My wife and I bought our first home 5 months ago and decided we'd look at the OCBS after a favorable plug for it on Bob Villa's show. We liked the system's flexibility, we liked that it was endorsed by Bob Villa and made by a reputable Fortune 500 company, and although we couldn't remember the exact cost from the show we both seemed to remember that it was reasonable and likely within our budget. We were WRONG! The initial quote was $22,000 for 270 sq.ft. ($81/sq.ft.) -- we're talking about a small rectangle-shaped room, nothing fancy at all. After the "deep discount" valid only for that day we ended up with a quote for $15,000 ($56/sq.ft.). This amounts to about a 32% discount from his original over-inflated quote (13.5% of that being direct from OC, the balance made up by "various special discounts and rebates" that only he could offer us - so he said).
THE SALES PITCH
The OC salesman arrived at 12:15 on a Saturday and similar to the other experiences I read here we endured his mold scare tactics and the like. Trying to keep our 10-month old entertained during this excrutiatingly condescending sales pitch made it all the more painful. (I wish I had thought to check Google prior to the appointment so that I would have read the warnings posted here prior to wasting my Saturday afternoon). Quite frankly, anyone with a modicum of intelligence will feel thoroughly insulted by this pitch. Here's a synopsis of my horrible experience with the sales process.
1. Salesguy (SG) sets expectations right away and anchors pricepoint in your mind by throwing out a number of $50/sq.ft. for traditional drywall installation using experienced craftsmen/installers.
2. SG then throws out $70/sq.ft. as premium for product, lifetime warranty, fire resistance, mold resistance, etc. However, he tells you there will be a deep discount to "earn your business today" and you'll learn about this if you can stay awake and not strangle him over the next 2 hours.
3. SG takes measurements, then wastes the next 1/2 hour of your life drawing up a very simplified "blueprint" by hand for the on a manila folder with engineering gridlines. For your entertainment, a Bob Villa video and some binders with sample photos are provided. Being busy parents we were too busy worrying about our daughter, the laundry, etc., to be bothered. All we really wanted was the PRICE!!
4. For what seems like an eternity, the next hour or so was spent listening to the PITCH starting with a history of Owens Corning (As if before I go to Home Depot to buy a GE appliance I make sure to read the Annual Report for both Home Depot and GE first.) Next, we get the survey - have we done any improvements, how long have we thought about finishing the basement, have we had other quotes, do we have allergies to anything, have we heard about the health risks due to mold, etc. Oh yeah, and he sneaks in a question about what we have budgeted to spend as if we were born yesterday!! Again, insulting! After more useless information and a review of a sample of the actual product (about the only useful thing that happened), we finally got the long-awaited price I mentioned at the beginning.
After receiving the discounted price we told him there's no way we were going to make a decision today despite the fact that it would be invalid, in his words "as soon as I walk out the door". Before we could say goodbye he came up with another sleazy pitch of how he was going to "buy us time". Since the office was closed on Sunday, he'd give us until Monday to give an answer.
Based on the great information here, my wife and I are going to Home Depot tomorrow to price out materials for the ceiling, etc. In truth, given so many other priorities even if we could get down to a far more reasonable $28/sq. ft. we might put the project on hold. Besides, I don't like the fact that OC is the only game in town (despite rumors of Champion now arriving on the scene). It's obvious that the only reason they get away with this awful sales process is because consumers have no other choices. Add 1 or 2 more competitors with equivalent products and sell the raw materials at Lowes/HD and these salesguys are back at the used car lot. Prices will drop, there will be more choices of color/style and other features probably not even thought of yet, and the only variable will be labor just as it is for any other home improvement job.