Because re-doing the kitchen and mud-room wasn't stressful enough I decided to replace the 1970s dining room deep-pile, formerly cream, wool carpet with the same hardwood floor at the same time. And because I have pronounced masochistic tendencies I thought I should also replace the matching carpet in the den - in the interest of cohesiveness (and cleanliness), right? We discussed the issues with the raised platform and how to scribe in to the bar/media centre, worked on a direction to run the wood that wouldn't look odd and ordered two bullnoses for the dais and Pete the flooring guy ripped out the carpet.
And that's when the plan changed. He checked the moisture levels on the sub-floor (because he is a professional) where we'd had an issue when the old window had leaked and luckily there was no elevation. We were good to go for hardwood. Then for the fun of it he checked in random spots across the room... and found we were at least two points damper on the dais and a whopping four over the scary stain that kept reappearing over the years on the carpet. When we discover things like this, not-good things, we investigate. We hunted around the basement. Nothing, We checked the moisture levels on the joists underneath. Normal. We plugged in the fan and ran a dehumidifier for hours. No moisture but the levels were still as high.
So Pete decided to pull up a few pieces of plywood to see what was going on. And.... nothing. No leaks, no mold, no dead animals. Just the support beams for the platform and the sub-floor. And the moisture level on that sub-floor? Normal! We had no explanation except trapped air but we did have a huge exposed floor. And that was when I said "Now that we've opened it up when don't we just take the platform out... and the huge built-in, too".
And so we did.