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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / root cellar location & advice
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# Posted: 6 Nov 2021 11:44

Hi Everyone,

I continue to plan things out in my mind before I get busy building.

I have been thinking about adding a root cellar to my property - for both food storage, and in case of a bad storm / tornado.

Would you recommend that I construct a basement, and have the root cellar under the cabin, or should I build the root cellar into the side of a hill? The property is just south of Huntsville, Ontario. And the cabin will be about 300 square feet in size, single storey.

If the basement / root cellar is located under the cabin, I think I would access it with some sort of trap door device. I am also worried about animals getting into the root cellar if it were located at the side of a hill.

Any advice / feedback is appreciated

# Posted: 6 Nov 2021 12:27

Myself personally, a basement is not an option as the tradeoff just was not worth it... I went with a FPSF (Frost Protect Slab Foundation) wrapped with 4" XPS and Radiant Heating Pex embeded and the thermal mass for heating & cooling was far more important. House never goes above 27C even when it's 40C outside... I'm near Algonquin Park BTW.

Into a Hillside is a good option, as you can ensure a drainway via a rubble trench taking it downline. but it really depends on structural idea... concrete block, poured or ? Quite a few folks are now buying the big Platic Septic type tanks and converting those to root cellars. Critters can be handled and depending on what it's built with may not even come up. Air movement is very important otherwise things can become very unpleasant.

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# Posted: 7 Nov 2021 05:30

Your in snow country. Dig it into a hill and have the floor and all the drainage under it drain out.

I hate basements, they always seam to be musty and leak here. Il never build a house with one.

# Posted: 8 Nov 2021 10:39

Out here in Wyoming, every house is built with a basement. They are fantastic in both the summer and winter. The earth, down about 5 feet, is a great temperature regulating environment. Plus it's free.

I have actually seen companies put pex heating tubes in the walls of the basement as the thermal mass, to get both the downstairs and upstairs heated. In the summer, the basement is a great place that does not need AC.

# Posted: 9 Nov 2021 16:13

Thanks everyone! Right now, I think my cabin will have a crawl space. And I am thinking of getting the root cellar built on the side of a nearby hill. Ahhh, so many dreams!

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