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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently bidding a project that includes converting a hall closet into a wine closet. I'm looking for some input on refining the scope of work to finish it out. The new closet will have a weatherproofed door and jamb, and a climate control system (probably ductless.)

The existing closet steps in at normal ceiling height and then elbows beneath a curved stair--this makes the ceiling a wicked complex curve. One half of the closet perimeter wall framing is also curved to follow the stairs. The existing wall finish is plaster and lathe.

To those of you who have experience with wine rooms:

Would you recommend tearing the plaster down to the studs so the room can be properly vapor proofed--or can a vapor barrier be installed over the plaster and then the finishes over that? (I'm considering Kerdi then tile for everything-similar to a steam shower). I would rather not tear out the plaster ceiling since framing and finishing it in anything else is going to be a royal PITA.

Also, anyone care to recommend a wine closet cooling unit and/or humidifier they've worked with?

Thanks.
 

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Chris,

I'm bidding one now similar in scope to yours in all ways except for the plaster issue you are facing so I'm not sure I can be a whole lot of help here. My only question is if you aren't tearing out the plaster, how do you plan on properly insulating the room. As far as the kerdi goes, I have always applied my vapor barrier on the warm side of the insulation so I'm also not sure the kerdi would perform the way you would need it to in this application. Also watch out where you are ventilating the cooling unit. Depending on the unit, you need to ventilate into a space equal in size or larger than the wine cellar itself but I'm sure you already knew that.

I will be interested in what others have to say on this subject but that is my initial reaction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Definitely a good point on the insulation. Although I could probably spot drill and blow in cellulose to fill the cavities without removing the plaster. That still doesn't get me the vapor barrier on the warm side, though.

I'm still investigating systems. I don't have an adjacent room to vent to directly--so I'm looking at remote and ducted options.
 

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I'm a Mac
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My experience is Wine Refrigeration units are expensive.

If this area is below grade (Basement) I have twice now used a minisplit HVAC system with much success and saved money.
 

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Carpe Diem
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Chris,

If you recall, I submitted a bid on a small wine cellar about 6 weeks ago. I ended up talked to a consultant that builds cellars. He said we should use 2x6 walls with R19 and R38 in the ceiling. He also said to use DensArmor. Tile floor was the way to go. As for wood, he said to only use Redwood. It was the most economical (domestic) with the least amount of shrinkage. I'm sure there are other exotic woods that would suffice.
For cooling units, he suggested Wine Guardian for larger rooms and WhisperKOOL for smaller.
He strongly suggested LED lighting. I had my lighting supplier get me samples and I can tell you the newest LED screw in bulbs are AMAZING. You cannot tell the difference in light between an LED or incandescent bulbs, seriously. We had about 15 people at the lighting showroom try to tell the difference (without seeing the bulb) and they couldn't. Of course, the bulbs were $90 each.
Finally, for the door, he just suggested a high quality exterior-grade fiberglass door with insulated low-E glass. That was a huge cost savings in our bid. Most wine cellar-specific doors started in the $1500 range. I was able to spec a fiberglass door with glass for around $500.

Hope that helps some.
 

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Here's a link to the cooling system I am spec'ing for this one.

http://www.wineenthusiast.com/breez...ooling-system-(max-room-size-=-265-cu-ft).asp

I haven't used this brand before but I needed something small for this one. It is only about 150 cubic feet. I'm going to install the blower unit near the ceiling above the racking and install a wood grate around it to hide this ugly beast. I've got a mechanical room about 8' away that I'm going to put the condensor unit in on a shelf that I will build above the door. Don't forget you will need a place to drain the unit.

Since you are down in Indy there is a guy I used a few years ago to supply my racking and he's the one who first walked me through the whole process of proper vapor barriers and insulation back when I did my first wine cellar. I think his name was Vic Trappe and he owned a company down there called Distinctive Wine Cellars. You should look him up. He might be able to make some suggestions for you and this situation. He was a really good guy to work with.

Well, I hope that helps. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thought I'd bump this up.

OG & Angus, did you get those projects off the ground yet?

The one I was originally bidding is off the table, but I've got another we're definitely going to build. This one is larger, but a simpler layout.

Basement, 5'w x 12'l x 8' high, and I have a 20'x18' mechanical room to vent the cooling unit to.

What brand of cooling unit did you two end up specifying?
 

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KemoSabe
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Don't have all the specifics, but this may help for some ideas. The door was an arch-top Jeld-Wen in honey alder finish, complete with rustic nails. There is a segmented glass enclosure under the stairs and a small refrigeration unit at the base of the stairs. Many of the manufacturers recommendations were not adhered to for this application, of which I had no say in. All I did was the carpentry end of the project. Sorry I don't have finished pics.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Would have loved to see the finished product.

Was that wine closet to be conditioned?

That was pretty much the condition of the original project I was bidding--this closet was just a tad deeper and was partially under a flat landing.

Nice work.

EDIT--sorry, just re-read your post as saw the note on the ref. unit... How did you accomplish a vapor barrier at the treads/risers/stringers?
 

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KemoSabe
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Would have loved to see the finished product.

Was that wine closet to be conditioned?

That was pretty much the condition of the original project I was bidding--this closet was just a tad deeper and was partially under a flat landing.

Nice work.
I actually have a finished pic on my cell phone, but don't know how to get it to my computer. There is a small refrigeration unit that works fine, even though the manufacturer recommends no glass, no recessed lighting and the unit being mounted at the highest possible elevation. There was never any sign of condensation on the glass, which I consider a positive sign.:thumbsup:
 

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KemoSabe
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.. How did you accomplish a vapor barrier at the treads/risers/stringers?
The entire staircase was lined with fiberglass as well as the wall, then a plastic vapor barrier was applied. The door was hung on an outswing exterior jamb.
 

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KemoSabe
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Thanks Chris, I didn't know another way to get that photo onto my computer files.:thumbup:
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Similar to what I had done a while back. Love the curved glass on yours. Must of been a bundle.


 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Similar to what I had done a while back. Love the curved glass on yours. Must of been a bundle.


Is the tall cabinet a humidor Leo?

Was the room conditioned? Looks like a plaster ceiling...and a standard interior door.
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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It was a standard door, the room wasn't specialized as a wine room. It did have a conditioning system and the door was sealed as good as it could be. The cabinet was set up to be a humidor holder. A bunch of smaller boxes were put into it and the middle section was for larger bottles of wine. The capacity of the room was just under 500, 493 to be exact.

I didn't want to hijack the thread, but the other side of the room should be seen.




Where I was taking the pictures from, a small round table with a glass top and a small ceiling hanging chandelier would be going. I never got to see it with wine in it.

Made from quarter sawn Sapelle'
 

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Carpe Diem
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Thought I'd bump this up.

OG & Angus, did you get those projects off the ground yet?

The one I was originally bidding is off the table, but I've got another we're definitely going to build. This one is larger, but a simpler layout.

Basement, 5'w x 12'l x 8' high, and I have a 20'x18' mechanical room to vent the cooling unit to.

What brand of cooling unit did you two end up specifying?
Chris,

The scope of the project changed when we found out the customer was having the basement finished just to sell the house. The cellar got axed after that.
But the original specs called for a WhisperKOOL unit:
http://www.wineracksamerica.com/Wine_Cooling_Units/Whisperkool/XLT/6000.html
We went with that unit because it fit in a 16" OC wall and could vent to the outside easily.
 
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