It’s been almost 3 months since we broke ground, and we just used the first non American-made item. Nuts! That’s actually what the item was: a coupling nut. A series of threaded rods are used to secure the first and second floors. To connect those rods, a coupler nut is used (see photo to the right).
When the delivery showed up at the job site, I noticed the box said ‘Made in Taiwan’. Immediately, our GC was on it, contacting his network of suppliers. I searched the web and felt certain we would have good news soon. A few days passed… no luck. Then a promising lead on the internet; a company in Washington whose website stated they had coupling nuts made in their factories in WA. This sounded good. But a quick phone call told use that they were not in stock, but could be made custom. This was an option, but when we learned the cost of custom milling a small number (28) of these nuts, we were back to square one.
Another week passed by. We knew the custom option was well outside our budget and we still had not found an American-made option. So, after an exhaustive search and knowing we needed to continue construction, we decided to use the ‘Made in Taiwan’ coupling nuts from Simpson Strong Ties.
28 nuts were purchased at $1.61 each for a total of $45.08. This represents a total of less than .035% of the expenditures thus far.
For the record, Simpson manufactures many items in the USA. But they also make numerous items outside the US. As we have stated previously, make sure you check the label!