Making Good Spaces

When we bought our brand new house, we had George perform an on-site inspection to insure that the builder had provided a quality home for us. He reported that it was indeed a well-built house.

Wine Cellar There is plenty of room for more wine!

He also discovered that the dirt "crawl space" below the house was, in some areas, 9-12 feet in height, and so could be floored and walled for additional space. We immediately added a 375 square foot office, which is also used as a retreat, complete with TV and sofa/chairs for husband when wife has the "girls" over and "no men are allowed" is strictly enforced.

This worked out so successfully, that I decided to press the envelope and see if the Finance Director (wife) would approve adding a "small" wine cellar in some of the remaining space. The crawl space seemed like a perfect space for such a use, steady temperatures of 50-60 degrees...George made another site visit and suggested constructing walls that actually hung from the first flour beams, plus general outlines of materials needed and layout of the space.

I got approval from Finance and the 400 square foot room was finished in three months (I am retired, so this was my full time project). By this time, I was seriously over-running my approved budget, and the Finance Director was promising very strong sanctions. So my plans for the actual wine racks, which included oak or walnut or maple, with marble tasting table (and perhaps marble on the floor), had to be abandoned.

Jim and the Finance DirectorJim and the "Finance Director"

What I finally used were 1 X 2 furring strips for the vertical uprights, which are spaced 3- 1/2 inches apart. I ripped the 1 X 2 strips in half for the horizontal rests for the wine bottle, and cut them to 9 inches long. These rests were then nailed to two of the uprights at 3-inch intervals (I built a Jig for this). These units were secured in 4 foot sections by four 1 X 2's in the back (which are bolted to the wall studs), and five 1 X 2's ripped in half, in the front. The racks are seven feet tall. A four-foot section cost $52 in lumber.

By the way, for such a project you definitely need a brad nailer and a finish nail gun. The racks look absolutely stunning, and even the Finance Manager is pleased - after the initial shock of discovering that I built racks for 1,500 bottles. Now I have to devise a plan for getting budget approval to fill all the racks. - Jim