Well, at least in my dreams.
This past week I completed a home inspection in West Vancouver on a multi-million dollar property. The owners had purchased the property in the spring without a home inspeciton and were now catching up with the building issues.
Built in the early 50's, with a second floor addition in the 80's and well maintained throughout its entire life. The usual list of suspects were present and accounted for during the inspection of this grand dame.
Upon access to the crawl space, I noted the classic features of 'old school' construction methodology:
(a) The main floor was heated with a natural gas forced air downflow furnace. So the crawl space was occupied with all the under-floor ducting. Uninsulated. Not an issue for the 50's when gas prices were a fraction of today's rates. However, combined with a mid-efficiency furnace and a vented-to-the-exterior crawl space, it makes for a big energy waster. Not to mention, the duct joints appeared to be sealed with a suspect (asbestos?) tape material.
(b) No vapour barrier on the dirt floor, to block dampness. Actually there was tar paper placed on the bare ground at some point in the distant past but it was decomposed to the point of looking like the Dead Sea scrolls on a dance floor...after the rave party.
(c) No insulation on the perimeter foundation walls or in the between the joists on the floor above the crawlspace, which is perfect if you hate comfort and enjoy the 'cold floor effect'.
Clearly the crawl space was never addressed in the six decades of home improvements and renovations. An unexpected and surprising revelation to the new owners, especially in contrast with all the improvements made to the above ground spaces. A disappointment for sure, but a situation that can be corrected with the next renovation phase.
Yes I know 'caveat emptor' applies.