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garethharvey

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Hi All

Been away for over a year as my wife has not been well. She’s recovering now and I’m slowly getting back in the workshop.

My son has just bought a house, there are lots of renovation going on there and as the house is in such a mess, we are considering building a spiral wine cellar.

I have costed these up but not happy paying £18,000 - £30,000

I like the idea of the stair treads without a hand rail, as they go straight into the wine rack.

Was wondering, do you think this could be built out of wood? I have been considering building the blocked they use in 25mm plywood with a facing edge in oak. The steps could be solid oak with the central upright also in oak

Would love to hear suggestions / pitfalls



 

marcros

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I don't know, but I think that these are amazing. I have seen them before in photographs. I hadn't realised that they were concrete until I saw the bottom picture.

could you utilise one of the spiral staircase kits, and adapt that?
 

MikeG.

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Yes, you could build those in ply. The thing I'd be looking at is the strength at the narrow end where it meets the vertical pole, and I can foresee it needing to be more than 25mm thick . A scaffold pole, and some shaped laminations at the narrow end....might work.

Far more of an issue is the hole. Building a dry cellar is a far from trivial exercise. In adverse ground you could easily spend £20,000 getting a dry structure, before you even begin to think about the stairs and storage.
 

garethharvey

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MikeG.":124mw3v9 said:
Yes, you could build those in ply. The thing I'd be looking at is the strength at the narrow end where it meets the vertical pole, and I can foresee it needing to be more than 25mm thick . A scaffold pole, and some shaped laminations at the narrow end....might work.

Far more of an issue is the hole. Building a dry cellar is a far from trivial exercise. In adverse ground you could easily spend £20,000 getting a dry structure, before you even begin to think about the stairs and storage.
The plan is to dig the hole leaving an extra 8" to allow concrete shuttering, then fill the bottom with 8" concrete. Then drop a water barrier in, this would be several layers of thick dpc membrane, we could even look at a purpose made liner to fit the hole exactly. Then add a sealed pipe like this one with a cap on the bottom:



Finally, we could back fill the 8" radius between the plastic pipe and shuttering to create a waterproof cellar.
 

Trevanion

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You must seriously enjoy your wine if you’re considering putting one of those in. If you’ve got the money to fill it why are you even considering doing it yourself? As John B said, if you were to fill it with the cheapest wines it would still be thousands.

I have a small rack in the cupboard under the stairs, perfectly serviceable and very difficult to fill with bottles even with a quite few home brews a year.
 

MikeG.

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I'd be really worried about that design. It sounds like an ad hoc tanking system, with a watertight vessel inside it. The danger is that the plastic pipe thingy with the capped bottom becomes bouyant in a wet environment, and starts forcing its way out of the ground (ie pushing your floor up*). Although I have quite a lot of experience of designing cellars and lift pits this is definitely an area I defer to structural engineers, so my first suggestion is to seek advice from one of those. There are a couple on this forum so you might be lucky.

My general preference, and the advice I always give, is to externally tank any structure in the ground such that water pressure is pushing the tanking onto the structure, rather than trying to push it off as it does with internal tanking. An engineer will want to know the ground type and conditions, water table level and so on.

The other thing that occurs to me is that the plastic vessel essentially becomes your water barrier, and that would mean you couldn't easily fix anything to it. The structure of the stairs and storage would then have to be self-supporting, and this becomes a really complex project as a result.

* This is a seriously strong force. I have seen some horrendous examples where tanks have forced their way out of the ground, breaking up paving, walls, and even concrete.
 

garethharvey

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But the plastic pipe would be encased in 8" concrete which is also water-tight as the membrane would be put in against the shuttering
 

MikeG.

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No, I'm saying that is a wet environment. Concrete can be designed to be waterproof, but it isn't ordinarily. If it is intended to be waterproof, then not only is it a special mix with additives, but there is some carefully designed reinforcement to prevent the micro-cracking which ordinary concrete suffers from and which renders most concrete non-watertight.

If it were me, I'd start my conversation with the structural engineer along the lines of some permanent shuttering (concrete or blockwork) professionally tanked internally, then a structural concrete wall cast inside against that.

-

Unless I'm misunderstanding your use of the term "backfill". That normally implies a loose material. Are you saying that the final structure, outside to in, is: concrete, tanking, concrete, plastic chamber? If you are, then that's what I've just suggested, and so long as the tanking is done properly then fine. I was understanding your build-up as concrete, tanking, loose fill, plastic chamber.
 

garethharvey

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MikeG.":1xdttr0e said:
Unless I'm misunderstanding your use of the term "backfill". That normally implies a loose material. Are you saying that the final structure, outside to in, is: concrete, tanking, concrete, plastic chamber? If you are, then that's what I've just suggested, and so long as the tanking is done properly then fine. I was understanding your build-up as concrete, tanking, loose fill, plastic chamber.
Yes, that's what I mean, we will be backfilling the 8" void with concrete from the top once everything is in place
 

MikeG.

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OK, then crack on, but don't do the ad hoc tanking you were planning. Do that properly and you should be fine. However, I'd still want a comment from a structural engineer first.
 

will1983

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As a Civil Engineer I've built many a reinforced concrete structure below ground.

RE tanking material, I would certainly recommend that this is made to order and tested by the supplier before you install it, the joints are the weak point in the design so really need to be plastic welded by someone qualified and experienced. Trying to form a flat sheet to the shape on site is just going to lead to problems, the material will have to be a heavy gauge sheeting which is not easily formed.

I would suggest that a sulphate resistant cement is used in the mix but your concrete supplier and Structural Engineer (you definitely need to employ one of these for this project) will be able to advise on mix design and strength.

To comment on Mike's concerns over the tube floating, this is a serious possibility. It is the same principle as how a boat floats, it displaces water to a greater mass than itself. You require the opposite in this case so your structure (I would suggest just the concrete elements) needs to weigh more than the volume of water it theoretically displaces. Without the details and doing the calculations I cannot say but to achieve stability you may have to increase the thickness of the base or surround to increase the mass.

Concrete has a nominal density of 2.4T/m3 (disregard the weight of steel, permanent formwork, tanking and eventual contents for simplicity). Water obviously is 1T/m3.
Easy calcs; volume * density = mass

The pouring of the concrete surround will need close control, the plastic tube you are using as a void former is not designed for that purpose. It is undoubtedly very strong being a circle but concrete poured to a height of about 2.5m will exert a huge load at the bottom of the tube. I would recommend adding some additional circular ply formers inside to counter any deformation and also reduce the rate of pour to about 500mm in height per hour. This allows the lower concrete to gain some early strength before being loaded by the material poured above it. More information of rate of rise can be found be searching for RC column construction.

Final note, I would recommend that even with the liner material you add a secondary line of moisture defense in the way of hydrophilic waterbar installed in all your concrete construction joints.

Good luck with the project, it'll be very impressive when its done.
 

thetyreman

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John Brown":3phg0umj said:
Then there's the cost of the wine. It's probably not worth building one of these to store £3.99 bottles from Tesco.
:lol:
 

sunnybob

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Youve all seen those building shows where the owner swears blind he will only have to spend X, and then 1 years later you find he spent two X's and loose change on top?

Whatever youre planning for this very specialised build, add 150% contingencies. :roll:
It would be cheaper to have a weekend holiday at the winery everytime you want a drink 8) 8)
 

MikeG.

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will1983":15jigdxa said:
.......The pouring of the concrete surround will need close control, the plastic tube you are using as a void former is not designed for that purpose. It is undoubtedly very strong being a circle but concrete poured to a height of about 2.5m will exert a huge load at the bottom of the tube. I would recommend adding some additional circular ply formers inside to counter any deformation and also reduce the rate of pour to about 500mm in height per hour..........
To the OP. In addition to the above, if this was a tank being set in concrete in the ground it would be filled with water at approximately the same rate as it was being surrounded by concrete. This weighs it down to prevent the flotation that we've both talked about, and I don't really see an alternative here. That water is left until the concrete has set, and then will obviously have to be pumped out prior to retrieving the internal supports/ bracing.
 

Inspector

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I've never seen cellars like that but I don't get out much. :)

I would do as my wine loving buddy has and that is to insulate a room and put a small AC in it. My buddy actually has 3 of these rooms with 5,000+ bottles and counting stored in them. The inside can be decorated to look like anything from a grotto to an Oak library/study. It would save bundles of money to put towards good wine that doesn't come in a box with a squeeze spout. ;)

Pete
 

garethharvey

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So, other than the hole. Do you think it would work with timber rather than concrete.

There would be 6 modules to form a circle with a tree on each course. This way I would only have to make 2 different blocks, one without a tread and one with.

Each module would be 25mm ply (top, bottom and sides with 9mm ply on the back for reinforcement.

The centre pole would be 150mm thick, this could again be oak with a hold to sit over a steel bar.
 

Doug71

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I have a friend who has one of these wine cellars, he has an engineering company and did it all himself.

He originally got a quote from a company who specialise in making and fitting them but said they were too expensive and he could do it himself cheaper.

By the time he finished he admitted it wasn't any cheaper to do it yourself #-o
 

Jonathan S

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Many years ago when I lived in UK I was involved in a few projects below ground, wine cellars, games rooms, vehicle inspection pits etc .....the first thing I would look at is the water table level, if it is high you have to budget for Dewatering, this process involves taking the water out of the surrounding area so work can commence , it can double or triple the budget. When it was skipped for financial reasons the structure was nor water tight.
If the water table is 4 or 5 meters down your golden!
 

profchris

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garethharvey":2qd9wf02 said:
So, other than the hole. Do you think it would work with timber rather than concrete.

There would be 6 modules to form a circle with a tree on each course. This way I would only have to make 2 different blocks, one without a tread and one with.

Each module would be 25mm ply (top, bottom and sides with 9mm ply on the back for reinforcement.

The centre pole would be 150mm thick, this could again be oak with a hold to sit over a steel bar.
I can't tell you if it would work, but I wouldn't want to step on it. My mental arithmetic tells me that each step is only 40 mm wide where it joins the pole. Even if you hand me calculations to show it'll take my weight, my hindbrain says it's far too skinny in 25mm ply for me to trust.

At the very least I'd say you need to make up one tread, support it either end, and then get a stout volunteer to first stand on it and then jump on it (to simulate a slip). If it stands up to that then there's just the psychological hurdle to overcome :D
 
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