Build a root cellar into the side of a hill

Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)September 26, 2009

I might put one in but high cost might steer me away.

A easy way would be a prefabricated concrete tank with door and bottom open, then set it in.

Or, pour concrete on site, wall only and use heavy timber for roof.

Can you please share you experience with pictures and ideas, this would be greatly appreciated.


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david52 Zone 6

There are countless designs. Around here, when they pulled out the narrow gauge railroad, there were railroad ties galore, and a lot of folks make their cellars out of those. We have others made of stacked sandstone. My own is made on the north side of the house with standard 2 x 6 framing, then 8" thick styrofoam insulation all around, concrete floor. I keep a 12 watt Florissant light bulb turned on when the outside temps get below 10ºF, just as a precaution, because there is a lot of food in there that I really hope doesn't freeze.....

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:05AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Please check out the numerous posts about ROOT CELLARS

Here is a link that might be useful: Root celler search results

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 4:51PM
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jonas302(central mn 4)

Wish I had a nice hill I think the cost could be kept pretty low excavating would probly be the biggest cost

I though of putting one strait down into the ground but the water table is very high here so that would be a problem

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 5:23PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

There was a good discussion sometime past on the Farm Life forum here about using a 1000 gal concrete septic tank set on end. Folks had the company that makes septic tanks pour it without the dividing partition normally in them and it cost them about $1000 total. Might be worth checking out that discussion.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 6:09PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thank you so much all of you!

Dave, I like the septic tank idea, I'm going to see if something like this is around or a water cistern.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 11:47PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I started this year, [will go with septic tank] perhaps next year it will be finished.
So far I build a 4 foot tall wall, the tank goes on top, the concrete forms
I build out of 5/8" OSB boards.

Rebar configuration...bent around the corners, tied into the footing, 14x14" and has two double rows of rebars.

Looking from the front

Pouring Concrete

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 12:06AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

The tank was put on, the idea of leaving the inside form on
I scraped, figured I need every inch of space in there and I could
use those threaded rods protruding the wall to hold the upper forms up
for the mortar fill.

Turning over the tank..inside view

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 2:16PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 12:05AM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Wow! I am jealous!
You shouldn't having any trouble storing wht you need in there. And it can double as a hideout, fort for kids, or any other number of creative ideas. Very cool.
Keep posting!


    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 5:17PM
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