If And How To Add A Crawlspace To Your Home

Does your home lack storage space? Although you might be considering adding a whole room or addition, another option is to just build a crawlspace into the foundation or to the side of your foundation. This is only possible in some homes, but it can be an inexpensive way to create more storage space. Crawlspaces don't have to be finished, and they don't need to meet as many building codes as basements or living spaces, which makes adding one a cheaper option than building a whole addition or new room. But can you add a crawlspace to your home? What does the process entail?

Can You Add a Crawlspace?

Really, whether or not you can add a crawlspace depends on the structure of your home. This is easier in homes with concrete block foundations, rather than poured concrete foundations. Cutting into poured concrete is pretty difficult to do without sacrificing the stability of the home. However, concrete companies can often use a process called wall sawing to remove some concrete blocks and open up a crawlspace.

Whether or not you can add a crawlspace also depends on the nature of the soil in your area. If the soil is sandy loam and drains well, you'll have an easier time adding a crawlspace. If it's clay and accumulates a lot of water, you may want to rethink this option. Clay accumulates and holds onto water, and the water can leech into the crawlspace, making it too moist of an area to store anything safely.

How is a crawlspace built?

The first thing your contractors will do is remove part of the wall through a technique of wall sawing, using a specialized concrete saw. They may add some braces or jacks to support the wall in the absence of a few blocks. Once the wall is removed, they will dig out the soil to create the space where the crawlspace will go. With the space empty, they will add forms to pour a concrete floor and walls to line the crawlspace. In some cases, they might use concrete blocks instead, but these are harder to configure.

The contractors will line the crawlspace with plastic sheeting or another type of moisture barrier to keep your items from becoming too moist. Once that part is complete, you can use the crawlspace for storage. There are things you can do to tidy it up, like adding a door frame, but they are not necessary for storage.