It’s been called the Ferrari of home renovation. A castle fully loaded with a room where you can impress your friends by tasting the very best vintages from around the world. Whether it’s converting unused closet space or building a cavernous escape from the daily grind that’s worthy of being on Houzz.com, adding a custom built wine cellar is guaranteed to add value to your property. According to one real estate agent, “A custom wine cellar … will draw more people in for tours than the pool, the media room, and the gym because its intimacy and elegance will stand out.” But before you head out and stock up on the finest from Bordeaux and Burgundy, here are five things you need to go over with your contractor before building this jaw dropping dream room.
- Temperature Matters
There’s a reason why most wine cellars are located in the basement – it’s because heat rises. And if you plan on storing three and possibly four figure wines, keep in mind that higher temperatures can cause a bottle to mature faster and in some cases, cause evaporation, thus ruining your investment. Likewise, colder temperatures can slow the aging process so make sure that you and your contractor go over a plan so the temperature in your cellar can be controlled.
- Don’t Ignore Humidity
In addition to achieving the right temperature, keep in mind that the humidity in your cellar is just as important. If the room is too humid, rot and mildew can form around the bottles and if there’s not enough, the corks will dry out, allowing oxygen to enter your prized collection. Therefore, right after discussing ways to control the temperature with your contractor, be sure you also go over the ways to control the humidity in the room.
- Maintaining a Sterile Environment
To make sure your collection achieves maximum value, you need to make sure it remains undisturbed. For starters, never build a wine cellar next to a washer or dryer where the vibrations will be off the chart. Next, make sure your cellar is properly ventilated so no odd odors enter the room. Finally, always remember that natural light is the enemy; you want your bottles living in total darkness (except when you decide to open them).
- Choosing the Right Door
While making sure your wine collection is safeguarded from the elements of extreme temperature and humidity fluctuations, it’s also important that the entry to your custom wine cellar prevents any unwanted heat from getting inside. Thus, be sure to choose an exterior grade door with proper weather stripping.
- Prepare for the Unexpected
Like any other room in your house, a wine cellar can fall prey to Mother Nature, whether it’s flooding, pests or any thing else beyond your control. As such, enquire about having your collection insured. If you’re concerned about floods, ask your contractor about building the racks as high above the floor as possible. Also, don’t forget about protecting your bottles from bugs that just love to chew on wine corks.