Building A Root Cellar: A Homesteader’s Bank Account

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A couple years ago we knew we would have to build a new root cellar.  Not only was the current one letting the mice in, but we actually worried it would soon collapse in on itself.

We began drafting plans for the new root cellar, making a supply list, and pricing those items.  We knew we’d save on costs by building it ourselves, and we really liked that idea anyway–we’d get exactly what we wanted.

I’m not going to lie to you–it’s not as easy as you might think.  You’ve got to consider the water level, the frost line, drainage, and air flow, among other things.  It’s not quite as simple as it may first appear.

When my friend Teri offered to let me review her newest release Building A Homestead Root Cellar, based off her latest project, I was definitely curious to see how she handled her new build.

As a small family moving to South East Missouri, Teri and her husband looked forward to breaking ground and living the off grid life they had been preparing for.  They began by building their own tiny home, and securing water and alternative power (you can read more about that journey here).

It soon became apparent that in order to store more food and decrease their need upon modern grocery stores, they would need to come up with a plan.  A root cellar had moved from the “want” list to the “need” list.

In the Introduction of Building A Homestead Root Cellar, Teri defines for us what a root cellar is, how it works, and basic preparation of foods for storage.  Her cellar hosts not only fruits and vegetables, but also cured meats, aging cheeses, wines, and brewed beers.  On top of that, it’s built to protect her family as their emergency shelter during sudden, severe weather–exactly what we planned our root cellar for.

Planning Your Root Cellar

One of the obvious things you’ll need to know when you begin drafting plans is how large you’ll want your cellar and where you’ll want it to be placed on your homestead.  Teri advises that your cellar will probably be smaller than you think–saving you unnecessary time and expenses if you heed her advice.

For Teri’s situation, a cellar in the side of a hill with a walkout door was the best fit to safely store her food during the year and her family during a tornado.

She discusses drainage issues and air circulation.  After a brief introduction to the anteroom and it’s purpose, she also shares why she chose to have one and the purpose it provides in her family’s case.

Ever want someone to just tell you exactly what it would cost to build a root cellar?  Teri does just that when she gives you her building list and the financial breakdown of supplies and equipment rental.

Building Your Root Cellar

In this section, site layout and excavation are detailed.  Do you know where your frost line is and why it’s important?  How will you prepare the footing?  flooring?

Teri provides her actual drafted plans for your viewing, and you can see just how she and her husband addressed these issues as they began work on their own root cellar.

You’ll get to see how the walls were built, and learn tips on how to mouse proof your drainage holes, protect from frost heave damage, and save on concrete as you secure the walls.  She shares multiple pictures detailing the roof form and gives tips and warnings to help you make wise decisions when planning your own cellar.

Nervous about how much concrete to order?  Included is a method for calculating just how much would be required, since you’ll have to know ahead of delivery how much you’ll need.

Think you’ll be building a structure over your new root cellar?  Resist the temptation!  Instead, Teri urges you to focus on insulation and erosion control.

Worried about the details?  What will you do for shelves?  How will you insert hooks into the ceiling for your cured meats?  How do you make sure your doors withstand humidity inside and the weather outside?  She shares all of this.  (And I have to say, by the time she was done, those doors?  Beautiful.)

So How Will You Plan Your Root Cellar?

Are you ready to plan your own root cellar?  Believe you need one and you can build your own instead of hiring someone else to do it for you?  Or are you just in your curiosity or planning stage?

If you said “yes” to either one of these, I highly recommend checking out Teri Page’s Building A Homestead Root Cellar.

I so highly recommend it, that I even asked Teri if she’d be willing to do a giveaway to one of my readers and she graciously agreed.

Please take a minute to enter to win your copy here.  None of your information is shared, I only use it to verify honesty of entries, and to contact you via email should you be chosen a winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Fine print:  Winner will be drawn at random via the Rafflecopter (which I have no control of).  Winner must be 18 and able to download a copy to their own device. Once drawn, the winner will be notified via the email address entered and have 72 hours to claim their prize.  If winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new winner will be chosen.  Neither myself nor Teri Page will be responsible for eBooks you may misplace. Should the winner be unable to download the book, he/she forfeits their entry, so please make sure you are able to download your copy before you claim your prize.  The winner’s first name and last initial will be published on this site, on Grace Garden And Homestead’s social media, as well as provided to Teri Page.  Your privacy is important to me and no personal information (including your email) will be shared with anyone. Prize is one eBook:  Building A Homestead Root Cellar $8.95 value.

Not feeling lucky, or just don’t want to wait?  No problem.  You can head over here, and get your own copy and start reading instantly.

Once you get your copy, you’ll be inspired by the instant beauty and functionality a root cellar can add to your homestead.

Building a homestead root cellar. What goes into the planning. What supplies are need, along with a financial breakdown, and then how to get the job done.

I was given a copy of this book (and one to give away) in exchange for my honest review. All opinions contained in this review are 100% my own.  Thank you Teri for this opportunity–may your book be a blessing and inspiration to many.



  1. I’m not sure when I would have a place to build one. But it would certainly include a place for cheese. Yum.

  2. This would be awesome!

  3. My family has a century old root cellar on the property…the concrete was dated 1909. It is charming, all red brick and it used to have a black stovepipe. Unfortunately the mortar is crumbling and it is no longer safe to store vegetables in…or hide from a tornado. But I have so many memories as a kid, sitting around the tiny table in there with candles and cards, especially in the summer! It was always gloriously cool down there, no matter how hot it was outside.

    I hope to build myself one when I finally find some land of my own. Thank you!

  4. Awesome Information

  5. Great information. Hoping to build a root cellar once we move into our remodeled home later this fall.

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