I am buying a ~100 year-old house in St. Louis. It has an ~1000 sq. ft. basement.... that has never been touched, with a door that leads to the yard and at least 2 windows on 3/4 walls. I really, really, really wanna finish this space and turn it into a gym, laundry, extra bedroom, and storage room.
The middle of the basement concrete floor has an open drain that the AC drains into, and the floor is sloped all around so that the ceiling height at the drain is ~84" and by the walls it is ~75". I also have pipes and AC ducts here and there, so I cannot level the floors without having people over 6"2 scraping their heads on the ceiling and people over 5"2 hitting their heads on the duct work. To compound the situation, the floors are not level from location to location, and you can easily see this by standing on the opposite wall.
Another huge headache I have is the stairs that lead into the basement. They are not to code and a structural engineer deemed them "unsafe". Apparently, the original stairs were somewhere else, but after a remodeling project they were placed next to the staircases that lead to the second floor. Unfortunately, they are directly in front of the door that leads to the yard. If they were code compliant they would need more steps and you would be unable to open the door. The only fix I see is to install a landing, however, the stairs cannot turn right because there is a metal beam there, and they can't go left because there is a 3/4 bath in that space, including all the copper water pipes. As far as I can see, the only solution would be to get rid of the 3/4 bath (bad) in order to fix the stairs... but I just don't think that's worth it.
Thanks for any input!!!
Sorry about the huge images!