Most of what we are doing to this house at the moment isn’t pretty. It’s not the fun stuff – the paint, the rugs, the furniture, the trim. No. Most of the last three months have been one giant behind-the-walls hurdle after another.
I thought we were done. I thought we’d finished (most) of the ridiculous projects that involved sawing, drilling, reframing, taping, hammering, and general calamity making. We’d hung drywall upstairs! And some downstairs. I was mudding! I was sanding! We were discussing trim finishes and colors! We’re so close!
Wrong. Go to DIY jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. SPEND $200.
We have a crawlspace. It barely qualifies as one but I suppose since technically the beams don’t sit ON the ground, it can’t be called a slab. This crawlspace is (naturally) uninsulated – a problem made worse when I went on a tear to pull up all the carpet and subfloor in the house.
Obviously we want to sand down and finish the wood floors in the house because HELLO. Wood floors.
But. After one winter of walking around the house with absolutely FRIGID feet, even in shoes, we knew something had to be done. We were burning through oil like water, and the house wasn’t getting any warmer.
Why did this come up now, you ask? Because we already started planning our strategy for the next room. We were deciding how we should insulate the floor – which naturally reminded us we didn’t insulate the floor in the hall. Sigh. 27 more things on the to do list.
I tried. I really did try to research this. I Googled and Googled and Googled. How to insulate a crawlspace. I came up with two options. 1. Put fiberglass insulation batts between the joists with the paper toward the floor. 2. The previous suggestion is the WORST IDEA EVARRRRR and you have to encapsulate your crawlspace.
Ok ok ok. So I don’t want to just stick insulation batts in there because they disintegrate when they get moist. It gets humid here. Obviously that doesn’t work. Got it.
Me: How do you insulate a low clearance crawlspace?
Google: ENCAPSULATE IT.
Me: Ok, how do you encapsulate a low clearance crawlspace?
Google: GET. IN. THAR. Vapor barrier the dirt floor! Insulate the walls! Put in a vent! Treat it like a mini-basement! BE WARM!
Me: Ok…I can’t get in there. I literally won’t fit.
Google: Why are you so mentally defective as to buy a house with an inaccessible crawlspace?
Me: It has a nice staircase.
Google: Well then you better get a contractor in there.
Me: Contractors? Will they help me?
Contractors: NO WE WILL NOT. Pay some high school kids in your neighborhood to dig out the crawlspace by hand using five gallon buckets. Then we will come encapsulate it for twice the cost of what you paid for the house.
Me: So can anybody help me?
That’s where we are. We have a solution, but it is probably not correct. It is probably not the best idea. I will probably be dealing with the aftermath of this decision in forty years. But at this point it is better than nothing.
And I have no more ideas.