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kgines
Crawl Space Dilemma
kgines

My contractors had to cut a new crawl space opening in my hard wood floors. They cut the opening uneven and left a gap and did not cover. What is the easiest diy solution to seal the gaps around the edges and add a handle to still have a working opening to the crawl space? The crawl space is in a closet so I don't need to worry about aesthetics, just sealing the area.

keith3267
Re: Crawl Space Dilemma
keith3267

A lot depends on the current hole. If the contractors did not cut any joists, your in luck. You need a circular saw (aka skilsaw) and set the depth of cut to the exact thickness of your floor, including the subfloor. Cut the hardwood floor, including the subfloor, in a straight line down the center of the joist on each side of the hole. The length should be slightly longer than the current hole.

Cut across in a straight line at each end to form a nice square hole. Get some joist material (2x8, 2x10) to match what you currenty have and cut to length to just span the hole between the joists at each end. Attach these cross pieces so that half the thickness is visible in the hole, just like the joists.

You should now have a nice straight hole with a 3/4" shelf formed by the joists all around the edges. This will support the cover. Make the cover out of plywood the same thickness as your subfloor and cover it with matching hardwood. Add a recessed handle and use door weatherstripping around the edges.

If the contractor did cut through a joist, the directions are similar but the pieces for the ends of the hole will have to go from one good joist to the other and be attached to the sawed off ends of the cut joists. You should sister the joists on each side as well to keep the floor from sagging in the future.

A. Spruce
Re: Crawl Space Dilemma
A. Spruce

Depends on what you're trying to do, if you want pretty, then you're going to have to cut the hole square, with a sharp blade (to minimize tearing ), install support, then build a trap door. More details later if this is the route you want to go.

If all you want to do is make the piece of floor that was cut out stay in the hole properly and easy to get out, AND, If no supporting structure was cut or compromised, then all you have to do is install some blocking around the hole to support the trap door and mortise in a trap door handle (google images for examples ).

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