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  #1  
Old 04/19/11, 03:38 PM
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"Cold Room"????

does it equal a root cellar?

I was watching "Holmes on Holmes" where he is a buidling inspector, and apparently in Canada. There was this basement with a closet that apparently was really a "cold room". This little room at one time has a tiny window - it was under the stoop of the front porch and when it was done properly seemed to be of dirt and not boxed, housed etc.

Does anyone know what a "cold room" is in the upper regions of North America?

What are they used for? Would this be something good to build into a house when not using so much electricity?

Thanks, Angie

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  #2  
Old 04/19/11, 03:55 PM
 
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Hi Angie,
I usually don't post alot, just lurk! i have a cold room in the basement of my home. usually they are an uninsulated small room in the basement, used as cold storage, similar to a root cellar. mine has shelves and 2 long cupbords. it does stay pretty cool in there even in the summer. i store my perserves, canning equp. potaotes and onions as well.
hope this helps,
ps isn't mike the best!!!!!!!

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Old 04/19/11, 03:58 PM
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ps isn't mike the best!!!!!!!
Yep!


and thank you, I sorta thought it was that.

(I'd use if for a storm shelter here in N. AL with our tornado season and such)
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Old 04/19/11, 04:00 PM
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I'm think it was probably a place to store perishables, like an ice box without the ice or it could be a root cellar.

We had a small room like that in our house in Chicago, except it had no window. I never went into it....too many creepy crawlies. It actually extended outside of the basement, under the front steps. It was always cooler/colder in there as the concrete steps kept it well insulated.

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Old 04/19/11, 04:05 PM
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Like hollylequesne said, basically they are an uninsulated small room used for cold storage.

We had 3 cold rooms, and no basement, cellar or root cellar because the water table was too high to go below ground. One was attached to the house just off the kitchen pantry, one in the barn and one in the spring house.

.

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Old 04/19/11, 04:28 PM
 
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If it looked like it once had a small window, the "window" was probably to get the coal into the coal storage "room". My MIL has what she calls "the cold room". It used to be full of coal. Now she uses it for food storage.

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Old 04/19/11, 04:32 PM
 
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I have in the winter an area of my basement entry exterior on the same level of the basement which is a freeze in the winter and a cold room in spring and fall and in the summer it stays at 45 so it is a place for cold water storage only.

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Old 04/19/11, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cindy in NY View Post
If it looked like it once had a small window, the "window" was probably to get the coal into the coal storage "room". My MIL has what she calls "the cold room". It used to be full of coal. Now she uses it for food storage.
more likely the window was for an ice block in the summer. not coal. coal would have gone over next to the furnace if they had an indoor one. Every old house around here has a window into either a small room, or above a niche built into the wall of the basement. Good place for butter, milk, meat.
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Old 04/19/11, 09:27 PM
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Ours was in the back of the house, slightly lower than the rest of it, and lined with slate and with slate shelves. Always cold in there.

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  #10  
Old 04/19/11, 09:39 PM
 
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Hubby built one for me a few years ago- I love it! The only time I add heat is when it is below zero, and that is with a light bulb. Ours is insulated in garage. Great for preserved food, onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, beets-
We modeled ours from the book the joy of gardening by Dick Raymond. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...ning&x=10&y=18
Only time when we have to watch it is fall- the onions are cured, ready for storage- but it is too warm in this room then- lost a batch of onions by putting them in too early.

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Old 04/20/11, 08:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Wisconsin Ann View Post
more likely the window was for an ice block in the summer. not coal. coal would have gone over next to the furnace if they had an indoor one. Every old house around here has a window into either a small room, or above a niche built into the wall of the basement. Good place for butter, milk, meat.
This house was built in the 30's in coal country of PA. No ice deliveries then, only coal. Our house was built in 1910 and we have a similar "window" and loads of burnt coal remnants in the yard.
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  #12  
Old 04/20/11, 08:46 AM
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The book "Root Cellaring" has a chapter on how to build an indoor basement root cellar aka cold room.

I'd like to see some pictures of these cold rooms if any of you would care to share them. I don't even care if they're full of "stuff". I like to see what this little niche window looks like too. Pretty please?

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  #13  
Old 04/20/11, 12:20 PM
 
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Unfortunetly my home has no cold room nor root cellar. But yes it is typically built in the cellar on the coolest side of a home like under a porch.
As technologies change so does the purpose of a room. What was once a cold room in a 1880 home becomes a coal room in the 1910's.

Another alternative was to place a pie safe type of cabinet in the coolest portion of a cellar and use that for food items that didn't quite need a spot on the ice box. This worked well if you were a renter and didn't want to invest in building a more perment structure.

I'll try an snap a pic of a neighbor's who cellar I envy. It's over 6' deep, lol.


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Old 04/20/11, 12:38 PM
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In my basement there is an area, about 15X15, it has a door. I suspect this is where the coal used to be shoveled down there and was closed off. There would have to be alot of work done down there, to get me to use it. Sinse I'm the "doer" arround here-it ain't happening. I'll use my upstairs pantry. Michigan basements are very creepy-snakes,spiders,Bats.

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  #15  
Old 11/07/11, 11:29 AM
 
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Im in canada cold room's are found in most homes in my area but i also live in a rural farm community. Cold rooms here are part of a basement unfinished area for food storage/ wood etc the window is for ice in the summer - to be put in your cold chest ( ice box) and ventilation coal i dont know about alot of the homes here are or were heated with wood or corn not coal but i see it being a strong possibility our root celler is outside inground

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  #16  
Old 11/08/11, 10:24 AM
 
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7thswan: I've often wondered this: why do they call it a 'Michigan basement?' We moved up here from WI & I never heard this before. thanks

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Old 11/08/11, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Maggie View Post
7thswan: I've often wondered this: why do they call it a 'Michigan basement?' We moved up here from WI & I never heard this before. thanks
Ya Know, I'm not sure. Maybe it has something to do with the basements that have dirt floors.
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  #18  
Old 11/08/11, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by 7thswan View Post
Ya Know, I'm not sure. Maybe it has something to do with the basements that have dirt floors.
Michigan has such a high water table that deep basements were impossible many times. So a Michigan basement usually refers to a very low ceiling'd basement ...many old homes had dirt floor basements. Our's was cement floored but still only had about a 5'5" clearance. Ours creeped me out, but better lighting would have fixed that. We also had a coal bin room.

I grew up in SE MI. My friend's basement always had toads!!!!!!!!! My mom's current basement in a super old home has garter and corn snakes. One time I brought a palm sized whitetail into my bedroom and ignorantly thought it would like to stay in a showbox. Yeah...no. It got down to our basement. So we had a rabbit in our MI basement ...for a while anyway. Once in a while a starling would get gassed from hanging around the chimneytop and fall down into the furnace and somehow not fry and would get into our basement.

My home here in SE Ohio has what we call a potato bin under the front porch...dirt floor...more like a crawl space but ithe former owner has crates in place for vegs. It smells moldy, so I've never used it

-scrt crk
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  #19  
Old 11/08/11, 11:32 AM
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Winter has seem to hit us soon here and apparently my new place is an entire cold house!
I have one room with a closet under the stairs that would work as a cold room year round. It is in the middle of the house so it remains cool. I was thinking of keeping next year's root vegetables in there.

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  #20  
Old 11/08/11, 01:33 PM
 
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We had a cold room in our house in MI....built under porch stairs; also used as storm shelter. Now we built ours in the garage. Double insulated room for food storage. Stays cool in summer even in our horrible heat and hasn't frozen anything in there yet. Min/max thermometer to check on temp in severly cold weather.

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