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Building a 100% Made in America House
Teresa Burney / BUILDER / March 7, 2013
A Montana builder who built a home of all-American components promotes the practice.
There were two things Anders and Jake Lewendal couldn’t put in their all-American-made house because they couldn’t find any that were manufactured in the USA.
“A microwave and a doorbell,” recalled Jake Lewendal. “But our clients couldn’t have a microwave because of health reasons and we put in a door knocker instead.”
The old-fashioned, human-powered door knocker saves electricity anyhow, said Lewendal, helping achieve Anders Lewendal Construction Inc.’s second goal for the house: sustainability.
The idea of trying to build a home entirely from American-sourced products was sparked when one of the Bozeman, Mont.–based custom builder’s clients expressed an interest and concern in where their home’s components came from. They asked the Lewendals, a father-son team, to use as many local products as possible.
Then the Lewendals decided to take the idea further by building the home entirely from products sourced and/or manufactured in the United States, while costing about the same as other homes of similar size and quality but using only half the energy.
They succeeded. The home they completed in 2011 cost about 1% more than it would have typically cost, said Jake Lewendal.