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How Much Does a Wine Cellar Cost?

Wine Cellar Prices

With the number of oenophiles, or wine connoisseurs, on the rise in the United States, there has been an accompanying increase in the demand for home wine cellars. With wine cellar designs ranging from the simple to the sophisticated, there are as many possible configurations as there are varieties of wine. This buying guide will help you understand the basics of building a wine cellar and provide a general overview of wine cellar prices.

What You Should Know About Wine Cellar Construction

Whether you're looking to build a bare bones space to house a few bottles of your favorite wines or a room to entertain friends and show off your collection, there are a few basic things to keep in mind when building wine cellars, including:

  • Temperature and humidity: In order for wine to age properly, it must be protected from light and heat. This means storing it in a cool, dark space with humidity around 60-7¬0 percent and a temperature of around 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A basement is not a premade wine cellar: Although a few basements have the conditions necessary to create what's known as a passive (unrefrigerated) wine cellar, most will get too warm in the summer or are subject to temperature fluctuations from furnaces and other heat sources. A basement is a good starting point, but you'll still need to install insulation, a moisture barrier, and an airtight seal to create an isolation chamber for your wine.
  • Function vs. statement cellars: Before you build a wine cellar, ask yourself what its primary function will be. From basic units meant for merely storing wines to wine caves that replicate a French chateau and everything in between, a wine cellar is a reflection of its owner.
  • A pleasure and an investment: A wine cellar not only provides pleasure for you and your guests, but can also be a strong selling point, especially in the high-end real estate market. Plus, if you have a valuable wine collection, a cellar is an absolute necessity for protecting your investment.

Wine Cellar Average Costs

Estimating wine cellar cost is complicated due to the huge number of available options. A good rule of thumb, however, is that installing a wine cellar is similar in price to remodeling a kitchen.

More specifically, the following prices for wine cellar basics should give you a better idea of the cost of a wine cellar:

  • A wine cooling unit, needed to keep the cellar temperature and humidity at ideal levels, can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 or more.
  • Racks for storing your bottles come in a variety of designs, including prefabricated, custom, wood, and metal, and cost approximately $1 to $20 and up per bottle.
  • An airtight, insulated door for your wine cellar is a must, and costs roughly $500 to $3,500.
  • Wine cellar flooring is generally a matter of taste rather than function, and just about any surface can be used. Plan on paying around $5 to $25 per square foot.

Altogether, a custom built wine cellar might cost you approximately $500 to $1,500 per square foot.

As a cheaper alternative, consider a temperature-controlled wine cabinet, capable of holding a few dozen to a few hundred bottles. That will cost around $2,500 to $10,000. Similarly, a simple wine cooler that holds roughly 20 to 120 bottles and might cost approximately $200 to $2,000.

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