Root cellar: wall insulation in

I got the rigid insulation up in the root cellar last night. It’s closed-cell Styrofoam – not exactly enviro-friendly, but pretty much impervious to moisture. I was able to close the door, open the window, and get the temp down to 45 overnight. (It was only 40 outside, so that’s pretty good, I think.) I just realized that I’ve more or less run out of winter weather with which to practice temperature regulation before risking any crops. *sigh* Ah well…we’ll get a few more cold nights, I bet, and even just opening the window was pretty effective for cooling.

From the outside (click to enlarge):
Insulation up

From the inside (click to enlarge):
Inside corner insulation

Yet to do:

  • Insulate between the ceiling joists with batts
  • Affix rigid insulation panels on the ceiling
  • Put the paneling on the outside
  • Put the plywood sheathing on the inside over the rigid insulation
  • Install the ventilation system in the window
  • Paint the entire inside with mildew-resistant paint
  • Build shelves


  1. aimee said,

    March 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    nice job! My root cellar is a big locked cooler in the crawl space.

  2. Sarah said,

    March 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    This project is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing it. Hopefully, one day when my husband and I are no longer renters we can build our own root cellar, too. Do you know of any good resources on root cellaring?

  3. March 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    What are you going to use for a ventilation system?

    • Emily said,

      March 16, 2010 at 10:12 am

      The window will get replaced with a “sandwich” of plywood and foam scraps. I’ll put two 4″ holes through it, and use PVC to put in 2 pipes – one near the ceiling and the other running diagonally across the floor. This should maximize convection and airflow.

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