Dear PoP – crawl space insulation

Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC

“Dear PoP,

We live an old historic row house that doesn’t have a basement. Instead, it has a very shallow crawl space, with no more than maybe a foot and a half of clearance. We would like to insulate the crawl space, because the cold air seeping up through the floors creates a “stack effect” that means our upstairs bedrooms are substantially warmer than the first floor, making it uncomfortable on both floors no matter what you set the thermostat at. We’ve had several insulation companies tell us that we don’t have enough room to do a normal crawl space encapsulation and insulation, and we don’t want to blow insulation in because we would lose access to the pipes and cables that run under the house. Has anyone else faced such a predicament and have a proposed solution or, better yet, a recommendation for a contractor who can help us out?”

Anyone ever tackled something like this before? I’d also be interested to hear the costs.

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