Page 1



Still going strong

Atlas Construction Inc. has long been a titan within the local building industry, developing first-rate design-build projects while maintaining a solid foundation of trust and open communication with its clients. See page 3 CREATING AN ECO-FRIENDLY, FASHIONABLE BATH. See Page 13 AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT PUBLISHED BY OAHU PUBLICATIONS, INC.

• Call today to talk to our Solar Specialist for free estimate (residential & commercial) • Locally Owned & Operated since 1981

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2 FEBRUARY 3 • 2013


Looking trim and organized told me, “Eating healthy isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” In my home, I’ve finally gotten to a point where I’ve trimmed the fat, so to speak. I’ve donated or dumped most of our unused items, and cleared our countertops and cabinets. Now comes the hard part — keeping it that way. I’m approaching organization with the same strategy as my college weight loss. I’ll incorporate livable habits, one at a time, and avoid drastic changes by following these steps:

hen I was in college, I counted myself among those to gain the “Freshmen 15.” Years after graduation, I decided I could no longer use that excuse for the extra pounds. I tried fad diets, but every attempt ended the same way, with slight weight loss followed immediately by weight gain. Then, I finally figured out the secret: To be truly healthy, you must incorporate habits that are livable and realistic and that don’t come all at once. A good friend once


1. Toss out junk before it gets inside. Put a waste bin somewhere between your mailbox and your entry’s drop zone. Leaf through mail and throw out the junk before you settle in. 2. Arrange pantry items in a u-shape. Keep frequently used items in the middle, and combine any duplicates, such as spices. Use Contract License: #BC-27653 & #BC-14660

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3. Swap out single-use furniture. Entry tables and media consoles can serve double-duty and still look sleek. Even a few drawers are better than none.

Just like weight loss, organization cannot be a cold-turkey thing. Messes are bound to happen, and part of creating a livable, organized life is accepting that.

Hawaii Renovation is a weekly advertising supplement published by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. SALES MANAGER DARWIN ROGERS

4. Invest in easy-to-use storage. Have a blank closet? Implement shelving and storage boxes, and never stack more than two boxes on top of each other. That way, you’ll

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5. Learn to love unorganized organization. If you have a child or a pet, don’t worry too much about meticulously organizing their toys. Instead, use large bins where you can throw everything in easily.

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FEBRUARY 3 • 2013 3

A Titan in the Building Industry



Still going strong

Bruce Kim

tlas Construction is a design-build contractor that makes the process of building a home an enjoyable one-stop shop experience for customers. We are a locally owned family business that spans four generations. We believe in customer satisfaction above all else. Our company includes six cousins, with the remaining employees all treated as extended parts of the family. Our philosophy is to design and build a home as if it were our very own. Also the construction techniques and materials that we have extensively researched and adopted are based on low maintenance, longevity and value. These are core principles of our business. Design-build construction starts from our first visit to your home. We come prepared with a site assessment report that gives us information about your property — from property boundaries, zoning restrictions, building code requirements and past history of any work done on your home. From there we listen to your wants and needs, and offer advice should you have any concerns. Then we start the design process by incorporating your ideas and our recommendations until we arrive at a plan that meets your approval. At that point, we can assist you with financing options, offering you referrals to those lenders and financing institutions we’ve work with in the past, and in whom we trust. Next, we launch the permitting process with all necessar y entities involved with your proper ty before beginning the building portion of the project. Care and attention are given to each step of the design-build process so as to ensure your happiness with our one-stop shop service. Our family has been involved in the Hawaii construction industry for many years. It began with our great grandparents purchasing properties. As the oldest son, our grandfather was responsible for acquiring the necessary skills and fixing up these properties. He eventually became a



Atlas Construction Inc. has long been a titan within the local building industry, developing first-rate design-build projects while maintaining a solid foundation of trust and open communication with its clients. See page 3 CREATING AN ECO-FRIENDLY, FASHIONABLE BATH. See Page 13 AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT PUBLISHED BY OAHU PUBLICATIONS, INC.


ATLAS CONSTRUCTION INC. contact // 951-9500 address // 1302 N. School St. web //

general contractor and real estate broker. The next generation, our parents, got involved with my grandfather and today we carry the torch of our family’s rich construction legacy. My cousins and I do not take this responsibility lightly. In fact, my grandfather once taught us a very important lesson when he said, “You must have empathy for the families you meet and work for in building their homes. This is a big step for most families. This may be

the only time that they take on a project of this size.” My cousins and I at Atlas Construction have since taken this wonderful lesson to heart by instilling each of our employees with Grandpa’s advice — of always being sensitive to our customers’ feelings and having their best interests in mind. Here’s how we, in part, keep your best interests in mind: Before we select a building component for use, we do

extensive research on the product to make sure it satisfies our low maintenance, long lifespan requirement. Sometimes this may increase cost in the design, but the quality of the product extends the lifespan of ordinary materials, which in turn lowers maintenance costs. At Atlas Construction, we believe in building a solid foundation of trust and communication with our customers. With a clear understanding of what each party is to expect, the building process becomes a lot smoother. Although the unexpected may happen with any project, it is how we remedy the situation that makes all the difference. Our goal has always been the same: to leave homeowners satisfied and happy with a job well done. FEBRUARY 3, 2013 • 3


FEBRUARY 3 • 2013

Make home maintenance a part of your routine H omeownership is an important investment that can create both a sense of pride and a place in the world that is all your own. While the investment in purchasing or building your own home is sizeable, letting your home fall into disrepair can be even more costly. However, home maintenance doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following a few simple steps and making maintenance a regular activity, you’ll not only preserve the quality of your home, but you’ll likely save money over the long term. Whether you’ve just moved in or have lived in your home for decades, it’s important to establish

a regular routine to maintain your home. Some tasks should be checked off the list regularly, while others are more seasonal. Start a list or put reminders on your calendar for these important to-dos:

CoreGuard sink base, an engineered polymer cabinet interior, is designed to protect from leaks and spills that commonly occur under the sink. Available through local dealers, CoreGuard offers a simple solution to protect cabinetry for the long term. While you may experience the benefits of interior maintenance more regularly, outdoor maintenance is just as important in taking care of your home. Tasks like making sure gutters are clear and siding is clean and damage-free help ensure that the exterior of your home stays beautiful. Additionally, an investment in the exterior of your house can enhance the curb appeal and

• Regularly test fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. • Check electrical outlets to ensure proper function. • Don’t underestimate regular cleaning to keep your home in top shape. If you’re building a new home or remodeling, consider products designed to maintain your investments. For example, KraftMaid’s

make it a joy to come home to every day. This article Brandpoint.




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HunterDouglas Hunter Douglas offers stylish options for every décor. We Also Offer: Kitchen & Bathroom Remodeling, Roofing, and Solar Services as we are a division of Pacific Islands Construction.


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FEBRUARY 3, 2013 • 5


FEBRUARY 3 • 2013


See and feel the solar difference BY MICHELLE LEE ith so many photovoltaic (PV) companies currently competing for business from Hawaii homeowners, Solar Wave relies on its commitment to intellectual design to set the company apart. “Rather than sell the same panels to everyone, our team of electrical design engineers work very hard to ensure the design of our panels are tailor-made to ensure the best possible performance from every home,” said president and chief executive officer Wendell Choy. After starting a storage business in 2007, Choy began researching PV systems as a way to maintain the facility’s electrical needs. He quickly took an interest in learning more about solar electricity. “I read everything I could get my hands on,” said Choy. “Soon after, we landed two big projects with Punahou School and BJ Furniture Mart.”


Borrow money to save money As the price of fuel rises, more homeowners are turning to solar electricity as a means of cutting costs. “Everyone has an electricity bill,” said Lance Kamisato, Solar Wave’s sales manager. “Using a PV system could bring your bill down to the bare minimum, which is currently about $17 a month.” Consumers concerned with the high cost of installing a PV system will be happy to learn with most systems the monthly payment to the bank is less than the value of the home’s normal electrical bill. “This is one of the few times where businesses and homeowners can borrow money to

SOLAR WAVE contact // 488-7399 address // Westridge Shopping Center, 98-150 Kaonohi St. B-116 save money,” said Choy. Visit the PV design center To better inform customers about PV system installation, Solar Wave has launched a new PV design center located at the Westridge Shopping Center in Aiea.

Open from Monday to Friday during regular business hours, the design center will allow customers to meet with PV system consultants, ask questions and compare the different designs available. “People need to see and touch what is going on their roof,” said Choy. The showroom comes equipped with a multitude of sample panels and mock rooftops, so visitors can analyze the different roof attachment methodologies. “We match every PV system with the specific needs of the customer,” said Choy. “Proper design ensures reliability and superior performance,” said Choy. “What works for one house may not be best for another house, so the showroom will help customers see what choices are available and why our recommendations are valid.”

Solar Wave’s showroom is located at Westridge Shopping Center in Aiea. Call 488-7399.


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FEBRUARY 3 • 2013


How to rid your home of termites, the ‘Akamai’ way A kamai Pest Solutions has treated many homes and businesses with its orange oil treatments, which is a safer option than tent fumigating. With the economy today, what business can afford to close its doors at anytime for a termite treatment? Akamai Pest Solutions has been doing business and nonresidential treatments for many years throughout the state. It has treated shopping centers, restaurants, condominium complexes, banks, medical clinics, schools, structures for the National Park Service, boats and structures for the state and federal government. The best thing about treating these types of structures is that there are many benefits. They are:

pleted with very little, if any, clean up.

• Businesses do not have to close. The company can treat after hours or on weekends.

As a result of the growth of this area of Akamai’s business, the company has placed a single person in charge of working with business and condominium complexes. This person has the experience and knowledge to be able to set up treatments for any type of non-residential termite treatment. These treatments take a great deal of care and planning because most of the time, Akamai deals with multiple owners and businesses or multiple condo owners and associations. It’s a real advantage to have such an individual on the Akamai team.

• Businesses don’t have to prepare for orange oil treatments as they would for tent fumigations, in which they would have to bag consumables, take out live plants, post security guards and worry about possible damage to roofs, gutters, solar panels and plants. • A business can reopen normally after treatment is com-

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A showcase for building industry expertise

details are available to be viewed online at For more information and to obtain a BIA Renaissance Building & Remodeling Awards entry, call Clarice Watanabe at 629-7503, email or visit the website. Chartered in 1955, BIA-Hawaii is a professional trade organization affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders, representing the building industry and its associates. The 500 members of BIA-Hawaii are developers, contractors, suppliers, Realtors, architects, financial institutions and a host of other professionals who serve the building industry. BIA-Hawaii takes a leadership role in unifying and promoting the interests of the industry to enhance the quality of life for the people of Hawaii.

BY KAREN NAKAMURA he Building Industry Association of Hawaii (BIA-Hawaii) will present the 28th annual BIA Renaissance Building & Remodeling Awards show May 8 during the Gala Awards dinner at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. This premier statewide competition is open to all residential and commercial projects, either new construction or remodeled, that have not been previously entered in a BIA Renaissance Building & Remodeling Awards competition. To enter the competition, visit The final entry deadline is March 8. This call for entries is available to all residential, commercial and public works projects and welcomes contractors, developers, architects, designers, and kitchen and bath designers. Entry divisions include Residential Remodeling,


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FEBRUARY 3, 2013 • 9


FEBRUARY 3 • 2013

Simple home fix-ups for you W hile you may not know the term “nowism,” you more than likely live it. With our fast-paced lives, this term describes the trend of the consumer’s need for instant gratification. We want fast service, fast answers and fast results. And, of course, this need for fast fixes extends into our homes. Luckily, no matter how pressed you are for time, you can spruce up your house by focusing on simple projects.

Fancy fixtures As the workhorse of the kitchen, we have dozens of daily interactions at the sink. So, give your kitchen a functionality facelift by upgrading your faucet. The innovative Moen Delaney or Haysfield kitchen faucets with MotionSense are an ideal choice to bring your kitchen into the digital decade. MotionSense allows you to accomplish a variety of routine tasks with speed and efficiency, offering you three ways to operate the faucet. In addition to the traditional handle, you can activate it by using the Wave Sensor — by waving your hand over the faucet to turn on and off — or the Ready Sensor — by placing your hands or an object under the spout. Restore beauty in the bath In a recent Gallup Poll, 80 percent of workers said they feel stress on the job, making it important to make your

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home — and specifically your bathroom — a relaxing retreat. Swap your old, boring showerhead with the new Moen Halo rainshower to create a serene sanctuary within minutes. Halo features an innovative, pivoting double-ring design which provides 60 percent more coverage than traditional 9-inch rainshowers. Three spray settings — full rainshower, deep massage and relaxing massage — create a spa-like experience, and with an easy two-step installation, you can upgrade your bathroom in no time. This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.

YOU DO THE COOKING WE’LL DO THE DISHES Save up to $6,097* with Thermador’s One-Two-Free Sales Event. Offer lasts until December 15, 2013! Contact a participating dealer to see how you can qualify for a FREE dishwasher or ventilation system. *See dealer for details. Some restrictions apply.

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A World of Difference By applying the most basic of feng shui principles, you can turn your home or office space into a balanced, harmonious retreat


Alice Inoue QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Do you have any “before and after” pictures of a home that you have consulted on? I am interested in seeing the difference feng shui can make. I am just about to work on a room in my house and am looking for some guidance and ideas.

nlike an interior designer or decorator, I take no before and after photos and rarely get to see what my clients have done after I leave. Moreover, many of the changes I suggest are subtle and energetic versus blatant and visual and would not show up in a photo. However, shortly after receiving your email, I came across the photos of my office before I moved in and felt that they would be of benefit to you if I detailed what I did to make my space harmonious and pleasant according to the principles of feng shui.


My office “before” feng shui When I signed my lease, my office was a 300-square-foot rectangle with gray carpet and white walls. It felt boxy, cold and sterile, especially with the florescent lighting. I wanted my office to be a warm, welcoming, peaceful space where my clients would feel safe and nurtured, and where my business would have a good foundation for growth. I went to work creating this vision for myself.

Colors When people ask me what colors to use, I always say, “When in doubt, use colors found in nature.” By following this advice, your space will always feel good. Using nature colors brings peace, movement and a sense of regeneration to an indoor space. So I used green for the carpet, bringing in the serene yet vital energy of grass and young leaves. I used shades of brown for the furniture, bringing in the stable energy of earth and tree trunks. I painted my walls two shades of gold, bringing in

>> Before

light to read documents.

>> After

the warm energy of sunshine, and added touches of red, bringing in the aesthetic and vital energy of flowers.

no matter where we sit in my office, we can see the door, creating a sense of power and safety.

Elements The balancing of elements is important in feng shui. Elements can be represented by color and shape, and sometimes you can use the elements themselves. I made sure to balance all the elements. For example, a fountain by the door represents water.Trees and plants symbolize the wood element. Candles and bursts of red represent fire and, as noted above, shades of brown in the furniture represent the earth element. Finally, white lanterns and a white ceiling represent metal.

Shapes It is necessary to have both straight lines and curves in a space so that those in the environment feel balanced. Because we started with straight lines in a boxy room, I consciously added curves in the form of a round table, an oval Papasan sofa, a curved corner shelf, and round lamps. I minimized the look of sharp corners in the room by angling my furniture or putting curved shelving in the corners. I also placed two standing partitions in such a way that they curved around the consultation area to give the client the feeling of being “hugged,” creating a feeling of comfort and nurture.

Positioning I often talk about “the power position.” In my case, I made sure that my consultation table was situated so that both my clients and I are out of the way of, but can comfortably see, the door. I used the same positioning concept for the Papasan sofa on the other side of the room. In this way,

Lighting Instead of harsh overhead fluorescent lighting, I brought in three floor lamps to warmly light my space, creating a cozy, comfortable feel while providing enough

Wall Images and Decor For my walls, I selected images of nature scenes or others that spoke to me on a deeper level, evoking feelings of love, peace and harmony. I placed décor around me that had the same message and, to avoid a cluttered feeling, I made sure to keep knickknacks to a minimum. To keep the main space free from overwhelm, the storage area for my book inventory, presentation equipment and office supplies is positioned and organized in shelves behind the curved bamboo screen.

The Result By using the most basic of feng shui principles, I easily created a space that matched my intent. If you want to create something similar, follow the principles outlined above and turn your space into a balanced and harmonious retreat. It is entirely doable!

Alice Inoue is a life guide at Alice Inoue Life Guidance LLC, a company committed to assisting people in living empowered lives. Alice shares her wisdom as a professional speaker and personal consultant, and offers a series of instructional DVDs on feng shui, as well as her award-winning books on feng shui, happiness and spiritual life wisdom. Visit to read her blog, sign up for her newsletters and download useful feng shui tips. FEBRUARY 3, 2013 • 11


FEBRUARY 3 • 2013

Eco-friendly tips can make a difference hat your home is worth to you is one thing; what it’s worth to someone else may be totally different. If you want to boost the value of your home for yourself and in the eyes of others, one of the best ways to do that in today’s real estate market is to make green home improvements. Going green can mean a lot of things, and it’s easy to start with small changes like switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs and unplugging appliances when they’re not in use. Not only will you be doing good for the environment, you might end up saving on utility bills and, ultimately, increasing your home’s value when the time comes to sell. Green projects aren’t all necessarily in the do-it-yourself category, and making an investment to have the bigger jobs done right will pay off in the long run. “It’s important for homeowners to consider cost-saving efficiency projects as part of their overall home renovation plans,� said RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly. “And a trained real estate agent will be able to identify the projects that cut current expenses and pay potential dividends when you’re ready to sell.� Getting started now — even if that just means planning — is a good idea, particu-


larly if you’re thinking about selling in a few months’ time. Talk to a real estate agent about what improvements are popular among potential homebuyers, and consider these ideas: Windows Caulking and putting up energy-saving

window film is a great start, but a more dramatic change might make a world of difference if you want to make a sale. Replacing your existing windows with high-efficiency versions can be an expensive proposition, but the return on your investment can be dramatic, particularly if you’re hoping to attract buyers.



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Landscaping While planting isn’t always possible in the coldest months of the year, putting together a plan for energy-conscious plantings is a great idea. Consider adding trees that will bring shade to the sunniest spots, like the west side of your home, to cut summertime electric bills. Trees that lose


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their leaves in the fall will let light in during the winter, as opposed to evergreens which will block it throughout the year. Water Take the first step by turning down the temperature setting on your water heater. For more savings, consider replacing older heaters with energy-efficient models or even solar water heaters. Adding insulation to your pipes can also make a difference in how much energy is used to heat water. Most homeowners put a lot of effort into making their homes attractive, welcoming spaces. With green updates, you can make your home not only more comfortable and more energy-efficient, but also more appealing to buyers. Add the potential energy savings and the possible boost in home value and you have even more reasons to bring your home into the green age. For recommendations about making your home green, talk to a knowledgeable real estate agent. Green agents at RE/MAX have a commitment to sustainability and specialized knowledge that you can tap into when making improvements. Visit

Come clean from a bath that’s green


our bathroom may not be the first place you think of to make a positive impact on the environment, but maybe you should. You can make a significant difference especially when planning a bathroom remodel. So where do you begin? By making smart material choices and using creative conservation design elements, you can take pride in having a fashionable, eco-friendly bathroom with surprisingly little effort. Start at the Surface Bathroom designs that really stand out often do so thanks to the use of unexpected countertop and flooring materials. For example, recycled glass tiles are ultra-decorative, inexpensive and help to reduce waste. Consider revamping your bathroom with a new Vetrazzo countertop. Made from 80 percent to 90 percent recycled glass, this newcomer to the bathroom countertop scene features varied colors and patterns and makes a smart alternative to granite. If you love the look of wood flooring but want to incorporate a more environmentally sound option, use bamboo flooring. In nature, bamboo can thrive in a variety of climate zones, and has the potential for rapid growth, making it much more sustainable than traditional wood alternatives. Another out-of-the-ordinary flooring option is recycled school chalkboards. Most are available in a square or rectangle shape, and dry easily, making them ideal for bathrooms.

eliminate the need for paper towels by making a rolling hand towel? Just sew the ends of two decorative linen towels together and hang it on a Moen pivoting paper holder.

Waste Paper Be Gone It’s easy to fashion your bathroom in ways that let you be continuously responsible to the environment, day after day. Why not

Less Down the Drain A great way to conserve water is by installing stylish and ecofriendly faucets in your bathroom. Available in a variety of finishes, Moen’s eco-performance Caldwell™ faucet is a member of the Spot Resist™ family, which reduces visible water spots and fingerprints. That means you’ll do less cleaning, so less household cleaner will go down the drain. Take your water conservation efforts to the next level by monitoring your water use. Suggestions include turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth, using food color in your toilet tank as a leak indicator and taking a shower instead of a bath. This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.

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14 FEBRUARY 3 • 2013


Seeing, and Loving, Red If you want to be bold, decorate in red. But just make sure you do it in small doses

i amore, the month of love is finally here! And you know what that means — red roses, boxes of chocolate tied with red ribbon, and ladies, let’s not forget the red lingerie! This week’s column is all about red — what it means, plus tips for using this hot color to spice up your rooms. Let’s start with the psychology. Red is the color of passion. It makes us think of love, but remember, it’s also a very aggressive color that can at times feel violent. The term “seeing red” means someone is angry. Red definitely stimulates the heart rate. Many restaurants use red in their signage and interiors because it stimulates the appetite as well. Because of the strong emotions it evokes, you need to be careful when using red in decorating. Probably the boldest use you’ve seen is accent walls. Many homes have red accent walls in dining rooms, game rooms and other places, where there’s entertainment and action going on and you want to heighten the senses. If you’re one of those who’d love red on an entire wall, how do you go about it? Here’s the first rule: Choose your paint color last. Your wall should absolutely not be the only red in the room. I like to choose my shade of red from another red element in the space. For example, if there’s red in a focal point like an area rug or piece of art, your red accent wall should match that shade. Believe me, it’s a lot easier to find a paint color to match a rug than vice versa! Here’s the second rule: Get a color fan deck or take that red piece or a Swatch to the paint store, if you can. You’ll need the exact shade to select a red paint that is complementary.They do not have to match exactly. But there are hundreds of


14 • FEBRUARY 3, 2013

reds ranging from cherry to terra cotta, and unless you’re a professional designer, you need to choose carefully to avoid a situation where the red on your wall has blue undertones while the red in your rug has

yellow undertones. That might not look so hot. Now, a red wall is probably not a good idea for your bedroom, where you probably want more calming colors. Subtle accents in flowers, candles, a throw or some art, however, can add a feeling of romance and sensuality. I love using red in accents. Just as with black or white, touches of red can elevate the other colors in a room. Here are some great examples from Cathy’s Marketplace: an Asian wall carving that adds warmth and personality, throw pillows that are always a great way to incorporate a color, and finally, affordable vessels that can go on countertops and coffee

tables. As with all accent colors, red needs to be repeated in at least three places to tie a space together, and these are easy ways to achieve this without going overboard. So is red a good choice? Absolutely! It spices up your room and your life. But do it in small doses. After all, red is a hot color, and if you’re not careful you can get burned!

Cathy Lee is president and designer of Cathy Lee Style and Cathy's Marketplace, a furniture and accessories showroom with design services at 1110 University Ave. She recently opened reStyle Hawaii, an affordable, style-conscious consignment warehouse with upholstering and repurposing services at 420 Keawe St. in Kakaako. Lee's interior design work has been featured in local and national publications, on HGTV and in her DIY design workshops that teach homeowners the basics of style. To find out more, go to



Investing with solar’s best re you confused by rumors and misinformation about the changes to the state solar tax credit? Alternate Energy was the 2012 No. 1 residential solar contractor in the state. The company has been installing solar systems for Hawaii families for 20 years, and always operates in the best interest of their customers, friends and family. So what’s the final word from Alternate Energy on the changes to the tax credits? It’s a fact that Hawaii’s generous 35 percent solar tax credit, and even multiple state tax credits, are still available. That’s right. A 35 percent or $5,000 maximum state solar tax credit (among the most generous in the nation) is still available per system per year. And multiple system tax credits are available for each qualifying system installed in a tax year. The major change to the tax credit comes from ALTERNATE ENERGY INC. the way a “system” is defined. According to the contact // 842-5853 Temporary Administrative Rules that took effect address // 96-1276 Waihona St. #C124 Nov. 16, 2012, a system is now defined by its total web // power output capacity rather than by the number of independent physical connections to the grid. Each system for which a credit is claimed must actuality, there will be no measureable difference for most have a total power output capacity of at least 5 kilowatts purchases — and even a savings in some cases.” before a homeowner can claim a second system for tax So there you have it. If reducing energy bills is the goal, credit purposes. solar PV from Alternate Energy is still the best investment This new structure can actually reduce your upfront cost Hawaii homeowners can make. by reducing the need for multiple electrical hookups, additional inverters and installation labor associated with setting up several “systems” as defined by the old rules. All while keeping your rate of payback about the same at just three to five years. Financing is getting easier, too. Alternate Energy recently announced an attractive new financing partnership with Central Pacific Bank, called the PV Power Loan. Visit  for details or ask the friendly staff at Alternate Energy. Here’s the bottom line: “All the uproar about changes to the solar tax credit resulted in a lot of conjecture and confusion,” said Bruce Ekimura, founder of Alternate Energy. “In


FEBRUARY 3 • 2013 15

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FEBRUARY 3 • 2013


Creating a beautiful home landscape plan T here’s more to your home to admire than just the beautiful and functional architectural structure; planning your outdoor space and landscape is a sure way to transform your home from looking good to looking beautiful. A great plan balances aesthetics with functionality. Leave it to your landscape designer to guide you in creating a home landscape plan to address your needs and meet your budget. During the planning process, your landscaping plan is drafted with the goal of creating a space that matches your lifestyle. Since this is your personal space, it’s important that the result meets your needs. At Lanaiscapes we involve our clients in the design process, and throughout the entire project. When planning and creating a home landscape plan for your dream outdoor space, take time to go over the following: • Budget. Prioritize your needs and wants as this affects how much to set aside for your project. It’s important to have a budg-

et, however, it’s helpful to let your landscaper know of items you want but might not be able to afford right now. This will help plan for items that may be integrated into your project at a later date.

• Styles and Themes. Do you want a design that’s minimalistic, or on the more luxurious side or somewhere in between? Contemporary Hawaiiana, Indo-Bali or even an Asian garden are just a couple of the choices you have. Lists are helpful, too. Here are some things to consider: colors, plants, trees, flowers, green foliage, water features and rocks. • Usage. How will you use your outdoor space? Do you entertain often? What kind of seating area works best? Do you have a family dog, love gardening, or maybe just want to use the area as a space for relaxing and kicking back? It’s also important to ask yourself how often you will be using the space. Just the weekends? Or will spend time there every day? Identifying the time of day you’ll most

LANAISCAPES contact // 255-1048 web // use your space is important too. • Pictures. Explaining what you imagine as the perfect outdoor design space might be difficult to communicate and for some designers to visualize. Have photo references ready to help with direction and to avoid a hit and miss while creating the design. • Color Palette. These are also useful to help the designer incorporate your preferred shades with foliage suggestions. Remember, there are plenty of shades of blue, red and green!

• Trellis and Arbors. These are wonderful outdoor space accents that add vertical beauty and create practical places to train flowering vines. They are also great for enclosing a space for privacy.

• Water features. A custom water feature can create a place of interest, beauty and serenity.

Spending time on a plan before starting your project will help you budget and help you transform your outdoor space into a haven of calming energy. Call 255-1048 or visit

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FEBRUARY 3 • 2013 17

A truly impressive rebuild in Kaimuki This is part one of a two-part series t’s a typical Kaimuki scenario — the old home had served several generations of the same family, but now it was time to renovate, rebuild or move to a new home with more space and modern amenities. However, the last option was the least desirable since the family liked the Kaimuki neighborhood and neighbors. “We were contacted by family members who had seen our Homeworks project signs in the area and heard our ‘Build New Or ReDo’ radio show,” said Homeworks Construction CEO Jim Byxbee. “We looked at both remodeling and a complete rebuild, but it was clear that preserving and upgrading the old house was not a good investment. Termites had made inroads and we were able to present the owners with a plan that made better use of the approximately 5,000-square-foot lot than the original structure.” Once architectural plans and specifications were approved, the next step was demolition of the old house. Homeworks, as a design/build firm, includes all phases of


HOMEWORKS CONSTRUCTION contact // 955-2777 address // 2111 S. Beretania St.

>> During

a project in its initial cost estimate. Byxbee personally handled demolition that, he notes, took less than a day. “Once the lot was cleared, pouring concrete for the footings and foundation took another three weeks,” Byxbee said. “Then we delivered fram>> Before ing materials for the next phase, which included windows, doors and roofing. part two of this Homeworks project in the In about a month we were ready to start March 3 issue of Hawaii Renovation. the electrical, plumbing and drywall work. The Homeworks “Build New Or ReDo” “The last major phase, and probably the radio show, broadcast Saturdays from 9 to one that requires the most intensive coor10 a.m. on KHVH Radio 830 AM, is an dination with the homeowners, is the inteopportunity to get your building and rior finishes, which is in progress now. We’re remodeling questions answered by calling working toward a completion date in late Jim Byxbee on-air at 521-8383. February.” To reserve a place at the free The completed home will be covered in

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FEBRUARY 3 • 2013


A remodeling match made in heaven K ahala Pacific Floors has one main mission: to be Hawaii’s best flooring company. Each product the company sells and each service it performs are in line with this simple goal. But in reality, it’s not that simple. Company president Shirley Pai Hilton leads a hardworking team of professionals who bring you the ultimate in high-quality products with its Kahala Floors brand, a line that Hilton dares to say is the best you can find in Hawaii. And now, Hilton is proud to announce that she is partnering with local flooring industry veteran Allen T. Canter to form a new installation company, Pacific Flooring Contractors (PFC). Canter has more than 40 years of experience in the business and has an extremely long history in the local flooring industry. He began working for several large local flooring companies before starting his own business, which has been around for the past 20 years. Canter is licensed in all flooring coverings — wood, tile and carpet. His breadth of knowledge and extensive experience are a huge plus, according to Hilton.

“This is an installation professional that I can finally put my full technical confidence in. Allen is one of only two certified National Wood Flooring inspectors in Hawaii and we have that expertise inhouse,” said Hilton. “He is also an honest, ethical business person, which is almost more important in selecting a partner.” Hilton likes the fact that she can now offer her customers high-quality, professional installation services for all the different flooring surfaces she sells. Whether you are looking for unfinished wood flooring that is custom-sanded and coated in your home, a prefinished solid wood, an engineered wood, porcelain or ceramic tile, natural stone, luxury vinyl tile (LVT), laminate or carpeting, Pacific Flooring Contractors can install it all for you. Additionally, one of the company’s other specialties is ADA-compliant shower conversions. Showers, you say? Many baby boomers are finding their old bathtub or shower with its 26-inch tall step over is probably not going to serve them well in the next decade or two. PFC will tear out the old

KAHALA PACIFIC FLOORS & PACIFIC FLOORING CONTRACTORS contact // 847-7711 address // 926 Kohou St. tub or dated shower, reconfigure the space — which usually includes a bench — build a totally new shower pan and cover it all in beautiful new tile. Add a hand-held shower and grab-bar to finish things off. The company’s showroom fea-

tures a new full-size shower display. “Let us give you a free in-home consultation and estimate. We are half the price of some of our competitors with 100 percent of the quality and service,” said Hilton.

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FEBRUARY 3 • 2013 19

Power up with these solar experts F

or those of you who did not get a chance to install your photovoltaic (PV) system in 2012, EnergyPro Hawaii hopes that you will choose to do so this year. We are currently promoting the best PV loan in town, which features 0 percent interest charges for the first 24 months and a fixed APR of 5.99 percent for the remainder of the 10-year term. There are no early payment charges, and payments are affordable because they allow people to take advantage of tax credits over an extended period of time.The loan program even rewards Hawaiian Miles members with 10,000 miles. Beyond this loan program, there has been much confusion with the solar tax credit “changes� that have been put in place as of the new year. These changes are being challenged by the Sierra Club in court, basically because the tax department altered its interpretation of the solar credit after the Legislature opted not to make any modifications last year. There is hope that the Legislature will now clarify or modify the existing rules to make it easier to follow, without eliminating its intended benefits for the consumer and the

ENERGYPRO HAWAII contact // 596-2890 address // 825 Halekauwila St. web // email // state. The existing changes sound drastic, but even if they remain in effect, they don’t affect small, single systems at all and their effect on larger systems is minimal. For medium-sized systems, there are options available, such as splitting the installation up into separate calendar years, as the current tax credit limits are annual limits. EnergyPro Hawaii is an active member of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association (HSEA) and it strives to provide the best information so that its customers can make the best choices for their energy solutions. The company’s system monitoring allows customers to keep an eye on their current and past PV production, emails them monthly production reports and even notifies clients in the event of a problem. EnergyPro also offers service and repair of existing solar systems, and maintenance contracts are available for those who don’t want to worry about cleaning, maintaining or repairing their system. Even if you have not purchased your system from EnergyPro Hawaii, the company is available for service. It is locally owned and operated, has been in business since

1994, and offers plumbing, electrical and renovation services in addition to energy solutions. EnergyPro Hawaii will be around for years to help with warranty or service issues, even if the solar industry slows down and shrinks. The company is pleased to announce the re-launch of its website, Visit it to see many of EnergyPro Hawaii’s services and products. From solar electric to water heating solutions, see how EnergyPro can help transform your home into a “green� one. For further questions, or to schedule a free consultation and estimate for any of its services or products, call EnergyPro Hawaii today at 596-2890. VISIT ENERGYPROHAWAII.COM FOR MORE INFO


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FEBRUARY 3 • 2013


Things you should know about the solar industry P acific Islands Construction believes there are many issues about the solar industry that consumers should understand before or after they make an investment in a photovoltaic system. The following information is provided to help educate the consumer: The consolidation of the PV module manufacturing industry continues with many companies closing their business or making cut backs in order to potentially survive. Every quarter these companies are reporting significant losses because of selling products below the cost to produce them. Bosch reported 1 billion euros in impairments and losses from their solar division in 2012. Sharp closed its production facilities in the U.S. and is reportedly only selling modules in Japan at this point. And stock prices of solar companies are at an all-time low. What does this mean to the consumer? You need to know the financials of the product that is being placed on your roof if you expect the warranty to mean anything. You also need to be aware that companies are less concerned


contact // 841-7756 web //

about quality as this costs more and companies are paying less attention to what they are producing. Here are a few things to keep in mind: All photovoltaic systems need to be maintained and inspected yearly to prevent expensive repairs down the road. Modules also should be cleaned of various deposits on surface causing depreciation in energy performance. Having your system inspected will reveal issues such as loose electrical cables, modules not secured to racking systems, roof flashings in need of attention to prevent leaks, and inverter problems.

Various ways of installing solar on your roof are available, including purchase, leasing and power purchase agreements (PPA). Leasing and PPA has someone else installing a PV system on your home at no cost to you, and you agreeing to buy the power it produces at a greatly reduced price or pay a discounted fee for the power that is produced. Pacific Islands Construction can answer the questions you have for your home in an honest and sincere manner. Give the company the opportunity to show you why we are the right choice. Visit the company’s website at or call 841-7756.




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Steps to get you closer to your dream house R emodeling one’s kitchen or bathroom can be the perfect step necessary for making a dream home become reality. However, the process of planning and waiting for those dreams to become reality, while also dealing with unexpected alterations and hiccups along the way, may actually create a house of horrors. With more than 50 years of combined experience under their collective tool belt, Don Holcomb and Dan Holt merged their talents to form DH Squared Construction in 2007. In addition to specializing in custom home building and remodeling, DH Squared also produces unique and exquisite custom, made-to-order cabinets. The company is well-versed in the home renovation business and has some vital tips that are sure to help homeowners simplify the renovation process. To start off, a homeowner should gather one’s thoughts, compiling a folder full of photos, concepts and ideas that are gleaned from television, magazines or Hawaii Renovation.This folder should also include current photos of the home and examples of existing spaces and design concepts already utilized so potential designers have a foundation on which to build. Whether a homeowner is making changes to a bathroom, kitchen or both, DH Squared suggests making a list of “needs, wants and desires.” This list will solidify aspects of the remodeling job that are absolutely necessary, making

them vital to the job’s success. It should include changes that are selected to add value, but do not necessarily need adjusting, and DH SQUARED items that are desired, but CONSTRUCTION may add more of a “wow” contact // 383-2218 factor as opposed to simple functionality. Making such a list will aid in determining exactly what can and should be done based on a homeowner’s budget, and will cut out some of the stress involved with addressing specific needs, whether it be adding new cabinetry or fixtures. After establishing one’s budget and selecting a qualified designer and contractor, homeowners must be prepared for the “chaos” that will ensue. While it may seem simple, some homeowners forget that during the remodeling process, there will be limitations to certain areas, so it is vital to establish alternative living areas within the home so life can go on. Before construction commences, work with the building team on blocking any openings with plastic barriers to prevent any dust and dirt from wafting into other areas of the home — a simple task that will save both money and headaches once the remodeling job is done. Another important step that a homeowner should take during the process is to inspect new items from the time they enter the home until the installation is complete. For

instance, if new cabinetry is ordered, the homeowner should make sure that the cabinet style and color is consistent with what they ordered. Then, once the cabinetry is put in place, they should ensure all doors and drawers open and function correctly, so problems can be addressed before signing off on the completed project. When it comes to cabinet design and construction, DH Squared is able to help with an efficient manufacturing process aided by some of the world’s finest technology. For more information, call DH Squared Construction at 383-2218 or visit

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FEBRUARY 3, 2013 • 21


FEBRUARY 3 • 2013


Rely on D’s experience for your kitchen, bath project “A nother year … another year older” is a statement that we hear so often. As we get older, we all face different challenges in life. It could be the simple things in life like stepping over a bath tub or even lifting ourselves off a water closet (toilet) that becomes a chore. If you or someone you know fits into this category, you may want to consider a few options to help overcome these obstacles. One solution you may consider is to convert your tub into a shower with a step-over (between 4- and 6-inches high). If this option does not work for you, D’s Plumbing can also build a ramp type entry where there is no stepover at all. Owner Frank Duarte will be happy to show you all of these options, including safety grab bars and a person-


contact // 734-2032 or 230-8308 web //

al hand-held shower spray — all to help with your comfort and safety. Also, some people prefer a tub enclosure and others a shower curtain (whether it be a straight or curved rod). Either way, D’s Plumbing will install it for you. Within all of these different options, there are different finished products available such as large ceramic tiles for your walls and smaller tiles for the inner shower floor. Another popular product would be cultured marble, which comes in various colors to choose from. These come in large sectional panels tailored to fit your tub/shower walls along with a custom-fabricated shower pan made of the same materials. Your inner and outer corners are sealed and trimmed for a better, finished look with cultured marble moldings. Within all of its bath and kitchen renovations, D’s Plumbing also installs new cabinets, countertops, new light fixtures, additional lighting, flooring, drywall and paint. The positive side of doing all of these jobs is you would only be Before

“Serving Hawaii Since 1981”

dealing with one contractor instead of three or more — making everything a lot easier for you, the customer. All these packages include personal care and attention from Frank, who has more than five decades of experience in plumbing, and more than three decades in business as a plumbing and general contractor. Call D’s Plumbing today for a free estimate. Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Affordable Plumbing Bath & Kitchen Renovations

We install handicap showers

DisSenio co r un t FREE ESTIMATES • Repair & New Installation • Change Galvanize to Copper

Lic. # BC-11700

Quality Work, Competitive Prices

State Contractor’s License # C-30546

734-2032 or 230-8308

Bathroom Refinishing Don’t Replace-Reglaze

Bathtubs • Showers • Counters

G&S Shutter Designs The Innovative Polycore Shutter

20 Years Experience in Hawaii No removal necessary, fast service (1 day)

25 OFF $

Bathtub Reglazing, Porcelain, Fiberglass on Tubs and Tub Shower combos.

• Discounts Available for Realty, Contractors & Senior Citizens. • Professional Crack & Chip Repair

Al’s Bathtub Refinishing 22 • FEBRUARY 3, 2013

Residential Apartment New Construction Interior/Exterior

Call Al for a FREE Estimate

679- 8297

FREE In-Home Estimates 808.383.1407


FEBRUARY 3 • 2013 23

Affordable upgrades to give your home a new look ure, kitchen and bath renovations get all the glamour and credit for offering high returns on your investment when it’s time to sell your home. But a host of other, often-overlooked improvements can also offer great ROI — while completely changing the look of your home at a fraction of the cost of bigger projects.


door can return as much as 73 percent of the initial cost for steel doors and nearly 54 percent for fiberglass doors. Repaint ceilings and baseboards While you may be aware of the benefits of painting walls,

Change the front door The door to your home is not only a key element of its exterior look, the door can set expectations for what guests will see inside your home as well. A new front door makes a statement for both the inside and outside of your home. When you sell your home, that new front


many homeowners overlook the value of painting ceilings and baseboards. Repainting a ceiling — even if it’s plain white — dramatically brightens a room. The same is true for painting trim; the freshness of updated trim can draw the whole room together.

Provide Comfort and Watertight reliability now, with a New Roof installed by

Kitchen Cabinets & Casework


“Fusing Custom Cabinets with Affordability�

Energy Efficient Roof Coatings • Lower the roof temperature of your home or Building up to 40% • Lifetime Material Warranty Available

We Specialize in: Residential – Commercial Re-Roofing – Repair – Inspections We Install

‌ Solar PllV !

10% OFF Patios & Walkways

10 YR WARR on Roof Pene ANTY netrations

Call Toda y!


Hawaii Kai 396-9599 • Honolulu 739-9599 Windward 261-6686 • Leeward 487-9599 Free Island Wide Estimates

Lic. #C-28235


dit. tax cre r details. fo before Price is ply. Call now ns ap trictio

• Fast Service • Free Estimate • Covered by Warranty • Installed by Certified & Professional Workers Res




NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. Also does not apply on prior orders. Cannot be combined with any other offer/discounts.

We will beat all Prices – Guaranteed! COLORS: Burgundy, Cherry, Light Cherry, Wheat Maple, Cinnamon Maple, Eggshell White, and MORE!

Call Us Today! 853-2088 Fax: 853-2058 500 Alakawa St. #106, Honolulu, HI 96817 (Downtown behind Costco Gas Station)



Monday - Saturday 8am-5:30pm • Sunday Closed • 10% OFF GRANITE • 10% OFF GRANITE • 10% OFF GRANITE •



• Remodeling & New Construction • How & Where to Start • Selecting Your Builder • Designing for Comfort • How to Save Money • Bonding & Much More! Sat., February 23 9 – 11 a.m. Honolulu Country Club

The Only Builder to Receive This Award

Call 593-2808

or register online at

FEBRUARY 3, 2013 • 23


FEBRUARY 3 • 2013



E&K ELECTRIC contact // 384-2199 address // 45-616 Apuapu St.

Energy solutions you can trust E &K Electric’s success has been largely due to its affordable pricing for quality workmanship. Owner Richard Kim has been providing customers with great service and affordable pricing since 1992. His focus — to provide quality service to each and every customer — has helped him successfully turn a once “small, family business” into a locally owned company that can compete with the best of them. He looks at his business from the customer’s point of view and understands what is important for the homeowner. This is why Richard finishes the job to the end and doesn’t contract his work out — meaning you’ll receive his services from start to finish. E&K Electric is able to provide clients with very low pricing not because of a lack of quality, but rather a low overhead cost that most solar companies don’t 24 • FEBRUARY 3, 2013

have. He backs his work up with a limited warranty, which allows homeowners that “peace of mind” — guaranteed. Richard requests that you shop around and find the best price. If you are quoted a cheaper price, he promises not only to match it, but to beat it. Wouldn’t you like to see your electric bill be reduced by $16-$18 a month? Pick up the phone and beat the summer’s heat by switching to photovoltaic (PV) energy today. Installing PV would increase your home’s value as well as lower your monthly bills, equaling a great, no-risk investment for you and your family. Tax credits are still here and Richard can walk you through the steps of getting the most out of your 2013 tax credits. Lastly, Richard’s philosophy is to exceed the customer’s expectations and use “word of mouth” referrals to his

advantage. E&K Electric performs other electrical services as well, whether it is a commercial or residential job. So, don’t hesitate to call him at 384-2199 to set up an appointment and receive your free quote.


020313 HR Opt