The Sewer Line
I received a very good suggestion from a Basement Ideas patron in response to a survey. As this is something I would never have thought of to write about otherwise, I thought I'd address it now.
It's very simple, really. Here it is: Prior to finishing your basement or at least prior to the finish walls going up, hire a plumber to examine and inspect the sewer line as it exits the house.
He'll arrive with a video camera connected to a cable and monitor. The plumber pushes the camera through the pipe all the way to the street looking at the insides of the pipe.
What's he looking for?
Cracks in the pipe from the ground around the house settling at different rates than the house does. The pipe can even become physically disconnected from where it exits the home – which I've seen! He'll also be looking for places where tree and other plant roots may have penetrated the pipe and caused a blockage. What's the overall condition of the pipe - is it severely corroded?
It's not to difficult to see why this would be a good idea. Obviously, if there is a problem it'd be smart to know about it and take care of any issue before one presents itself in your finished basement.
If you can picture a newly completed basement ruined from raw sewage backing up, I'm sure you'll agree: NOT a pretty sight! Totally preventable too.
Here, the old adage of an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure really applies. This is great advice and well worth the peace of mind it brings.