What to Expect with a Crawlspace

You can expect to look like a pirate after a day spent in the crawlspace.

Under de house, under de house… (To the tune of “Under the Sea”of course!)

My great-grandmother always wanted a basement, but the cost was too high to lift the house. And with lots to do – its not an option for us either.



Its common in New England to have a basement, and both of us grew up in houses with basements.

In fact, we currently are staying in a basement while we renovate the house!

So this is our first crawlspace experience.

So, if you’re purchasing  your first home and it happens to have a crawlspace – what should you expect?

Well #1 would be that you should expect to crawl should you have to do any work under the house!

  • Access: The crawlspace allows for easy access to plumbing and electric services below the house.
  • Size: Depending on the height/depth of your crawlspace, you may have difficulty accessing the space if its too small.
  • Storage: No storage.
  • Utilities: You will have to keep utilities like your furnace, water heater and oil tank on the main level of your house.
  • Flooring: If you have to rebuild a subfloor, its much easier with a crawlspace! You can literally stand in the crawlspace while re-building your floor.
  • Keep it Dry: Make sure the crawlspace stays dry, as dampness can lead to pests.

Because we knew we were buying a home with a crawlspace, the following was key:

  • Size: Fortunately both Connor and my Dad who did all the under the house plumbing work were small enough to find under there!
  • Storage: the oversized two car detached garage should compensate for the lack of basement storage. There is also an attic.
  • Utilities: the current furnace is from 1984 and is pretty noisy. We plan to replace is next year to a quiet and efficient System 2000, which my Dad recommended (he is an HVAC technician.) The home runs on oil heat.
  • Utilities: The oil tank is on the outside of the house, but it isn’t really visible from the street as its on the side of the house, making it less of an eyesore.
  • Flooring: We had to rebuilt the kitchen subfloor, and it was very easy to just stand in the crawlspace to get the work done.
  • Keeping it Dry: We had to replace the bathroom floor due to the leak that was sitting in the crawlspace. Make sure to monitor the crawlspace and make sure no water is getting in where it shouldn’t be!
Not your average crawlspace pest. Its our blue & gold macaw, Neptune!


Don’t let a crawlspace scare you away from an otherwise perfect home!

While its not as ideal as having a basement, by keeping the above in mind, you can live happily in your home with a crawlspace!


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