Page 1

HAWAII

MARCH 11, 2012 HAWAIIRENOVATION.STARADVERTISER.COM AN EDITION OF

The concrete-remastering experts at Lokahi Concrete are transforming garage floors with Roll on Rock速 polyurea topcoats.| See page 3

INSIDE:

ADDING A SPARE BATH IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK. See page 17

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Photovoltaic


HAWAIIRENOVATION ing materials.

STAYING CLEAR OF

• Place electrical equipment as far away from your bed as possible, especially cell phones and computers. The further away you are from the item, the less impact it has on your body.

ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS most of us do not get outdoors enough to counter balance the constant exposure we have to other electromagnetic frequencies.

How much is too much?

I

s your cellphone charging nearby when you sleep? Is your electrical or digital clock close to your bed? Is the location of your bedroom near your wireless router, or is your computer in your bedroom and on 24/7? If so, no matter how optimally your furniture is placed, or how elementally balanced your feng shui is, you have not considered an important environmental factor that can adversely affect you — EMFs, or electromagnetic fields.

What are EMFs? EMFs are physical fields

FREE

produced by moving electrically charged particles. EMFs are a combination of electrical fields and magnetic fields. You will find these fields in your house wiring, televisions, radios, cell phones, hair dryers, microwaves and even digital and electric clocks. Because of the proliferation of electronics in recent years, EMFs of various frequencies fill our homes, workplaces and public spaces. They are considered by many to be harmful to our bodies, and almost every new invention adds to the electro-

magnetic pollution that already exists.

Why do we want to avoid them? For more than 40 years, electrobiologists have studied the effects of EMF exposure on the human body. Although we are electrical beings, and our bodies are made up of various electromagnetic frequencies, the external EMFs are far from being harmonious with the frequencies in our bodies. Although earth’s electromagnetic field is beneficial to our body and supports optimal functioning,

Virtually all scientists agree that 2.5 Mg (milligauss) is the generally accepted limit of EMF exposure. To give you an idea of what that means, an electric clock generates an electromagnetic field of about 5 to 10 Mg, and the average hair dryer or vacuum cleaner generates 300 Mg or more. If you have ever experienced fatigue after a long session on the computer or had a sensation of heat or buzzing in your ear after using your cell phone, you may have experienced strong EMF exposure. Our bodies are sensitive to high external EMF emissions. Our skin, DNA, blood vessels, vital organs and even our cell membranes are affected. Plus, the effect of exposure is cumulative, so the sooner you can reduce your exposure the better.

SEE PAGE 16

Free Seminar

• How and Where to Start • Find a Reputable Builder • Financing Options • Design for Comfort & Savings • Accessible & Multigeneration Living

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• Turn your television off manually, instead of with the remote.

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• Switch to a wind up clock or use a battery operated one.

• If a television, refrigerator, computer or office equipment is on the other side of the bedroom wall behind your head, consider moving your bed, as EMFs penetrate all build-

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COVER

HAWAIIRENOVATION

BEFORE

I

f you have a dull and hard-to-clean concrete surface in your garage or workspace, Lokahi’s Roll On Rock® will transform your dull and dreary concrete floor into a stunning, seamless masterpiece that will outshine other comparable systems for years. When incorporating the extreme gloss polyurea topcoat into your finish, rest assured that you are getting the absolute best-looking clear topcoat available in the country. Our polyurea topcoat has an incredible gloss while providing extreme chemical and abrasion resistance, which is why it will continue to shine when others start to fade. In 1999, Roll On Rock® revolutionized the garage floor coating industry by introducing a two-step flake system when all other systems were four or more steps. This was accom-

AFTER

LOKAHICONCRETE REMODELERS CONTACT: 596-8833 • www.lokahisurfaces.com plished by creating a proprietary epoxy that “wicks” deep into the concrete, creating a bond that is three times stronger than ordinary epoxy or poliaspartic systems over concrete. In fact, this revolutionary system will withstand at least 8 pounds of MVE (Moisture Vapor Emission) pressure, while others fail at 3 pounds. Additionally, all our clear topcoats will not yellow from sun exposure, and most are under 10 VOC (volatile organic compounds), making it safer for the planet’s ozone. And when we say our clear topcoats are “hot tire resistant,” we mean it. They will not yellow, darken,

stain or lift from hot tires. You can expect to easily wipe up any tire marks for years to come. When other products say they are “hot tire resistant,” they mean it won’t peel. With Roll on Rock®, it’s as if your car was never parked in the garage! Here are the perks of Roll On Rock®:

• Ultra Low VOC

• High MVE resistance

• Non-flammable options

• Non yellowing

• Low-odor options

New advances in our technology allow Roll on Rock® to be installed in one day. In 2009, we introduced an additive that reduces the long drying time to only three hours. Now you can get the same oneday install results of a poluaspartic, but with three times better adhesion to bare concrete. We continue to revolutionize the way garage floors are coated.

• Tough and durable • Elegant and easy to clean • No more concrete dusting

• Unique wicking technology • Use indoors or outdoors • Hot tire resistant • Solid colors available • Chemical resistant • Compliments any decor

MARCH 11, 2012 | HAWAII RENOVATION | 3


HAWAIIRENOVATION Nathalie Walker photos

SPICING UP C&CCABINETS GRANITE

StarAdvertiser.com

10 x 10 Special Only $1999 +tax

New Finish Cabinets Just Arrived!

ADDRESS: 500 Alakawa St. CONTACT: 853-2088 cccabinetsgranite.com

Ph: 853-2088 • Fax: 853-2058 500 Alakawa St.#106, Hon., HI 96817 / Mon-Sat 8am - 5:30pm • Sun. Closed

By Sarah Pacheco

A

re you planning on adding some spice to your kitchen and aren’t sure where to begin? No matter your budget, large or small, you can create a stylish and functional environment with complementary combinations of hardwood cabinets and granite counters. And the C&C Cabinets Granite showroom is a great place to start. Known for being a onestop shop with high-quality products and low prices, C&C Cabinets Granite offers finely crafted maple and cherry wood cabinets, shelves and drawers in a variety of classic designs as well as a selection of beautiful granite surfaces. All cabinets are precision-designed by our staff of in-house designers and craftsmen. For customers who wish to display their glassware or dinnerware, you can order cabinet

doors with glass insets, or select from our high-quality handles, pulls and runners to add your own spin to your kitchen project. Most importantly, no particle board or other synthetic materials are ever used in the fabrication of our cabinet doors, shelves and drawers, ensuring you will get the best deal for your dollar.

4 | HAWAII RENOVATION | MARCH 11, 2012

Speaking of deals, one we currently offer is the C&C Special Sale, in which we will outfit any 10-by-10foot kitchen with any style of cabinet and selected granite for $1,999 (plus tax). If the space you are designing isn’t precisely 10 by 10 feet, our C&C sales associates will quote you a special price, including design, at no extra charge.

C&C Cabinets Granite can handle the delivery and installation of your purchased cabinets and countertops for an additional charge. The company also can give customers a quote on other home remodeling projects, including carpentry, painting, windows and doors, if you don’t already have a builder. Call ahead or stop by our Honolulu showroom, where sales associates are on hand to create a preliminary three-dimensional design of your cabinet and counter layout on the computer. Once you’ve approved the quoted price, the associate will meet with you at the job site to work out a detailed plan. The C&C Cabinets Granite showroom, located at 500 Alakawa St., is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday. For more information, call 8532088 or visit http://cccabi netsgranite.com.

(Downtown - behind Costco Gas Station)

Website: cccabinetsgranite.com

FREE SEMINARS “Building to your lifestyle” Multi-Family, Tear Down/Rebuild, New Home, Additions, Renovations, Kitchen & Baths. Learn the building process from start to finish. FREE consultation and onsite property evaluation.

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FRIDAY, MARCH 16TH AT WARD WAREHOUSE FROM 6PM TO 8PM

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808-753-5643 Appointments for free estimates on projects, call our main office at

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HAWAIIRENOVATION

Is affordable housing out of reach? BY KAREN NAKAMURA This is the third in a three-part series.

T

he barriers that we covered last week impact the squarefoot cost of land only. That plot of land upon which your home sits includes all the project costs. These extractions are called “impact fees” and they drive up the lot cost. We are now paying around $65,000 to $100,000 per 5,000-square-foot lot. Is there a better way? Is there the will to change this process? We are becoming a community of haves and have nots. Today we’ll talk about the barriers that drive the

cost of building homes on prepared lots: • Building codes. Building codes are mandates that drive up the cost of construction. This is a vehicle that can make it impossible for selective sectors of our population to be able to afford a home. • Cost of labor. The prevailing wages, plus FICA, SUTA, FUTA, TDI, medical and vacation benefits drive the average cost per man hour to between $50 and $77 per hour. • Cost of goods. Our cost of materials is the highest in the nation. The Rider Levett Bucknall Materials Price Index tracks the

cost of lumber, structural block, sand/gravel, cement, concrete readymix, iron and steel and gypsum wall board in the nation’s 12 largest cities. Hawaii ranks at the top with New York and San Francisco. Building codes, labor and materials are the cost drivers of construction. The cost of residential construction ranges from $200 to $500 per square foot, according to Rider Levett Bucknall’s Construction Cost Index. Building codes are the minimum standards for providing safe and affordable shelter. In 2007, our state created a State Building Codes Council to develop a State

Building Code. The intent is to standardize how buildings are constructed throughout the state. The one-code goal makes it easier for architects, engineers and contractors to build on any island. The cost impact to the owner is an unintended consequence and major barrier to home ownership. Cost of labor is a major barrier. Why is our underground economy in construction so high if we are providing competitive labor costs? Why are there so many construction workers not working? Have we surpassed the threshold of what the market can afford? Do we wait for the economy to turn around or do we move to

BIA-HAWAII REMODELERS where there is work? We experienced an exodus of skilled labor in the 1990s and lost an entire generation of contractors and entrepreneurs. Cost of building materials will always be high because we import everything. This is the status quo and how it has been since we were shipping out pineapple and sugar.

Unless we, the silent majority, care enough to engage in the process, we will continue to be victims of our complacency and see housing affordability out of reach for our middle class. Karen Nakamura is executive vice president/CEO of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii.

Let’s build a

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HAWAIIRENOVATION various color options. • Engage is a great option for homeowners looking for a quality DIY (do it yourself) type product. Metroflor is the world’s largest LVT manufacturer and with Engage, it has introduced another innovative product to the largely popular category.

Locking in the floor of your dreams

M

etroflor’s new interlocking floor product, Engage, is the perfect floor if you are looking for durability in either your home or business. Engage is backed by a 25-year residential and a five-year commercial warranty. This Luxury Vinyl Tile product is installed free-

floating and clicks together with the industry’s best locking system, Uniclic. Because Engage does not require adhesives, the floor is ready to be used as soon as it is installed. It also eliminates any potential VOCs or off-gassing, making it a sound recommendation for spaces with indoor air quality

Hardware 50% OFF Blum 1 Set of se ha with Purc Caofbinets Kitchen All In-stock Kitchen & Bathroom Cabinetry, Hard-Wood Doors w/ Plywood Boxes, Multi Colors to Choose. Reasonable Prices! (Airport - across Lagoon Drive) 2959 Koapaka St. • Honolulu, HI 96819 Ph: 836-8181 • Fax: 836-8166

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6 | HAWAII RENOVATION | MARCH 11, 2012

issues. Because Engage is a vinyl product, it is moisture-resistant from the top down, making it a suitable option for the kitchen or bathrooms. Here are a few reasons to go with Engage: • Engage Essential planks come in a 7 1/2-inch-by-47 1/2-inch plank size with

Other products manufactured by Metroflor include Hybrid and Konecto. For more information on Metroflor, please go to our website at www.metroflorlvt.com. Find the answer to your needs with Metroflor’s Engage at all Wayne’s locations in Kaimuki, Kaneohe and Sand Island. You can also visit The Carpet Outlet in Salt Lake or other flooring outlets throughout Hawaii.

WAYNE’SFLOORING AMERICA ADDRESS: 3025 WAIALAE AVE. CONTACT: 735-3005 • waynesflooringhawaii.com ing what the big deal is with LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile.) Here are a few benefits you get with LVT flooring: • Durability: Vinyl floors are easy to maintain and care for. This is especially true for people who

have kids or pets.

• Moisture resistance: LVT is more resistant to water than hardwood and laminate type products.

• Softer underfoot: LVT is softer on your feet and body.

Reasons to choose LVT flooring Homeowners interested in renovating their flooring may be wonder-

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HAWAIIRENOVATION withstands harsh conditions better and provides a lush, durable place to play. Follow these tips to make your grass terrific:

a s s a r g g n i v Gi h start fres

Seed Fill in bare or thin spots with grass seed to encourage a thick lawn, helping to prevent weeds from invading your lawn by blocking access to sunlight. Use a high-quality seed, and to repair larger areas, use Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed with WaterSmart coating.

Feed

G

rass is an extraordinary plant, the unsung hero of backyards everywhere. With proper care and feeding, grass can help clean the air, cool the ground,

reduce erosion and provide one of the softest outdoor play surfaces. With all of these amazing benefits, it pays to give grass a boost. Even if your grass isn’t in

the best condition, getting it back on the road to recovery is easy. Increased precipitation is perfect for repairing, seeding and feeding grass. Well-nourished grass

Grass needs nutrients to grow strong, deep roots that can endure harsh conditions and grow in thick to help block sunlight. If the lawn does not need reseeding, use a high-quality lawn food like Scotts Turf Builder. This lawn

food can be used in any season on any grass type and delivers balanced nutrients for strong, thick grass. Use a starter fertilizer when planting new grass for root growth and seedling development. When seeding or feeding, use Scotts DLX EdgeGuard Broadcast Spreader for larger areas to direct lawn food only where desired.

Mow Set your mower at the highest setting and leave grass clippings on the lawn. Mow frequently to avoid removing more than one third of the grass height, and do so when grass is dry, to avoid damp clumps that could smother grass. Leaving clippings recycles nutrients stored in them, keeping the soil cooler,

encouraging deeper root growth and enriching the soil with organic material.

Water

Grass that is fed and kept at taller heights develops deep roots which are better able to conserve water and withstand periods of heat and drought. Rely on rainfall as the primary source of water. During periods of drought, the lawn can go without water for an extended time. Even though the lawn may look brown and wilted, it will recuperate after the rain returns. If you choose to irrigate the lawn, water less frequently for a longer period of time rather than short frequent waterings. For more information, visit www.scotts.com.

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HAWAIIRENOVATION

Little touches to jazz up your

DAWING TRADING CONTACT: 847-3288 • www.dawingtrading.com

kitchen

F

or most people, remodeling a kitchen includes a complete change of cabinets and countertops, maybe even appliances. If your cabinets are still in good condition but you want to improve your kitchen in some way, replacing

your old countertop with one made of granite is a great choice. It is a good investment and will definitely change the atmosphere. Granite has high tolerance to cold and heat. You can safely place hot metal pans from your oven directly on the granite top without the need for a hot pad. Although, you will have to be wary of placing hot glass or ceramic dishes on it as they may crack if the countertop is too cold. This happens because of the difference in temperature and it is called thermal shock. As for cold items, you do not need to worry about condensation that may make your granite counter-

top have a dark spot if not properly sealed. Any condensation that may happen in the stone will fade away in an hour. Granite countertops may be used as a cutting board too. Because the hardness of granite is greater than steel, you do not need to worry about kitchen knives scratching your granite surface. It is not recommended, however, to always cut on your

granite countertop as it will actually make your knife dull over time. Another way to add to your kitchen or other rooms is to create a standalone island with cabinets as the base. It will be a great place to sit, eat, work, study or hang out. Along with brand new cabinets and countertops, there are other ways to make your

kitchen more functional and last longer. Pull-out drawers are a great add-on for existing kitchen cabinets. With metal ball-bearing tracks and solid wood dovetail drawers, you will never again need to worry about hard-to-reach items in the back. Call Da Wing Trading LLC at 847-3288 or visit www.daw ingtrading.com for more information.

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Some exclusions apply, price varies with pantry, drawer base and corner cabinets. Promotions not valid with free granite promo. Accessories sold separately. All sales final no refunds or returns. Lic# C-30215

Exp. 3/31/12

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www.ohanabuildingsupply.com 8 | HAWAII RENOVATION | MARCH 11, 2012

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HAWAIIRENOVATION

FREE In-Home Consultation & Estimate

TOWN&COUNTRY

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Home improvement 101 So, it’s springtime and you have been diagnosed with “builder’s fever” and your temperature has risen to 101 degrees. You have been dreaming about building a new home, adding a much-needed addition or remodeling for some time

townandcountrybuildersllc.com

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Full Service Residential Roofing Contractor

When you’ve got a case of “builder’s fever” own & Country Builders LLC is a licensed general contracting design build firm that has been serving Oahu residents for the past 32 years. The company specializes in new and custom homes, remodels, second story additions, designer kitchens, bathrooms, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) modifications/ improvements as well as multigenerational homes, and offers full construction services.

Custom Homes • Additions 737-7766 Remodeling • Kitchen • Bath

now and are ready to move the dream from the clouds into reality. Not so fast! Where do you begin? What are the ins and outs of how to get the project rolling on a fast track without sputtering with starts and stops. Do you know what you really want the finished project to look like? How about the financing? Do you have a ballpark estimate of what it will cost to build it? Prices have changed dramatically over the years and this has to be factored into the equation. Have you formed a timeline for completion? Is there a community association involved and building design guidelines, which will affect your home improvement ideas?

Contractor confessions It’s important to know what you

want before contacting a building professional and before designing work begins. Too many changes will slow down the process, and changes after the plans have been submitted to the City and County Department of Planning and Permitting can become a nightmare. The company’s advice as a building contractor is to complete some intelligent planning before the process begins to have a successful project. Upon project completion, your temperature recedes to normal.

Bargain offer If you are a moderate- to lowincome family and would like to repair or fix up your home, then ask about a City and County loan source with interest rates from 0 to 2 percent for a fixed term of 20 years. Monthly payments are as low as $50 per month. Repairs include new roof covering, painting, cracked driveways, kitchen and bathroom replacement, solar and photovoltaic systems, floor covering, electric re-wire and plumbing pipe replacement, just to name a few. You can reach Town & Country Builders by calling 737-7766 or visiting www.townandcountrybuilder sllc.com for a free in-home consultation. Town & Country Builders is a certified remodeler and recognized Builder for Excellence.

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HAWAIIRENOVATION

Breathing new life into old roofs

M

ost people in Hawaii don’t get the maximum use out of their roofs. If it springs a leak or two, they often rush to replace it with a brand new one — without checking first to see what a guaranteed repair would cost. That can be a costly mistake. With the recent spike in oil prices we are seeing the cost of the raw materials used to make an asphalt roof rise also. But that’s only half the problem. The cost to ship the heavy roof materials from the Mainland also is going up. When you add the cost of tearing off the old roof and hauling

if all you need is a quality repair. Here are some tips for repairing some of the most common roofs:

LEAKMASTER ADDRESS: 575-G COOKE ST. CONTACT: 591-1900 • www.leakmaster.com

Flat-roof repairs The best way, generally, to repair flat roofs is with reinforced roof coatings. Why? Because Leakmaster can do whole sections of the roof at a time, starting with the most troublesome first. If after doing, say, the first 200 square feet of your roof — and it still leaks — you can just do another section until you finally cover the leak. The best thing about this is that whichever area you cover is protected against further decay from the sun’s UV rays. You never have to tear off and replace your old roof, just re-coat it every seven to 15 years with a simple topcoat.

it to the dump — also energy intensive — it can make many Islanders look for a cost-effective alternative. This is where LeakMaster Roofing comes in. The company has specialized in guaranteed roof repairs for 22 years. It’s in the name. Leakmaster won’t try to sell you a new roof

10 | HAWAII RENOVATION | MARCH 11, 2012

Shingle roofs There are two ways to repair shingle roofs. The first method is to replace the blown-off shingles with new ones — and that’s it! However, in the next big wind storm, the remaining old, brittle shingles will continue to blow off and you will be calling your roofer again. The long-term solution is to coat your shingle roof after you

replace the missing shingles. The secret is using 5 gallons per 100 square feet on most roofs. That way the shingle laps are firmly cemented down and will resist high-wind blow off. Even better is to have Leakmaster put an aluminum termination along the roof’s edge to protect the vulnerable first row from blowing off. In terms of the roof color, pure white is becoming more accepted as an elegant alternative in Hawaii’s neighborhoods. However, if you wish to blend in more, the coating can be tinted to a light to medium color.

Wood-shake shingles Wood roofs have grown very expensive in recent years because of high material costs.

Emergency Roof Repair & Tarping

Lic.# C16434

591-1900 www.leakmaster.com

If you are interested in getting a free estimate for your project, call LeakMaster Roofing at 591-1900 or visit the company’s website at www.leakmaster.com. You also can visit the unique Cool Roof Store at Green Energy Outlet (GEO) in Kakaako. There you can see all of the systems up close and talk to the knowledgeable staff.

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The good news is that even when they are missing many shingles, they can be brought back to life with an expert repair. You want to replace those missing shingles because underneath is a thin, black roofing felt that will be eaten up by the sun’s UV and leak if they are not covered up.

FINISHED

New Homes • Additions • Renovations • Commercial Residential, Kitchen, Bath & Remodeling Cabinetry & Woodwork • General Millwork For A Free Estimate For All Projects Call Victor: 428-5191 or 531-3888 Come and visit our showroom at

Y3 Construction, Inc./Lic#BC15731

1018 Smith St. • Hon., HI 96817 www.cvconstructionhawaii.com

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HAWAIIRENOVATION SURFACESHIELD CONTACT: 396-9599 or 497-2716 • surfaceshield@hawaii.rr.com • www.surfaceshieldroofing.com

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PROTECTION FOR YOUR ROOF

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o you own a home covered by a flat or low-slope roof? Have an old Monier tile roof or metal roof? In this day and age, there are alternative options to a complete tear off and installation of  a new roof. But what are they? How do you know if your roof is a candidate? A roof coating can be applied to just about any substrate. We do, however, have criteria regarding an acceptable condition of the existing substrate before a coating system is recommended. The first requisite is that your existing roofing material must be in decent condition and the roof must still be attached to the wood or concrete that it was originally adhered or attached to. Minor blistering or lifting of the material can be repaired and cracked tiles replaced, but there is a point of “no return”. This point comes when the roofing surface has

too many blisters, seams coming apart in more areas than not, a membrane worn down to a paperthin state or brittle tile that can’t be walked on. These would all qualify as signs to the home or business owner that a complete removal and installation of new roofing material may be necessary. The installation of a coating system is a less expensive way to enhance the integrity of the substrate (roofing surface) on your flat or low-pitch roof. This type of roofing can range from roughly $3

to $5 per foot and hold material warranties ranging from five years to the lifetime of the structure. If your home is not a candidate for coating or steeper roofing surfaces, asphalt products are a great option. They also are cost-effective and have many great warranty options, from 20 years to the lifetime of the structure. Pricing for this roofing system ranges from $3.50 to $5.50 per foot. Surface Shield Roofing is a fully licensed and insured roofing contractor. We offer a free visit to your home along with a free roof assessment and estimate. We will help you understand the options that are now available to you. From the newest in fluid-applied coatings to the breakthrough technology in heatreflective asphalt shingles, there is always an option for everyone! Call Surface Shield Roofing today.

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MARCH 11, 2012 | HAWAII RENOVATION | 11


HAWAIIRENOVATION

S

right is pring around the corner, and warmer weather is on the way. The best way to ensure that your home or workplace will remain cool and comfortable is to be ready with a new, efficient, split ductless air conditioning system. and sold Systems installed by the Aire Conditioner Shoppe are available in a variety of styles and price ranges. You can choose a system that only cools or one that also heats to keep your home or workplace at your preferred temperature level for the cooler days. “This is also a good time to schedule servicing for your existing ductless split system, so it will continue operating with high efficiency when the hottest weather hits,” said Aire Conditioner Shoppe owner Neil Wiedemann. The latest ductless split systems provide zoned comfort and are engineered to install quickly

and easily. These revolutionary new systems available from the Aire Shoppe, Conditioner which specializes in Fujitsu and Mitsubishi, provide both heating and cooling with a push of a button on the remote control. They also provide individual temperature control throughout your home or business so each room, zone or floor will be the temperature you set. Concerned about air quality? These systems have the capability to filter out dust, mold spores and microorganisms. The Dry Mode helps to control humidity levels, even when cooling isn’t needed. Other standard features include Sleep Timer Auto Changeover, 24Hour Timer Cold Prevention, Auto Restart /Reset Low Ambient and Auto Louver: Up/Down, Left/Right. Concerned about appearance? The coolingonly wall mounted units, single for designed

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rooms, are slim and stylish. Indoor units have a clean, aesthetic design and are powerful, though

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for areas with space limitations. The variable speed compressor helps systems adapt to shifts in

heat load caused by afternoon sun. Concerned about noise? SEE PAGE 16

Best Prices Guaranteed With Installation of the Same Equipment Over 30 Years Track Record • Free Estimates on Split Systems • We Sell, Service, Install & Repair A+ Rating We also sell Portable A/C’s, Split Systems, Window & Thru the Wall A/C’s, Flush Mount A/C’s Before you buy a split system, make sure you’re buying the highest energy savings available. The higher the EER the more you save.

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HAWAIIRENOVATION ALTERNATE

PV TIPS FROM THE PROS W

ith our state’s skyrocketing electricity rates, installing a PV (photovoltaic) system in Hawaii makes more sense than ever. It can cost as little as $5,000 after government credits and pay for itself in about five years. But the red-hot solar energy market also means there are dozens of new solar companies jumping on the bandwagon. Our kamaaina families can be faced with a lot of choices. Homeowners who educate themselves before investing will enjoy reliable energy savings for generations to come. The pros at Alternate Energy, Hawaii’s locally

ENERGY ADDRESS: 96-1276 WAIHONA ST., C124 CONTACT: 842-5853 • www.AlternateEnergyHawaii.com

owned, family-operated solar energy provider since 1993, offer these tips to consider before you buy: • Ask if the provider employs its installers. If something goes wrong two years down the road, you don’t want your provider passing the buck to a sub-contractor.

• Insist on a reputable solar panel manufacturer. There are dozens of new brands jumping on the bandwagon. You are making an investment that should last decades. Will the manufacturer be around to honor its warranty? Alternate Energy is a certified Mitsubishi Installer.

• Hot-water heating can account for up to 40 percent of a family’s energy bill. No one should consider PV without first investing in a solar hotwater heater — otherwise you’ll find yourself buying more panels than you need. • Hire a full-service, licensed solar company with a C-60 Solar Power Systems Contractor license. This means the provider has passed rigorous testing and has the necessary experience with solar, roof work, hook-ups and permitting to do a top-notch job. A long local track record and valid solar contractor’s license are the hallmarks of a reputable company. Alternate Energy’s owner and founder, Bruce Ekimura, holds a Journeyman Plumber license and a Hawaii Solar Power

Four Generations of Building Experience You Can Trust

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tion. Darren Furumoto, operations manager and lead installer at Alternate Energy Inc., has earned the industry’s leading recognition of expertise as a certified installer of solar electric systems (PV systems) from the NABCEP. NABCEP is considered to be the gold standard of certification in the renewable energy industry. Call 842-5853 for more information.

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Systems Contractor license, which covers both solar water heating and photovoltaic systems. This license is rare in the business; many solar contractors hold only a solar water heating license. Bruce and his team have been solar energy experts in Hawaii since the 1970s. Look for NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) certifica-

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Alternate Energy Inc., 96-1276 Waihona St. #124 Pearl City, HI 96782 MARCH 11, 2012 | HAWAII RENOVATION | 13


HAWAIIRENOVATION

How to turn must-do home improvements into things of beauty

W

hen it comes to home improvement, you can spend money in two basic ways: on things that make your home look better and things that make it function better. Under the first category, you’ll find all the things you want to do, like replacing narrow casement windows with a lovely bay window. Under the second fall all the things you must do, like replacing those drafty windows with something more energy efficient. When “want to” and “have to” meet, they create the opportunity to make a smart buying decision — so choose an upgrade that will look good and improve the livability of your home. Here are a few “have to” improvements that turn into an energy-efficient, enjoyment-enhancing “want to:”

Replacing the hot water heater You probably don’t care what a new hot water heater looks like sitting in your garage or basement — or wherever it resides in your home. But the right replacement water heater can help your

house achieve a lovely shade of green. High-energy-efficiency water heaters can help reduce energy usage, thereby trimming your energy bills and your home’s environmental impact. Solarwater heating systems take the beauty a step further by using the power of the sun, collected through low-profile solar panels on the roof, to heat water — at a monthly savings that’s about 80 percent less than the cost of traditional heaters.

Getting some light in here Do you really need a bunch of scientific studies to tell you that a home filled with natural light just feels better? Probably not. Illuminating your home with natural light is a smart buying decision on multiple levels. First, you don’t pay to power the sun. Second, natural light delivers a host of mood-enhancing benefits. But for rooms where a window is impossible (like a powder room) or where you don’t want to sacrifice privacy (like a master bathroom) a tubular skylight is a good alternative. Some, like

Velux’s Sun Tunnel products, are easy enough to install that a seasoned do-ityourselfer could accomplish the task.

Getting some air in here Just as natural sun is good for your mood, ventilation can be good for your health. An Energy Star-qualified venting skylight is a great way to passively vent stale, moist air from inside your home, especially from baths and kitchens. While some skylights are “fixed,” those that do open can be controlled by a remote to open when you want fresh air

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and close when you want to retain warmth. They also can close automatically in case of rain. In addition, they introduce free light into your home. Adding blinds — also remote-controlled — can help you better control the amount of sun a skylight admits into your home. And blinds are not just functional — you can get them in colors and patterns to complement your decor while increasing energy efficiency.

Log on to www.veluxusa.com to learn more about skylights.

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HAWAIIRENOVATION

Any space can host a garden L

earn how to grow Family activity fresh herbs and vegDedrick adds that growetables at The Cook’s ing your own food is a Garden, a free seminar at 9 great activity for families. ADDRESS: a.m. or 1 p.m. on Saturday, “My kids have always 4299 LAWEHANA ST. March 17 at Geobunga in Salt helped with the gardening CONTACT: 422-4567 • geobunga.com Lake, across from Target. — seed planting, water“Growing food you use in ing, fertilizing, weeding everyday cooking is truly and finally harvesting. It rewarding, and relatively simple to do,â€? provides many teachable moments about said Andrew Dedrick, Geobunga’s execu- things like sustainability and responsibilitive director. “Whether you have a yard or ty. And we all know things kids make even a postage-stamp-sized lanai, we can always taste better, so it encourages them help even black thumbs learn the basics of to eat more vegetables!â€? growing what you eat at the seminar.â€? Hawaii residents can grow fresh pro- Growing basics duce year-round, thanks to the Islands’ Seminar attendees learn the basics of mild climate and sunny weather. Herbs planting and harvesting and the many such as basil, oregano and rosemary; let- options available to them. Container gartuces like Manoa and arugula; and cherry dening has become extremely popular, or regular tomatoes thrive in the islands. as anyone with some sunlight and space “Some of the easiest plants to care for — even a small lanai or kitchen window are basil, green onions and arugula let- box — can grow fresh herbs and vegetatuce, and all are commonly used in cook- bles. Following the seminar, people can ing,â€? Dedrick said. “While preparing din- ask questions one on one with Geobunga ner, I can just break off some herbs or instructor Keola Kalama, to learn more gather some lettuce for a salad. Not only about their specific gardening needs. is it extremely fresh, but I know exactly Also, attendees can get everything they who has been in contact with it, it saves need including pots, topsoil, potting mix me money and is readily available.â€? and pre-planted herbs and vegetables.

GEOBUNGA

“Another wonderful thing about growing what you eat is that many of these plants are beautiful and add an aesthetic value to your home,� said Dedrick. Don’t miss your chance to learn how to grow your own garden at home. Space is limited and reservations are recommended. Visit www. geobunga.com to register. Geobunga is Hawaii’s best resource for anyone looking to enhance their outdoor experience. Providing unique garden elements from all over the world,

Geobunga specializes in stone pavers, decorative rocks, stones and pebbles, ceramic pots, fountains, stone benches, bamboo accents and outdoor sculptures, as well as a full line of plants. With the best prices, selection and service in the state, each visit to Geobunga brings something new to discover.

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LET’S TALK FLOORING with Shirley Pai Hilton, Pres. & CEO, PII Next to being absolutely gorgeous, wood flooring is also very low maintenance. Unlike carpeting or other porous flooring, proper cleaning can yield a dirt-free, germ-free surface and unlike wood floors of yesteryear, there is no scrubbing or waxing involved. We highly recommend the Bona Kemi line of wood floor cleaners, available at our showroom. ALOHA!

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HAWAIIRENOVATION

A cool situation FROM PAGE 12

Repelling EMFs FROM PAGE 2

• Replace your wireless with a corded home phone, or at the very least, use the speakerphone function when using cordless phones. • Avoid prolonged fluorescent light exposure. • If you are not ready to get rid of your microwave, move far away from it when it is on. • Turn off your wire-

less routers at night, especially if your home office is near your bedroom. EMFs were not an issue even 50 years ago, but today addressing them is essential to feng shui practice. You cannot fully control your exposure to EMFs while you are away from home, but you can control your family’s exposure while you are at home, especially at night when your body needs its rest.

16 | HAWAII RENOVATION | MARCH 11, 2012

If sound coming from your current system interferes with listening to music, TV, conversation or even falling asleep, it’s time to treat yourself and your family to a new ductless split system. These new air conditioning units are so quiet you won’t even know they’re on. How about cost? A new efficient ductless split system can keep you comfortable in your home for pennies a day. And the higher the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio), the more you save on electric,” Wiedemann said. “The operative word is ‘efficient’ — old or malfunctioning air conditioning systems are energy hogs that don’t do the job effectively and run up your electricity bills. The air conditioning systems available at the Aire Conditioner Shoppe are the

newest models that incorporate the latest technological advances.” He pointed out that split ductless systems can be just as efficient as central air conditioning, or more efficient in terms of energy savings, depending on the lifestyle of the homeowner. Wiedemann, who has been in the air conditioning business since 1979, sells and installs split ductless systems on Oahu, as well as portable air conditioners. He also sells the less expensive window units that are often the choice for apartments, condos and houses. “Even the window air conditioning units, which are generally what you see in

older apartment buildings or townhomes, have been extensively improved both in efficiency and appearance. However, the tenant and/or owner needs to obtain permission from the management company and/or apartment owners association to install any type of air conditioning,” he added. Both ductless split systems and window air conditioners are on display at the Aire Conditioner Shoppe showroom in Waipio and also shown and described on the website, www.aireconditionershoppe .com. The company installs, repairs and services what they sell. Wiede-

22 YEARS

IN

mann guarantees the lowest prices for any product he sells with installation of the same equipment. For 10 years running Fujitsu has named him “Dealer of the Year.” The Aire Conditioner Shoppe offers free on-site estimates and design consultation. Wiedemann credits his company’s success to a strong commitment to customer satisfaction. The Aire Conditioner Shoppe’s slogan is “we do it right the first time.” To make an appointment to meet with an estimator at your home or office, call Neil Wiedemann at 676-1455. “When our estimator reviews your needs and you make a decision on the system you want to install, you will have a quote the next day by phone or fax. If the customer is satisfied, we draw up the contract. Once I set a price, it’s firm and it will be guaranteed the lowest available price with the same equipment,” Wiedemann said.

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HAWAIIRENOVATION

NEVER ENOUGH BATHS

I

f you’ve ever waited in frustration for your turn in the bathroom, you know that just about every home could use a spare bath. A macerating toilet system is a great alternative to conventional (gravity) plumbing in situations where no belowfloor drainage exists. Macerating, or up-flush, plumbing gives you unlimited flexibility, because there is no need to break through the floors to install drainage piping, which adds substantial cost to the project. From the attic to the basement,

up-flush plumbing lets you create a full bathroom anywhere you like. “It’s a pretty good concept,” says Otis Dardy, general contractor and owner of Dardy Construction. Dardy recently used Saniflo up-flush plumbing for a residential customer’s remodel and is now incorporating Saniflo in bids for other jobs. “This saves a lot of time, and it’s nice and neat,” he says, noting that his bids for the up-flush plumbing are around $5,000 less than the industry’s conventional counterparts,

thanks to easy installations. In an up-flush system, waste and water are pumped from the toilet, sink and tub or shower up, rather than flowing down, as with conventional plumbing. This technology is also different from sewage ejection systems, which temporarily store plumbing waste in a nearby tank, which can cause odor problems. With up-flush plumbing, the waste is removed to the sewer line or the septic tank with every flush. What could be more practical or efficient than an extra bathroom? This is one remodel project guaranteed to improve comfort and convenience in the near term, while delivering a strong return on investment when your home is sold. AND

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MARCH 11, 2012 | HAWAII RENOVATION | 17


HAWAIIRENOVATION

give your indoor space a little extra life. If you’re repainting, you also may want to consider repainting or restaining your window frames. You also can use a heat gun to help you remove old paint or varnish from your frames.

Simple projects to spruce up the look of your home

Deck

The next time you use your deck or lanai, you’ll probably notice plenty of debris that’s collected over the past year. Start by giving it a good spray with the hose to clear away everything. If you plan on staining or repainting, mild temperatures are ideal. If you get it done now, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it throughout the year.

A

s the days get longer and things get a little brighter inside your house, it becomes easier to notice the places that could use a little extra TLC. It’s the perfect time to work on simple home improvement projects. Here’s a checklist you can work on so your home will be vibrant and welcoming:

Bathrooms

Floors When light reflects off your floors, you really start to notice the imperfections. If you’ve been waiting to screen and recoat your hardwood floor to give it a new shine, now’s the perfect time to do it. If you’re replacing tile, vinyl or linoleum flooring, a heat gun is a great tool to help soften the adhesive for easy removal. The Wagner HT3500 digital heat gun offers 12 precise temperature settings, making it an easy-to-use tool for do it yourselfers.

warmth is to give them a fresh coat of paint. A lot of sunlight will help you choose the color that works best with your room, so choose a color during the day, when natural light shines into the room.

Painting

Spring is a great time to take a look at your window treatments and see if they could use a little love. Cleaning your blinds and washing your curtains can

One of the easiest ways to fill your rooms with

Windows

Since you’re freshening up the rest of your house, don’t forget the bathrooms. Besides simply scrubbing your tub, cleaning and regrouting bathroom tile is an easy way to get your bathroom looking clean and bright. This project can be done over a weekend and is simple enough for most homeowners to handle.

By taking some time to tackle these projects now, you’ll give yourself a whole summer of relaxing in the warmth of your newly refreshed home. For more project ideas, how-to videos and information on tools for painting, staining and other home improvement tasks, visit www.wagnerspraytech.com.

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AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT PUBLISHED BY OAHU PUBLICATIONS, INC. | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


HAWAIIRENOVATION

THE PLUMBER WHO DOES IT ALL

D’SPLUMBING CONTACT: 230-8308 • 734-2032 By Kyle Galdeira

T

o say that Frank Duarte is knowledgeable when it comes to construction and remodeling is a gross understatement. After all, the general contractor has been honing his craft as an integral cog in the family business since before Hawaii was declared a state. The spry 73-year-old is passionate about his work, and his eyes light up when talking about using his skills to help people improve their homes, while also accommodating various budgetary constraints. After learning the ropes with his father at the helm, Duarte — the oldest of three boys in his family — started D’s Plumbing more than 31 years ago and is still going strong today, thanks to the help of his son, Aaron. While plumbing is one of D’s fortés, Duarte enjoys exterior and fullhome renovations — all the way down to intricate details such as landscap-

ing — because, as he puts it, “with pipes, once you’re done with the work, they’re covered up and you don’t get to see the finished product. I wanted to present the work we do and display

the craft.” D’s does it all, from new homes to additions, and making dreams of exquisite kitchens and bathrooms a reality. Duarte is an expert at replacing aged materials with mod-

ern alternatives, including swapping out old, dark wood to enhance lighting and replacing galvanized piping with copper. Other techniques, including modernizing bathrooms by expanding shower areas to accommodate the disabled, or adding housings in a kitchen to free up more space by getting a microwave off the counter, are just a few in Duarte’s arsenal. “It’s all about the details,” Duarte says. “In today’s times, you have to meet the customers’ budget and present something to them where they won’t have to struggle down the road,” Duarte says. “We make sure that the customers are comfortable and we work within their means.” On a recent job, a customer asked Duarte to fully renovate a rental unit with the goal of selling it quickly. The home was finished, listed and sold within two weeks, and thanks to the improvements, it fetched more than the initial asking price. Duarte reminds current and potential customers that renovations can pose unforeseen difficulties, especially when hidden obstacles are exposed midway through the job. The crafty veteran relies on his “years of experience” when working through such challenges, and puts customers’ fears to rest with his ability to adjust on the fly. As Duarte says, “if you have a house, especially with a wooden floor, you can do anything!” For more information on what D’s has to offer, log on to www.Afford ablePlumbingHawaii.com or call 230-8308 or 7342032.

"SERVING HAWAII SINCE 1981"

Specializing in…

BATH & KITCHEN RENOVATIONS

734-2032 or 230-8308

NT DISCOU SENIOR

Plumbing

• Repair & New Installation • Change Galvanize to Copper

We install…

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MARCH 11, 2012 | HAWAII RENOVATION | 19


BACKPAGECOVERSTORY

What you need to know about window, door replacements W hen it comes to replacing doors and windows, there are three important criteria:

Product While many vinyl window systems look the same, like any product, there is a wide difference in quality. Most windows manufactured today are dualpane to be more energyefficient and soundproof. The quality of the spacer, the piece that separates the pieces of glass, is important. Better quality windows use argon gas between the panes to increase insulation. A poor-quality spacer will

If you stacked up all the brands of windows and put the heaviest at one end and lightest at the other, the heavier window will generally be better in quality because the metal is reinforced inside and has thicker glass and vinyl. Better quality windows use “neat” glass that allows water to sheet off the glass and not leave water spots. The rain or a hose will keep your windows clean. While we have carried many brands of windows in our 20-plus years of installing windows, the Anlin brand has proven

WINDOWSHAWAII CONTACT: 671-0808 • Windows-hawaii.com

fail in a few years, allowing air and moisture between the panes. Lower-grade windows use single-strength glass. Double strength is 1.5 times as thick and gives less chance of breakage, better storm protection and better insulation. Vinyl frames do well in Hawaii as they insulate and provide protection from salt corrosion. Ensure the frames are chambered for strength and compare the thickness of the vinyl.

20 | HAWAII RENOVATION | MAR. 11, 2012

to be the best quality and value for your money.

Reputation Just as important as product quality, ensure that the company measuring and installing your windows is professional. Buying windows from one entity and having a sub-contractor install them can lead to problems if there is a leak in five years. What is the installation warranty? Does the company stand behind the work they do? Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or State Licensing Board to see if the dealer you are considering has complaints. Anyone can promise something at the time of sale, but does the company back it up? Windows Hawaii has an A-plus rating with the BBB.

Service/warranty Read the warranty carefully. Does it include labor? Is it pro-rated? Windows Hawaii offers a lifetime warranty on both product and installation. If your window leaks in 10 years, call us for a repair or replacement at no charge to you. If the problem is a manufacturing defect, we will do the work of getting the window manufactured and replaced for as long as you live in your home. What you pay for your window replacement is important. Ensure that you are getting what you pay for. Call Windows Hawaii for a demonstration on the differences in window quality and a free estimate at 671-0808 or 383-7233 after hours.

AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT PUBLISHED BY OAHU PUBLICATIONS, INC. | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Hawaii Renovation Mar 11 2012  

Hawaii Renovation Mar 11 2012

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