Imagine this: You have a big wall in your kitchen. Pick a 10 ft section of
it and push it out 10 feet, as if you were doing it with CAD software.
That's my dining area, jutting off from one side of the kitchen. It connects
with the side of the garage like a breezeway, but it was never actually a
breezeway (at least per the town's permit department, which shows no records
of modifications to this house, built in 1956). In the garage, there's a
masonry wall where the kitchen meets it on the other side.
Under only this 10x10 area, there's a crawlspace. It's closed to the outside
(sits on cinder blocks like the rest of the house, which has a basement). In
the basement, there are two rectangular access holes to the crawlspace. The
holes are 9" high by 18" wide. Two feet below the floor, there's just dirt
in the crawlspace. No insulation. There's fiberglass insulation in the attic
above the space, but I assume there's nothing in the walls because the area
is like a refrigerator. 12 degrees colder than the rest of the house.
The whole kitchen's vinyl floor needs replacement, so after it's torn out,
it would be a good time to rip out the wood subfloor in the jutting-out
portion. I'd be able to stand right in it and do whatever it needs. I
I need to put plastic over the dirt, and then fill the area with
fiberglass bats. This raises questions.
- Two contractors have suggested simply blowing cellulose into the
crawlspace. No need to rip out the floor. This sounds fishy to me, however
based on something scientific: It's winter, and they need the work.
- If I have to tackle just one job at a time, where will I get the most bang
for the buck (and the time involved)? Deal with the crawlspace, or tear down
the walls and put in fiberglass? They're plaster, and replacing with
sheetrock would be pretty straightforward. I have another area I can use for
dining temporarily, and I can easily seal the area to contain the mess.