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Question DetailsAsked on 1/11/2018

1940's single story house on pillars. How much to enclose and seal the crawl space?

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1 Answer


Sounds like you are looking for skirting - maybe with a strip footer at the bottom of it. Depends on whether you have frost penetration in the winter, also if termites or carpenter ants or post beetles or such are a big issue in your area, which affects how deep any foundation has to be and how close wood can get to the ground - or if fiberglass ormetal skirting is the better approach (generally is for a permanent skirt like this, if not going with concrete/block wall.

Bottom end - basically trailer skirting without a foundation so relatively airtight but NOT at all watertight against surface water - something like $2000-6000 range would be a common number (assuming you are maybe 2-5 feet in the air) depending on whether this is a "bungalow" size house or a normal 2000-3000SF range house. At the other end, full concrete stemwall to deep frost depth (say 3-4 feet) and concrete or block foundation wall to the underside of the house could run more in the $6-12,000 range in many cases - basically the cost of tucking a basement under an existing house but without the excavation of the basement. Note those are totally off-the-cuff ballpark ranges - definitely not something to count on - you need a true estimate based on your specific situation and house footprint.

Note - if in flood area, especially if you have FEMA flood insurance, the crawlspace walls will have to be designed for flooding and to automatically fill with water during flooding so the foundation walls do not collapse. The pillars would most likely also need to be cross-braced for the extra resistance to floodwaters which the shirting would provide, so you definitely need a local Architect or Structrual engineer for the design and to ensure conformance with any local or insurance company/FEMA requirements. In some areas, like along identified Gulf Coast storms surge areas, short of building a poured concrete blockhouse as a foundation under your house, it may not be economic or feasible to enclose it to adequately resist the water/wave forces. Current homes in that area are being jacked up on cross-braced steel pilings by the hundreds to eliminate that exposure to wave/storm surge forces.

Bear in mind, sealing the crawlspace, especially if in a low area or one prone to high groundwater, way involve some surface grading for drainage, vapor barrier int eh crawlspace to keep ground moisture from accumulating under the house, and maybe a sump pump installation.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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