I've got a room in the basement that I want to finish soon, but I've got some questions about how to approach it. The room is about 13'6" X 17'8", painted concrete walls (some paint peeling), wooden slat flooring (1/2" strips, not sure how they are affixed), brick fireplace centered at the end of the room, and 2 windows, 1 in middle of long wall, the other is to the right of the fireplace. The house is 55 years old and there seems to be some moisture coming up in the furnace room, seeping up between the tiles, but it's not too bad. I don't even have a sump pump and I don't think that the basement has ever flooded. The room has a furnace register and I plan on installing a gas fireplace within the wood-burning one. Here are my questions:
1. Should I remove the wood flooring, build my walls on top of it, or remove the flooring only where my bottom plate will go? Should I take steps to seal the floor (removing the flooring would be necessary) or just leave it as it is.
2. I want to install carpet in the room and also out in the hall, which has no wooden slats on the floor. What do I need to do to make sure the carpet can be installed? Do I need a subfloor or will it install right over the concrete. Could moisture be a problem, and would the slat flooring be enough to protect the underpad and carpeting?
3. I want to install pot lights in the ceiling. Do I have to worry about the heat from them damaging or warping the flooring above (oak flooring)?
4. Should I put a moisture barrier on the walls? I'll be using 2x3 or 2x4s and likely the rigid foam insulation.
5. I only have one window on the wall with my fireplace. Any suggestions how to balance it out? I have thought about building shelving into that end, but I'm not sure how it would look with just one window.
Any other suggestions or comments would be appreciated.