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How to Build A Cellar

I grew up in Switzerland and every family had a cellar in the house. We stored fruits and vegetables, preserves and wine in it.

When I came to New Zealand, I missed having a cellar and I thought ‘How can I get one built’? At first, I thought a concrete dangerous goods shed could be used, with soil piled up around it. The soil would be the insulation for the cellar and we could grow shrubs on top, which should hold the soil back.

I went to Alpha Precast in Motueka and explained what I was after. Jon said a square concrete shed would not be as solid as a round one. We came up with the idea of using a concrete water tank. His plan was to build a solid wall in the middle of the cellar, which would give me a flat wall to put shelves on.

The central wall would also support the lid of the cellar, the weight of the soil on top of the lid and a bath tub (on top of the cellar), complete with a gas califont for hot water.

The view was amazing; sitting up there in that bath tub! Over the years we changed the plantings on the cellar roof top and removed the bath tub. The cellar itself is still very much in use.

Before the cement for the retaining walls cured we had time to make impressions. I didn’t want smooth flat walls.

We installed the cellar in 2009 and it still works as perfectly as it did back then!

Thanks Alpha Precast in Motueka, for your great ideas.

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