Jump to content

Crawl Space Door Sealed (room addition)


mcrocop
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello All,

Been searching on forums, but can't seem to find answer to this question.

Will be putting my home on market soon and it has a family room addition of 500 sqft. The problem is that the entry to this area of the foundation was covered up when we had laminate floors installed(mistake by installer).

I can access the rest of the home through another crawl space entrace in closet. However I can't enter into the family room addition crawlspace through this entrance.

There is only 1 copper plumbing line running through the family room crawlspace. Will I have to tear up the floors so that the crawl space can be entered by inspector ?

Is it against code to seal that crawlspace ?

thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The short version is check with you local municipality and find out if you are required to maintain an access space. If so, you need to take that up with the installer.

The impact on the inspection, depends on the inspector. Any good inspector wants to access all areas for which access is humanly possible. That being said, no inspector has the right to demand that you mar the floor to access the crawl space. Home inspectors have no authority to demand anything or enforce anything.

All homes have some inaccessible areas. The best example is the insulated areas of attic eaves. In my part of the country, many pier & beam foundations built before 1960 have sunk enough that complete acess is impossible. It ain't the end of the world.

If on the other hand your inspector is a cynical, CYA, wind bag, he will make this mole hill into a mountain.

Talk to your agent (most of them are actually pretty good) and the local municipality.

Glenn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

Is it possible to take a bore hammer and cut yourself a hatch into the newer crawlspace from the old one? If so, it's 30 minutes work and it will eliminate the question mark that the buyer will have about what conditions are under the floor of that addition.

Glenn,

Don't know about Houston, but around here a sealed crawlspace is usually a dank moldy mess filled with insect issues, unless the floor has been covered in concrete or the vapor barrier has been applied tight as a drum head. Any home inspector around here who doesn't attempt to get into any crawlspace any way he can usually finds himself with attorneys breathing down his neck in a few years.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not being able to access a crawlspace might be a molehill, but in my world, it's usually a mountain. Crawlspaces are where the bad stuff always is. Not that I want to go in; I hate crawlspaces. It's more like understanding that I should really go be goin' in there.

I can think of 3 jobs over the years that almost turned into lawsuit nightmares. All of them were crawlspaces, all of them were totally foooooooked, and the only thing that got my sorry ass off the hook was my long winded paragraph about how I tried like hell to get in, but couldn't because I'd have had to destroy property to do so.

Cut the guy a hatch; if you know everything is fine in there, what's the downside?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glenn wrote: "Home inspectors have no authority to demand anything or enforce anything."

I would advise my client that it needs to be made accessible for evaluation prior to closing and for regular future inspection and maintenance. I would then spew out some very common issues that I regularly find in crawlspaces.

If the seller of the home indicated it had an access at one time, but subsequently covered, It would make me suspicious. When I get suspicious, I tend to make it known to my clients, again spewing numerous issues I have discovered after inspecting areas that were originally (intentionally) concealed.

I agree that an inspector can not demand that a seller make the area accessible, but I would hope the buyer would follow my advice and request it. Some buyers also ask the seller to pay for the reinspection.

"If on the other hand your inspector is a cynical, CYA, wind bag, he will make this mole hill into a mountain."

I haven't been called any of those (to my face), but I feel that I am doing what needs to be done for my clients best interest. Anything less and I would suspect the inspector is more concerned about "keeping the deal on track" to ensure future referrals from the agents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the replies guys. Well I can assure you there is nothing to hide in there, but if I was the buyer I would want a look too.

I'll probably wait for the actual inspection and see what they say. There about 15 foundation vents you can look through to see underneath the square addition, but yes there could be some dryrot in the middle not noticeable from outside.

One last question.....Hausdok said to take a bore hammer from old crawl space to new one. Do you mean through the cement foundation?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by gwharton1

Any good inspector wants to access all areas for which access is humanly possible. That being said, no inspector has the right to demand that you mar the floor to access the crawl space. Home inspectors have no authority to demand anything or enforce anything.

If on the other hand your inspector is a cynical, CYA, wind bag, he will make this mole hill into a mountain.

Apparently, I was not clear in my meaning on the above quotes. My bad. I am very sensitive to sellers asking me if they "have to" do anything. The Texas license act is VERY clear on the matter. In short, sellers have the right to be treated with respect also.

Sorry if I offended anyone, no offence was meant. My intent was to drive home a simple point. Sellers and buyers can not be made to do anything by an inspector. What prudence/disclosure/marketing demands that they do is a seperate subject.

The good news is that most sellers do as much as they know to do to be honest.

Nuf sed.

Glenn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gentlemen,

Has noone noticed the location of the subject dwelling?

Uganda?

I really have trouble making any assumptions about how this building might be made.

If this is tropical or semi-tropical the lack of access is likely a HUGE problem due to the potential risk of termite infestation.

Access openings through the floor are pretty rare. The best way to access is usually from outside or underneath.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very early in my career I was mentored by another home inspector. He wound up writing out a check for $350.00 per month for three years because he could no inspect a crawl space. It was too small to enter. It was noted on the report that the access hole was too small to enter. The judge ruled that he should have informed his client that the area should have been inspected and that the client or seller should have created an access for this inspection (dont want to go into details about who should create the access and / or who should pay for it).

On every crawl space that I cannot enter I write this on my report: The access to the crawl area was too small to enter / blocked / not visibe. We recommend a structural engineer create an access and inspect the entire crawl space area. Access to this area is improtant, as this is the area where structural and plumbing deficencies may be found. Seek estimates.

In this case, just telling someone an area could not be accessed without recommending that the area be inspected cost this inspector almost $20000.00. Doesnt seem fair, but it happened. Why - because the client had a lot of money and good lawyers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...