My homes previous owner had built an addition to the home which then made the crawl space access inside the home. I wanted to seal that off and then create a new exterior crawl space access. But I dont know where to start. Are there regulations on exterior accesses? Who do I call to do this kind of job?

  • It depends somewhat on where you live. Are you in the U.S.?
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 22:34
  • yeah I'm in the US
    – Amanda
    Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 22:50
  • 1
    So you'd prefer to have the access outside? What is the foundation built of? Block or concrete? Photo's of proposed entry location would help.
    – ojait
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 1:39
  • one thing to consider, it has to be a of a certain size for access (especially for fire)
    – Ack
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 4:01
  • our bonus room(addition) was laid on concrete slab. The bonus level is about foot and half lower as well to the original home. so they left the crawlspace access where it was to the original home and have a floor board cover the area with the carpet attached to the board. We wanted to install wood flooring so thats why I wanted to move the access area so that our bonus room could have a solid flush floor.
    – Amanda
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


Most of the jurisdictions in the U.S. use a version of the International Residential Code published by the International Code Council (ICC). You can call your local Building Code office to confirm the minimum requirement and if you need to purchase a Permit.

The Code requires crawl spaces through the exterior perimeter wall shall be 16” x 24”. (See ICC R408.3) The code doesn’t indicate which way the 16” is required, vertical or horizontal. If the opening extends below grade, then you’ll need to provide an opening like a window well too.

Most exterior walls are load bearing, so you’ll need to reinforce the floor with a header for the part that rests on the opening. However, if you choose a side of your house that has floor joists running parallel to the opening rather than perpendicular, you may be able to skip the header.

I’d contact a local carpenter or general contractor to do the work. (Make sure they are licensed in your jurisdictions.) If you don’t know of a good contractor, I’d contact a local architect and ask for a recommendation.


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