Wine Cellar Cost Planning Guide

February 28, 2019


The first question that comes to mind while planning for a wine cellar is, how big does the cellar need to be. The cost of a wine cellar is heavily dependent on its size as well as the features that go into it. The size of the wine cellar depends on how many bottles one plans on storing. On an average, it takes around $40,000 to construct a wine cave or a cellar. While cabinets can cost as little as $500 to construct, the price of an entire cave can go up to $100,000. The cost of construction for a typical wine cellar ranges from $300 to $600 per square foot.

Some of the other factors that go into determining the price include various features such as refrigeration equipment, location, materials of construction, storage and racking facilities and many more. While the construction costs on wine cellars may seem high, the returns on such projects are also high. It not only increases the market value of a home but also helps in developing a passion for wine. Size is by far the most important factor that determines the cost of construction. Some of the additional factors which play an important role in determining the cost are mentioned below.

  • Location and the size of the cellar.
  • The overall design of the cellar.
  • Wine storing capacity of the room.
  • Refrigeration or cooling capabilities.
  • Provision for racking and its materials.
  • Temperature and humidity controls.
  • Doors of the cellar.
  • Lighting.
  • Floors and walls of the room.

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Location of Wine Cellars

  • Pull-up wine cellars

    One of the most popular forms of wine cellars are the underfloor cellars that can be pulled up for access. These usually contain a spiral staircase that leads to the cellar at the bottom. Most of these underground wine cellars range from $10,000 for a simple design to $55,000 for spacious custom builds.

  • Basement cellars

    The basement is the most common location to establish a wine cellar. Basements are easy to transform into entire wine caves. However, typical basements require major remodeling before the construction of a wine cellar can begin. Depending upon the size of the basement and the extent of remodeling that is required, the cost can range from $10,000 to $25,000.

  • Under-stairs wine cellars

    Another effective location for planning a wine cellar is the space underneath the staircase. However, there are certain issues with planning for an under-staircase cellar. These include fluctuating temperatures which might call for insulation and custom-made racks that can fit into the space under the stairs. These custom-made racks can cost between $500 to $2,500 for each rack.

  • Walk-in closets

    Homes that have large cabinets or closets have the perfect opportunity of converting on them into a wine storage cabinet. While the space is pretty limited in these cases, the remodeling costs are much lower. The problem of sunlight and windows are automatically eliminated. However, one has to make provision for controlling temperature and humidity which might affect the stored wines.

  • Crawl space wine storage

    The crawl space can be converted into a wine storage although it is not the best location to do so. This is primarily due to fluctuations in humidity. The location needs to be made airtight to preserve the wines in their pristine condition and the space will require major renovations. The price of insulating the crawl space ranges from $200 to $1,100.

Design of the Wine Cellar

A perfect wine cellar is not only about the perfect location and environment control but also design. A well-designed wine cellar adds to the beauty of the home and makes the wine cellar a location to be admired. If wine is one’s passion, then one will definitely want to make their wine cellars a beautiful location. There are multiple design options available for wine cellar that include storage space, racking options and separate areas for tasting. Some of the various design elements are mentioned below.

  • Spiral cabinets

    These designs are usually used for underground or underfloor wine cellars and crawl spaces. A small spiral cabinet can cost around $1,000 whereas the larger versions with elaborate racking can go up to $55,000. The main factor to consider in spiral cellars is the opening. The underfloor cabinet needs to be able to hold the weight that will put on it.

  • Tasting room

    Wine lovers often love having a tasting room in addition to their cellar. These rooms do not need any kind of insulation or temperature control. The main cost here depends on the materials for construction, remodeling and the finish one chooses. The cost of a tasting room ranges from $5,000 to $15,000.

  • Walk-through cellars

    If the basement is not an option for establishing a wine cellar a walk-in cellar can be established in the hallway of the house. The costs of establishing a walk-in cellar is mainly dependent upon temperature and humidity control along with separate airtight doors on both the ends of the cellar. The part of the hallway being converted into a cellar needs to be completely insulated from the rest of the house.

  • Custom cabinets

    Custom wine cabinets are perfect for small collections of wine and a cabinet or a closet can be easily remodeled to fit the requirements. Such cabinets are typically located in the kitchen, study or the living room. The number of bottles that can be stored in such customized cabinets depends on the size and design. The small cabinets that can hold around ten bottles cost $500 while larger designs with capacities of 200 bottles can cost more than $4,000. The main problem with such temperatures is controlling the temperature and humidity.

Refrigeration and cooling of the wines is an essential component of storage. These entail their own costs and there are various kinds of cooling methods available. Through-the-wall coolers cost between $1,000 to $3,500 and Split cooking is a bit more expensive with a price range between $5,000 to $15,000. There is also an option for ducted cooling whose price ranges from $3,000 to $10,000.

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