Because basements are below ground, they are notorious for being moist or wet. This can create problems for some building materials and finishes. A great way to combat this is to stain the existing concrete floor. By staining the floor, you create a cost effective, moisture resistant surface that won’t get damaged if the basement floods.
Another potential design question that often comes up when finishing a basement is how to address the ceiling when mechanical systems are in the way. Things like ductwork, drain pipes and beams can really cut into the space for headroom in a basement. If a dropped ceiling is used, the lowest duct or drain pipe creates the height of the ceiling. To combat this some builders will combine both drywall and a dropped ceiling grid but this can look choppy.
Another option is to create an open ceiling concept where the entire ceiling is left open and is painted. This opens up the space and provides great access for future changes to the first floor of the home. For example, if you need to add a cable or electrical outlet in the future, the open ceiling concept in the basement makes this easy to do.
It’s always nice to have a bathroom in the basement space for easy access. Unfortunately, this can get expensive if the drains haven’t already been roughed in. Cutting and removing concrete can be time consuming, messy and costly. So, in order to minimize the concrete work, place new bathroom close to existing plumbing stacks.
If this can’t be done, you may want to consider installing a grinder crock and pump to lift the waste up to the proper height. This pump will force the sewage up to the height needed to flow by gravity to the existing drains and will limit the amount of concrete repairs needed.