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Building with American-Made Materials

Building with American-Made Materials
An island provides plenty of counter space.
I was meeting with our Caesarstone rep the other day and she mentioned that Caesarstone quartz would soon be made in the US (currently it is made in Isreal). My ears perked up at this, since we currently recommend Cambria quartz counters because of their US manufacture (Minnesota). As a green builder, I always recommend buying local when possible. It is a good way to support the local economy and reduce emissions from shipping building materials around the world. Other factors come into play of course (like design – maybe you just love a quartz made by Cosentino in Spain) and I don’t believe you need to build a house using only American made products, but it should be a consideration when looking at different products.

There are many excellent American-made products, and the pricing is competitive with quality products made abroad. To name just a few: for plumbing: Kohler and Delta; Doors/Windows: Marvin and Weathershield; Siding: James Hardie and Azek; Paint: Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore; Insulation: Johns Manville (with the added bonus of being formaldehyde free); Water heaters: Bradford White.
Recently, I was looking for a reverse osmosis water filter for a client who discovered she had cancer right as we were about to begin her kitchen renovation. When I looked on Consumer Reports it seemed like I could pay a lot or a little, but either way I would get a mediocre product. I did some more research and found a filter system made in Atlanta by a company call iSpring that got overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon. It was very affordable, had good support, and my client is happy.

A good way to find products made locally (something made in your state or nearby is even better than just made in the USA) is to work with a local lumberyard and ask your sales rep to consider this factor when presenting you with options. I find local suppliers are more likely than big box stores to work with local companies. Because they are placing smaller orders, and do more with special orders, it makes sense to have relationships with manufacturers nearby.

Inevitably, you will need support for some of the purchases you make for your home, both right at the time of installation, and years down the road. Buying American means you will get an American on the phone when you need help, and parts, if needed, will ship from close by. (Image at the top of this post courtesy Cambria.)

For many people building a home is the most money they will ever spend at one time. Purchasing US-made products gives you the ability to help our economy and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.

To browse plans with strong photography of kitchens, click here. To browse plans with strong photography of great rooms click here.

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