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I am currently looking at installing subflooring and oak hardwood floors in a house converted from an old barn. The room is on first floor. The current flooring (old barn flooring) sits on top of joists. The joists are raised above about 3 feet off the earthen floor beneath it. The foundation is old stone. Where the project gets really complicated is that there is an old well beneath the current flooring. The well is not used anymore. At this time I do not know how deep the well is but upon inspection I could see water and mud about 4 feet down.

Do I need to plug the well or can I cover it and put a vapor retarder down? Before I discovered the well, my initial plan was the remove the current flooring. Replace any rotten joists, install a vapor retarder and cover it with a 2" layer of pea stone; then insulate between the joists and put plywood down. Do I need to plug the well or can I cover the opening and install a vapor retarder to resist any moisture/condensation from the well?

Also there is no formal ventilation in the space between the soil and the joists. Do I need to install ventilation and if so, should I ventilate to the outside air or to the heated room above it?
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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You'll get a better response over in the Flooring section
I disagree. Flooring guys (to oversimplify it) generally deal with joists and what's on top of them. This situation involves much more than that.

I'm inclined to shut this down as a DIY question, but will let it float for a while in case anyone wants to tackle the whole magilla.
 

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Box Builder
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Holy crap. Run run run. A well inside the house. I would do some serious thinking about how to tackle this thing. I think I would fill the well with stone. Then I would grade out existing crawl space and layer with something like sand or pea stone. Then I would put a vapor barrier and then more round stone on top of the vapor barrier. I would use stone that is not too lively, but that won't puncture the vapor barrier. Maybe finish it off with a dehumidifier down there.
 

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Well the well certainly needs to be capped correctly. The area needs to be ventilated to the outside. I would install a moisture barrier and stone. The three season porches i've done I insulate the bays, and also install 1/2' ply from below to keep critters out. In my own home I used 1" foam board underneath the whole thing, then the 1/2". Install subfloor, then flooring. I would make clear in writing that the possibility of the floor moving is high.
 

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Head Grunt
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Well the well certainly needs to be capped correctly. The area needs to be ventilated to the outside. I would install a moisture barrier and stone. The three season porches i've done I insulate the bays, and also install 1/2' ply from below to keep critters out. In my own home I used 1" foam board underneath the whole thing, then the 1/2". Install subfloor, then flooring. I would make clear in writing that the possibility of the floor moving is high.
X2. I am dealing with a similar situation right now actually. Building sitting on piers next to a lake, had a skirting around it with no ventilation. New owner wants building made into a house so contractor goes in, installs new floor joists over the old floor, pads out the walls and insulates floors and walls, remodels the whole home with new windows, doors, drywall, v-joint pine, new wiring, new plumbing, has the kitchen flooring down and the rest of the home ready for carpets when the original floor joists underneath literally break and fall out from underneath. We are talking sections of joists 10'X10' and larger just giving way. The floors buckled and collapsed and then the contractor went underneath and began jacking here and there trying to stop it and actually made things worse. I am now in the process of jacking up sections of the home, tearing out the floors completely and building a new main beam, padding out the sills and installing new I-joists to carry the loads. When i am done the skirting is coming off and i am jacking up the whole building another 2' for more air flow and to help prevent future flooding.
 
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