84 Lumber Company announced the launch of its "We Build American" initiative to encourage builders, remodelers and homebuyers to use American-made materials when building or remodeling a home.
84 Lumber's initiative has been joined by more than 180 companies in more than 40 states who sell American-made building materials and products, as well as builders who have discovered that American-made homes can be cost-competitive with homes built using foreign lumber, nails, fasteners or other building materials and supplies such as adhesives and caulking.
Indeed, with reduced labor costs resulting from the use of quality American building products, the true cost of building American can often be less than building with foreign-made materials. And given the generally better quality of American-made products, repair and maintenance costs may be lower over the life of the home.
Maggie Hardy Magerko, President and Owner of 84 Lumber, said: "This initiative is designed to spread the word that you can build homes with approximately 95% American-made materials and products, have a higher quality home, and maintain and create American jobs - all with little impact on overall building costs."
The We Build American initiative is the brainchild of Marnie Oursler, a Bethany Beach, Delaware builder who has found that the cost of using American-made materials is within one-half of one percent of the cost of using foreign-made materials. Based upon a series of custom homes she is constructing in her Mid-Atlantic beach community, she approached 84 Lumber - the largest privately held building materials and services supplier in the United States - with the idea of sharing her experiences and recruiting other builders of all sizes to join an initiative to put more American-made materials in American homes - creating jobs and opportunity in local communities across the country.
In addition to building materials manufacturers and suppliers, 84 Lumber and Ms. Oursler have been joined in their efforts by Bozeman, Montana builder Jake Lewendal, co-founder of The All American Home. Mr. Lewendal and his father, Anders Lewendal, began their effort in 2011, and Jake has been traveling around America spreading the word about buying American-made materials and the positive effects it can have on our economy and job creation.
It is estimated that current American homes contain approximately 65% American-made and sourced products. With up to nearly 40% of the $295 billion American homebuilding industry relating to product costs, even a small percentage increase in American-made products could create hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide in the years to come. This is equally true for the home remodeling industry, where it is estimated approximately $67 billion is spent annually on building materials and supplies.
Jeff Nobers, Vice President, Marketing & Public Relations at 84 Lumber, said: "If every American builder used just 5-10% more American products in the homes that they build, it would add an enormous number of American jobs in communities across the country. From sawmills in Georgia and Mississippi, to nail manufacturers in Illinois, Americans would be put to work making American products for American homes."
Marnie Oursler, President of Marnie Homes in Bethany Beach, Delaware, said: "I encourage custom and production builders to seriously consider using American products moving forward. Talk to your material supplier about sourcing these products, it takes a little research at first but we are providing a lot of information at our website www.webuildamerican.com"
Ms. Oursler's experience with the costs of building homes with American-made and sourced building products is particularly illuminating:
Higher quality, American-made nails have a great impact during the framing process. With fewer jammed nail guns and less waste, Ms. Oursler estimates she saved about 2 ½ hours each week during the framing process.
While overall lumber costs were approximately 1.5% higher using American-made lumber, there was nearly 15% less waste, which led to less culling of lumber to ensure boards are straight and structurally sound.
Overall, Ms. Oursler found the total cost of using 95% American-made products in her home was within 1% of the cost of building with foreign materials - and this doesn't include the savings in repair and maintenance costs over the life of the home.
You can find more information on the We Build American initiative, vendors who are participating, and builders' experiences using American-made products, at http://www.webuildamerican.com.
About 84 Lumber
Founded in 1956, 84 Lumber Company is the nation's leading privately held building materials and services supplier to professional contractors and build-it-yourselfers. The company owns and operates more than 250 stores, component plants, door shops, installation centers and engineered wood product shops in 30 states. With more than 3,400 associates 84 Lumber provides industry leading one-on-one service to every customer, ensuring an efficient and satisfying purchasing experience.
About Marnie Homes
Marnie Homes builds high end, custom beach homes in Bethany Beach, Delaware. As a fourth generation builder, Founder Marnie Oursler has extensive experience and is adept at communicating with her clients and understanding their needs.
Ms. Ourlser is the daughter of three generations of builders; her father is the President of Marrick Properties, Inc. a major building and development company in the mid-Atlantic region.
In 2009, Marnie Homes made Delaware home builder history, by constructing the first LEED Certified "Green" home in the state.