Five Questions for Marnie Oursler

Published in Residential Building Products and Technology, July 2013 Issue

Marnie Oursler is the founder of Bethany Beach, Delaware based Marnie Custom Homes, which specializes in custom homes using 90% to 95% American-made products. Her company recently teamed up with 84 Lumber on an initiative to help create more domestic jobs by encouraging builders to utilize more American-made products. She recently answered some questions for us.

Residential-Building-Products-and-Technology

Residential Building:
Why did your company get involved in the Made-in-America initiative?

Marnie:

Clients of mine, Bill and Diane Gay, saw the Diane Sawyer special “Made in America” on a home that was constructed of nearly 100% American-made materials. They approached me and asked if I would consider doing the same for their home. We all mutually agreed that as long as it was financially viable, we would source as many U.S.A. – made products for their home as we could. We ended up with nearly 95% of the products in the home Made in the U.S.A.

Residential Building:
Are potential buyers interested in U.S.-made products?

Marnie:

Yes, potential buyers are interested in U.S.-made products, but they have to be cost-effective. There is a cost/benefit analysis that we do with the products, but for the most part we find that the Made-in-the-U.S.A. products are selected. We have found there is virtually no price difference.

Residential Building:
What is the benefit of a Made-in-America house?

Marnie:

The benefit is the reliability and assurance that the products were tried and tested, passing U.S. guidelines. There is also assurance of warranties that will be upheld and peace of mind that quality products are going into the home. There is recourse with U.S. manufacturers if there is a problem with the product…Other benefits are societal: giving back to the U.S.A., keeping jobs in the U.S.A. and helping the U.S. economy.

Residential Building:
What U.S.A-made products are hard to find?

Marnie:

Light fixtures and electrical parts are the hardest.