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Just went through this as well. Agree that it's cheaper to build, and gives you a lot more flexibility in design / configuration than a large standalone unit. You can find detailed instructions online and helpful advice on this forum (as evidenced by the comments above). If you're handy, you can certainly build the room out yourself.

If you hire out, get at least 3 quotes. I met with a few general contractors who all quoted me well under $10k (excl. racks or A/C). I did get one absurd quote for $65k-$100k, but that person was more interested in building out a "designer cellar" despite my directive that the 10'x10' space was just for wine storage and not where the Queen would sleep when she gets around to visiting our home.

Needless to say, I went with one of the more reasonable quotes and just made sure the builder knew exactly what I wanted (vapor barrier, preferred R values, etc.) and got the job done in 5 days. From my perspective, it was very easy to work with a basic contractor when I knew exactly all of the steps that had to be done to get the room insulated correctly (those online directions are really quite helpful).

Depending on your home and location of the cellar, you may want to try to start with a well-insulated passive cellar. We had our contractor frame out and mark a space for a cooling unit but plan on spending a year monitoring the temp fluctuations to see if it's necessary. If we need a unit, it'll be easy to add the venting into the wall down the road.

This is a fun home project, so enjoy and best of luck!
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