The Best Solution
This type of crawl space uses all of the positive parts of the other crawl space designs and leaves out the negative ones. A conditioned crawl space is part of the home, finally leaving the outside out and taking the final steps beyond the other options to create a healthy comfortable home.
Adding conditioned air (either heated, cooled or dehumidified) to the crawl space will help maintain the desired temperature inside the homes envelope. The new clean, dry, insulated and conditioned crawl space will make the floors in the home warmer in the winter and eliminate foul smells in the warmer months. The ductwork in the crawl space will no longer be exposed to the dramatic temperature changes that it once was in the open crawl space. This improvement alone will shorten the heating cycle of the furnace and warm your home faster. In the summer the home can take advantage if the free cool air that is in the crawl space to take a load off the air conditioner.
When the crawl space is cleaned up and finished, your home will not be subject to the contaminated air that once seeped into your home. By circulating the air on all levels of the home the wood structure will be protected as if it were in a basement. There will no longer be an incubator under the floor to aggravate allergies or asthma.
The larger franchise companies would like you to believe that this “science” is far to complicated for a homeowner to do, that it must be done by a professional. If fact that is absolutely not true. In the past few years our SilverBack™ products have been installed by husband and wife teams, single parents and even homeowners as young a 71. We are here to help in all phases of the project; design, layout, material estimates, answering questions, technical support and problem solving- we’re just a phone call away.
Most homes can have a conditioned crawl space for less than $1500 if they do it themselves. Having a professional install one might range from $4000 to $20,000 depending on the professional and the size of the crawl space. The difference is you will save basically a family vacations worth of money as well as knowing it was done just the way you wanted.
In The End
Don't leave out the most important part, "conditioning" the air. Although this project will never be planned for in the budget, don't save your money on this step. After all it is the reason you would have the vents closed and the crawl space liner installed. Not conditioning the space after you spent the money preparing to condition the space is like not filling the pool with water after you build the pool. Who would build a swimming pool, then save money not filling it with water?
Doing this yourself may not be your cup of coffee (or tea if your from Europe) and we can help there too. We have 100's of contractors in the US that install our SilverBack™ vapor barrier products and we would be happy to introduce you. Even if we do not have one in your area we will work with and train a contractor that you already know and trust to do the work for you. We are at your service, just let us know how we can help.