Crawlspace or not a Crawlspace?

So I have not yet gotten started on my home inspection career, I am waiting for my husband to exit the Military and us move back to Florida so I can take the state test. I have taken all required courses and passed my InterNACHI exam. I am going back over the topics and I have a question about crawlspaces.

Back in our home town there are many homes that are pier and beam homes, there usually is no skirting around the home its all open, so my question is would that be considered a crawlspace? If not what would it be considered? And if it is how do I inspect it without calling the whole crawlspace being deficient and needing the sheeting and skirting? OR should I state that in the report.

Thank you for your time, and again I am just getting started.


Are you trying to describe something like this;


Yes sir I am.

I am what?

Yes, I am describing and asking about a home that is built like that and if the underside of the home is considered a crawlspace or something else, and if it is a crawlspace how do I report on it in an inspection report without saying the entire thing is deficient due to it not having skirting or sheeting.

All depends where it is geographically located. Might be OK the way it is. There are vented and non-vented crawlspaces.
You still have to inspect the underside of the structure for plumbing, electrical, heating if any, structure, and insulation, and vapor retarders if applicable.
And since you have to crawl to inspect, logically it would be called a crawlspace enclose or not.

Ok, Thank You. Logically yes calling it a crawlspace is accurate since you have to crawl to inspect. Guess I just got a little confused on it not having anything covering the ground or skirting. Thank you for your time and explanation.

Crystal, as I mentioned in your other thread, I do not consider a P&B foundation to be a crawlspace. Marcel knows his stuff, but I disagree with him on this… although he did mention geography and Maine is a long way from Minnesota and Florida. :wink:

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JJ, it wouldn’t be the first time that some disagree with me, but based on the information she gave me, it only describes an crawl space that is not enclosed.

If you have another word to describe it other than my logical description of what I need to do if I inspect such a home and be on my knees to do it, you should let us know.

Pier foundation homes take less labor and installation costs, offer more options for construction materials, and weather is not a concern, as controlled environments are used to make footings. Pier homes create crawl spaces under the home , which create a natural ventilation.

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Here in Florida we call that a crawlspace.
We refer to the area below the structure, no matter what type of support system is present.
FWIW, most crawls here have P&B foundations.

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Thank you all, I guess I was just over thinking the definition of a crawlspace, or over thinking what it should look like. Now, I feel kind of silly lol.

Hello Crystal - The term “crawl space” is commonly used (because everyone recognizes it) to describe the actual “raised foundation”.
Raised foundation can be P&B (open) or stem wall.
If you are suggesting (and only ‘suggesting’) to your client to enclose the perimeter, such as to protect from rodents/wild life, or added weather protection - do not… I repeat DO NOT forget your ventilation mathematics. And do not forget to advise client:
A crawl space should have one square foot of screened vent for every 150 square feet of space. To further reduce moisture, homeowners can cover bare ground with an approved vapor-barrier material. The IRC also requires each corner of the building to have one ventilated opening to allow the cross-flow of air.

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Another thing to advise your client is the potential for dried tree debris that accumulates under the home that is a (real) fire hazard.

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You can call it whatever you want. Most would not consider that a crawlspace.

Why aren’t there handrails on those steps?

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Because it is the only picture I could find on the internet that matched the OP’s description.
And if you are so smart to not call it a crawl space, how would you call it.???
If I have to crawl to inspect it, it is a crawl space, enclosed or not, same difference.

Do you call an attic a crawlspace?

Yes if you have to crawl. But it is still an attic. Some attics you can walk.
Standard name for under a dwelling when you can’t walk is a crawlspace.
Whether or not an attic is a crawl or walkable, is irrelevant to the OP’s question.

I wouldn’t however, inspectors in other states do.

it is an “open crawlspace”. No need for skirting if the floor has been insulated and has plywood or a heavy vapor barrier covering the underside of the structure.

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Thank you all