1. Why drywall is not good for a basement
Mold, mildew food source
Drywall, like wood studs, contains the plant material cellulose (the main constituent of plant cell walls). Cellulose is a food source for mold and mildew. When this food source is combined with [a] moisture (naturally occurring due to the porosity of foundation walls), [b] a dark environment (present between the framed wall and the foundation wall), and [c] that moisture is trapped (when traditional drywall construction puts up a vapor barrier), toxic mold spores and mildew may grow. While this isn’t a problem for above grade construction, it is a potential problem for basements.
Delivery of materials may damage walls and it’s messy
Sure it’s messy. And we’re not talking the same mess as a few sheets in that bathroom remodel or the patch behind the bedroom doorknob. A 1000 s.f. basement measuring 40’ x 25’ would use about 70 sheets of drywall alone. Add a bedroom and a few closets and that number could approach 100 sheets. Imagine 100 sheets of drywall carried through your house and down your stairs. Now imagine not one sheet denting your hallway or scuffing your floors…some lofty expectations.There’s also all the sanding of those sheets, with several heat registers and return ducts blowing that harmful drywall dust throughout your house. Not a pretty or safe thought. And no matter how well you try to contain that dust it always seems to have an uncanny ability to get into your kitchen cabinets.
2. Why wood studs are not good for a basement
Mold, mildew food source
Wood studs, like drywall, contain the plant material cellulose (the main constituent of plant cell walls). Cellulose is a food source for mold and mildew. When this food source is combined with [a] moisture (naturally occurring due to the porosity of foundation walls), [b] a dark environment (present between the framed wall and the foundation wall), and [c] that moisture is trapped (when traditional drywall construction puts up a vapor barrier), toxic mold spores and mildew may grow. While this isn’t a problem for above grade construction, it is a potential problem for basements.
Fuel for fires, not straight, and can rot
Since you are not supporting any load bearing walls there is no reason to use anything but steel studs in a basement. Wood studs also rot, and, unlike steel studs, will fuel a fire. They are also hardly ever straight, and even if they are, they will usually shrink. That’s why so many of them are bowed, wrapped, crooked, or twisted.Additionally, steel studs are much less messy to work with. Holes for conduit are already present in steel studs and they can be cut with tin snips not a loud and messy circular saw. You can also carry many more at one time. Each trip down that staircase or through your egress window is another chance to damage something. The simple fact is that even with drywall construction the job will always look better and last longer with steel studs. At Beyond-Basements we always use steel studs.
3. Glued-up panels vs. stretched fabric
Color choices and panel change-outs
Many of our competitors offer glued-up panels—meaning the fabric is glued to the insulation core material off-site. The reason for this is simple. It makes it easier to inventory and it installs quicker. Unfortunately, it also leads to some major drawbacks. One such drawback is limited color selection. Most offer only a handful of colors in one style while a very large and well-known competitor only offers one color choice.
Secondly it becomes very costly, if not impossible, to change colors at a later time since the entire panel needs to be replaced. At Beyond-Basements we do not glue our fabric to our panel substrate. It is stretched into our special track systems offering our customers literally hundreds of styles and colors to choose from with the ability to not only change colors in a cost-effective manner at a later time but gives them the flexibility to even use any special order fabrics of their choosing.
Impact resistance and appearance
When our competitors’ fabrics are glued to the panel they are subject to the integrity of the adhesive. Should the glue break down the fabric will have nothing to hold itself up. Moreover, since the fabric is adhered to the panel over 100% of it’s surface area, any indention in the wall will show up in the fabric. Throw a ball anywhere into the wall and you’ll be left with an imprint of the ball. At Beyond-Basements we stretch our fabric into special tracks attached to the studs. This free floating, stretched fabric application will not transfer any indentations in the panel to the finished appearance—since the fabric now has give to it. Of course, since there is no messy, smelly glue, you can rest assured the fabric will always look as great tomorrow as the day it was installed.
4. The truth about hanging pictures
Picture hanging kits
Beyond-Basements offers a unique picture hanging kit for attaching some favorite artwork onto your newly installed fabric walls. Small enough to be concealed behind your picture, it is strong enough to hold up to 11 pounds. Should you have a heavier picture, simply use more than one hanging kit. The beautiful thing about these kits is that they are attached to the wall with small pins leaving no evidence of any holes should you decide to move that picture later.
Hanging directly through fabric
Some competitors boast about being able to use nails directly into their fabric walls. Well, truth be told, if they can do it so can we. No one uses a more dense insulation core material then Beyond-Basements. Moreover, a nail in our core material can support artwork just as easily as in theirs—if not better. The problem, however, is this hole will show up in the majority of fabrics offered (our competitors give you only a fraction of what we offer and thus don’t deal in any of these other beautiful, detailed styles). If you are not concerned about any hole left, then by all means go ahead and stick that nail in (or choose a fabric which can hide the hole like our FR701 series).
Should you want to hang cabinets or a plasma t.v., Beyond-Basements will provide backer framing before the core and fabric is applied. Now go ahead and hang 300 pounds with confidence.
5. Drywall vs. fabric: a question of durability
At Beyond-Basements we pride ourselves on integrity, fairness, and quality. Many claim it but don’t really believe in it. Let’s be honest, should someone stick a steak knife in the wall you’ll have a tear. But aside from events like this, our fabric wall will actually stand up to abuse much better than drywall. Since it is a soft wall and the fabric is stretched over it, it will give and not show any dents.
Cleaning is very easy. Use mild, water-free solvents or water based cleaning agents or foam. With drywall, you’re more than likely repainting.
Choose a lesser quality competitor and you’ll have a handful of color choices—if even that! Plus, you’ll be paying for an almost entirely new install since you’ll have to get your core material replaced too. Remember, our competitors glue the fabric to the panel. With the Beyond-Basements Drywall-free System we simply pull out the fabric (which you could even reuse to upholster a couch, for instance) and stretch new fabric in our tracks. That’s it. Change again and again at an affordable rate and without the mess and long construction times of having to repaint!
Not only do we have experience installing basements, but we have experience in every facet of the construction process. Although you may not desire the bathroom with a vessel sink sitting upon a custom concrete countertop, a slate water wall behind a custom bar, the intricate stone fireplace with custom acid stained concrete hearth, the mantel with custom molding milled to match the design you drew up having a cup of coffee, the custom cherry entertainment center with walnut inlays, or any of the other innovative designs and materials we have used in the past, wouldn’t it be nice to know your contractor could do those things?At Beyond-Basements we have done all those for our customers. In a nutshell, hiring Beyond-Basements to install our unique Drywall-free System in your basement is like hiring a vascular surgeon to stitch up a cut on your chin. Oh, and collectively our staff has hundreds of these system installs under our belt not to mention close to forty years experience with the two principals of the company. You will not find any installers of these systems throughout the country who know more about construction than the family owned and operated Beyond-Basements.
Sometimes you have to ask yourself why some quotes are lower than others. Many times it really is the skill level—whether it be the overall knowledge of how to do something or the actual execution of the job itself. Unfortunately, most work done by contractors is adequate at best. However, if you aren’t exposed to truly great work one has nothing to gauge it by. Therein lies the quandary. One sees their neighbor’s basement and proclaims it looks nice not knowing if it could look better. Another reason for cheap quotes is materials. And this is more prevalent than one might think. Your basement doors could cost $30 from a home improvement store or $100 from a quality supply house. The difference is very noticeable, once you are exposed to it. This difference in materials can affect a price quote dramatically.And it’s not just the materials you see. What about the materials underneath the surface. These can affect the overall appearance of the job too. Not to mention that lower quality materials actually are harder to install than ones of greater quality. If your installers are trying to hold to that two-week quote but have taken more time than they thought working with shoddy materials, how do they make up the time? Could it be cutting corners in other areas? The point is these all add to the material costs and extra labor. And that’s why one gets different job quotes.Beyond-Basements understands that your basement is an extension of your upstairs. It’s as important as any other part of your house. While you may not want a $600 faucet in your basement bathroom, the bathroom should still have quality materials and completed in a skillful manner.
Next time you’re think about hiring a contractor for your basement, don’t just ask how many basements they’ve installed. What you want to know is what their overall knowledge in the construction process is.Are the installers recently unemployed IT professionals looking to fill in until that headhunter comes calling, or are they tradesmen in the industry? At Beyond-Basements we use unskilled and skilled labor. The unskilled labor keeps costs down by providing inexpensive labor for cleaning, loading and unloading of materials, and providing those extra sets of hands. The skilled labor is used for the installs themselves. Consider this. Compared to high end remodeling or building a new house, a typical basement project is really a simple process. However, sometimes unexpected situations arise which need that extra knowledge to correctly solve those problems—knowledge coming only from the experience of more complicated and skilled work.