I always liked the idea of my own wine cellar, partially the spiral design as they are compact with large capacity and enhance the value of the house. However the £20,000 or so price tag for having one installed felt excessive, you could buy a lot of wine for that.
Building a new extension for the house presented an ideal opportunity to build my own as the hole could be dug out at the same time as the foundations although there is no reason this could not be done in an existing room but it would involve a bit more physical work.
Studying the design of the commercially available wine cellars, I could see there was nothing particularly complicated about them but adaptions would have to be made as I did not have pre cast wine bins and steps to use.
I started by bolting together some 6mm ply in a circle (a double layer is best for strength) using timber to form spokes for additional support. This was then lowered onto the 225mm thick reinforced concrete floor. A252 mesh was formed into a circle made to sit between the earth hole and the plywood, this gap needs to be 150mm as that is the required wall thickness. Sulphate resisting cement is then poured into the gap to form the outer wall, I mixed my own. When set, the plywood circle can be unbolted and collapsed to aid removal.
To make the cellar waterproof, I had a pond liner made to the exact dimension of the hole and dropped this in with some landscape fabric on top for protection. Another circle of A252 mesh and reusing the plywood circle, which had to be made smaller to achieve another wall and floor of concrete 125mm thick, thus the liner was sandwiched between the two walls. For additional strength, I drilled eight 12mm holes through the liner and into the outer concrete wall at the top to fit protruding stainless steel rods so the two walls would be connected together. This was to ensure no movement between the two walls took place when the water table rose in winter.
Next was to fit it out, first I rendered the walls to get a smooth finish and then built the steps using concrete blocks capped with oak treads. The wine bins were constructed using 12mm and 19mm plywood then the top capped off with a 28mm birch ply and concrete floor screed.
Two 50mm pipes were installed, both entering the cellar from the top and one then dropping to the bottom running to the outside finishing at different heights allowing for a circulation of air.
A trap door was constructed using a double sheet of 25mm ply with the matching floor boards on top opened with a linear actuator. Spotlights and under tread strip lights for a finishing touch.
The end result was a wine cellar with a capacity for 750 bottles, cost in materials a total of £2159. I did all the work myself and it did take quite a few hours but the end result was well worth it.