Updating a crawl space

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Old 07-15-10, 06:15 AM
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Updating a crawl space

We're considering buying a fixer-upper home and taking on some projects with it, the first area I want to consider is the foundation. The home has a crawl space with a dirt floor, it's probably about 3' from the dirt to the bottom of the floor joists....

First idea is I was thinking I'd like to pour a cement floor. I'm assuming that running a chute into the house to do this is practical, and I'm planning to strip the flooring out and put in plywood subflooring anyway since the floor is sagging...

I was thinking about a second option... Since the outside wall has a footing and that footing presumably goes down 42" to go below the frost line, couldn't I excavate some of the dirt so that there'd be more height from the concrete floor to the floor joists above? I'm not looking to make a basement that would be on a level that it could be finished, but if I have 3' now and can gain another 3', it'd be good enough for some decent storage or even for the kids to play in.

At a minimum, I know that there are things that would be needed even if I just left the dirt floor as is. The outside walls of the crawl space should be insulated and there's no plastic sheet over the dirt, and there's no insulation in the floor. 93 year old house.

And I guess that is another question, we haven't bought the house yet, but from our viewing I got into the crawl space with a light and it appeared that the foundation was concrete blocks set on poured concrete footer... It didn't look like any heaving had taken place, this is in Michigan, so I'm assuming that the footers must have been done properly and as such go down below the frost line. Is this a safe assumption and how can I check it?
 
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Old 07-15-10, 04:18 PM
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I would look for another house unless the price is SO LOW, you can't resist.


Think of what's needed. The foundation probably should be sealed from the outside, down to the footing. The floor is sagging, so major work is needed to correct that. Pouring the cement is the easy part but floating it is hell. You really don't want want to dig another 3', so the children can play there. I wouldn't let the children play there no matter what.

Also, try to find out what the heating costs are. I live in a non insulated house & the gas bills are through the roof.
 
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Old 07-19-10, 01:29 PM
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Yeah... I think in the process of talking myself through the job I talked myself out of it, although I think I'd still put down the plastic sheet moisture barrier, insulate the walls and maybe just do paver stones so I could use the space for some storage.
 
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Old 07-19-10, 04:11 PM
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That's sounds better.
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