Magazine for professional home renovators.

Can this new wall panel system help you finish a basement FIVE times faster?

DRIcore, an Ontario company, has launched what it calls a “game-changer” for basement renovation work.

The company says its Smartwall all-in-one wall panels will “dramatically” decrease basement finishing time.

How “dramatically”?

Well, the company says that contractors “can install SMARTWALL in a few simple steps, completing basement renovations as much as five-times faster than conventional methods.”

The company press release says: “Smartwall is engineered to include framing, insulation, drywall and vapour barrier in a 2 foot x 8 foot wall panel, weighing just 30 pounds. Smartwall panels feature integrated wire channels, patented micro bevel edge detail (eliminates need for traditional taping and mudding), and tongue and groove system that allows panels to easily lock together.”

“Once completed, insulated basement walls can help homeowners reduce their heating costs and realize greater energy efficiencies. Smartwall helps professional contractors to become more productive and profitable, reducing the number of trades required for basement renovation projects, and allowing contractors to finish specific jobs more quickly.”

“Lack of time and inconvenience are two reasons Canadian homeowners are reluctant to tackle a basement renovation, even though they need the extra space,” says Jason Haupt, President of DRIcore Products. “Building off the success of our Subfloor product, we realized there was a tremendous opportunity to further simplify basement renovations with all-in-one wall panels.”

 

Posted by
Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
9 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. May eliminate the need for a contractor altogether, that’s not good……

  2. Lori don’t worry about being made redundant as a contractor. There is still so much other work involved in finishing a basement. The wall component in any basement job is still very small compared to the overall finish. That said, I love this concept. I think Dricore has it a grand slam with this system. I can’t wait to quote on my next basement job. This is good…….

  3. I’ve had a look at this product and it does look intriguing.
    I would prefer to talk to a contractor that has installed it and find out the pros and cons.
    I do have trouble believing that the finish looks as good as professionally finished drywall.
    Always love new products that make our jobs easier ….which is good!!

    • Hi Dave –

      Thanks for your comments. We totally understand that when a new construction product is introduced to the marketplace there might be some skepticism involved. We can assure you that when SMARTWALL is used with our specially formulated patching compound (DRIcore Patch Pro) the finish is just as seamless as traditionally hung drywall. SMARTWALL still uses traditional drywall, the major difference is the micro-beveled edge detail that come together when the panels are installed, these micro seams are then filled with DRIcore Patch Pro, only minimal sanding and drying time is required. Check out this link to a video of a Contractor who has personally used SMARTWALL – http://www.dricore.com/en/test_norman.aspx

  4. Steve, not just specifically this product but many will revolutionize our Industries. The main reason we will see huge transformation has to do with one fundamental issue facing all of us, “Shortage of Skilled Labour.” Manufacturers must find ways to deliver the good that consumers demand better, faster, more cost effective with little disruption to their already hectic life schedules. My Industry HVACR based on what I see will a time in the not so distant future when systems are modular and simply plug and play with a conductivity connection that is set up and commissioned by some young tech sitting at a terminal in his home half way around the world. We know that not all skilled trades can be or will be eliminated, but to free up time and allow only those essential skills will rule the day. At the end o fthe day it will be consumers who either embrace this or reject it. Look at how our parents embraced disposable diapers and all these plastics, etc and now look what’s happening the next generation is rejecting all of this including excess packaging, etc. Only time will tell, until then bring on the next wave of building systems and products.

  5. I have looked very closely at the DriCore System and feel it has potential.
    The major problem for us contractors is the electrical. The wiring has to be done as the panels are assembled. A licensed electrician is going to be very expensive.
    If Dricore wishes this to be a product used by contractors they need to find a solution to this problem

    • Robert Koci

      Thanks for your comment, Charlie. The guys at DriCore are monitoring this post and are happy to get this kind of feedback. I’m sure you’ll hear from someone soon.

    • Hi Charlie –

      Thanks for your comments. You can actually install your wiring after all your walls are in place. Once your wall system is completely installed, you can install your wiring rough in. This MUST be done BEFORE you proceed with the Vapour Barrier tie in, since you or your electrician will need to feed the wiring into the SMARTWALL panels via the two vertical channels within each SMARTWALL panel. It may be necessary to use a fish tape to pull the wires through the horizontal channels between the boxes, but if you leveled your cleats the wires should go through the wire channels without problems.

  6. This looks like a great product, but one reservation is can this be used when you want to run water lines such as a kitchen wall. i am guessing you would have to run the water lines behind the wall so you would have to leave a extra gap behind a the wall. put even with PEX not bursting when the water freezes, will it cause any issues. Also if you want to run a 20+ AMP line lets say for a stove or dryer, as the specs say you can’t run it in the channels. So I guess you would have to run it behind the walls.

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