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Country Girl
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Ok, this may sounds like a really silly question, but I live in Australia, our winters are mild and summers are hot, nobody has root cellars (not even sure they had them in the old days and I have certainly never seen one).

On the assumption that a root cellar would be suitable for our climate, how do you make one? How big are they, what type of support structure is needed and what does one look like (anyone have photos they could post?).

We have a front end loader to dig the hole but other than that, I'm clueless:eek::
 

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The root celars from the '30 were very common in our area. It was usually fairly close to the house but not attached. They were below ground except the cement roof which was often arched. I would guess they were 8'X10' or smaller. They had cement stairs that went to cellar with wooden doors on top. It usually had a door or screen door at the bottom of the stairs as well. They had shelves for canning goods and a place to store root crops and fruit. It was used as a storm shelter as well. They normally had some form of ventilation.

I tore ours out because it wasn't safe. They used blow sand in the cement mix to save money. They also used barb wire for reinforcement instead of rebar. It was ready to cave in.

If you were building one, I would put it in a well drained area. If the top was reinforced so it could have soil on top, that would be better. The deeper the better. If there was a shaded area it would help. You could plant shrubs on top to keep the sun off.
Hope that helps.
 

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We are in Texas where we have a similar climate, mild winters & hot dry summers. I would also love to have a root cellar but I am thinking the temperature would not be as cool as needed because it is so hot. I have done some research on the web & found a few sites on how to build but no comment on how they work in 100+ temps.
 

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My brother just got his root cellar plans approved from the buiding inspector. His will be 10 by 12 by 8 ft.

Will use 12 inch cement block, every other hole filled with grout and a rebar. Metal joint reinforcement every other row.

The ceiling will have a 4 inch curve poured concrete with rebar both directions (maybe #7 or #5 I don't remember). The concrete at centerline to be seven inches thick.

The perimeter foundation that the cellar wall rest on is 24 by 8 inches thick with two rebar. Drain tile all the way around going to daylight out of the hillside.

Floor to be gravel

Door will either be bought or made of wood in block stair well with wood stairs.

Two six inch pipe for ventilation

Structure to have three ft of dirt on ceiling and piled along sides.

Hope this helps.
 
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