(NEW YORK) — The American-made home that Anders Lewendal set out to construct in October 2011 is complete — and has started quite a movement across the U.S.
“We’re amazed. We’ve had calls and emails and hundreds and hundreds of builders and homeowners, company owners, politicians,” he told ABC News. “We’re glad the movement’s had some momentum behind it.”
In Bozeman, Mont., Lewendal, an economist-turned-builder, constructed a house made entirely from U.S.-made products — from the nails, screws and bolts to the staples and the bathtub. The house was built with more than 120 products from more than 33 states.
“The house is done and every part of it is made in America,” he said. “I can say there’s only two things we could not find that’s produced in this country. It’s a microwave oven and a door chime. Neither of which are important for my client anyways in this house.”
Lewendal maintained last year that if every builder bought just 5 percent more U.S.-made materials, 220,000 jobs would be created.
From Gorilla Tape of Cincinnati to a Sherwin-Williams plant in Georgia and a Moen plant in Pennsylvania, companies around the country agreed that if builders bought more American products, they would put people back to work.
So far, builders have been following Lewendal’s lead, even signing petitions and contracts pledging to build with 5 percent more American products, including Maze nails, which are produced in Peru, Ill.
But others went a step further in the Made in America cause. Currently, all-American homes are being built or have been completed in Montana, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Florida and Virginia.
In Bullard, Texas, builders Gary Bayless and Joe Runnels from Bayless Custom Homes constructed their first all-American house.
Gerald Rowlett in Lake Oswego, Ore., said the day he and his team finished their American-made home, they celebrated by singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
And in Spokane, Wash., home builder Corey Condron broke ground in March on a house using only American-made products. He said the nails were from the East Coast and the flooring was from Idaho — even the bath fixtures were made in the U.S.
Lewendal said that he set about building the Bozeman, Mont., home to prove that making all-American homes is “easy to do.”
“The idea is to get one all-American home built in every state in the union,” he said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Brian Stelter, CNN Money
Sam Turner, Deseret News