A Better Way to Build Basements

A plumb, straight, square, and level (PSSL) foundation is key to any building project and is particularly important when you’re going to place a modular home on top. Quad-Lock Insulating Concrete Forming (ICFs) system makes PSSL a snap to achieve.

Mike Hanes of Homes American Made began installing Quad-Lock many years ago. He poured a Quad-Lock ICF basement under every modular home he erected. “With modular homes, we needed a way of doing basements that was quick, provided quality, and was cost effective. The nature of modular homes mandates that we have perfect corners, the whole idea of building ICF basements is to build a foundation that’s a perfect 90 degrees or as close to it as possible. We can achieve that with Quad-Lock.”

From the business perspective, Quad-Lock makes sense, too. “Quad-Lock doesn’t take a lot of room to inventory and doesn’t require any heavy equipment to load and unload, which are important considerations for us” states Mike Hanes.

“Both the Company and its products do what they say they will do!” What really impressed me about Quad-Lock is the:

  • quality of product
  • nice, clean 90 degree corners
  • high density foam
  • angle brackets securing any degree of angle
  • ease of assembly

“Once we got past the learning curve of building with this product, which literally took three projects, our basements were quicker and straighter than we could achieve with traditional forming techniques”, says Mike. “An average basement of about 1800 square feet, 8’ tall with 10 corners takes a crew of 3 men 1 full day to stack. Add another two hours to pour concrete and we’re done and able to move on to our next project. It’s that quick!” Time saved equals money saved.

“Quad-Lock basements actually sell before the modular home sells… that’s how impressed homebuyers are with Quad-Lock.” It’s not just homebuyers; many trades who have worked with Mike finishing a Quad-Lock basement have come back to him to purchase their own Quad-Lock basement.

Known as the “ICF guy” in town, Mike continually speaks to anyone about Quad-Lock and its advantages in constructing a new home. “There’s no big trick to building with Quad-Lock, you just need to take the training and understand concrete construction principles.“ He gives example after example of people either choosing or switching to Quad-Lock after they’ve seen a demo. He also tells potential home builders and contractors about the benefits of using Quad-Lock for the entire construction project, not just the foundation. Many had only considered it for their basement but after speaking with him, they’ve had their architects redraw the plans for use with Quad-Lock. “Everyone we have demonstrated Quad-Lock to, has used it. They’re excited about what Quad-Lock will do for them.”

“I enjoy selling Quad-Lock because it sells itself. The key is to know what you’re talking about.” Quad-Lock has become second nature to Mike and his wife and business partner Robin, who display a Quad-Lock corner in their office. Everyone who walks in asks questions that Mike and Robin are ready and able to answer. “How can I convince people to build with Quad-Lock unless I’m talking from experience?” Last year the Hanes’ built a 2400sqft shed and this year they’ve completed their own 5800sqft home, both built to the roof with Quad-Lock.

Another big selling feature for Quad-Lock is energy savings. Oil costs in Michigan are increasing an average of 25%; people are looking for ways to save money to heat their homes. Quad-Lock offers that and so much more. Mike follows-up with clients to see how they enjoy their home. They continually talk about how energy efficient their home is, in particular their basement. He has been monitoring two very similar homes in the same neighborhood — one home has a Quad-Lock basement, the other has a conventional basement. To heat the home with the conventional basement it takes triple the amount of fuel in comparison to the home with the ICF basement.

Mike’s also been keeping close tabs on his energy costs. He wants to show just how much you can save by building with Quad-Lock. Last year, he spent $420 to heat the shed…that’s $35/month for a completely insulated workspace, even in the chilly winter days of Michigan! Mike expects to pay only $68/month throughout the winter to heat his home. He’s already noticed that the fuel tank is only at 50% of what it was last year for his conventionally built home.

Mike uses an analogy to demonstrate the heat loss concept that literally leaves people speechless. “You can grow flowers under the eaves of your home all year long with a non-insulated basement. The heat loss will seep at least two feet from the wall. Because there is no heat loss with Quad-Lock ICF, flowers can’t grow in the wintertime”.