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Converting basement kitchen into cold storage/wine cellar

Converting basement kitchen into cold storage/wine cellar


Old 10-19-14, 01:47 PM
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Converting basement kitchen into cold storage/wine cellar

Hi there,

My family needs a house upgrade. With 3 boys ages 3, 5, and 7 and our first girl on the way, our 3 bedroom/3 bathroom home doesn't cut it anymore. Problem is, in our area, 4+ bedroom homes are very rare. What is common, however, are 3 bedroom homes with 2 bedroom basement suites so we are seriously considering that as an option.

One house in particular has been using the basement suite as a massage therapy clinic, so it's mostly already renovated perfectly to suit our needs. They did leave the kitchen in though, which we don't need. With a large family it would be nice to have a cold storage room for storing produce from the garden, my canning, and wine.

Anyone have experience with doing something like this? We're wondering approximate costs, whether it would be worth it (Plan B is to build a shed in the backyard for the same purpose), and what this would do to the overall value of the home.

This is the link to the house listing, in case someone needs a visual: 00189365, 27 SUNNYBRAE Avenue , HALIFAX, Nova Scotia B3N2G3
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Old 10-19-14, 06:01 PM
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So, you want to convert finished space like bedrooms and a kitchen into a cold closet for wine and veggies??? Since you really did not provide any details like the room size, current construction or what you want it's almost impossible to guess at a cost. Still, a true root cellar will be difficult to achieve but it would be easy enough to insulate a room against temperature swings to make it a nice place for storing wine and canned goods. Converting finished space into canned good storage though does not sound like a good idea at first glance.

As for building a shed for wine and canned food storage and it's affect on the home's value? I'll just assume I mis-understood your question.
Old 10-19-14, 07:16 PM
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We just want to convert the basement kitchen into cold storage. The basement is completely finished, yes, with an office, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. We don't need the kitchen as there is a better one upstairs. It's not open-concept. It's already quite closed off. If you click on the link, it's the red room with white cabinetry, a sink, and two grey chairs. Current owner is using it as waiting area. The area is 13.4x6. Concrete foundation. What I would like to do is tear out the cabinets, add shelving, seal it off, add temperature control, and add a door. Wondering if this is even possible and a ballpark figure of what this might realistically cost. Like upwards of $50-60K? Also would it decrease the value of the home because we're losing a kitchen or add value because we added the extra storage?
Old 10-19-14, 08:58 PM
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I'll take a wild guess. If the existing space us valued as a finished kitchen and possibly part of a second living space or office space, your proposed conversion would reduce the total value. The only up side would be someone like your self who might like the extra storage, but the trade-off would at best be neutral.

I did an audit here in Maine, also cold country, where the owner was using an enclosed space under the front concrete porch, about 6' x 20'. Wine and canned goods similar to your list. Although not a rough in nature as a root cellar he was having moisture issues and that root cellar smell.

When you allow a space, especially one in a basement to become cooler than the rest you will increase the humidity level. Walking that fine line between a cooler storage area and a mold storage area is important. It is probably workable, but you might need a cold climate dehumidifier to help.

Another note on adding or subtracting value, as long as you aren't destroying the structure, converting any space to your preferred needs is adding value to you. If and when you sell, the new owners will probably gut and start over anyway. But having a personal food storage area IS becoming more popular. A shed out back, IMO, too inconvenient.


Last edited by Bud9051; 10-19-14 at 08:58 PM. Reason: correction

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