Is It Worth It To Convert Your Crawl Space?

Many homeowners hate the idea of wasting space in their homes, which leads to the current trend of repurposing crawl spaces into livable square footage. While crawl spaces have traditionally been basic storage areas that allow easy access to pipes and electrical wires, homeowners are turning them into tiny offices, children's forts, pet playrooms, and hobby rooms. If the idea of a bit more personal space sounds like a great idea, then you might want to consider finishing your crawl space. However, before you begin taking measurements there are some things you should consider.

Keep In Mind The Original Purpose Of The Space 

Crawl spaces are generally constructed with two main purposes. First, they promote cool air to circulate through your home. Second, they allow access to your utilities for quick and easy repairs. It is important to keep these purposes in mind before you start repurposing because they will affect how much you want to finish your crawl space. 

Your crawl space may be adding more fresh, cool air to your home than you think. This is especially true during humid summer months. By completely finishing your crawl space you may reduce this built-in cooling effect, resulting in higher cooling bills and a stuffy home.

Likewise, if your crawl space is your only access to long stretches of pipes and electrical wiring, then you will want to make sure you retain that access. 

However, this doesn't mean that you cannot partially finish your crawl space. Waterproofing your crawl space can prevent mold and mildew, cutting down on the musty smell that some crawl spaces can push into your main home. At the same time, it will allow your space to be used for more types of storage. 

Safety Should Be Your Main Concern 

If your home has plenty of ventilation and utility access, then you may decide to finish your crawl space. If you do, safety should be your first concern. This is especially true if the space will be used by children or pets. You should get the space inspected for mold, mildew, and insect infestation. Once any of these problems have been dealt with, you can have structural repairs and waterproofing done by a professional contractor. Only then should you begin adding walls and flooring. 

While you are finishing your crawl space, you should make sure that all pipes and wires are safely covered to avoid bumps to delicate heads and damage to your home's utilities. You should also make sure that access to the crawl space is made obvious, so that rescue workers know to check the crawl space during emergencies. Finally, make sure that the crawl space cannot be accidentally padlocked from the outside when someone is in it. 

Be Realistic About Your Options 

While extra office or craft space might sound appealing, the reality of a converted crawl space may not turn out as good as it sounds. Even if you can comfortably sit upright in the crawl space, its lack of sunlight and the close quarters may make you feel uneasy after awhile. Also, while some kids might think a crawl space club house is neat, others may be a bit frightened by the idea of hanging out under the house. It would be unfortunate to invest money in finishing a space that you hardly ever use, so be honest with yourself before you start your project. 

There are many reasons to repair and waterproof your crawl space. These include better storage options, structural support of your home, and reducing the risk of mold or mildew. However, completely converting your crawl space into a unique living nook is only successful in a few homes, so consider these things before you start building. 

If you are looking into having your crawl space repaired or waterproofed, you can try these guys out to get the work done. They may even be able to give you more information about the feasibility of converting the space for other uses.