A question related to this one about projecting the costs to finish our basement.

We have a poured concrete foundation. I don't think it has been sealed yet, but our yard is graded, our downspouts have long extensions, and the soil build up around the foundation is low moisture retaining. Living in a very moist region (PNW, US), I have been very pleased by how dry our basement has been. Some atypical downpours have led to some hydrostatic pressure and seepage through the floor.

We would like to convert this basement to livable space. Our codes require a rather tall ceiling height. The floor is not level. It is mostly level, although it has a low graded curve reaching it's bottom at the center. I think self-leveling concrete is not an option because a) seems we'd need a LOT of it to increase this "bowl" shaped foundation perhaps 5-6" from its center (haven't measured this out) and b) we risk not meeting height levels.

Is it possible to lay down a moisture blocking barrier, and lay down sleepers instead of a subfloor? Further, is it possible to shim-up the sleepers so that we can lay level flooring on top of them that is no higher than the edges of the "bowl" shaped foundation? Lastly, can an engineer in fact tell whether it is possible to "take down" the edges of the foundation with a zamboni or other type of grinding device?

  • I don't have an answer to your question (unfortunately). But perhaps the title could use some work to get other people to answer. My first thought when I saw it was "unwanted guests staying overnight in the basement". – manassehkatz Jun 17 '18 at 14:40
  • @manassehkatz If you have trouble with “sleepers” it’s probably a good thing the OP didn’t use the term, “stripper” then. I think “sleepers” used with “uneven basement floor” is fine. – Lee Sam Jun 17 '18 at 14:51
  • This is exactly how I leveled my basement floor, 1x4 sleepers but you want to make sure that any fluid built up can flow to the low point (where the drain should be). You could also use Dricore subfloor and shim it up with plastic shims. – Ron Beyer Jun 17 '18 at 22:33

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