Thanks for the tips! I've also read something about surrounding our staircase with fire rated drywall - know what I should look for when I go shopping? And, is there anywhere else I'll need to use fire rated drywall?You are dealing with a space that's prone to high levels of moisture even if it appears dry. For the minimal amount of extra money it will cost, use the MR board. Use good building practices for below grade construction and the MR board will give you that much more peace of mind.