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Old 02-13-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
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crawl space access hole size?


hey all, is there a code for the hole size for crawl space access? I covered mine when I moved a wall and now I need to cut one in a bedroom closet but the closets are kind of small. thanks, 1

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Old 02-13-2012, 04:29 PM   #2
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crawl space access hole size?


I'd see the local building department about the size, if you want to be legal. Curious: Now that you made a once-vented crawl space non-vented, have you looked into all the caveats you should regarding the suggested differences? (Insulation, vb on the ground, etc). If not, buildingscience.com will fill you in.

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Old 02-13-2012, 04:35 PM   #3
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I'd see the local building department about the size, if you want to be legal. Curious: Now that you made a once-vented crawl space non-vented, have you looked into all the caveats you should regarding the suggested differences? (Insulation, vb on the ground, etc). If not, buildingscience.com will fill you in.
I'm not sure I follow you on the vented/non-vented? I covered the original access hole in an old house in order to remove a hall closet and make a larger kitchen. I know need to cut a new hole but have a feeling the code may have changed since my house was built in the mid '50's. I do still need to install a VB, insulation and a furnace for that matter, but for now I just need to start with a hole. 1
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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crawl space access hole size?


R408.4 Access. Access shall be provided to all under-floor spaces. Access openings through the floor shall be a minimum of 18 inches by 24 inches (457 mm by 610 mm). Openings through a perimeter wall shall be not less than 16 inches by 24 inches (407 mm by 610 mm). When any portion of the through-wall access is below grade, an areaway not less than 16 inches by 24 inches (407 mm by 610 mm) shall be provided. The bottom of the areaway shall be below the threshold of the access opening. Through wall access openings shall not be located under a door to the residence. See Section M1305.1.4 for access requirements where mechanical equipment is located under floors

From the 2009 IRC.

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Old 02-13-2012, 07:26 PM   #5
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crawl space access hole size?


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Originally Posted by 1dumbquestion

I'm not sure I follow you on the vented/non-vented? I covered the original access hole in an old house in order to remove a hall closet and make a larger kitchen. I know need to cut a new hole but have a feeling the code may have changed since my house was built in the mid '50's. I do still need to install a VB, insulation and a furnace for that matter, but for now I just need to start with a hole. 1
Simple call YOUR building department and ask them. How come you haven't do that?
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:58 AM   #6
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R408.4 Access. Access shall be provided to all under-floor spaces. Access openings through the floor shall be a minimum of 18 inches by 24 inches (457 mm by 610 mm). Openings through a perimeter wall shall be not less than 16 inches by 24 inches (407 mm by 610 mm). When any portion of the through-wall access is below grade, an areaway not less than 16 inches by 24 inches (407 mm by 610 mm) shall be provided. The bottom of the areaway shall be below the threshold of the access opening. Through wall access openings shall not be located under a door to the residence. See Section M1305.1.4 for access requirements where mechanical equipment is located under floors

From the 2009 IRC.

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I'd be curious about M1305.1.4 since I have a furnace in my crawlspace.

I assume that if you have 1 access that meets the above, the requirement doesn't have to be met by other access hatches? I've been adding hatches for convenience as I work on my own project, but did not want to go through the exercise of cutting floor joists, doubling adjacent joists and bracing... That'd be an exercise in putting lipstick on a pig.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:04 AM   #7
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For sure, regardless of what code says, the access needs to be big enough to remove and replace anything (furnace, pressure tank, whatever) that may be in the crawl space.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:49 AM   #8
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M1305.1.4 Appliances under floors. Underfloor spaces containing appliances shall be provided with an unobstructed passageway large enough to remove the largest appliance, but not less than 30 inches (762 mm) high and 22 inches (559 mm) wide, nor more than 20 feet (6096 mm) long measured along the centerline of the passageway from the opening to the appliance. A level service space at least 30 inches (762 mm) deep and 30 inches (762 mm) wide shall be present at the front or service side of the appliance. If the depth of the passageway or the service space exceeds 12 inches (305 mm) below the adjoining grade, the walls of the passageway shall be lined with concrete or masonry extending 4 inches (102 mm) above the adjoining grade in accordance with Chapter 4. The rough-framed access opening dimensions shall be a minimum of 22 inches by 30 inches (559 mm by 762 mm), and large enough to remove the largest appliance.

Exceptions:
1. The passageway is not required where the level service space is present when the access is open, and the appliance can be serviced and removed through the required opening. 2. Where the passageway is unobstructed and not less than 6 feet high (1929 mm) and 22 inches (559 mm) wide for its entire length, the passageway shall not be limited in length.
Here ya go.

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Old 02-14-2012, 11:17 AM   #9
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Simple call YOUR building department and ask them. How come you haven't do that?
Not trying to be rude Joe and I know I'm new here but I thought that was part of what this site is about. I live in a rather large city and to simply call my building department and get an answer about nearly anything would require half a day on hold. I could call the local inspector and maybe get a partial answer in a day or two. This site is a much more timely resource and I've found most of my answers here. thanks to all, 1
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:39 AM   #10
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crawl space access hole size?


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Originally Posted by 1dumbquestion View Post
Not trying to be rude Joe and I know I'm new here but I thought that was part of what this site is about. I live in a rather large city and to simply call my building department and get an answer about nearly anything would require half a day on hold. I could call the local inspector and maybe get a partial answer in a day or two. This site is a much more timely resource and I've found most of my answers here. thanks to all, 1
But sine we don't know where you live that limits our answers as we don't know which code you are under, hence when Joe tells you to call the locals there is a reason for his answer.

Secondly, somehow I doubt the half a day on hold. Doesn't your city have voice mail??
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:13 PM   #11
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For sure, regardless of what code says, the access needs to be big enough to remove and replace anything (furnace, pressure tank, whatever) that may be in the crawl space.
Ya know... I'm giving myself a headache. I can't go back and pretend I didn't know any better now, I'm building a beam that goes right through my crawlspace openning that is by my furnace, and with the beam in place it becomes 2 undersized openings.

By the time all the projects are finished, the existing furnace will become a dead dinosaur, and a new furnace will be installed that isn't in the crawlspace, and the floor will be removed and floor joists replaced so there will be new bigger opennings at various interim points of the project. But I'm going to be out of compliance for some time period now that I think about it.

It'll make a good excuse though to tell the wife why I have to tear up the living room sooner than later.

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