Frequently Asked Questions
What is the time frame for starting a project?
The time lapse between the design consultation and the start of basement refinishing varies according to each customer’s needs and AFB’s schedule. However, you can count on the ceiling, flooring and wall system will be done, with all necessary electrical, within two weeks. This time frame will only increase if a bathroom addition is planned or if our contractors cannot get into the home when scheduled.
Does Basement Refinishing Really Add Value to a Home?
It sure does and there have been studies to back up that basement refinishing does increase the appreciation of a home. In fact, if you finish your basement using the proper materials you should see an average return of about 90-120% of the cost of the basement remodeling project when the property is sold, offering one of the biggest returns of investment among most common home remodeling projects. Add to that the significant savings in heating and cooling costs, provided by adequate basement insulation, which can be anywhere between $300 and $600 a year. Basement finishing by AFB means you’re basement will be completely mold-resistant, which is an excellent selling point to say the least! Despite the housing market ups and downs property values have been increasing steadily nearly doubling every 20 years, for the past 60 years. So any improvement made to an existing home will pay for itself in the long run.
Are your basement systems eco‑friendly?
Absolutely! Both basement systems are manufactured with recycled materials or recyclable materials, through processes that minimize energy consumption, ozone depletion, and harmful chemical emissions.
What about labour and material warranties?
Our impressive basement systems carry a Lifetime Warranty as well as a Class‑A fire protection wall and ceiling system. Our basement systems warrant the basement panels to be free from defects that make it unsuitable for its intended use for a lifetime to the original home owners. AFB also warrants all other components used in manufacturing basement panels to be free of defects for a lifetime to the original home owner. 100% of the cost of material for warranty replacement will be assumed by AFB.
My basement is already waterproofed, why should I consider basement refinishing?
A dry basement is still surrounded by wet soil and is still susceptible to some levels of moisture that can seep in through the porous concrete floor and walls. Our basement systems are engineered to withstand all conditions of moisture while maintaining a completely mold free environment. Don’t settle for paper backed drywall, wood studs and carpeting when you can have superior protection from moisture, mold and mildew.
Do I need a permit to finish my basement?
As a qualified basement finisher, AFB is required to have knowledge and work in compliance with our respective local building and fire codes. We will inform you of all required permits and even oversee the process of obtaining them for you.
Do I need to hire another contractor to install plumbing, flooring or electrical?
No. AFB will be the only basement finishing contractor you’ll need. We’ll take charge of all the aspects of the project from windows and lighting to flooring and electrical and everything in between. This is another reason why we can asurre that your basement remodeling is complete within only 2 to 4 weeks.
What kind of disruption will occur in my home?
We pride ourselves on making each and every basement remodeling process as clean and neat as possible. But that isn’t very difficult for us to achieve because our basement systems contain no drywall so there is virtually no dust. The prefabricated basement panels and products can be installed quickly and swiftly to finish your basement without disturbing household routine or neighbourhood. No mess or fuss, just a superior basement system within 2 to 4 weeks!
Why do you finish your basements with thermal foam insulation?
We use only the best thermal foam insulation products to protect your basement from mold and the cold. Thermal foam insulation saves on energy costs and lowers utility bills. 40% of a home’s energy is lost as the result of air infiltration through walls, windows and doorways. Basements treated with foam insulation typically insulate as much as 50% better than traditional insulation products. Thermal foam insulation protects against moisture, which provides the benefit of reducing the chance of harmful mold and mildew. Eliminating mold growth reduces the likelihood of rotting wood in a home, and allergic reactions to mold spores. In addition to maintaining a warm building temperature and moisture control, thermal foam insulation acts as an excellent sound proofing agent and will reduce the noise in your basement.
Why don’t you refinish basements with paper backed drywall?
For years paper backed drywall has been used in basements because nothing else was available. Panelling alone is just a food source for insects and mold so something had to be used. But recent innovations in basement systems has produced specially made basement panels consisting of a combination of Crushed Rock with Polystyrene Foam. These panels are vastly superior to paper backed drywall systems because they are completely mold‑resistant. Even if your drywall finished basement appears to be mold free, you can’t be sure that there is no mold growing behind the drywall, between the drywall and in the foundation of the basement. With our basement systems, you can be sure.
Even if a drywall finished basement was able to offer you all of the features and benefits of our basement systems, the drywall finished basement would eventually cost more because when someone decides to go with a drywall finished basement, they think that it costs less, they can count on spending much more money in their basement at a later date ‑ due to damage from moisture and mold.
What is Expanded Polystyrene Foam ‑ EPS?
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) or breadboard, has been used as common household insulation since the 1950s. EPS is environmentally friendly as it is not manufactured using *CFCs or HCFCs‑ both ozone‑depleting chemicals. In addition to insulation, EPS is commonly used to make coffee cups and packing peanuts for shipping. EPS is closed‑cell foam made from polystyrene (a type of plastic) beads mixed with pentane and steam, used as a blowing agent, to expand the beads under pressure into foam, which forms thousands of tiny air pockets in the finished board. As air is a poor conductor of heat, these tiny air pockets will block the transfer of heat through the foam and trap expanding warm air. EPS is molded into large sheets with R‑values ranging from 3.8 to 7 per inch, depending on the density of the material. In comparison, the EPS used in AFB’s Panels is a Closed Cell Insulation, Air within the system is permanently trapped, giving the EPS its rigidity and preventing any air or moisture leakage whatsoever.
What is AFB’s Wall Panels made of?
Our wall systems are called “Rock Board” and are made of “Crushed Rock”. This is one of the strongest building materials available today. Rock Board is a factory made sheathing board like plywood, drywall or cement board but with superior characteristics such as being Water Proof, Fire Resistant, and Resistance to Mold and Mildew.
When oxygen is combined with “Crushed Rock” naturally under heat and pressure a stone‑like material is produced. This material exists in gigantic deposits as “Raw Rock” and is mined like other minerals. This “Rock” is then ground up into a powder and combined with water to form a cement like slurry. This slurry is poured onto casting trays and allowed to cure at ambient temperature forming Rock Boards. A micro fiber reinforcement is added during curing and is separated from the surface finish coat.
Are your basement systems really mold‑resistant?
Yes! Our basement systems Do Not Feed Mold or Mildew. With a traditional basement system, your basement is a damp and moist environment. Wood studs in your basement are a food source for mold and drywall is made up of paper and cellulose ‑ organic materials that are also food sources for mold. Our basement systems are manufactured using EPS to create a Closed Cell Insulation in which air within the system is permanently trapped, giving the EPS its rigidity and preventing any air or moisture leakage whatsoever. Rock Board is the sheathing board like plywood, drywall or cement board but with superior characteristics such as Water Proof, Fire Resistant, and resistance to mold and mildew. You just can’t get that kind of mold‑resistance from traditional basement systems.
Do I have to paint my basement walls after they are refinished?
The short answer is No. AFB’s Basement system can be painted any color you choose. During installation the AFB will paint your basement for you. The paint we use is a special mold-resistant paint which will also protects you from mold and it lasts many, many years so you won’t have to re-paint them for a very long time, virtually making them maintenance free!
What are egress windows and do you install them?
An egress window is a window that is large enough to allow a person to get out of the basement in case of an emergency. Egress windows are ideal for any kind of basement because they provide a second way out of the room. Most building codes require home owners to install an egress window only if the basement or part of it will be used as a bedroom, others will demand an egress window if you plan to use your basement as additional living space, no matter what kind of room you are to build. AFB is familiar with all the local code requirements and will suggest and install the best available egress windows if needed. Another benefit to of installing an egress window in a basement is that it dramatically brightens an otherwise dark room.