing materials and sheetrock are on hand. Time to start framing. I'll get two walls finished today and then do the walls with the door and AC tomorrow. For the 'roof' I decided to back it with 1/2 rigid foam board. I couldn't get a small piece of Tyvek, and the foam will give me another 3 on my R value.

By tomorrow the framing should be all in place, then it's wiring it up, putting on the exterior side sheet rock and then spraying the foam in. I should have that all done by Monday.

I figure that if I ever sell this house to a non-wine person then I can always show them that my temperature controller controls for both heat and cold. If they don't get it by then I will tell them that if they swap out the AC for a heater and put a daylight grow bulb in they can have the nicest indoor green house around for whatever medicinal herbs they want.

before.jpg

After clean up.jpg

Mock up.jpg
 

AZMDTed

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I've got the four walls, and the ceiling panels framed in. The ceiling is on the floor. I covered it in half inch foam board. This will give me a backer board to spray the foam on later, plus an extra R3 of insulation. Plus, it let me square up the ceiling frame which will help square up the the walls when I set it on top and start tying it all together.

Lunch time now. Then it will be time to see if all my parts fit together. Then on to wiring.

image.jpg
 

AZMDTed

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It's coming along. Wiring is roughed in and exterior Sheetrock is attached. Next step is the spray in foam. I need to study the application videos a bit before I try that. Hopefully it will be up before dinner.
 

AZMDTed

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Busy weekend here. I was able to get the foam sprayed. Overall I'm pleased with the job, but there's obviously a learning curve and the product is just too expensive to learn on. If I were to do this over, I would just get sheets of 2" and 1" closed foam, cut them on the table saw, and seal the seams with cans of expanding foam. Though there's no denying that the stuff I put up looks like it has formed a good barrier and will meet my needs but I'm not sure that it's any better than cutting sheets for half the price. If you have a big enough project I would certainly recommend hiring a pro over doing it yourself.

I've got some cleaning up to do on the foam, then it's installing the interior drywall, and getting some mud going on it. Hopefully I'll be painting by next weekend. Then hang the door, add some trim, put in the AC and see if this thing is going to work.

better outside pic.jpg

left side foam.jpg

Right wall with foam.jpg
 

AZMDTed

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And in my free time today I racked my Sonoma Dry Creek Chardonnay from my Vadai and then moved a Barossa Valley Shiraz into it. I knew there was some reason why I was building this silly thing :)
 

Johnd

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Busy weekend here. I was able to get the foam sprayed. Overall I'm pleased with the job, but there's obviously a learning curve and the product is just too expensive to learn on. If I were to do this over, I would just get sheets of 2" and 1" closed foam, cut them on the table saw, and seal the seams with cans of expanding foam. Though there's no denying that the stuff I put up looks like it has formed a good barrier and will meet my needs but I'm not sure that it's any better than cutting sheets for half the price. If you have a big enough project I would certainly recommend hiring a pro over doing it yourself.

I've got some cleaning up to do on the foam, then it's installing the interior drywall, and getting some mud going on it. Hopefully I'll be painting by next weekend. Then hang the door, add some trim, put in the AC and see if this thing is going to work.
Depending on what insulation boards you would choose to buy, the closed cell foam has an r value one third to twice the boards, plus you have a real solid moisture barrier. Hopefully, once you forget about what a messy, costly, PIA it was to install, you'll be glad it's there.
 

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