Well I build real basements and I’m tired of hearing how superior these modular basements are compared to real basements. Let’s compare shall we?
Arguments for Modular Basements
Less mess no sheetrock dust. Huh? Last basement I did was spotless when I left it. Spot clean up after every day and thorough clean up on Friday’s.
Resists mold and mildew. Mold and mildew exists because of moisture. Are they saying to forget about your moisture problem and just install your new basement? Find a real basement contractor to finish your basement and they will consult you not sell you. There are different solutions you can incorporate to control a moisture problem. Installing a new modular basement over it will not help you.
Easy to assemble. OK what does that have to do with you. It’s good for their “installer” to assemble it but where’s the benefit to you. Maybe it will save time in the construction because of the ease. Well if you get a contractor who will do your job from start to finish your basement will be done before you know it. Not all modular basement jobs happen quickly. Hang ups happen to everybody. Stick with an owner operated contractor and you will feel the quality and see the pride that goes into a real basement.
No damage to stairwell. Uh do you really think if a contractor damages your stairwell they won’t repair it free of charge? I had some damage to a stairwell once and when i was done repairing it it looked better than when I found it. Please don’t assume you’re better because you don’t damage stairwells. What does that have to do with the finished product?
No painting required. Oh my! The dreaded P word. You never have to paint these panels. That’s great but are you the kind of person that likes change once in a while? How about someone who likes a big selection of color choices? Well if you use a panel system guess what you’re stuck with? The same color forever. What about color choices? You can choose from a million different colors and textures with a real basement but you’re stuck with the colors they have to give you. “I’ll take the beige with the tan speckles or how about the tan with the beige speckles?” Is it starting to make sense?
Easy to repair. Yes it’s easy to repair just remove the damaged panel and replace with a new one. How much does a panel cost? What if the damage happens between two panels? Now you gotta buy two panels. Plus that ugly divider strip. How easy do you think it is to get these “panels”? You can’t just go to the local hardware store to get them. You’ll need to find the company that installed it and try to match your existing to the new. Matching the same colors exactly will probably be close to impossible.
Built in insulation. What difference does it make if it’s built in or separate. As long as there’s insulation it’s the same technique just applied differently. Some insulation such as batt insulation will collect moisture and water like a sponge. Rigid insulation repels moisture and water. Make sure you get insulation that’s of the rigid type and also does not out gas harmful fumes.
Lifetime Limited Warranty. If you hire a local Long Island basement contractor and you call them with an issue they should have no problem taking care of it. If you hire a big conglomerate like a modular basement installer you never know who you’re going to get. Use an owner operated contractor and form a relationship with them instead of throwing money at a company that knows marketing but sends strangers to your house to install the product they sell.
Parting points against buying a modular basement
Every four feet you get this ugly divider strip. Looks like you’re living in a plastic house. Some systems don’t have these strips but they still have seams. How can that be closely acceptable. A real wall looks, acts and feels like a real wall. Why should you accept an inferior finish?
Real walls are stronger than panels. Panels can easily be cut with a knife which would have to be replaced. A real wall just needs to be patched. Modular panels are basically a veneer that covers your foundation wall. Veneers are just non structural cosmetic coverings. You can’t hang heavy pictures or cabinets from them.
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