Access Hole

Would any of you even attempt to go thru this 16x13 access hole for a crawl space? What is the minimum size? How would you word it that you did not access the crawl space.



Sure I would and have, but it would also depend on what I saw on the other side of it while just looking thru.

If I can’t fit my big butt thru, that’s what I tell them. I also tell em, make it bigger and I’ll try again for a reinspection fee.

What you tell them depends on why YOU chose not to go into the crawl space. No big fancy words needed, just tell them why along with what you could miss by not getting in there and offer to come back if the access is made bigger.

Sometimes it just ain’t worth it!!

Minimum access opening is 18 inches by 24 inches.
Minimum access opening if mechanical equipment (i.e. if an HVAC system is located in the crawlspace) is 30 inches by 30 inches.
Minimum clearance between the soil and joists is 18 inches and 12 inches between the soil and beams.
Minimum ventilation, every 150 square feet of floor space, requires a one square foot ventilation opening.

Access to the crawl space is smaller then standards. We recommend the crawl space access be dug out to allow reasonable and safe entrance. ** Think safety,… if you have to get out in a hurry,… do you think you could?? Read the thread below: How fast can you crawl?? HA!

I could not get in there without putting alot of effort in to it, so I chose not to go. I feel as though I am not doing what my client hired us to do. Any thoughts

My head is 13" by 16" Gary, so no I would not go in there.

It states in my agreement that I will not enter access openings less than 18x24 or if I deem it unsafe for me to enter. Conditions such as standing water with electrical cables hanging down, not enough clearance between ground and framing or mechanical system obstacles.

So they already know I won’t go into areas with deficient access. I am doing what they agreed for me to do. Remember, the inspection covers visible and readily accessible areas.

Nothing stopping us from using a flashlight or digital camera and reporting what we see or don’t see!!

I don’t think I would have attempted it unless the CS was much larger on the inside.

My state’s SOP says: "The Inspector is not required to:

  1. Enter crawl space with headroom less than 18 inches or where adverse conditions exist."

I hope you noted there was a big chunk out of their foundation, cause that is what that is. Doesn’t appear to be an access port, just a busted out piece of a raised foundation.
I’d also mention the foundation doesn’t seem to have any steel in it. Or did they just cut that out when they busted through?

If you put a wood frame around the opening and attached a wood door, it would look like most access openings I see. Seems like an old house that has stood the test of time. I’d hesitate to recommend a metal lintel.

Look for my past thread on crawlspaces.
Also depending on the year of the house you might find that there is an access hatch in the floor of one of the bedroom closets ( most of the homes that have the small vents outside do have an access hatch in the house) you might have to look for it. I have found that people have carpeted or put some form of floor covering over them in the past then people forget there even there. I have found them in bathroom walls and kitchens to. Most people have forgot where they are but I will bet dollars to doughnuts there is one in 98% of all homes.
Crawl space.JPG

I am not a big man, and would still call this inaccessible.
Call me later when I can access it.
Crawl space was not Inspected due to inaccessibility.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I think I’d tell them that my midget just quit.:roll:

Here is what it looks like from the inside of one of those little crawlspaces looking out one of those little vent openings.
Looking out a vent.JPG

If that’s electric wiring on the ground, I’m definitely NOT going in there.

I usually am able to lay on the ground and point my camera in there. It’s amazing what I can see—and disclaim the rest until there’s a larger access installed.

We have tons of raised foundations around here, I wouldn’t have gone in either one of those pictured. You should be able to crawl a bit down there. If the whole crawlspace is a drag yourself along on your belly height, no way.

Guys I am not fond of going in these small crawl spaces but there is a reason I do. On the first home with one of these ( 4 years ago it was a 1922 Craftsman) I finished up my inspection and was prepairing to write up my report. The home buyer walked up to me and asked me what I saw in the crawl space. I turned to him and said in my all knowing attitude that the vent openings were to small and there was no access hatch in this home. At this point his Trophy wife (Big blond with high heals and Minny skirt) Looked at both of us and said that I must be blind she found it in the front bedroom closet. At this point the home buyer says to me that he paid for a complete inspection and it was not complete until I got in there and inspected it. So I got in that little opening and finished the inspection. Now I never tell a home buyer that I couldn’t find an access hatch, Some times I find them but I can’t go in them because some one tiled over them and I can’t open them without damaging the floor. Now to finish the story the reason he had a trophy wife is that he is a well known local Lawyer. I never make statements to any home buyer now about anything I can’t find I find it and then explain to them if I can’t go in there.

I agree with Mario, Michael, Craig and Jae - cameras can work wonders.

Cameras are great and I take lots of photo’s of everything.
I am curiouse about how a newer HI like you would handle the above story?


You just tell it like it is. You weren’t able to locate the hatch for the crawl space. I usually locate it in my intial 360 walk around of the home. I like to air them out prior to going in. Also let’s the critters know I am coming in. In my pre-inspection client briefing I tell the clients to let me know if they see something and point it out to me. In most cases I see it and can explain it but sometimes (like this morning) The client had seen a 220V wire hanging out of the wall behind the garden gate. I am glad he pointed it out because when I opened the gate I concealed it from myself.