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Victorian home with unaccessable partial crawl space. How do we insulate?

Victorian home with unaccessable partial crawl space. How do we insulate?


Old 01-30-05, 09:16 AM
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Victorian home with unaccessable partial crawl space. How do we insulate?

We have a victorian home which is very well insulated with the exception of a crawl space area which we cannot get into to insulate. The foundation is cut stone and the crawl space is under part of the kitchen with only a 12" x12" opening near the basement ceiling where you can look into the crawl space. We are at our wits end with how we can insulate this area. Our kitchen is very cold because of this crawl space. Insulating under the floor is not an option because there is an oak hardwood floor installed which we have no intention of ripping up. We live in the Northeast in a rural area so we do not have access to alot of insulation contractors. We are great at do-it-yourself projects but are stumped on this one. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-30-05, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 197
crawl space

How much height do you think you have in this crawl space, if you could

make a way in, is there room to work ? If so, you have 2 options, 1 would

be to make the existing access larger, the other is to make a large enough

access from above. If you make the basement hatch larger, you will need

to install a steel header at the top of the opening, in order to reinforce the

basement wall. Option 2 is a lot easier, if you have enough floor space in

a closet or a pantry, above that crawl space, you can easily cut a hole

and if your careful, save the hardwood to make a hatch. If you don't have

any such spaces you can devote to this cause, sometimes it's possible to

make a similar access under a washing machine or dryer or in desperation,

under a dedicated throw rug. The key to successful access hatch making

is to use a stud finder to locate joists, your best reconning to avoid ducts,

wiring or plumbing and start by drilling holes first rather than sawing. That

way, in case your reconning is all wrong, you have less of a mess to fix.

Good luck.
Old 01-30-05, 09:02 PM
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Thanks for the input. We won't have alot of room to manuver in the crawl space. All work would pretty much have to be done lying down. A hatch is actually a pretty good idea. Unfortunately, there is no closet or pantry. The only feasible place we could put one is behind the refrigerator and we would have to be careful with that one. We have already thought about chiseling out the stone enough for one person to crawl in. We didn't think about any kind of header, though, for that small of an opening but I guess we probably should before we would start since it is a weight bearing wall. I really don't know if taking about another foot off would cause any problems but I would hate to find out.
Old 02-02-05, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 197

If that existing hatch from the basement looks professionally installed(it

probably doesn't have a header at 12" wide)and there is enough depth to

the crawlspace to take advantage of it, you could make that existing hatch

opening taller, without compromising the integrity of things. It would depend

on whether a person could enter through an access 12'' wide and maybe 24''

high. It would require some flexibility to enter, but may be ''do-able''. By

making it taller, I mean removal of basement wall material from the bottom

of the existing opening.

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