Adding a custom wine cellar to your home is a wonderful way to showcase and preserve your wine collection while creating a stunning centerpiece that will enhance the style of any room. But as with most other home improvements, building a wine cellar is a significant investment, and finding a qualified contractor can make or break the success of the project.
A properly built wine cellar is much more than just a storage space or large refrigerator for your wines—there are several complex and unique structural requirements that must be implemented in order to preserve the quality of your collection. Therefore, even if you have a trusted general contractor that you’ve worked with in the past, it is strongly recommended that you use a wine cellar company for this project.
Here are three of the main reasons to use a wine cellar company instead of a general contractor when building a wine cellar:
#1: Building a wine cellar requires specialized knowledge of proper wine storage conditions.
For most homeowners, the most compelling reason to build a wine cellar is to provide a space with the optimal conditions for storing and aging wine over long periods of time. Building the structures needed to create these conditions is not as easy as it may seem and is best entrusted to professionals who have in-depth knowledge of wines and extensive experience with cellar construction. For example, here a few of the elements that must be considered when building a wine cellar:
- Cooling system. Wine should be stored at a consistently cool temperature—generally, around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help prevent rancidity, mold growth, leaking bottles, dried-out corks, and other problems that could threaten the quality of your collection. To create these ideal conditions, your wine cellar will need a reliable cooling system. The three main options are through the wall, split cooling systems, and ducted cooling systems; each option carries different pros and cons, and an experienced wine cellar company will be able to recommend the best choice for your space and budget.
- Insulating the cellar properly is essential for maintaining temperature. At a minimum, you’ll need R13 in the walls and R19 in the ceiling, but possibly up to R30 if one of the walls of the cellar is an exterior wall.
- Moisture barrier. Wine cellars also require a vapor or moisture barrier installed on the warmer side of the insulation, which will help prevent condensation from forming (and subsequently, mold growth).
- Airtight seal. Another crucial factor for maintaining ideal storage conditions is an airtight seal on the cellar door. Using items such as weatherstripping or door sweeps will ensure that there is no airflow into or out of the cellar and the carefully controlled environment within is not influenced by exterior temperatures.
- While the right lighting can enhance the visual appeal of your collection, it’s important to avoid lights that emit too much heat or ultraviolet rays, as these may cause wines to age prematurely. Therefore, fluorescent lighting should be avoided, and cellars should be completely shielded from sunlight.
- In addition to maintaining optimal temperature and humidity levels, storing wine bottles at a horizontal angle in a structure that protects them from shaking and vibrations will help preserve the wine’s integrity over time. From classic diamond bins to convenient label-forward racks, there are countless options available for displaying your wine collection. An experienced wine cellar builder will be able to suggest the best options for your unique circumstances, taking into account factors such as the size of your collection, amount of space available, the sizes and shapes of your bottles, and the style of your home.
These are just a few of the factors that must be considered in order to build a structurally sound cellar that will facilitate the proper storage and aging of your wine collection. Given the number of variables involved, most general contractors do not offer the specialized knowledge and expertise needed to ensure that your cellar will deliver satisfaction for years to come. On the other hand, a professional wine cellar company like Innovative Wine Cellar Designs has one main area of focus: creating stylish, functional, customized spaces with the optimal conditions for storing your wine collection.
#2: Wine cellar companies are familiar with the latest design trends.
When many people hear the term “wine cellar,” the image that generally comes to mind is that of a traditional, Old World-style cellar complete with richly hued wooden racks, barrels, and possibly a seating area for tastings. While these types of cellars are undoubtedly gorgeous and exude a sense of timeless elegance, they are not the only option. In fact, many homeowners these days—as well as restaurants and other businesses—prefer contemporary-style wine walls over traditional cellars.
Enclosed with frameless glass, wine walls have a sleek appearance and typically take up less space than traditional cellars, making them an excellent option for many different homes. They often feature label-forward racks, which make it easy to see at a glance what you have in your collection. In addition, some homeowners choose to add white or multicolored LED lighting to enhance the wine wall’s eye-catching, modern aesthetic.
As one of the first companies in the industry to build glass-enclosed wine walls, Innovative Wine Cellar Designs has created them for countless homes and businesses over the years. We also specialize in traditional cellars, as well as those that combine Old World and contemporary elements. Since we work with each client to develop a customized design, the possibilities for the style and size of your cellar are virtually endless. We are also happy to collaborate with your builder, interior designer, or other contractors to ensure that your wine cellar can be seamlessly integrated into your home.
#3: A wine cellar company can help maximize your return on investment.
Wine cellars are so much more than just a flashy feature to show off to your friends—they will protect the quality of your current and future wine collection, thereby enhancing your enjoyment of the fine wines you procure for years to come. Since wine cellars are an investment in not only your home, but your wine collection as well, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a contractor who will complete the design and build process properly at each step of the way. The expertise needed to do so can usually be found only in companies that specialize in creating wine cellars, rather than general contractors.
With nearly two decades of experience designing and building custom wine cellars for homes and businesses throughout the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, Tucson, Las Vegas, and other cities nationwide, Innovative Wine Cellar Designs is adept at combining style and function to create cellars tailored to suit a wide range of needs and preferences. Our team has in-depth knowledge of wines and the precise storage conditions they require, and we stay up to date on the latest design trends. Whether you’re seeking to build a spacious wine cellar where you can relax and entertain fellow wine lovers or you would just like to transform a small area of your home into a place to store your wine collection, we will work with you to create a technically sound, aesthetically appealing cellar that brings your vision to life.