Wine Cellar Insulation and the Crucial Components of Wine Cellar Construction

The design and construction of a custom wine cellar in Chicago are likened to transforming a room into a giant refrigerator.  The key to controlling and maintaining the ideal climate conditions for storing and aging wines is a properly constructed wine storage room.  This implies that, aside from installing a climate control system, wine cellar insulation and vapor barriers must also be applied to the wall surface of the storage space.

Wine Cellar Construction Chicago

Wine Cellar Construction Chicago

Wine cellar insulation is a significant component of wine cellar construction because it helps keep the temperature and humidity levels stable, as well as prevents mold and mildew growth.  Installing the proper grade of insulation is essential to achieving the right moisture control and ensures the efficiency of a climate-controlled wine cellar.

There is a range of building insulation materials that wine cellar builders can use in wine cellar construction Chicago, such as rigid foam, fiberglass batts, and blow-in insulation.  Insulation with a minimum of R-19 thickness is required for the walls and R-30 for the ceiling.  Basically, insulation materials with a high R-value have good thermal insulating properties.

Vapor Barrier for Wine Cellar Insulation

Vapor Barrier for Wine Cellar Insulation

A vapor barrier is a damp-proofing material, specifically designed to prevent external moisture accumulation and transfer through the wall surface.  Its primary function is to shield the building envelope and insulation against serious moisture damage.  Vapor diffusion retarders also restrict air leakage through the wall and wall components.

Proper placement of vapor barriers is always on the warm side of the insulation.  Installing vapor barriers on the cold side will allow condensation to form and cause damage to the wall surface.  If vapor diffusion retarders cannot be installed on the outside walls and ceiling, wine cellar builders in Chicago apply them within the storage space by encasing the entire building envelope in plastic.

Wine cellar insulation and vapor barriers protect a wine storage room against the diffusion of warm moist air through the walls.  When warm air from the outside commingles with the cool air of a wine cellar space, condensation starts to form.  The presence of condensation can lead to mold and mildew growth that will cause damage to the walls, as well as to the wine collectibles.

Another crucial component of wine cellar construction is proper cooling equipment.  The optimum wine storage temperature and humidity are between 55 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit and 60 to 75 percent, respectively.  Wine cellar cooling units are engineered to help maintain the ideal levels of temperature and relative humidity.  With insulation and vapor barriers in place, climate control systems can create the best possible environment for storing and aging wine collectibles.

Wine Cellar Cooling Unit for Wine Cellar Insulation

Wine Cellar Cooling Unit for Wine Cellar Insulation

Wine cellar refrigeration systems come in a variety of designs that can accommodate various needs and applications.  The three primary types of wine cellar cooling units are self-contained through the wall cooling units, ductless split climate control systems, and ducted-split refrigeration systems.  Each unit has its own unique features, but all are specifically engineered to provide optimal wine storage conditions.

Wine Cellar SPecialists - Wine Cellar Builders

Wine Cellar Specialists – Wine Cellar Builders

When deciding to install a custom wine cellar, whether it is a private wine storage room or a large-scale commercial wine room, consulting with professional wine cellar builders and designers is highly recommended.  These professional wine cellar construction Chicago experts can help design, build and install a dedicated custom wine room wherein wine collectibles can age to perfection.

Click here to check out wine cellar construction projects in Chicago –

Spray Foam Insulation For Top Quality Projects

New, better solutions are now available for high-end custom wine cellar construction, we now recommend using spray foam insulation. Polyurethane spray foam offers dramatically better climate control and removes the need to install a separate vapor barrier. If you want the best for your wine cellar installation call Wine Cellar Specialists +1 (773) 234-0112 and ask about the latest in spray in foam solutions.

Building a Wine Cellar – What are the Key Elements Involved?

There are plenty of reasons wine lovers would want to invest in their own wine cellar.  For starters, a wine cellar is equipped with a climate control system that allows your wine collection to age in optimal conditions.  Having your own wine cellar also provides convenience, which means no more running to the nearest liquor store whenever you feel like pairing your meal with your favorite brand when you have guests to entertain.

There are several key things that you need to consider before building a wine cellar.  The first is to establish a budget that will guide you through the selection process of your materials and design elements.

Location is also one of the primary things to consider because it will influence the cost of maintaining your wine cellar in the long run.  Hence, you must choose the coolest and most humid place to build your wine cellar.

Dave's Custom Wine Cellar Chicago Illinois

Dave’s Custom Wine Cellar Chicago Illinois

Next, determine the storage capacity of your wine cellar.  This will help you decide which type of racking system to use.  Your wine cellar must have enough space for additional wine bottles in case you decide to increase your inventory.

Another important element to consider is climate control.  Temperature and humidity should be regulated at all times to ensure that your wines will age well.  Installing a wine cellar cooling system and proper insulation will most certainly get the job done and keep the climate conditions in your wine cellar balanced.

US Cellar Systems offers wine cellar cooling units both for residential and commercial wine cellars. You can check out their products at their website

A wine cellar not only provides a safe haven for your wine collection but also reflects your personal taste.  Although the main goal of wine cellar construction is to create an ideal environment for your wines, do not neglect the aesthetic aspects of the structure.  Design elements such as flooring materials, lighting, and furniture contribute greatly to the overall appearance of your wine cellar.  What better way to entertain guests and showcase your wine collection than in a wine cellar that exudes charm and elegance?

Custom Wine Cellar Goldberg Project

Custom Wine Cellar Goldberg Project

Wine cellar design is all about giving your storage room a personality.  It combines architectural structure and design schemes in order to create a tasteful environment that is conducive to your wine collection.  Wine cellar design involves picking out the right material for your cellar flooring, the type of lighting system, and furniture style.

There are various types of flooring materials that you can choose from cork, wood, and vintage barrels among them.  If you are eco-conscious, then cork flooring is suited for you.  It is naturally resistant to mold or insect infestation and it can help reduce noise and vibration.  Wood is another popular flooring material because it can match an array of decoration schemes.  It is also very sturdy and highly durable.  If you want your wine cellar to have an old-world appearance, then vintage barrels are the flooring material for you.  Vintage barrels feature distinct markings that add to their unique appeal.

Custom Wine Cellar Lighting

Custom Wine Cellar Lighting

Your choice of lighting should be enough to allow you to read the wine labels, but not too bright to cause heat in the room and damage your wines.  Wine cellar furniture pieces like wine racks and tabletop counters should complement the look of your wine cellar, as they will give your storage room a very stylish and classic environment.

Chicago Custom Wine Cellars – Design and Construction

Chicago Custom Wine Cellars Design and Construction

Just about any room in your Chicago home can be converted into a high-capacity and great-looking wine cellar.

A residential ‘custom wine cellar’ by definition means creating a unique place in your home to store your wine collection with the racking customized to the shape and size of the room.

There is, however, much more to create a custom wine cellar than that. A true wine cellar will be climate controlled, efficient, and potentially also a place to show off your wine collection by creating a beautiful display.

On this blog, Custom Wine Cellars Chicago will, through a series of articles, talk about all aspects of creating and using customized wine cellars. In this article, we will focus on the first step, ‘picking the right room to convert in the first place. We will discuss the primary things to think about when making this initial decision.

The bottom line is that the room you pick to convert can make a significant difference to the annual cost of maintaining your wine cellar’s climate-controlled environment.

In most climates, a wine cellar cooling system of some kind will need to be installed. This is particularly true for Chicago but also relevant to most locations in the U.S. This is because wine needs to be stored in a stable environment of about 56 degrees Fahrenheit, 13 degrees Celsius. Steady humidity of about 60% is also an important factor. Most homes vary dramatically outside of these levels, through day/night and seasonal cycles.

Chicago Wine Cellar Experts – Discuss Wine Room Construction and Design Ideas

The room you select therefore needs to be structurally converted with appropriate insulation, correctly installed vapor barriers, and sealed around all access points in order to maintain this environment continuously. Getting this wrong can lead to higher costs due to:

  1. An overpowered Wine Cellar Refrigeration Unit that otherwise might be necessary
  2. A cooling system that runs far too much due to climate leakage, can lead to excessive cooling costs and the cooling system breaking down through over usage
  3. Mold forming in the room over time
  4. Your wine collection not aging correctly or even spoiling

These are common problems caused by custom wine cellars being installed by general builders and inexperienced contractors.

It’s important to take all these factors into account when starting a home wine cellar project.

For example, selecting a room that is poorly insulted on a south-facing external wall can therefore be a maintenance nightmare.

Getting a great wine cellar design can make a big difference to the overall capacity of your wine room, how good-looking the final result will be, and most importantly how stable it is.

The design plans of the wine cellar should include all factors important to your wine cellar, not just the racking. Consider insulation, vapor barriers, a wine cellar door that will seal and withstand the difference in climate over time, and lighting that will both look good but not upset the climate by generating too much heat.

In future articles, we will discuss these topics in more depth and many other aspects of wine cellar design. Up for discussion will be aesthetic choices of materials and products you can make use of to make your wine cellar one that stands out from the crowd.

Some of the topics for future discussion:

  • The correct size and type of wine cellar cooling system
  • The size and use of your wine room
  • The floor of your wine cellar
  • Wine cellar lighting ideas
  • Planning for the wine your cellar will need to store
  • Different types of wine racks
  • Sizes: 750ml, magnum, smaller split or half size
  • Materials, wood species, metal types
  • Styles, standard, display, ‘X’ cube, ‘X’ bin, horizontal label forward, solid, lattice, case storage, waterfall displays, and many more
  • Special features, display tables, arches, hand-carved features
  • Purpose-built wine cellar doors
  • Glass walls
  • Budgeting and growing your wine collection
  • Wine parties and entertainment
  • A wine cellar as a feature in your home and its impact on resale value

Clearly, there is much to think about from both aesthetic and engineering perspectives when building a wine cellar.  Everything starts with a great custom wine cellar design that takes into account where your room is situated in your home, its current construction, and how you plan to actually use your wine cellar.

Some experienced Wine Cellar Designers, Construction Experts & Resources:

Chicago Wine Cellars Experts
Wine Cellar Designs Dallas
Coastal Wine Cellars California
Wine Cellar Designs New York
Wine Cellar Designs & Accessories San Francisco
International Wine Cellars Florida

Wine Cellar Refrigeration Experts

Wine Cellar Cooling Installation California
Wine Cellar Refrigeration Equipment for the Trade