How to Build a Cheap Cellar: Transform Your Basement on a Budget

Building a cheap cellar is not as difficult as you might think, and it can save you a lot of money on food storage. One of the ways to build a cheap cellar is to make a wooden box cellar. Here’s how to build it:
  • Start by digging a hole that’s 2 inches wide by 2′ 4′ feet (or greater), depending on the size of the wooden box you want to build.
  • Build a wooden box that will fit inside the hole, leaving some space between the box and the edges of the hole.
  • Make a few holes in the bottom of the wooden box to allow for drainage.
  • Line the inside of the wooden box with wire mesh to keep rodents out. Make sure to secure it well.
  • Add a layer of straw, leaves, or moss to the bottom of the box. This will act as an insulator and help keep the temperature stable.
  • Place a layer of sand or gravel on top of the insulation layer. This will help with drainage and prevent moisture from building up.
  • You can now add your veggies to the wooden box. Make sure you store them in a way that allows for good air circulation.
  • Building a wooden box cellar is a great DIY project that can help you save money on food storage. With a little bit of effort and some basic materials, you can build a cheap cellar that will keep your veggies fresh and delicious for months to come.

    Introduction: The Benefits of a Wooden Box Cellar

    Many homeowners dream of having a cellar, but the cost of building one can be a major roadblock. However, with some creativity and a little elbow grease, it’s possible to construct a cheap yet efficient cellar using a wooden box. Not only will it keep your fruits and vegetables fresh for longer, but it’s also a great way to store canned goods, preserves, and even wine.
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    When considering building a wooden box cellar, keep in mind that it doesn’t require extensive knowledge or special skills. You only need a few basic tools and materials, and it can be done in a weekend or two. Plus, wooden box cellars are versatile and can be built to fit any size or shape of the site.

    Step 1: Preparing the Site and Digging the Hole

    The first step to building your wooden box cellar is finding the right site. Ideally, this should be a spot that’s relatively flat and dry and receives good drainage. You can use a shovel or a backhoe to dig a hole of at least 2 feet wide and 4 feet deep, though you can make it bigger depending on your storage needs and the size of your yard. It’s essential to ensure the ground you’re digging into is stable and free of any electrical or utility lines, so take some time to research the land before you start digging. Once you’ve dug the hole, remove any rocks or debris and ensure the walls are sturdy.

    Step 2: Constructing the Wooden Box

    The next step is building the wooden box that will form the base of your storage area. You can use various materials like pine, cedar, or oak to create the box. The size of the box will depend on the size of the hole you’ve dug, but in general, you should build it with sides that are at least 6 inches thick. Using a hammer and nails, join the pieces of wood together, or use screws if you prefer. In case you don’t have a saw, you can ask for help from a local woodworking shop or borrow one from a friend. You can also save money by finding scrap wood from construction sites or old furniture.
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    Step 3: Adding Drainage Holes and Lining with Wire Mesh

    For proper drainage, drill a few holes in the bottom of the wooden box. This allows any excess water to escape, minimizing the risk of rot or dampness inside. Next, line the inside of your wooden box with wire mesh. This keeps rodents, bugs, and other pests out of your storage area. Be sure to keep the wire mesh taut and free of any holes because a small gap can let in tiny creatures that could eat up your food. Use staples or a stapler gun to attach the mesh to the wooden box securely.

    Step 4: Layering the Bottom with Straw, Leaves or Moss, Sand, and Gravel

    You’ll want to add a layer of materials to the bottom of the wooden box to improve drainage and help keep the stored items cool. Some good options include straw, dry leaves, or moss, which will also help absorb any excess moisture inside the box. After that, add about two inches of sand or gravel to deter pests and keep the soil well-drained. If you’re storing root vegetables, like carrots, potatoes, or onions, you should ensure that the layer of sand is at least 4 inches thick. This adds a protective layer around the vegetables, preventing moisture or humidity from coming in direct contact with them.

    Step 5: Storing Your Veggies in the Wooden Box Cellar

    After layering the wooden box cellar with all the necessary materials, carefully put your veggies into it. Nestle them snugly into the sand or gravel without packing too tightly or placing them on top of one another. Be sure to organize the box, so you can easily find the items you need when the time comes.
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    Tips for Maintaining Your Wooden Box Cellar

    Maintaining your wooden box cellar is vital to ensure that it remains effective in preserving your food. It’s essential that you keep checking the moisture content in the cellar and adding more layers of straw or sand as needed. If the cellar is too dry, the vegetables may start to dry up, or shrivel, and if it’s too humid, may start to rot. Also, check the box for any signs of pests or rodents and take timely action to prevent infestations. Regular cleaning is essential to keep the wooden box free from debris and ensure that the stored food remains in a hygienic condition.

    Conclusion: Enjoy Your Cheap and Efficient Cellar!

    Building a wooden box cellar may seem like a daunting task, but it’s a cost-effective and practical solution for homeowners who want to keep their food fresh for longer. With a little effort, patience, and carefulness, you can build a successful cellar in your backyard. Plus, the sense of satisfaction that comes with creating a functional storage solution on your own will be priceless!

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