Having a root cellar is a trend that is coming back for many sustainable lifestylists. This is due to several factors, including the need to have a safe environment for root vegetables and canned food during the year. For many property owners, having a root cellar means excavation is necessary. Here are four things to consider about excavation for a root cellar before you begin the building process.
1. Style of Root Cellar
One of the first considerations you need to make regarding the root cellar and excavation is the style of cellar you want. The main types of root cellar styles are hillside root cellars and pit style root cellars. Both styles will require some form of excavation. However, that excavation process can be greatly different depending on which style you choose.
A hillside option is ideal if you have the proper amount of hillside land and a depth area large enough to accommodate your plan. You can build the inside of the cellar, and excavate the ground, at an incline. This will allow you to have proper drainage if necessary. A pit option is ideal for the flat land area where other options are out of the question. Pit options are direct excavations based on the depth required for the cellar.
2. Depth of the Cellar
There is one key point to remember when you begin to build and design a root cellar. That key point is the depth at which the excavation of the land will need to be. Keep in mind; you will need to place the cellar deep enough in the soil to maintain a cool environment suitable for storing various foods and canned items.
This depth is at least 10 feet, ideally deeper. Depending on the soil consistency, and the amount of gravel, you may find that you need to go deeper than the standard ten feet. You should remember that with the depth being a factor, how you plan on accessing the deepest parts of the root cellar and if any type of lighting may be necessary.
3. Excavation Safety
Whenever you work with a contractor, there is some level of trust that you need to give. This is especially true with excavating land for a root cellar. Keep in mind that your plan for a root cellar may not be safe for the area you are living in. This is due to several factors.
For example, you may want at hillside root cellar. The problem is, what looks like a very sturdy hill to you may actually be unsafe once excavated, or unsafe for the excavation process to occur. This can be due to the grade of soil, root systems, and other issues in the surrounding land. For this reason, you should be flexible on your root cellar plan and adhere to what your excavation team is stating about safety and adjustments that need to be made.
4. Lighting and Power Needs
When you meet with the excavation team, one of the points to know about your root cellar is if lighting and power will be needed. There are several reasons this is vital to the excavation process. For example, you may find that having a simple lighting plan is not suitable for the area you have chosen for the cellar. The lighting may also not be suitable for the style of cellar you want.
If you are having excavation done for a hillside root cellar, the company can help you decide the best depth and methods to use according to the slope of the hillside. This will help if your end result is to use some kind of natural lighting or solar lighting. It can also help greatly with pit style cellars and lighting that may be part of the existing home or area.
By keeping these four things in mind when you begin planning an excavation for a root cellar, you will be better able to plan the cellar you need. Keep in mind that you may want to call Able Hauling & Excavating for a consultation. We can survey the area and determine the level of excavation that will be necessary based on your root cellar plan and land options. We can also help with pricing and any questions you may have.