OKC Home Builder Takes On Challenge To Create 220,000 American Jobs

Monday, October 17th 2011, 11:28 pm
By: News 9

Michael Konopasek, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Five percent more American materials to create nearly a quarter of a million new jobs, that is what one metro home builder is trying to accomplish by taking up the challenge to buy more American-made products in hopes of sparking a new trend.

It all started with a home builder in Montana who began challenging those in his industry to add just five percent more American-made products to their inventory. That message was heard here in Oklahoma.

Cedarland Homes owner Tarek Saad showed off the products made under the red, white and blue Monday. He said he's ready to add more.

"I like what I saw," said Saad. "We're committed to the project."

After reading a magazine article about a home made entirely of American products, Saad thought he could at least take a look at his inventory.

"A lot of the lumber is from southern Oklahoma," said Saad. " A lot of our bricks are made here."

Saad is committing his business to a challenge under a prediction backed by the Boston Consulting Group.

The prediction states that if every builder used five percent more American products, the United State would see 220,000 more jobs right now. But, it's not a simple fix.

"It's going to be a little more expensive," said Saad. " … Not much, but a little bit."

Buying American can increase the cost of a new home by 1 percent.

"It's a fine balance running a business and integrating in [a] higher cost product, but if they're going to be made better … all the better," Sadd said.

Currently, 90 percent of all nails are made in China. Saad said transitioning to American nails will increase his spending by $300 per home. But, he said it's worth it because he can tell his customers it's made in America.

"The buyers, they can get involved as well," Saad said.

Saad wants home buyers to ask the builders if the home has a lot of American-made products.

Saad said some of his competitors are eyeing the idea and want to do the same thing. He also said it is still just catching on, so there is still much more American buying to be done.

Saad said he also plans to buy much of his five percent of American products on items made right here in Oklahoma.