Basement FAQ

What do other homeowners want to know before they finish their basement? If you don’t find your question answered here, please contact us and we will answer all of your questions.

What major advantages does a Designer Basement Finishing System have over other finishing methods?
What if I don’t want to use the décor colors or patterns available?
Can I create multiple rooms in my finished space?
How are my floors finished?
How are my ceilings finished?
How long does it take to install a Designer Basement Finishing System?
My foundation walls have leaked in the past. Can I still have a Designer Basement?
Will a Designer Basement Finishing System protect my foundation wall from leaks?
Will a Designer Basement Finishing System protect my basement from mold?
How much does a Designer Basement Finishing System cost?
What is the financial advantage of finishing my basement?
What is the return on investment of my Designer Basement Finishing System?
What is the warranty for a Designer Basement Finishing System?
HEALTHY BASEMENT LIVING: Mold Facts & Prevention
What major advantages does a Designer Basement Finishing System have over other finishing methods?

Appearance: Our Designer Basement Finishing System offers the color choices and pattern options that have never before been available anywhere – all professionally coordinated for a designer appearance. It comes pre-finished to eliminate the time and mess of doing it yourself.

Comfort: Ou Designer Basement Finishing System uses a solid-panel construction with an Expanded Polystyrene thermal core. This provides exceptional insulation over other types of insulation or standard drywall. Our Expanded Polystyrene insulator provides 100% thermal protection and is a material recommended by the US Department of Energy specifically for basement masonry walls.

Mold Resistant: Since mold can be a problem in basements and mold feeds on organic materials, our Designer Basement Finishing System uses only 100% non-organic materials in our panels and installation method. Our panels face the foundation wall and provides a 24/7 sentry where mold is most likely to occur. As an added feature only our panels include exclusive Microban® protection, a leader in the industry, to resist mold growth on the panel back.

Moisture Resistant. Moisture (dampness, humidity) can also fuel mold growth. Our Designer Basement Finishing System uses 100% moisture-resistant materials throughout every layer of our panel and state-of-the-art materials designed specifically for spaces like your basement.

Allergen and Odor Resistant. Our non-porous panel construction helps block allergens and odors from seeping into the materials.

Learn more about the Features and Benefitsof our Designer Basement Finishing System.

What if I don’t want to use the décor colors or patterns available?

No problem. Our Designer Basement Finishing System gives you the option to order your panels unfinished so that you can customize your décor as desired.

Are you sure? Take a look at the beautiful options in colors and patterns coordinated for a professional designer appearance.

 

Can I create multiple rooms in my finished space?

Yes! Our Designer Basement Finishing System gives you the advantage of designing your space in many creative ways. Our solid thermal panels are perfect for the exterior foundation wall, with a solid panel option for interior partition walls. This allows you to divide your space many ways.

You may want to create separate spaces for an entertainment area, a playroom, a game room, an exercise room or a home office. Or you may want to add a bathroom or kitchen. You’ll be able to include a separate space for storage or to house your mechanicals such as the water heater or furnace.

 

How are my floors finished?

Our Designer Basement Finishing System includes an available flooring option. Milliken Tessarae Carpet Squares is manufactured with all-new state-of-the-art materials making it a perfect choice for basement spaces.

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How are my ceilings finished?

Our Designer Basement Finishing System has been developed to allow the installation of a standard drop ceiling. We offer a choice of ceiling products as well as provide the installation of your ceiling for your convenience.

 

How long does it take to install Designer Basement Finishing System?

After you and our Design Consultant meet and design your space, you’ll review and approve final plans and your installation will be scheduled.

Installation is simple and clean. The hanging rail and base track are installed, then the walls and doors. This typically takes just a day or two, depending on the project design. Next, the floor and drop ceiling is installed and your basement is complete. Your Designer Basement Finishing System, with pre-finished décor, will be ready to use right away.

My foundation walls have leaked in the past. Can I still have a Designer Basement Finishing System?

Yes, if the problem has been fixed. Naturally, you’ll want to be sure your foundation walls and basement floor is in good condition (no leaks or structural damage) before you finish your basement.

As part of our service to you, we will perform a comprehensive (and free) evaluation of your basement to make sure you’re good to go! If there are any issues, they’ll recommend ways to resolve them before you finish your basement.

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Will a Designer Basement Finishing System protect my foundation wall from leaks?

No. Our Designer Basement Finishing System is a way to finish your basement, not a waterproofing system. Any existing leaks or waterproofing issues should be resolved prior to finishing your basement. As part of our total project commitment to you, we will inspect the existing condition of your basement for your peace of mind.

However, should you need to reach your foundation wall for any reason your Designer Basement panels can be removed for easy access.

 

Will a Designer Basement Finishing System protect my basement from mold?

Our Designer Basement Finishing System has been carefully developed to offer the highest resistance against mold growth and limit the conditions that can cause mold growth to occur. However, no means of finishing a basement can guarantee the prevention of mold in a basement under all conditions. As a homeowner, your first defense against mold in any area of your home is to inform yourself how to prevent conditions that promote mold growth.

For more information on mold in your home, please read Healthy Basement Living: Mold Facts & Prevention.

 

How much does a Designer Basement Finishing System cost?

Our Designer Basement Finishing System is very affordable and competitively priced compared to other finishing methods. Since a Designer Basement Finishing System is a home improvement project, cost is variable and is based on the size of your space and what you have in mind to do. We can provide an accurate job quote.

After we speak with you, review your basement space and learn the details of your project, we will provide you with a price quote the same day so that if and when you decide to go ahead with the project, you’ll know exactly what your investment will be.

 

What is the financial advantage of finishing my basement?

Finishing your basement is a very economical way to enjoy usable new space because you’re converting space that you already have, not adding a new construction to your home.

Some interesting facts:

• Adding on to a house runs about $150 to $200 a square foot.
• Finishing a basement only costs about $40 to $75 a square foot.

Source: Home Improvement Research Institute

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What is the return on investment of my Designer Basement Finishing System?

According to the most recent Cost vs. Value Report (an annual survey from the leading reporting resource on home improvements), the return on investment for a finished basement is currently about 90%. This is based on a national average. Actual ROI varies per state, county, neighborhood, the specifics of your home and the specifics and quality of your remodeling project. Your return may be much higher.

The report uses specific criteria to define a “finished” basement by size and features. The materials are based on a drywall face with insulation, doors, recessed ceiling light fixtures and a laminate flooring system.

 

What is the warranty for a Designer Basement Finishing System?

Our Designer Basement Finishing System protects you with a lifetime, transferable warranty on the product. We also offer an installation warranty contact us for more details.

 

HEALTHY BASEMENT LIVING
Mold Facts & Prevention

MOLD FACTS

What is Mold?

Mold is one of the oldest natural occurring living organisms on earth. Mold is a type of fungus. There are over 100,000 known living species and 200,000 unidentified fungi.
Where Does Mold Come From?

Mold is everywhere – indoors and out – even in the cleanest homes. Mold can enter a home on clothing, shoes, pets, open doorways, windows, vents and through the heating and cooling system. They can exist in dust and can be carried through air and water. Mold can grow within 24-48 hours of landing on a damp, moist base that has food and oxygen available. It is nearly impossible to create an environment that is 100 % mold free.

How Does Mold Grow?

When environmental conditions are right, mold will release invisible spores which develop into unwanted growth.

To grow, mold needs:
• Oxygen
• Organic food source
• Warm temperatures
• Water (or moisture)

“Food” is any organic (living or once living) matter. Mold decomposes the organic matter and uses it as a food source. The decomposition process can also cause damage or destruction to the host material.

Mold can grow in temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees when combined with high humidity. Temperatures between 68 – 80 degrees are the common range for mold growth, when other conditions are also present.

Water sources can be pooled water (often caused by leaks) or damp surfaces (often caused by humidity). Humidity levels over 60% is the known threshold that enables mold growth when other conditions are present.

 

What Does Mold Look Like?

Mold can be nearly invisible or resemble spots of various colors. It may or may not smell musty. Mold may cover small patches or cover large areas. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present and should be immediately addressed.

Stachybotrys Chartarum (Black mold)

Stachybotrys, commonly called “stachy,” is a greenish-black, slimy mold found only on cellulose products (such as wood or paper) that have been wet for several days or more. The mold does not grow on concrete, linoleum or tile.
Mold and Your Health

Molds may cause health problems for those sensitive to allergens. They may cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing and eye or skin irritation. They may also trigger asthma attacks.

Severely sensitive individuals or those with immune compromised health conditions, such as chronic lung illnesses, may be susceptible to lung infections when exposed to molds. Other serious health effects, particularly infant exposure to the Stachybotrys Chartum mold (black mold), have not yet been positively linked, but are being actively studied.

Stachybotrys and some other fungi may produce several toxic chemicals called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins can be present in spores and small mold fragments released into the air. Once the mold fragments, mycotoxins and spores are in the air, individuals may breathe them into their lungs.

 

MOLD PREVENTION

The key to controlling mold is to prevent or correct the conditions that allow growth.

Humidity

• Keep relative humidity levels between 40% and 59%.
• Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months and in damp spaces.
• Avoid the use of humidifiers.

Temperature

Limit excessively warm temperatures in the home that are known to encourage mold growth. Temperatures over 68-80 degrees Fahrenheit and above can cause mold to develop when combined with high humidity. Temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit will render most molds inactive, or dormant, but will not kill them.

Ventilation

Be sure your home is properly ventilated to control the build up of humidity and moisture in the air. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen, bathroom. Vent your clothes dryer outside your home.

Air Circulation

Create a living environment throughout the house that includes adequate air circulation to help prevent mold growth. Air circulation helps control moisture levels through evaporation. Open windows, when possible, but only when the humidity outdoors is lower than that inside. Set up fans to increase air circulation. Set up dehumidifiers to lower the relative humidity.

Moisture & Leaks

• Fix moisture or water leaks in walls, roof, windows, basement walls and plumbing pipes.
• Thoroughly clean and dry any areas that have been exposed to flooding within 24-48 hours.
• Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried properly or promptly.
• Prevent pooling water or high humidity levels that results in condensation or dank conditions which allow mold and fungus spores to grow.
More Prevention Tips

• Regularly inspect for mold or mildew.

• Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting.

• Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.

• Use good construction drainage practices, such as detailing, flashing, and sealing around doors, windows and penetrations.

• Place or adjust outside gutters and drains so that water does not collect near the outside walls. Check gutters and drains regularly to avoid clogs. Place lawn sprinkler systems so that they do not soak outside walls.

• Install the best filters you can afford for your heating and cooling vents. HEPA filters are particularly effective. When replaced regularly, they can decrease the amount of mold spores as well as dust and other materials that allow for mold growth.

• Inspect ceiling tiles (if any) for visual stains which may indicate leaky ductwork and conditions for mold.
Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Environmental Hazards & Health Effects: Mold.”

Solinet, Preservation Services Leaflet, Sandra Nyberg, Solinet, September, 2005

EPS Molders Association, “EPS Insulation Mold Resistance,” November, 2004

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