Traverse City News and Events

Redefining The Next Northern Homescape

By Beth Milligan | April 12, 2021

Three area home artists are teaming up to tackle northern Michigan's affordable housing problem by focusing on combining sustainable building with luxury living. Design Elemental, a full turnkey service for both residential and workforce complexes, is a three-way partnership between Socks Construction, Angelo Adamo, and Component Construction Systems, forged in response to local housing needs. In this week's Northern Express - sister publication of The Ticker - company representatives talk about the inspiration behind their partnership and how they're trying to change the market.

"It’s hard for people to build a home on an average salary," says Design Elemental Creative Director Angelo Adamo. Particularly in smaller markets, such as that of Traverse City, developers often compete within the same pool of subcontractors — flooring, drywall, electrical, and the like — making it increasingly difficult to establish a reputable business. "But, if we could control the [construction] environment, we could have more control over the product," says Adamo.

The result? "A series of affordable homes that you can purchase both online and in-store," he says. From there, the "pre-fab" concept was an obvious choice. "There’s less waste, the efficiency is awesome, and you can build everything in a quality-controlled environment. But pre-fab homes are standalone fixtures; the only way they make money is by promoting the same product." For Design Elemental, "cookie-cutter" construction simply wasn’t an option. Instead, they’ve proposed a cross-marketing strategy in which clients select their own structural components from an online interface of sustainable finishes, provided by partnered labels. From there, Design Elemental can deliver those selections, or facilitate other management options. "It could be a project for the builder, for the developer, or the client directly," says Adamo.

This week's "Spring Home Edition" of the Northern Express also includes features on trends in outdoor living - think smart wood-pellet grills, eco-friendly furniture, and treehouse getaways - and a guide to local salvage shops, antiqe stores, and savvy reuse and recycling experts that can help you tackle your next home makeover. The Northern Express is available to read online, or pick up a free copy at one of nearly 700 spots in 14 counties across northern Michigan.

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