1. SALES APPROACH
This is covered in another blog. But to reiterate, is the salesperson giving you information, answering your questions, and explaining the product? Or is he/she giving you those irritating open ended questions masked in a super high pressure sales pitch? Is he/she listening to your wants and needs or are you getting a formula quote with “discount” after “discount” after each previous quote rejection? Ask yourself this. Was the appointment conducive of a teacher/student relationship with the sole objective of providing information or was it more indicative of a time share sales pitch? A Beyond-Basements’ appointment can last 15 minutes—just long enough for us to measure and follow your layout—or it can last a few hours if you want to hear our ideas and put forth your concerns and desires…it’s totally up to you. We’ll then go back to the office and spend time customizing your quote. Heck, we’ll even email it to you. There isn’t another basement system in the country which does it like this!
2. VALUE PER DOLLAR
Purchasing the Mona Lisa for one million dollars would be great value for your dollar. Now that doesn’t mean everyone could still afford it, but hopefully you would recognize that it would be a great deal. With that said, when one considers the materials we install, the finished installation of those materials, our ability to change designs when problems occur, our overall knowledge and experience, and our genuine concern with treating your basement like it was our own, even if we were twice as much as our competitors we would still be a great value for your dollar. Still not convinced, then ponder this. I, as the owner, make the sales calls. I, as the owner, make any custom cabinetry and am there for the wall layout. Depending on how busy we are, I am also installing the trim and doing the tiling for the bathroom, and the stone for the fireplace, and milling the custom trim, etc.. I have worked on every basement we have done. In most case, because we are still small, I have worked on at least 50% of each basement. I have also been there, every day, for about 30% of the basements we have done. When first starting out I did the first three all by myself. What does this mean to you? Two basement companies priced exactly the same doing the exact same job. Company A doesn’t have to pay a sales commission or an owner sitting at a desk. It is all going to materials and labor. Company B needs to get a nice profit to the owner in the office, needs to pay a sales commission, needs to pay a supervisor, and needs to pay the installers. If they are using subs (for the fireplace for instance, see later in this blog) they need to make a markup on them also. Don’t you think Company A would be more inclined to do a better job or do those few extras that all homeowners seem to ask for during a construction job? After all, they are making much more per hour. I mean the job is $20,000 with $10,000 in materials. That’s $10,000 in labor to Company A. For Company B, that $10,000 in labor needs a slice taken out for the salesperson, the owner, the supervisor, and any subs. Now the workers are only making $5000. Who is more inclined to do a better job? And if both are being paid the same in terms of labor, then wouldn’t it make sense that Company A could give you a $5000 discount to offset the sales commission and other costs they don’t have or that they could at least upgrade the materials (like the solid core doors we install and no one else does)? There is not another system in the country which uses the types of materials we use: solid core doors, high profile trim, unique cove molding, plus all the regular materials incorporated into our system. No one gives you more value for your dollar. Yet we are consistently priced lower than Owens Corning, Matrix Basements, Total Basement Finishing and many others.
Obviously this is important. Understand though that price is generally reflective of quality. Here’s an example. I could buy a suit in a suburb of Chicago and spend $1000. That same suit on Michigan Ave. in Chicago might be $1500. That $1500 suit isn’t going to be any better. But, a $120 suit at Walmart is not going to compare. I hope you realize that. Now perhaps you only want that $120 suit. To each his own. Just understand that it probably won’t fit and last as well as a quality garment; moreover, when it comes time to sell that suit you might not get much for it. Now, if you are willing to at least consider a quality suit, not just some cheap sewn fabric, we can help you. We have several systems to meet any budget. It’s like having a choice of a $1000 suit, $750 suit, $500 suit, even a $250 suit.Even considering the higher quality materials, superb craftsmanship, and doing all those little extras we are still priced less than many of those big, popular systems—even after their fake discounts! And for the systems we are priced more than, just what exactly are you getting. Is the entire basement lighting on one switch, or is it divided into separate areas with dimmers? Is there a dedicated 20 amp outlet for the treadmill? Is the job a complete turn key operation or are you stuck with painting the soffits? Did the basement company put in those extra hours to get that drop ceiling an extra inch higher?The point is just comparing the above 4 scenarios with two companies only by price would not a prudent move. It can’t be done because these companies are doing different things. It’s difficult enough doing it with most household items (a TV with model #XDR90 at a discount food/department store is not the same XDR90 TV at a speciality electronics store. Did you know that?) Now throw into the mix that you typically can’t compare these basement companies because if you don’t sign that day you will lose your 50% discount. A daunting task indeed.There is not another system in the country which details their scope of work like we do, nor anyone else who will specifically adjust their price to a competitor’s quote so you can compare apples to apples.
4. INTEGRITY OF COMPANY
I covered some of these in previous blogs. Why do both spouses have to be present? Why does the quote keep coming down? Why are they offering financing? Why are they asking what you can afford per month? Why do those special terms not apply to your specific situation? Are there negative reviews of this company?In my opinion all red flags. I’m not good at sales because I don’t do these things—probably one of the reasons Beyond-Basements does less basements than probably all of our competitors. But I just can’t bring myself to duping the public. I figure that eventually I will educate them enough and we will reap the benefits, all along keeping with my values and beliefs.Anyway, to hit you over the head again with it…
THE ONLY REASON BOTH SPOUSES MUST BE PRESENT AND THE ONLY REASON THE QUOTE KEEPS COMING DOWN IS BECAUSE THAT SALESPERSON WANTS YOU TO SIGN A CONTRACT THAT DAY.
There is no other reason. And to buy anything without sleeping on it is stupid, stupid, stupid.As explained on my website, we don’t offer financing, only in-house financing if you desire. But that is between me (as the owner of the company) and you. Nothing wrong with me giving you $10,000 worth of trade on your basement remodel in exchange for you providing $10,000 in legal work for me. Or giving me that $10,000 fishing boat in your backyard. But for a company to offer financing through “their financing company” does not benefit you. Why would anyone use that company’s financing arm unless it was the lowest rate when comparing tens of other rates which could easily be done on the internet in a matter of minutes. Stupid, stupid, stupid. As for the “only $200 per month” gimmick, come on. Read the fine print. It’s hard to imagine anyone falling for this but customers do everyday. I just read an ad for a company in Chicago offering a new tear off roof for $99 a month. Yea, 15% interest and limited to only 1200 s.f. But that $99 a month catches the public’s eye. For me it instantly takes that company out of the running (of course I don’t have to worry about hiring any contractors for anything but how do I sympathize with most people facing these situations.) This example also carries over to the “not applying to my specific situation.” Why can’t they just state what the job and price are? Is this really a sign of a company with high integrity. As for the negative reviews, that needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The BBB does give the company an opportunity to respond and I believe they do some verification. But there are so many other websites out there where anyone can bad mouth anyone else. That isn’t fair. Even if it was a legitimate customer, so many times the complaint is exaggerated or taken out of context. When considering these complaints, I would see how detailed the complaint is, read reviews of the website posting the complaint to see if it is reliable, and also take an account of the overall number of complaints about the company. A new TV may have five reviews. Four rate it with 5 stars. One rates it at 1 star. The overall rating becomes 3.5 or 4. But is that really fair especially when the 1 star rating was because the TV got shipped with a scratch? Beyond-Basements is the only system in the country which does not engage in these sales gimmicks. We are also the only system in the country which will give you the names of our competitors and encourage, almost beg you, to have them come out and quote you. We are not afraid.
How many fabric options does the company offer?
Beyond-Basements offers virtually unlimited colors and style options for its fabric walls, we’re talking thousands upon thousands with the ability to stretch even your own denim, leather, or fabric.
Our competitors: anywhere from one to about 30.
How many trim options do they offer?
Beyond-Basements offers 23 standard profiles in 15 trim finishes with the ability to custom match or design any trim in any custom color and still have it incorporate into our system.
Our competitors: typically one style in white or Oak.
What To Look For In A Drywall-Free
Basement Finishing Company
Can they do odd or angled walls?
Beyond-Basements can do curved walls, arches, and angled walls from 0 degrees to 90 degrees and anywhere in between.
We can even do ceilings.
Our competitors: the simple answer is “NO” to all of the above.
Are they a full service company?
Beyond-Basements can do everything for your basement. Kitchens, baths, fireplaces. How about custom cabinets or a concrete countertop. Desire a custom entertainment center or a walk out where there is none? We can do it all and by that I mean we do it all. We don’t call on the lowest priced subs and give it to them. We have a cabinet shop. We have a molding machine. I have personally done everything in the residential construction industry and I work on these basements. I don’t sit behind a desk.
Our competitors: some won’t do anything, as for the others it’s hard to say but I would guess that they can’t do everything we can do. Perhaps that’s not desired by you, but wouldn’t it be better to have a crew installing your basement system trim who has installed exotic hardwood flooring with borders nestled against a hand built newel post flanked by custom moldings leading to a custom coffered ceiling than a crew made up of out of work laborers?Is the word “NO” in their vocabulary?
At Beyond-Basements we can do anything, as long as it can be done. We will never say no to a request. And to this date, as long as one wants to incur the costs there hasn’t been anything we have not been able to do. That doesn’t mean just relocating a structural column, but also letting the homeowner do or general contract some of the work. For instance, we’ve had two homeowners who were electricians who wanted to do their own electrical work. Not a problem for us.
Our competitors: I can’t answer with absolute certainty but since so many of these other systems are goofy in their installation methods it seems doubtful that they could let this happen. One large fabric panel company puts the panels against the foundation wall (that’s an entirely other discussion!) and as such must run all electrical from the ceiling because a groove must be put into the panel to accommodate the conduit and if run horizontally (like it is everywhere else in your house in many areas) it will make the panel collapse over time. I saw many salespeople from roofs to windows to siding to basement companies for my research here, and my experience is that it is an all or nothing deal for them. And the main reason is money. They want more of your money. Understandably if I allow a homeowner to run his own electrical and he doesn’t know what he is doing or he holds us up that could be a problem. But why would it matter if I did the tear off for a new roof even after agreeing to pay the roofing company their hourly rate for any nails I left in the roof sheathing or to take care of other areas I didn’t address before they start to lay the new roof. No other basement system in the country (hard or soft panel) can come close to the options we offer. At Beyond-Basements you will not sacrifice design or style for the benefits of a non-drywall system. Your basement could look just like the most detailed, most elaborate, most elegant drywall basement you have ever seen but with all the benefits we offer and without all the problems associated with drywall.
mold and mildew resistant
green materials to help with the environment
fire rated materials
a removable system for foundation access
ability to change trim and fabric at any time
lifetime limited warranty
By now one should have a feeling for my style here. I don’t hold back, sugarcoat, or hide things. Yes, all the fabric competitors are mold resistant, have great acoustics, hopefully have fired rated materials (I would think they must), and are removable. I have no idea how environmentally friendly they are. However, I know they all have seams and in the case of Owens Corning it is a PVC overlay on top of the fabric. As previously stated some have no décor changes, the others have very few. Other than limited fabric options for some, there really aren’t any other options. As for their warranty, ours is the best in the business.Now for the hard panel systems. You know the ones—their claim to fame is if you get two feet of water in your basement your walls would still be good and the fiberglass panels would be ruined. I have a lot to say about this at the end of this blog. For now let’s assume that having a submersible panel is a benefit.Mold resistant, yes. Seamless look, yes for some but no for others. However for the ones without seams they are not removable. Acoustics, of course not for all. Green materials I don’t know. Fire rated I would think so. Ability to change décor, for the ones which are painted, you must paint. For the others it is like a wallpaper so I think it would be even messier than the painting, if not actually impossible. Unlimited options, only in terms of color for walls. They are all focused on only a few trim options and again one is confined in the overall design of the walls. In fact, for some of these hard panel companies, if they cannot get a 4′ wide 2” thick board down your stairs they can’t do your basement. As for the warranty, see previous statement. Also, let’s be serious. All these companies…and I mean all of them engage in all that B.S. hard sell, fake discount, not applicable advertising with all those pesky asterisks. Do you really think your warranty is worth the paper it is printed on? Please someone call me and tell me of a warranty claim which was honored.Beyond-Basements is the most elegant, most attractive, most versatile drywall-free finishing system in the country…period!
Thus far I have tried to use logic in explaining actions seen in the construction industry and sales industry as a whole. Now I must incorporate some subjective feelings into this blog. Of course you know I am going to say we have the best appearance. But is that really subjective? Fabric wall coverings are the highest type of finish one can apply to a wall. Many Fortune 100 companies have them in their conference areas, among other places. Certainly one can agree that a faux finished wall, expertly done, is much nicer in appearance than a plain white wall. Even an elegant wallpaper looks better. Wallpaper has since fallen out of fashion but when done nicely, with something not tacky, it looks good.Our fabric walls can look plain or look like the most elegant wallpaper or faux finished wall. In fact, one would have a difficult time getting any faux finish to look like some of our styles.If you saw our trim you would unequivocally agree that it is nicer than any painted or stained trim one could get. Honduras Mahogany, Bird’s Eye Maple…just try to find that wood and get a painter to achieve the results we have. As for the walls, could our system look any worse than Owens Corning? Have you ever seen that system up close? Forget about the workmanship, just look at the appearance of the materials. As for those ridiculous hard panel basements, the ones I have seen look like the most mundane, crappy drywall basements I have ever seen. The only difference is the “drywall” is a cement board type of wall. Then consider the price and…wow I just can’t believe these companies are still in business. Look, my website has a basement challenge posted on the front page copy. I’ll even go one step farther. Please, please go see any of these other basement systems and then come see one of mine. If you do not think it is head and shoulders above the other systems I will pay you $100 for your time. It’s here in writing so you have written proof. If I still don’t pay and you don’t feel inclined to sue me over $100, then write negative post after negative post about us all over the internet. Report us to the BBB. Call up the Illinois Attorney General and file a complaint. How can I state that Beyond-Basements has the best appearance so confidently? Because I have seen these systems up close and they look like #%$&! If you have seen some and think they look ok you have not been exposed to quality or beauty. You just haven’t. So take me up on my challenge and see for yourself. At the very least have us, or me, come out and show you a sample and give you a quote. You spouse doesn’t have to be there, I’ll take up only 15 minutes of your time, and I’ll email the quote to you. What do you have to lose ?????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Beyond-Basements Drywall-Free Finishing System easily installs in any area, no matter where it is. We are not just for basements; we are also perfect for nurseries, home theatre areas, offices, hotel lobbies, conference rooms…Plus, we can incorporate our system into any existing wall layout. The others just can’t say that.With three systems to choose from (hybrid, hard panel, and the crème de la crème original) we have an option to fit your needs and budget. Should you ever need to change a fabric color or style, or trim option, it can be easily done, and you could even do it yourself. Want to change a wall? No problem. Want to add other walls? No problem. Ask those other guys if they can do that! Beyond-Basements has the greatest adaptability out of any system in the country!
9. RESALE VALUE
Drywall does not have the same resale value as a Beyond-Basements System. One reason is you have no idea the quality of the basement you are getting. But you can rest assured that you will receive a high quality basement remodel with the Beyond-Basements Drywall-Free Finishing System. The second reason is drywall is a poor product. Plaster is much better. But no one wants to pay for plaster. With the increased awareness of mold drywall basements might actually become a negative—where not only would you not get anything for that finished basement but might actually have to incur expenses in doing a demo on it.
There are many considerations:
1. Sales approach
2. Value per dollar
4. Integrity of company
9. Resale value