I've got a 200 year old house with a crawl space under one corner of the house. The entrance to that crawl space is very tight (pictured below), and I am a large man. I want to expand the entrance to the crawl space a couple of inches downward, and potentially a couple of inches to the left. The wall is granite stone construction, so i was planning on breaking down the mortar on the flat surface and removing a layer of stone. I need to repoint the walls on the inside of the crawl space, and it's currently very difficult for me to get in.

Can I lengthen or widen the hole a few inches without worrying about structural integrity?

EDIT: Added more photos for clarity. Apologies if it's still not clear, there's a lot of ductwork in the way that makes getting a good shot of it all difficult.

Crawl space entrance enter image description here enter image description here

  • 3
    You can go deeper without concern, but we can't see from here what the full-height wall is holding up to the side. How could we answer?
    – isherwood
    Nov 6 '19 at 18:39
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    I agree easy going down. we would need better photos, the size of the beams and span would be helpful it looks maybe 3’ wide now with the duct work taking up a bit of the space.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 6 '19 at 19:00
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    Would you consider an alternate solution to ease entry/exit? If there were a flat surface extending on both sides of the passage you could more easily slide on your belly or back rather than crawling. A person fits through a much smaller opening when sliding. In a previous house I laid a piece of double-wall corrugated cardboard over the sill of the crawlspace opening. That let me comfortably lie down and wriggle in without need to crawl on my knees at all.
    – Greg Hill
    Nov 6 '19 at 19:52

Widening this opening to any width less than a foot shouldn't be any issue. Even if there's a bearing wall resting above the bottom plate from the story above, it looks like the bottom plate matches the floor joist sizes and it will have plenty of capacity for spanning such a short opening. Just make sure you notch the opening as vertically as possible and the base of the cut into the wall is not cut back more than the top.

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