Hawaii Renovation July 15, 2012

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HAWAIIRENOVATION.STARADVERTISER.COM

JULY 15, 2012

AN EDITION OF

Graham Builders’ new “modernization” program improves your home’s overall aesthetics, value and energy efficiency — leaving you with the type of home makeover that endures well. See page 3

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE HIRING A REMODELER See page 9 AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT PUBLISHED BY OAHU PUBLICATIONS, INC.

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PORTALS OF POSITIVITY TO YOUR HOME o you enter your home through your back door more often than your front door? If so, you are not alone. In the majority of homes I visit, the residents more often use the back door. Today’s article addresses how to balance the energy of the front and back doors in your home in order to welcome maximum opportunity. (If you live in a condo or don’t have a back door and think this doesn’t apply to you — read on! You can

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optimize your home’s energy flow without having a back door.)

The front door The front door, one of the three “pillars” of feng shui, not only sets the tone for the house, but is considered the “mouth” of your home. Just as you need your mouth to sustain life, you need your front door to bring in life force. Your home literally “breathes” through your front door.

The back door, considered a feng shui positive, especially if you can’t see it from the front door, assists the front door in air circula-

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HAWAIIRENOVATION

GRAHAMBUILDERS

A HOME TO LAST

A LIFETIME G

raham Builders, Hawaii’s premier design+build firm, now offers a Home for Life Modernization program aimed at helping thousands of homeowners on Oahu whose aging residences need a makeover to become more energy-efficient, increase resale value and update the home’s overall aesthetic. Did you know that using air conditioning in single-wall homes with jalousie windows uses much more energy than homes with modern energy-efficient products? For example, dual-glazed windows and insulated walls and ceilings significantly lower a home’s electric bill. According to energy information publications, air conditioning in single-wall homes can cost drastically more — even exceed twice as much — than insulated homes. One way to insulate your home is with dual-glazed windows with Low-E glazing. Over the years, this can really impact a homeowner’s pocketbook. Family-owned Graham Builders is Hawaii’s most experienced design+build firm. Owner and CEO Danny Graham, his son and vice president of operations Ryan Graham, president Evan Fujimoto and the tight-knit staff of seasoned architects, designers and project managers guide homeowners through the process of designing, building new or renovating homes to last them a lifetime.

Understanding Hawaii’s community “We understand that the comfort and beauty of your home is extremely important to you,” said Fujimoto. “The Home for Life Modernization program is for the akamai homeowner who wants to prolong the home they have now with solutions that will increase the resale value and energy efficiency, while taking into account the high cost of living in Hawaii.” The program focuses on replacing worn windows and siding, and provides immediate modernization that gives a great bang for your buck.

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With more than two decades in the industry, Graham Builders has identified key improvements that are the backbone of the Home For Life Modernization program. It starts with removing everything BUILD ERS attached to the siding, such as exte1144 Y o u ng St. rior lights, hose bibs and laundry 5 www.gra 93-2808 trays, and then deconstructing hambuil construction materials like hardboard sidders.co m existing siding, trims and windows. ing that was very popular in the ’70s, ’80s Graham Builders’ crew then installs new and ’90s.” energy-efficient dual-glazed vinyl or aluGraham Builders also is a trailblazer in its minum windows, insulation in exterior walls, industry, leading the effort to design and build multinew structural shear-wall paneling (if applicable), siding generation homes, common in Hawaii, as well as providand exterior wall and window trims. Finally, Graham ing its expertise by renovating and remodeling homes for Builders finishes the program with a first-class paint job universal and aging-in-place designs. Having identified using professional grade primers and paints. Tex-Cote both these needs, Graham Builders created a niche speCOOLWALL, a revolutionary heat-reflective exterior cializing in these two areas. coating, which can reduce the surface temperature of the “Our ultimate goal is to help homeowners understand siding up to 37 degrees, is also available. everything there is to know about preserving and Each home is unique, but the typical estimated cost for enhancing their homes, including the costs and timing to the Home for Life Modernization program is $35,000 for overhaul their windows and siding,” said Fujimoto. an 1,800-square-foot, single-story home and $45,000 for a “Given each person’s unique home and circumstances, 2,300-square-foot, two-story home. There may be addi- we take extra time to discuss the issues that are importional costs if landscaping needs to be trimmed or tant to them.” removed to access the work area. However, following the modernization program, the home’s resale value should Important new information for homeowners increase and the home’s monthly electric bill should Attend a free monthly seminar to learn more about the decrease if AC is being used. Home for Life Modernization program, and why replac-

GRAHA M

Blazing trails with the launch of a new program “We identified this major need for aging homes after working with several families in Mililani,” explained Fujimoto. “Thousands of Hawaii families are affected because their homes are deteriorating from years of harsh weather damage that wreaks havoc on the original

ing your windows and siding can be a crucial decision for your long-term comfort and energy costs. “More than 5,000 Hawaii homeowners have attended our presentation to better understand the entire building process,” said Fujimoto. “I actually encourage homeowners to attend other seminars, as I’m confident they will see why ours is the longest-running, most informative building seminar in Hawaii.” Homeowners interested in learning more about the Home For Life Modernization program can attend Graham Builders’ upcoming free “Building Your Home for Life” seminar on Saturday, July 28 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Honolulu Country Club. The seminar is free, but reservations are required. Graham Builders is the first builder ever to receive the prestigious Better Business Bureau of Hawaii Torch Award for ethics in small business. For a full schedule of seminars or to register, visit grahambuilders.com or call 593-2808. JULY 15, 2012 | HAWAII RENOVATION | 3


HAWAII HARDWOOD FLOORING

contact // 842-7755 • 306-3374 address // 306 Kalihi St.

STEPPING INTO A WORLD OF FLOORING OPTIONS BY KYLE GALDEIRA awaii Hardwood Flooring brings more than 30 years of experience to every flooring project it takes on, and president Chris Brenna makes it a priority to offer customers a multitude of residential and commercial flooring options.

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one of the few local flooring businesses also offering sandand-finish and unfinished materials. The wide variety of flooring choices coupled with the company’s corresponding installation procedures and distinct appearances provide customers with a wealth of choices throughout each project.

The company has operated out of its central Kalihi location for four years now, and features three installation teams and three sanding-and-finishing teams that take the worry, stress and mess out of the installation process. While pre-finished hardwood flooring has grown in popularity, Hawaii Hardwood Flooring is

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Hawaii’s humid climate and its multiple installation methods: float, glue and nail. A floating floor system is perfect for a family living in the house during the installation process. As Brenna describes the process, “You place a moistureresistant padding down and then only glue the seams of the hardwood together. This system is the easiest and fastest.” With Hawaii’s moist air and humid climate, wood tends to expand and contract depending on the variable conditions. The nail-down installation technique, according to Brenna, “is when we use a special flat nail to countersink it into the tongue side of the flooring, causing a blind-nail effect every six to eight inches. This system is perfect for plywood substrates, and allows the floor to freely expand and contract.” As a special mahalo to its loyal Hawaii Renovation readers, Hawaii Hardwood Flooring is offering $500 off any flooring installation package larger than 500 square feet. For more information, call 842-7755. To speak with Brenna directly about the best flooring option to meet specific needs, call 306-3374.

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Brenna suggests customers consider the sand-and-finish flooring, as it is known for hiding seams and rendering perfectly uniform sheen and flatness. “I call it ‘old school,’ some things they just can’t duplicate in a factory,” Brenna said of the sand-and-finish process. “A lot of people think that this process is extremely dusty, but the sanding industry has come up with dustless sanding technology, which means we put vacuums on every tool and erect plastic bearers (zip walls) to keep the dust to a fine minimum. We offer extra services the client can purchase, like putting floor protectors on all their furniture to help keep the floor looking new for years, cleaning services and moving services to make your experience stress-free.” According to Brenna, another popular option is engineered flooring — a system featuring a stabilized core and sliced hardwood that is laminated to ensure stability and allow for the use of several installation techniques. Hawaii Hardwood Flooring offers an unfinished square-edge engineered floor system that has multiple advantages, including the floor’s ability to acclimate to

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT DESIGN BUILD CONTRACTOR he “design build contractor” is the latest buzz phrase in the home improvement industry. The term generally means a firm that handles a home improvement project from its conception, taking into account the design, permit processing and construction. The advantage is that it is essentially a one-stop-shop format for all your building needs. This term has been thrown around rather loosely. A true design build contractor takes on the full responsibility of a project including its completion, based on the approved designs, specifications and general conditions that make up the

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whole construction contract. When changes occur after a construction contract has been agreed upon because of unaccounted design items that come up, differences in so-called design build contractors arise. This is where unsuspecting homeowners are issued a change order for the additional work. A lot of times this means additional charges on top of the orig-

inal contract price. These hidden charges can be inflated to make up for the low cost included in the initial construction contract. Most homeown-

ers end up biting the bullet and giving into the additional charges, being held hostage to having their project completed. Atlas Construction is a

true design build firm: Should any instances arise that would cause substantial additional changes and costs to the project within the

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approved construction contract, the design build contractor must take responsibility. Atlas construction will document the change order for the homeowners’ approval and perform the work at no additional charge. This is why the time spent during the design phase is well-used to account for all the details that go into a home improvement project. The only change orders that should occur are if a homeowner initiates the changes during the course of construction. The company believes that when a project is done correctly, there should be no change orders attached to it.

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Follow us on twitter: @Atlas808 JULY 15, 2012 | HAWAII RENOVATION | 5


WHERE PROJECTS RUN THE GAMUT FROM BUDGET TO LUXURY hen you enter the lobby of the Homeworks Construction Building, you’ll see an array of awards spanning 15 years — awards for design and construction of new and remodeled homes and kitchens and baths, as well as plaques acknowledging Homeworks as one of the nation’s Top Residential Remodelers. “We’re proud of our awards, but we also hasten to point out that recognition for the quality of our work does not equate to high-

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6 | HAWAII RENOVATION | JULY 15, 2012

er prices,” said Homeworks HOMEWORKS CEO Jim Byxbee. CONSTRUCTION “Whether working with a client on a budget or plancontact // 955-2777 ning a luxury home, the address // 2111 S. Beretania St. approach is the same. You learn the parameters of their budget, find out what they like or Homeworks,” he don’t like, show them photos of said. “That’s the best endorsecompleted projects to guide their ment any builder can get.” Clients are provided with a decisions, and refer them to past clients, many of whom have preliminary design and estimate. allowed us to hold open houses at “Most people have an idea of the completed home and share what they can spend and how their experience in working with they will finance the project,” Byxbee said. “If the budget is tight, they often ask for suggestions on alternative materials or finishes, and we are always willing to find ways to keep costs down. For example, if granite is preferred for countertops but exceeds the budget, we’ll point out that there are many attractive, durable laminates available at half the cost. However, if their

heart is set on granite, we’ll save them money elsewhere. “We recently completed a small home on a side street in Palolo. Despite a tight budget and tight space, we were able to build this family a house they were happy with and held an open house there. “At the opposite end of the spectrum is a multi-million-dollar home we built on the Gold Coast, now listed by Gold Coast Real Estate. Here we were working with a client who could afford topof-the-line materials and finishes. “So whether you are spending

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$30,000 on a new kitchen, or $300,000 or $3,000,000 on a new house, it’s critical to choose a contractor who can produce the home you want, at a price you can afford, and on schedule. When you sign a contract, no matter the scope or cost of the project, you are putting your financial assets on the line. Mutual trust is the key.” Jim Byxbee answers questions about building and remodeling on the Homeworks Build New Or Re-Do Show Saturdays, 9 to 10 a.m., on KHVH Radio AM830. Call the show at 521-8383.

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• Running appliances. Only run dishwashers, washing machines and clothing dryers when they are full. Running two halfloads uses double the amount of water, and only half the clothes get cleaned.

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DESIGN IDEAS THAT KEEP YOUR PATIO, DECK IN STYLE ore homeowners want their outdoor space to truly be an extension of their house and are taking steps to create an inviting area to relax, play and host guests. If you want to update your deck or patio for entertaining, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money. You can easily refresh the items you already have and add new stylish elements by keeping some top trends and design ideas in mind. Consider these tips to help transform your space into a welcoming outdoor oasis.

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Add colorful accessories Incorporating rugs, outdoor pillows, candles and other accessories in vivid colors or fun patterns can really make your outdoor space come alive. Pick three to four colors for your scheme and stick with those colors throughout your design choices. Some of the season’s top hues include rich reds, vivid blues, soothing neutrals and garden-inspired greens.

Lighting can really make your outdoor space come alive once the sun goes down. Add depth and intrigue by “lightscaping” from different sources. Consider put-

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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE HIRING A REMODELER BY KAREN NAKAMURA

ith the ongoing challenges in our economy, many families are choosing to remodel their homes to fit their changing needs, rather than selling their home and buying another. Your home is likely your largest investment, and even simple remodels can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, so you want to make sure you find a contractor you can trust. The best place to start is the Directory of Professional Remodelers. (Visit www.nahb.org/remodelerdirectory or contact the www.biahawaii.org.) A professional remodeler will uphold the highest professional and ethical standards in the industry. These sources also can help you find a remodeler who specializes in a specific type of remodeling, such as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist

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(CAPS) to help modify your home to better suit you as you age, or a Certified Green Remodeler (CGM) to make your home more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. You should also ask for referrals from friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and others who have had remodeling work done. Or, ask building materials suppliers, architects, engineers, home inspectors, lenders and insurance professionals for recommendations. There also are websites where consumers leave comments about their experience with local businesses, such as www.yelp.com, www.angieslist.com and www.kudzu.com. But be careful about these sources of information as you have no way of knowing who left the comment or if they were honest. Once you have a list of potential

home remodelers for your project, do research to verify that they are appropriately licensed and have a good business track record. Look them up with the state office of consumer protection, the Better Business Bureau as well as with DCCA vocational licensing agency. Verify that the remodeler has the appropriate contractor licenses for the work and see if they have received any complaints and if so, were those complaints resolved satisfactorily? When you begin meeting with remodelers, you want to find out information such as: • How long have they been in business in your community? Can they provide references from customers and suppliers they work with?

• Do they carry insurance that protects you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries?

• Do they offer a warranty? What is covered under the warranty?

For more detailed checklists for finding, evaluating and working with a remodeler, as well as other information about remodeling your home, go to www.nahb.org/remodeling.

Karen Nakamura is executive vice president/CEO of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii.

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GETTING YOUR DREAM RENOVATION UNDER WAY BY KYLE GALDEIRA hether it’s building a brand new home, or implementing an addition to an existing structure, Hua Xia Construction is poised to handle the job. The family business is equipped to assist customers with everything from additions of full rooms or levels to kitchen and bath renovations that represent some of the popular requests in recent months. Hua Xia also takes pride in its smooth finishing techniques, especially on various flooring applications, where experience

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and professional quality are vital. Xiang Feng Cao got his start in the construction industry while working as a carpenter in China. He eventually opened his own business and workshop there before deciding to move to Hawaii in 2000. The skillful craftsman worked for various local companies until deciding to build his own construction team. Cao, with the help of his son, Andy, formed Hua Xia Construction in August 2008. The company draws inspiration from historic construction projects in China and Japan that have withstood

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the tests of time, and remain solid structures today. Hua Xia aims to help its customers build or remodel their homes in similar fashion, and brings a desirable combination of style and durability to each job. As Andy explained, Hua Xia’s team of experienced workers receives a great deal of business via positive referrals and by prospective customers noticing other finished projects. Hua Xia will handle the design and permitting process

all the way through completion of the project, building quality structures from the ground up — or in some cases, from the inside out. The company also provides homeowners with detailed models to aid in the visualization process, and will work to incorporate materials that are both cost-effective and of the highest quality. From minor renovations to multi-million dollar projects from scratch, Hua Xia is poised to handle the

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task. Cao and his staff stress customer service every step of the way, and they provide homeowners with detailed models to aid in the visualization process. “We provide customers with a 3-D layout of their project so they can visualize what their home will look like,” Andy said. “Customers appreciate the quality of work that we provide, and a reasonable estimate beforehand that is usually met upon the completion of the job.”

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CREATE THE PERFECT RETREAT AT HOME he master bedroom is the ideal place to take refuge from reality — and when it comes to creating the perfect bedroom and bath, casual and comfortable retreats are more appealing than formal, model-home-like spaces. The right color palettes, furnishings and fixtures can transform a master suite into a tranquil escape from the stresses and headaches of the day. Here are some ideas and inspiration to create a serene master suite, no matter your definition of relaxing.

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Bathing bliss Before choosing a theme or color palette for the bedroom, focus your attention on the bath. This functional room deserves to be updated with elegant and understated features in order to create a haven from the stresses of everyday life. After all, a true master suite escape has the ideal spa-inspired bathroom.

To achieve a charming appearance with soft comforts, start by styling the room with fixtures and accessories that exude a clean style, like the Voss collection from Moen. Voss delivers uncomplicated glamour

throughout the entire bath. With a full range of bath fixtures, including rain showers, faucets and coordinated accessories, your master bath can be transformed into a personal sanctuary that will last for years to come.

Coastal contemporary There’s a reason why tropical beaches are considered the fundamental escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The rush of the ocean and the feel of sand between your toes can bring anyone a lasting sense of tranquility. Those same feelings can be incorporated into a master suite by selecting contemporary and cool hues in blues, pale greens and whites, with touches of sandy brown and gold. For this laid-back theme, use an upholstered headboard in a soft blue pattern to highlight the focal point of the room — the bed. You can even go a step further by adding plush curtains behind the bed frame, paired with a large plateglass mirror to provide the feeling of open spaces — like the open sea. Because the bed will be the focus of the room, keep the shades simple. Try bamboo window shades to maintain the casual flow while allowing in natural light. Use whimsical decor pieces such as glass bedside lamps and palm plants to complete the theme.

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GROWING FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS, FOOD Learn to cultivate fresh vegetables at home ids and adults together can nurture their relationship while growing fresh produce on their lanai or in their yard. Learn the basics of growing fresh herbs and vegetables this summer at The Cook’s Garden, a free seminar at 9 a.m. this Saturday, July 21 at Geobunga in Salt Lake. “Growing food you use to make the perfect summer salad or a kid-approved pizza is relatively simple to do,” said Andrew Dedrick, Geobunga executive director. “You can grow the tomatoes, basil, GEOBUNGA oregano, olives, spinach in your yard, or even on a lanai or kitchen window contact // 422-4567 box. It’s really cool when you can haraddress // 4299 Lawehana St. vest these items and then make them web // www.Geobunga.com into a dinner your kids will love.”

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Fresh food Hawaii residents can grow fresh produce year-round, thanks to the Islands’ mild climate and sunny weather. Herbs such as basil, oregano and rosemary; lettuces like Manoa and arugula; and cherry or regular tomatoes thrive here. “Some of the easiest plants to care for are basil, green onions and arugula lettuce, and all are commonly used in cooking,”

Dedrick said. “While preparing dinner, I can just break off some herbs or gather some lettuce for a salad. Not only is it extremely fresh, but I know exactly who has been in contact with it, it saves me money and is readily available when I need it.”

options available to them. Container gardening has become extremely popular in the past few years, as anyone with some sunlight and space — even a small lanai or kitchen window box — can grow fresh herbs and vegetables. Bugs are less likely to infest containers, and you can move the plant if you find it needs more or less sun.

One-on-one questions Growing basics Seminar attendees learn the basics of planting and harvesting, and the many

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learn more about their specific container-gardening needs. Also after the seminar, attendees can get everything they need to create their own small garden or container garden including pots, topsoil, potting mix and preplanted herbs and some vegetables. “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 herbs and vegetables at home at The Cook’s Garden this Saturday. Geobunga is located at 4299 Lawehana St. — across from Target. The seminar is free, but space is limited and reservations are recommended. Visit www.geobunga.com to register, or call 422-4567 for more information.

Geobunga is Hawaii’s best resource for anyone looking to enhance their outdoor experience. Providing unique garden elements from all over the world, and the best prices, selection and service in the state, each visit to Geobunga brings something new to discover.

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he photovoltaic industry has been booming over the last few years. Most people now know what solar photovoltaics (PV) are, as they can be seen on rooftops throughout the state. As the price of electricity rises, more and more of us are considering PV systems for our own homes. Because a PV system is a big investment, we should do our research before committing to a specific solar provider, especially since PV companies are a dime a dozen. So what should we be concerned about when considering PV? First of all, what qualifies a company to install a PV system? The proper licensing is a necessity. To install PV, a C-13 electrical license is a must. There are a few ways to check

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online if a company has the proper licensing. Searches can be done through pvl.ehawaii.gov/pvlsearch/app or hawaii.bbb.org. A qualified electrician can tell you if your service needs to be upgraded, if your grounding system is up to par or if any electrical modifications should be made to accommodate the PV system. After all, you will be producing your own power and there is a lot of electrical wiring involved. Next, getting several estimates from different companies is always a good idea. From these estimates we can compare pricing and materials. Are the materials being used comparable to one another? Some companies may

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SEE PAGE 18

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A WELL-RESPECTED COMPANY THAT MAKES YOU ‘FEEL LIKE FAMILY’ BY KYLE GALDEIRA s the owner of D’s Plumbing and Ohana Home Additions and Remodeling, Frank Duarte has honed his craft as an integral cog in the family business. After learning the ropes with his father at the helm, he started D’s Plumbing more than 31 years ago, and is still going strong today as a general contractor. Recently, Duarte has seen an influx in requests from customers looking to convert an existing bathtub or shower into one with more room, either for themselves to enjoy or for their parents to use in comfort. Duarte recounts a recent job during which a woman was looking to expand a shower in order to accommodate her elderly father. D’s worked with the customer and decided on a design that involved converting part of an adjacent closet

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D’S PLUMBING contact // 230-8308 • 734-2032 web // www.AffordablePlumbingHawaii.com

into space that could then be used to extend the shower. Stability bars and an easily accessible entryway to the shower were also incorporated — and all this was done within the allotted budget. “We may be a small company, but with the skills that we

possess, we are great in numbers,” Duarte says. “Many customers will tell me, ‘Working with you and your staff makes us feel like family.’ What better way to end a project!” Duarte has realized through helping so many customers with these and other projects

that most are not aware of some of the procedures involved with the renovations. He offers up a few suggestions for those considering such a project so they can better budget their time and money. First, Duarte says that embarking on a renovation project is always easier at a house, whether it involves wood or concrete flooring, as opposed to working on changes at a condominium. Condos often have many regulations that could delay or hinder the renovation process, including: available parking stalls for the construction team; notice needed for the building manager to shut water off to the unit, and the amount of time the water will be off; the hours and length of time allotted for construction work in the building; and the number of running elevators, including those allocated for service jobs, during the day.

“All of these factors contribute to the time and effort it takes to compile a quotation, and as you can see, a homeowner with a house is faced with fewer limitations,” Duarte says. Customer satisfaction is the top priority at D’s Plumbing. Duarte recounts stories of contractors who fail to deliver, whether it’s botching a job because of lack of experience or certification, or simply taking payment and not living up to the contract. “As a small company, we offer personal service like no other,” Duarte says. “My men are skilled in so many trades, and it gives me great pleasure to watch them showcase their skills. More and more, clients will call me and tell me how polite they are throughout the job. You can’t imagine how that makes me feel.” For more information, log on to www.AffordablePlumbing Hawaii.com or call 230-8308 or 734-2032. Free estimates are available based on the availability of the team throughout the week, and D’s is poised and ready to schedule appointments with potential customers.

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more limescale, no more drip, drip, drip from leaking pipes and no more wasting water! HydroFlow has many benefits:

DISSOLVING LIMESCALE FOR FREE-FLOWING WATER AT HOME ater, water everywhere and not a drop to drink! Being surrounded by the warm turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean isn’t going to help us if we don’t conserve our drinking water. Without a sufficient clean water supply, we cannot survive. So, every little bit of water conservation helps. There is no better time to start conserving water than today. One significant waste of water is the old plumbing in your home — a very common problem in Hawaii. Turning the faucet on and only getting a trickle, or noticing that your toilet and shower valves have to be replaced every two years or so are clues that your plumbing is clogged with limescale buildup. “The majority of homes on Oahu are 15-30 years old,” said Harald von Sydow, director of Nano Tek-On. “This means that

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there is a very real probability that the plumbing in your home is clogged with limescale, and your bathroom and kitchen fixtures are going to leak if they aren’t already. Remember, limescale leads to corrosion, which causes leaks and can also lead to waterline breaks.” Leaks and waterline breaks mean that you are wasting water, and they subject you to costly repairs and high water bills. “That’s why I suggest that you install HydroFlow,” added von Sydow. “The economical little unit will immediately begin reversing limescale buildup.” When a HydroFlow unit is installed (easy to do-it-yourself or Nano Tek-On will install it for you), randomly varying electric fields are introduced to the water throughout the entire plumbing system, breaking up

• It prevents corrosion-causing calcium deposits from forming on the bottom of hot-water heater tanks, extending the life of the tank

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corrosion and limescale precipitates. The suspended particles wash away in the flow. HydroFlow normally dissolves existing scale in just a few months. HydroFlow is consistently effective, reliable and maintenance-free. It soon pays for itself in energy and water savings as well as the time and costs involved in repairing and/or replacing plumbing and bathroom fixtures. The HydroFlow unit is hidden from view and does all the work

• It reduces algae and bacteria in swimming pools and hot tubs.

behind the scenes. The results are no less than amazing. Ask von Sydow to show you a cross section of a limescale-clogged pipe next to one that has been cleared with HydroFlow. It’s incredible that something so small can clear out the pipes in your home. No

HyrdroFlow does all these things without interfering with the quality and taste of your water — all while you are doing the right thing by conserving. Nano Tek-On specializes in environmentally friendly surface treatments including sealants for glass and natural stone, antimicrobial coatings and self-cleaning surfaces. To learn more about HydroFlow and how it can help you conserve water, call 395-2996 or visit nanotekhi.com.

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basic drawers and cupMake quality your boards. first choice ELITE DESIGN If you plan on living GROUP LLC No matter what type of in your home for only a cabinet you select, all short time or are workcabinets should have contact // 847-3888 ing with a tight budget, solid frames, door and address // 570 A Dillingham Blvd. stock cabinets are your drawer fronts, reinforced best bet. But if this is corners and closed backs, going to be the kitchen or bath of and the finish on the wood should be your dreams, you should look for top- smooth. quality construction and materials Also, cabinet drawers and doors will be found with semi-custom and custom opened and closed many times throughcabinets. out the day, so they should operate smoothly and quietly each time.

Versatility of semi-custom

COMPLETE THE LOOK WITH FINE CABINETRY so setting your total budget figure will be one of the first things you’ll need to do.

BY SARAH PACHECO efore purchasing a new set of cabinets for your new kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, there are some important things you should consider. First, keep in mind that cabinets account for 40 to 50 percent of the total cost of your kitchen or bathroom remodel,

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Are stock cabinets for you? Stock cabinets are the least expensive option and are constructed in standard shapes and sizes; however, they are available in a limited number of woods or finishes and offer few style options beyond

Semi-custom cabinets are factorybuilt in standard sizes with many options for storage, design and style. The high end of cabinet construction is custom cabinets, which are constructed in either a workroom to designer specifications or on-site in any style and finish you choose. Semi-custom and custom cabinets provide endless solutions to your storage needs: pullout shelves for pots and pans; a lazy Susan for spices; a wine rack; vertical dividers for trays and cookie sheets; even an appliance garage or pullout bins are all just some of the standard add-ons available when ordering these higher-end cabinets. And if your space is too narrow for a cabinet and counter, a tall pantry closet provides lots of space for pots and pans in the kitchen or towels in the bath.

Cabinets help establish a mood

Finally, remember that the cabinets you select will set the tone of your new kitchen or bathroom and play a major role in transforming your space. Browse magazines and stores to get an idea for what suits you. Look for styles that blend well with the architecture of your home as well as the interior design of other rooms. But don’t get bogged down by all of these decisions. Elite Design Group LLC offers free estimates and consultations for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects, and its professional in-house kitchen designer can help you realize the perfect set of cabinets for your home. The company currently is offering 30 percent off cabinet purchases until July 31. Call (888) 617-1139 to make an appointment or visit www.edghi.com.

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PUTTING THE FINISHING TOUCHES ON YOUR KITCHEN RENOVATION hana Building Supply is a one-stop shop for homeowners and contractors alike. The company’s selection includes a variety of highquality kitchen and bathroom materials at very reasonable prices, from ready-made to custom cabinetry, a full line of granite countertops, stainless steel sinks and hardwood and laminate flooring, all to fit any architectural style. Ohana Building Supply’s instock cabinets are constructed of all plywood boxes with solid wood face frames and doors. Locally stocked are Maple, Light or Dark Cherry and Milzen Cabinets’ Espresso Oak and White Oak, construct-

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ed of plywood boxes and engineered MDF flatpanel style doors and frames. Ohana Building Supply also has two new styles of cabinets that are available: Elegant Cherry and Honey Beech. These new cabinets are faceframed cabinets constructed of 5/8-inch plywood boxes and 3/4-inch solid wood doors and frames. The cabinets feature solid wood dovetailed drawers and come standard with soft closing hardware for doors and drawers. These cabinets look as good inside as they do on the outside and would be a great addition to any kitchen remodel. Currently all of Ohana’s cabinet lines are on sale and, as always, if you buy

OHANA BUILDING SUPPLY contact // 833-8338 address // 2815 Kaihikapu St. web // sales@ohanabuildingsupply.com

a set of kitchen cabinets, you get the granite free (for select colors). Ohana Building Supply is having a blowout sale on its Maple Shaker cabinets, which are being offered at $39.99 per linear foot (some exclusions apply, not valid with free granite promotion). This promo won’t last long and only applies to stock on hand. If you’re on a budget or are thinking of remodeling a rental unit, these cabinets will be the per-

fect fit. Ohana Building Supply also stocks a selection of granite countertops starting at $99, such as Taisan White, Bainbrook Peach, White Galaxy, River White, Jurparana Golden Kam and Lapidus, just to name a few. Finished with an elegant bull-nose edge, these stylish countertops add character to any kitchen and bath. While supplies last, Ohana is offering free

granite (select styles to choose from) with the purchase of any kitchen cabinet set. Other granites are 10 percent off with the purchase of a kitchen cabinet set. Ohana also stocks an assortment of laminate flooring, under-mount and top-mount stainless steel sinks and ceramic vanity bowls. All of these products are in stock and available for prompt delivery or pick-up. Servicing both home-

owners and large contractors, the friendly staff will provide excellent customer service, from design to installation — the completed product is sure to shine. Visit the company’s showroom and ask the sales staff about current promotions and specials that are available. Showroom hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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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.

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JULY 15, 2012 | HAWAII RENOVATION | 17


used per wash load, according to the Alliance to Save Energy. If a household switched to cold-water washing for a year, enough energy would be saved to watch TV for 1,363 hours or charge an iPhone 4S 30,861 times. So by switching to cold water washing, you can cut down on household energy use and save money while doing something good for the environment. Tide Coldwater detergent is specially formulated to provide a deep clean in cold water conditions while helping families save up to 50 percent of energy per wash cycle.

UNDERSTANDING SOLAR POWER SYSTEMS FROM PAGE 13

use roof flashings, while others may not. A properly installed flashing will ensure a leak-free roof penetration. After all, the bigger the system, the more roof penetrations will be made. Another important factor to consider is the PV panel manufacturer. PV panel manufacturers also are a dime a dozen. Manufacturers may state certain specifications for their panels, but how long have they been producing solar panels? Alternative Electric proudly installs Solar World Sun

Modules. Solar World is America’s largest solar manufacturer with more than 35 years of experience in the solar-production industry. A PV system is a wise investment, but it’s more than just installing panels on a roof. Homeowners should do their homework before installing a system. After all, a PV system should last at least 25 years. Time spent researching will pay dividends for the lifetime of the PV system. For a free PV estimate/consultation, give Alternative Electric a call at 630-6741 or 285-3663.

• Keeping cool. Close curtains to block out the hot sun during the day. Blocking the sun will help protect your flooring and furniture from fading because of UV rays. Also try setting your thermostat a few degrees warmer. Run ceiling and standing fans to keep the air circulating to help family members stay comfortable. If nobody is home during the day, turn your air conditioner off, and have it timed to restart when family members return.

SAVING ENERGY AT HOME FROM PAGE 7

• Wash your clothes with cold water. Washing laundry with hot water means the heater has to run, accounting for up to 80 percent of the energy

With just a few simple lifestyle changes, your family can make your home more energy and save you money. Get your family started today with these quick energy-savings tips and watch the savings add up.

Look for the OFFICIAL Guidebook in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Friday, July 27!

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FREEto the PUBLIC 18 | HAWAII RENOVATION | JULY 15, 2012

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The pulse of paradise

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COMING AND GOING WITH POSITIVE ENERGY FROM PAGE 2

tion and energy flow around the home. Homes with or without unused back doors are prone to stagnation. Back doors represent indirect or unexpected opportunities. So if you want more positive opportunities to come your way, pay attention to your back door.

Best usage of doors If you have two main doors in your home, think of them as “partners” in your home’s well-being and make sure you use both. If either of your doors is underused, make it a point to enter that door at least once a week for a change in energy flow. You will be amazed at the new perspective it brings to your home and your life.

Remove blockage Blockage at either door

represents a blockage of opportunities that come into your life. So, clear the pathway to the door and remove shoes, umbrella stands, overgrown plants or clutter behind the door, making sure it can open fully.

No back door? Create one! If you have no back door to transition you out of your space, “create” a portal by hanging an image — a landscape, forest scene, mountain scape or some scenic view — that draws your eyes to it and helps with the energy flow in your home. Further, take action to make your back door “feng shui friendly” by doing the following: • Place an attractive welcome mat at the back door, but make sure it is not bigger or bolder than the one

you have in front.

ing items to greet you.

• Paint your back door any color you’d like — it can be a fun, even bright color — but be careful not to “upstage” or diminish the importance of the front door, which is still considered the “queen.”

Positive energy flow

• Don’t forget to make the back door transition area into the home “pleasant.” If you have to walk through a laundry or storage room, make sure it is well-lit and contains uplift-

The goal is to encourage positive energy flow into the home through the front and back doors. In addition to the above basics, make sure your doorknobs, locks and other hardware are working properly. A door that opens easily keeps hassles out of your life.

For more information on life guide and feng shui expert Alice Inoue, visit aliceinspired.com

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JULY 15, 2012 | HAWAII RENOVATION | 19


AL’SBATHTUBREFINISHING

Making your market ready Al’s Bathtub Refinishing | 679-8297 | alsbathtubrefinishing.com | alsbathtubrefinishing@gmail.com

tive. With this option, Al’s Bathtub can give a damaged and dirty bathtub a brand-new look. Refinishing also repairs chips and cracks to give a new color, look and feel to the tub. Most people dread the day when they have to decide what to do about their old bathtub. The total estimated cost for a bathtub replacement is BEFORE $3,000 or more. Al’s Bathtub, on the other hand, can refinish it for a fraction of that cost. You can save up to 75 percent of replacement fees, be back in your home in three to four hours and be able to use the tub the very next day. The overall cost of replacing a built-in bathtub or shower will cover more than just the cost of your replacement unit. You will need to include the labor cost for contractors. After all, who will be tearing out your old unit, redoing the plumbing work, replacing wall board and tiles and so much more? Even a “do-it-yourself” (DIY) AFTER removal and installation is going to take a lot of time and money, and the tub could be ome homeowners may be asking themselves, rendered unusable throughout the entire “Is it worth it to renovate my bathroom before renovation. I sell my home?” Depending on how your existing bathroom looks, making a few affordable updates Thinking of refinishing your bathtub might pay off. “It’s really the grunge factor that you yourself? need to consider,” said Al Fernandez, owner of Al’s Oftentimes bathtub refinishing is marketBathtub Refinishing. “If you bring a stranger in off the ed as a DIY project. The truth is if you want street and they look at your bathroom and are creeped a quality refinishing job that lasts for years out, you’d better renovate.” and saves you bundles of money, you’ll Al’s Bathtub Refinishing is helping Realtors sell probably want to talk to an experienced promore houses at a higher price by assisting them in fessional to get the job done. educating their clients. An important lesson is that by There are a lot of reasons to trust in an spending a few hundred dollars to refinish and update experienced refinisher for this job: their bathrooms and kitchens, clients can sell their homes quickly and at a higher price. • Materials. Most DIY bathtub refinishing products are Al’s Bathtub Refinishing saves money and time. It inferior to those used by the pros. As a result, you can also gets bathtub fixtures and kitchen countertops to count on your DIY job to crack, peel and fail much look brand new, without the cost and time that a quicker than work done by a professional. Al’s Bathtub removal and replacement would take. Refinishing will use a high-performance acrylic polymer coating that is specifically manufactured for refinWhat is bathtub refinishing? ishing laminate, porcelain, fiberglass and other materiBathtub reglazing, also known as refinishing, is a als, and the company’s work should last 10 to 15 years unique process that completely updates the color of a before you see any significant wear. tub and reconditions the existing worn surface to a like-new finish. Refinishing utilizes a special proce• Hazardous materials. Another reason to go with Al’s dure that is proven to be successful and costs a fracBathtub Refinishing is that the chemicals involved in tion of the price of traditional replacements. these projects are not something to take lightly. You’ll Refinishing bathtubs instead of replacing them is a need to invest in a good respirator, protective gloves relatively cost-effective bathroom makeover alternaand a spray suite, all of which add up when you figure

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20 | HAWAII RENOVATION | JULY 15, 2012

in the final cost. A professional already has all these materials handy. Refinishing projects are best left for the professionals and definitely not a thing for DIYers. Al’s Bathtub Refinishing has more than 20 years of experience and gives a five-year warranty on its work.

Which surfaces can you refinish? • Bathtubs. Porcelain, fiberglass, acrylic, cultured marble and claw-foot tubs can be refinished. • Countertops. Laminate, tile and cultured marble can be refinished. • Ceramic tiles. Walls, countertops, shower pans and showers can be refinished.

For a free estimate, call Al’s Bathtub Refinishing at 679-8297, email alsbathtubrefinishing @gmail.com or visit www.alsbathtubre finishing.com.

BEFORE

AFTER

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