So, you have decided to build a wine room in the house. Maybe climate controlled, maybe not, but definitely with enough wood racks to hold a few hundred bottles.

Your plan is to have redwood racks but where do you get the racks and who is going to install them? Do you use a carpenter to build them using your design? Do you buy a wine rack kit from a website? Do you hire a company that specializes in designing and building wine rooms? There are many factors to consider in making this decision. I will try to illuminate the various issues involved and use some real life stories to illustrate.

Most good carpenters can build the racks if you give them a detailed design. The tricky thing is that they will not likely know much about the size of wine bottles and how to size the openings correctly. Recently a custom home builder called me for advice. He had his carpenter build the individual bottle racks and the openings were too big for the bottles. He wanted me to tell him the correct dimensions for the openings. I suggested that he buy some wine bottles and a caliper, or hire me.

Wine Enthusiast has a tremendous offering of wine related products.

Below are links to their current sale items:

- Refrigerated Wine Cabinets

- Stemware

- Wine Service & Preservation

- Wine Racks

- Decanters & Aerators

- Corkscrews

- Wine Furniture (Cellars, Racks, etc)

- Wine Collecting Accessories

There are some very well made wine rack kits on the market at reasonable prices. The problem with kits is that you are limited to the sizes that are available. This could be limiting in that you will design your storage system around the kits versus around your room and your collection.  Also, with both kits and a carpenter, you are responsible for the design. Depending on your design skills and needs, this may or may not be a good thing.

Custom rack companies come in and do everything for you: custom rack design based on your needs and the room, complete installation, and warranties. They are responsible if anything goes wrong. They may be more expensive than kits or a carpenter but how much is your time worth? It could take you hours to design a racking system or find the correct kits online, not to mention the hours it takes to assemble them. If you work with a carpenter, you are responsible for the design and the details because a good carpenter is going to want all dimensions in writing before building something as complicated as wine racks.

As a designer and builder of climate controlled wine storage systems, I am a bit biased towards this solution. Kits certainly have their place and carpenters are capable of building good wine racks. But it is easier and less risky for you to turn the job over to a professional than to go with kits or a carpenter.

If possible, hire a professional to build your wine room and then sit back and relax with your wine.

Jost Lunstroth is VP of Vineyard Wine Cellars, a Texas company that designs and builds climate controlled wine storage systems.