Build cellars yourself: planning & execution

Building a cellar by itself is a relatively large project. A lot of planning is necessary in advance, the execution requires skill, some basic knowledge in the construction and heavy equipment. What is necessary for a cellar and how it is built, explains the following instructions.

Planning of the Erdkeller

A lot of considerations are important in the planning in advance. It's about location, size, ventilation and design. It is also important to consider what is to be stored in the cellar, and how the climate in the cellar must be.


The optimal location for a Erdkeller is a northern slope. A shady northern location is also acceptable. A south facing (south facing) is acceptable if a corresponding process is built to serve as a temperature compensating cold bridge.

Build cellars yourself: planning & execution: cellars

East or west position is definitely excluded in a Erdkeller. Under the Erdkeller there should be no water veins.

Altitude and groundwater level

About the highest vaulted peak should still be about three quarters of a meter of earth. The depth that the cellar reaches with it must still be above the groundwater level. In some cases even rising groundwater has to be included.

Size and dimensions

When vaulted arches are bought in, the size of the Erdkeller is always dependent on the width of the vaulted arches. Take into account that a specified span is always measured inside the vault bend.

Two stone thicknesses are always lost to the outside. That must be taken into account. As well as the installation of an anteroom, if necessary, space for the outlet and the drainage.

Perfect are hollow bricks for the walls of the Erdkeller. The foundation is best made from concrete. Thereafter, the additional design is then planned.

Equipment of the earth cellar

  • Soil with floor tiles or other covering?
  • Ventilation
  • Door frames and doors (best of larch)
  • ventilation tiles
  • drainage pipes
  • Underground cables, connections, etc.
  • Intermediate walls (to store potatoes separately from other vegetables)
  • Climate in the cellar for the fruit and vegetables to be stored, wines, etc.
  • suitable planting (also here must be tuned)

Step by step: build a cellar

  • suitable bricks (preferably hollow brick)
  • Material for ventilation
  • Material for drainage
  • Vault cover material (foils etc.)
  • Door and door frame
  • Other material depending on the design
  • Material for the foundation
  • Maurer tool
  • excavator
  • Crane or lifting device for vaulted arches
  • Tool for the construction of ventilation
  • another tool depending on the design

1. Planning

The most basic part is certainly the planning. Everything has to be considered here. Changes in hindsight are almost impossible to accomplish.

2. Excavation

Raise the excavation according to the plan. Build the foundation of stone and gravel layers and the sand layer, cover with insulating tarpaulin and fleece (cleanliness layer) and either concreted or covered with stones.

3. Build sidewalls

Wall walls. If necessary, set the intermediate wall. Insert the door. Wall and process. Then place the vaulted arches. Apply ventilation.

4. Lay drainage and fill

Lay the drainage pipes and cover the vaulted ceiling with bituminous membrane. Pour earth. Attach planting.

Tips & Tricks

Every kind of food makes its own demands on the Erdkeller - not everything can always be stored together. This must also be taken into account in the planning.

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