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I own a 3 season cottage that is built on concrete posts that are embedded into the bedrock. I would like to use the cottage in winter and I was thinking that encapsulating the crawlspace under the cottage is probably the best option.

I am looking for some reference material on all the steps that I would need to do to make sure that the water system is usable in the winter.

My thinking was to: Pour concrete footing between the existing concrete posts around the exterior of the crawlspace. I was thinking about using ICF forms to do that. Then I would construct 2” x 4” walls on top of the footings. The walls would then be insulated and I would add vinyl siding to the exterior walls. Once that is complete, I can add vapour barrier directly on the bedrock floor. Then I would add a baseboard heater to keep the area at a minimum temperature of 7 degree celcius

Any thoughts on my steps. Am I missing something? Am I making this more complicated than I need to?

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Unfortunately, this is probably too broad a question for this site, but let's see what the other members say. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Aug 7 at 1:44
  • Are you adding walls and insulation to the crawlspace (only) or adding wall framing that extends from crawlspace to roof and adding insulation to the whole wall - not clear (to me) from your question which you mean. There's also an important issue if this "cabin on posts" is located near the ocean/sea, where any wall you construct between the posts needs to be designed to give way in the event of large wave action, or you need to enclose a MUCH smaller space around the water system (only.) – Ecnerwal Aug 7 at 2:15
  • Will the cabin as a whole be heated? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Aug 7 at 4:13
  • We will be heating the cabin with baseboard heaters to keep the temp at a minimum of 7 degrees Celcius. – Michael Parsche Aug 7 at 10:43
  • We are only adding framing to the crawl space. – Michael Parsche Aug 7 at 10:44
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The "less complicated" solution is as typically found under mobile homes in cold climates, where the "skirt" if any is typically not insulated.

Pipe insulation and heat tape. Or these days, your better quality, less failures option (at least on the supply side) is an INTERNAL pipe heating cable. In either case, plenty of insulation on the outside of the pipes (both supply and waste) and preferably a "hard shell" of some kind to prevent animals from chewing at it.

  • I agree, way simpler. Our small winter cabin is on a raised foundation and all we have ever had is resistive heat tape wrapped around the exposed plumbing. – Jimmy Fix-it Aug 7 at 2:25

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