Builder Makes Home with nearly All American Made Home Goods, 95%
At Manchester Wood we love finding stories like these… A builder sets out to make a home purely from American made home goods like ours. The results appear to enlighten and enrich a movement of something much more than American made pride. “Besides helping the U.S. economy, Lewendal said it helps the environment with less shipping of goods from around the world. It also sends a message to places with poor working conditions that the work can be done locally in the United States in good conditions” (via News-Press.com).
News-Press.com: When you look at most product labels you read “Made in China.” But that won’t happen when you walk into the El Dorado home in Cape Coral. The new award-winning house is “Made in the USA.”
The owners of Michelangelo Homes challenged themselves to build a home entirely from products made in America. They almost made their goal with their 95 percent made in the USA home.
Michelangelo Vice President Rob Woods said only a few items that they absolutely could not find American-made are from beyond the U.S. border.
“It was very rewarding to try to do this,” Woods said. “It was a nice challenge, and it’s to know that maybe with our effort we created a few jobs or maybe even more than a few.”
Woods got his inspiration from Anders Lewendal of Anders Lewendal Construction in Bozeman, Montana. In May 2012 Lewendal completed a 100 percent all American made home. His story was featured on ABC News, and other media around the country, sparking other builders to challenge themselves to build a house with products made in the USA.
“I was just having a good old time and seeing if it could be done,” Lewendal began. “I’m a builder and I like buying local. I have a degree in economics.
“If you could do it with a house, I could convince other people that it can be done.”
Lewendal said since his home was complete he has heard of 15 homes in 12 different states becoming all American houses.
“The more homework I did, the more I saw it makes a huge difference worldwide,” he said.
Besides helping the U.S. economy, Lewendal said it helps the environment with less shipping of goods from around the world. It also sends a message to places with poor working conditions that the work can be done locally in the United States in good conditions.
“It was meaningful, and it actually works,” Lewendal said.
While he is not suggesting builders go all American, he does want to spark builders to be more conscious of the products they buy.
“A small change in behavior can make a big difference,” Lewendal stressed. “It’s not about making everyone do 100 percent. It’s about how 5 percent can make a big difference.”
Lewendal said if every builder bought just 5 percent more U.S. made materials 220,000 jobs would be created.
Yet he goes beyond builders, hoping to spark the American public to buy locally too.
“What if every American did that?” he questioned. “It could be 5 billion jobs. We could just do it on our own, with no politicians.”
Woods is happy to be a part of the challenge and part of the process of creating jobs.
The El Dorado is a three bedroom plus den and loft, four bathroom, three car garage home, that has 3,507 square feet under air and sells for $1,890,000 completely furnished.
The Cape Coral home has a rock and glass theme that run throughout the house with the stones along the pool matching the stones in the bathrooms and entryway, and the concrete and recycled polished glass countertops in the bathrooms matching the countertops in the kitchen and lanai. The infinity edge pool seems to flow right into the canal. The master bedroom has an extra decorative wall that allows the bed to face the water. All the bedrooms have their own bathrooms. The upstairs guest bedrooms have their own lanai with fireplace and sitting area.
Going from one upscale room to the other, Woods lists where the products came from. The stone is from Miami. The metal roof was made in Jacksonville, Florida. All the countertops and the pool table are from Georgia. The cabinets come from Pennsylvania. The appliances were made in Mississippi. The wood is all from North Carolina. The television set in the master bathroom mirror is from Washington. All the plumbing, air conditioning, wiring, nuts, screws and nails were also made in America.
“It takes more time and money in overhead,” Woods explained. “We document everything — what company supplied it and from what state.”
Woods said it added about 7 percent to the overall cost of the home.
“It’s not huge,” he stressed. “We think it was worth the effort.”
The water heater is one of just a few things not made in America. It comes from Korea.
“We tried and tried and tried and we couldn’t find a tankless, gas water heater made in the United States,” Woods said.
Even with the extra research and effort it took to get U.S.-made products, the entire home was built in just 65 days. It recently won nine awards during the Lee County Parade of Homes including Superior Home, Best Kitchen, Best Bath, Best Guest Bath, Best Pool, Best Exterior, Best Interior, Best Landscaping and Best Livability. Woods is proud of all these awards. But he takes even more pride in the labels throughout the El Dorado that read, “Made in America.”