6. Sound properties
One of the greatest benefits of the Beyond-Basements Drywall-free System is the sound experience you’ll have. Just everyday, ordinary conversation will sound so much clearer with no reverberation. While drywall reflects almost all noise, our walls provide an NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) rating of .80 just on the core material itself. That means most noise is absorbed through the walls—with certain fabrics pushing the number above .90. For entertainment areas, nurseries, anywhere else where sound quality is really important you must use the Beyond-Basements Drywall-free System.
7. The 90%, 100% completed job fallacy
It seems all of our competitors claim they can finish your basement in less than two weeks. But not us. At Beyond-Basements a typical basement install will take about three weeks. There are several reasons for this. The most important reason is our basement system is customized to your needs and appearance. Sometimes unanticipated situations arise which should have a design alteration. Rather than keeping it quiet and continuing on with the plans, we always communicate our new ideas with the homeowner, explaining why something may look better building it in a different way. As such, it takes a little longer to finish.Secondly, we actually finish your basement. While others claim they do, most don’t paint or stain your doors, finish the jambs around the window build-outs, or putty and finish any soffit work. In fact, most don’t even hook up your cable/phone lines or even cut your doors (which are needed much more often than one would think when carpet is installed). Finally, while one of our benefits is a much quicker install than traditional drywall, we certainly don’t want to rush the process. We don’t just finish basements, we finish basements exceptionally well. Quality takes time. For the same amount of money wouldn’t you want us to take those few extra days to give you that “WOW!” basement? After all, you’re paying the same whether it takes us 10 days or 20 days, and 20 days is still much quicker than 3 months.
Desire a bathroom, wet bar, fireplace, or custom entertainment center? How about tile, laminate, stained concrete, or the traditional carpet look? With Beyond-Basements there is no need to hire additional subcontractors. The founder and president of our company, David M. Luciano, has over fifteen years experience as a general contractor/high-end remodeler and is on every job site—actually doing the installs! And for those about to experience the Beyond-Basements Drywall-free System outside the Chicagoland area, rest assured you are getting factory trained and certified installers directly from David himself.
8. Seams or no seams, that is the question
Inside and outside corners
One of the drawbacks of a removable system is that it always seems to look modular. In fact, that is exactly the way our competitors’ systems look. Every inside and outside corner has a piece of trim over the fabric. That’s what we would call a design faux pas! But they have to do it that way. Oh, they’ll tell you it’s not noticeable (and usually it isn’t from their blurry and distant pictures), but you can bet the farm that once you have it installed you won’t be able to take your eyes off of it.With the Beyond-Basements Drywall-free System we don’t have any of these hideous design flaws. Our inside and outside corners look like the inside and outside corners in your living room, and dining room, and bedroom. Why? Because we have taken the time to design a system which is removable and mold/mildew resistant but which doesn’t look modular—a system which looks like…well, a regular room!
O.K. It’s bad enough some of our competitors are selling you a system which has ridiculous inside and outside corners. Now, imagine another piece of trim obstructing the look of your wall: a vertical piece running up and down (from floor to ceiling) every four feet. How many of those seems do you have in the rest of your house? None, of course, because they are ugly. Using the Beyond-Basements Drywall-free System eliminates these unsightly seems. Since we stretch our fabric over the insulation core material, we can run lengths as long as 100 feet. Look Mom…no seams! However, sometimes adding our seams actually improves the look by breaking up these long runs. Should that be something you desire, our seam is just a crisp, clean line where two pieces of fabric tuck into each other. Place them, if you wish, at 10 foot intervals, 12 foot intervals, 50 foot intervals, or go crazy and eliminate them altogether. Wow, a removable system with all the benefits of a modular system without the modular look. Beyond-Basements is truly beyond the design of every competitor in the country.
9. He’s the best, she’s the best—the Beyond-Basements’ challenge
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.
$10,000 Put up or Shut up Challenge
Every basement installed by Beyond-Basements is treated as if it was our own basement. We are so confident that we have the best system in the entire country, the best installers, and the most knowledge that we offer a $10,000 challenge. Simply put it goes like this. Receive a free quote from Beyond-Basements and a competitor offering another fabric wall system and should you choose the competitor we’ll pay the difference in the price quotes, up to $10,000.Certain restrictions apply. Ask a sales representative for further details.
10. Warranty, warranty, where art thou warranty
TRIM: Coverage of de-lamination for a period of 3 years and color fading for a period of 5 years. See specific warranty for limitations.
CORE MATERIAL: Coverage free from defects in material and workmanship and is manufactured in all material respects to Seller’s product specifications for a period of one year. See specific warranty for limitations.
FABRICS: Coverage of defects for a period of five years. See specific warranty for limitations.
LABOR: All labor is covered for a period of three years from the date of install. See specific warranty for limitations.
Unlike some of our competitors who actually charge for transferring the warranty (it’s in the very, very fine print), our warranty is 100% completely transferable without any hidden costs. In other words, nada, nothing, zilch, zero.
11. Time is of the essence
Estimated job times
We do try our best to stick to a timetable, but in life one can’t predict the future. Rather than strictly adhere to getting your basement done by that 10th day—as many do—we stick to our philosophy of quality first, time second. If perhaps waiting those extra few days for a superior basement remodel is not for you, there are a few other fabric wall companies out there who will make every effort to get your job done with only two main priorities: speed and cutting costs.At Beyond-Basements we are efficient but not at the expense of cutting corners. To think every basement would take about the same amount of time is just another example of the beliefs you don’t want your contractor to have. For us, a typical basement remodel should be done within three weeks, sometimes within two weeks. However, these are only guidelines as many times situations arise which add to the construction time. Nevertheless, we will always be much faster than a drywall installation—mainly because we don’t have to do all that messy, finishing work.
12. Removable look or a great look which is removable
Most of our competitors do have a removable wall system but, unfortunately, they look like they are removable. It falls into the same line as a room addition. The really great ones don’t stand out. They appear as if they were part of the original construction. That’s how a basement finished with the Beyond-Basements Drywall-free System looks. It’s removable just like all the others but it doesn’t look like it’s removable. Wow, what a concept!
Many of our competitors, while offering a removable wall, nail the trim into place. At beyond-Basements our trim attaches without the need of mechanical fasteners or adhesives. We have 15 standard trim colors, the ability to customize to any color you want, over 25 styles of trim, and the ability to provide any custom millwork with this same installation and removability of no nails or glue.
13. Caveat Emptor Pricing
Unfortunately, price really does matter. It would be nice to think the $10,000 estimate will end up looking as nice as the $30,000 one, but it won’t except in your dreams. 80% of consumer complaints come from homeowners taking the lowest bid for their construction jobs. Your home is your biggest investment. Your basement is part of that investment. Be smart when evaluating a contractor and look at more than just the price. You’ll be better off in the long run.
We’ve said it many times throughout this Q&A. Beyond-Basements is the best system out there. Beyond-Basements has the most knowledge out there. Yet all these other competitors brag about being the best. How can a competitor claim to be the best when they are gluing the fabric to the panel and we are stretching it? How can another claim to be the best when they have to nail their trim when we can snap ours into place? How can another claim to be the best when the personnel training their installers don’t have anything near the construction knowledge our company President has.A new player in the game has a panelized system using Dragonboard. What they fail to tell you is that we can use that board too. Not only that, we can use drywall, polystyrene, Homasote ®, cement board, anything as a substrate under our stretched fabric. The reason we recommend our 6 lb. insulated core material is the insulation and sound superiority to these other substrates plus the fact that it is a soft wall and easily places in your basement without damaging any upstair walls during the moving process.“Others don’t let you transfer your warranty, but we do,” claims another company. Read the fine print and they sock you for at least $100 to do it. Misleading? Of course it is. We transfer our warranty without any costs to you.Still others push the sale by exclaiming, “We finish a basement in two weeks.” Yet you are left painting or staining the areas which must be done by any system, namely window sills and doors. How is that not misleading? In summary, your best bet is to get as much of your basement quote written out in detail as you can. STAY AWAY FROM THOSE VAGUE QUOTES.Oh and one more thing. While we would love to tell you that if your basement floods your system will still be intact, we just can’t lie like that. How others can make that claim is very perplexing. Like the incomplete claims with hanging pictures, if our competitors’ systems can dry out, then ours can too. All our materials are at least as good as everyone else’s—even though we actually believe they are better.Here’s the cold reality though. The steel studs will be intact. (Be thankful you didn’t have wood.) Assuming the insulation kept its shape, where would you lay out thirty or forty 4’ x 8’ panels to dry out? I mean, come on. As for the fabric, it certainly could be cleaned of the dirty water, but it may leave a stain. We’ve never experience floods like this because we always recommend homeowners fix any leaks prior to the install.It is interesting to note that we seem to be the only company telling you that you just can’t take your walls out, let them dry, and expect everything to look the same. Yet, we are probably the only company where the cost would be manageable if you did have to replace some insulation or fabric since we usually incorporate a chair rail into the system; this benefits you by having to replace only the lower portion of the wall. Furthermore, our fabric could actually be removed and taken to a cleaner. I would love to see that attempted with a 4’ x 8’ panel! In other words, with a glued up panel, even if the stain was on the lower 5 inches of the wall the entire panel would have to be replaced.
They all say they look great, but believe us (we’ve seen many up close) when we tell you that those competitors’ systems don’t look anything like the pictures they are showing you. Their systems just aren’t designed to look good. They look o.k. The reason they are bought is that they do have the benefits of the mold/mildew resistance and the removability. But so do we. Plus, ours actually looks better than a regular drywall room.
It’s human nature. We’ve seen many, many jobs of varying prices and our estimate is that probably 5% of the work we’ve ever seen has been acceptable by our standards. A sobering statistic—although our standards are very high.At Beyond-Basements we don’t cut corners. We can give you referrals. We can show you basements. We can answer your questions. But ultimately it comes down to whom you feel comfortable with and whom you trust. We’ve tried to provide you with some education on these systems and what to look for when selecting a drywall-free fabric wall system for your basement.