I should have done this 2 years ago. I have been putting this off because, let's face it, a crawlspace is not a fun place to work. I finally decided to get an estimate from a local company that provides this service. When that came in at $8500, I was re-invigorated to get this done myself. Crawlspacerepair.com was recommended by a general contractor friend of mine, so I watched the videos and ordered supplies. I really liked the dehumidifier combo because it save me a couple of hundred dollars on items I was going to purchase anyway.
The vinyl is really thick and strong. I was surprised at how tough this is. I did clean out the major debris, but not every little rock and such from the ground before laying the vinyl. I have no fear of it puncturing. The product is stiff and a little tough in the corners, but I would prefer that to something that might tear. Once joined by the seam tape, it really provides a nice sealed area.
This project took me and my wife 4 Saturdays to complete start to finish, working about 6 hours each day. I did add an extra 2 hours one weeknight and my son gave us about 2 hours another week night. We are probably slower than some since we are not experts, but nothing about this was technically difficult to plan or understand. There are a couple of areas of our project that are low and tight and damp, but we just slowly plodded along and are happy with our results.
The last step was installing the dehumidifier which was very easy. We choose the Compact Air Plus because of the warranty and the included hanging kit. The hanging kit is great - very easy to use and level. I am very happy with our placement. When I finished installation and turned the unit on, our hygrometer was reading 50% humidity. (Since this was performed in January, the humidity was low anyway. It is much worse in the humid Virginia summer) I set the unit to 45%. By 9 pm, it was reading 48%. By 9 am the next day, it was reading 44%. It has continued to come down about 1% per day and is now reading 41%. I think I will adjust the controls on the unit back up a bit since there is a discrepancy on what the unit is set at and what the hygrometer is reading. Not sure which one to believe, but it I am guessing the hygrometer is more sensitive than the knob on the unit. I will play with this over time.
In summary, this was WAY easier than I was dreading and by doing ourselves, we saved about $6,000 from the local company's estimate. The quality of the products appears excellent and my crawlspace is now so clean and dry, I feel like I could sleep down there - see pictures. I would highly recommend that people not put this off. We got away with no structural damage from mold, although it was starting. I have had too many friends this year with real problems from moisture and now I have peace of mind that my house is properly protected.