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For any Hawaii homeowner, it’s easy to “sea” the benefits of Discount Windows & Doors’ Makai window series, which has been engineered specifically to withstand our unique island weather conditions.

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have a guilty pleasure. As much as it pains me to admit it, I can’t get enough of the “Real Housewives” series on Bravo. One of the latest episodes showed housewife Kim as she attempted to move from her dream home to a smaller townhome. This brought back memories of my


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

Phone: 529-4740 | drogers@staradvertiser.com Send your comments and story ideas to hawaiirenovation@staradvertiser.com • Tubs, Showers, Counters, Vanities, any type of Wall Surrounds

many moves (a whopping 14!). Most of my moves have included taking down photos and dealing with the holes in the drywall they leave behind. The good news is, whether the holes are the size of nails or the size of grapefruits, they’re actually pretty simple to repair. First, assess the damage. If it’s a very small hole, like the size of a nail or a screw, you can fix it with a putty knife and wall-joint compound. Just make sure to sand it lightly after it dries, and check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how long drying will take. For holes up to 5 inches, try a wall-repair kit, which you can find at the hardware store. First, sand around the hole and wipe the dust with a damp cloth. Next, cut a piece of fiberglass mesh from your wallrepair kit. Make sure you cut it big enough to leave about 1 inch on all sides of the hole. Peel off the paper backing and stick the mesh to the wall. After that, use a drywall knife to spread spackling compound over the patch. Allow it to dry completely (usually overnight, but check the instructions to be sure), then sand lightly. Apply a thin second layer and let it dry. Assess the hole again and apply

Make sure to wear a dust mask when you do this, and repeat this process as necessary until you get your desired results. Whether the holes in your wall were put there purposely to hang up photos, or accidentally from falling furniture on moving day, repairing drywall can be relatively cheap and easy. As always, consult a professional if ever in doubt.

another thin coat, if needed. To finish it off, spread a thin layer of joint compound over the entire area, including all of the joints of the patch and extending over to the edges of the surrounding wall. Let this layer dry for at least 24 hours. Then, once it’s dry, use a sanding block with finegrade drywall sandpaper to sand it down.

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From conception to completion Discount Windows & Doors

How the Makai windows and doors came to be state-of-the-art products made just for Hawaii

rior to 2008, all windows sold in Hawaii were designed and built on the Mainland and were less than ideal for use on the Islands. The Makai range of windows, developed by Discount Windows & Doors, is the only window specifically designed for Hawaii. Unlike the Makai range, vinyl frames on regular windows frequently yellow or become brittle with age, and the thickness of glass used is woefully inadequate for use in a hurricane zone. Further, not one company has previously utilized 100 percent stainless steel hardware in its windows, screens tend to be poorly designed and thermal efficiency is something used on a freezer — not a window. In 2008, all of that changed. Using stateof-the-art technology, Discount Windows & Doors developed a window system designed for the 21st century and beyond — the Makai series of windows and doors. The company not only improved every facet of existing windows, but developed a window system never used in Hawaii before. Hawaii has some of the most extreme UV exposure on earth, capable of destroying all but the very best vinyl. Pure Virgin Vinyl, with its high percentage of titanium dioxide, is the only vinyl able to stand up to the harsh exposure of Hawaii’s sunshine. The state is in a Hurricane Zone, meaning Hawaii is likely to experience a direct hit from a hurricane in the near future, and most existing vinyl windows will be all but destroyed when that happens. The vinyl frame of the Makai window series has a high-impact profile, which means it is able to withstand considerable impact without failing. To complement the strong frame, double-strength glass is used, which is twice as thick as common glass used in the vast majority of replacement windows. The combination of these sturdy frames and double-strength glass enables these windows to endure winds of up to 180 miles per hour; in fact, all Makai windows are so strong that they are commercially rated and frequently used in high-rise condos. The majority of homes in Hawaii experience varying degrees of salt exposure. The




For any Hawaii homeowner, it’s easy to “sea” the benefits of Discount Windows & Doors’ Makai window series, which has been engineered specifically to withstand our unique island weather conditions.

See page 3




DISCOUNT WINDOWS & DOORS contact // 673-6656 address // 45-564 Kamehameha Hwy. web // www.discountwindowshawaii.com

mixture of high humidity and salinity in the air combined with tropical temperatures creates an extremely corrosive environment, which most people can attest to. The Makai range of windows and doors addresses this issue by utilizing the highest grade of stainless steel hardware available. Salt can also be problematic on glass, causing etching and constant staining; it also attracts moisture and dirt. By using Cardinal NEAT® Self Cleaning Glass, these problems are eliminated.

Virtually all homes in Hawaii experience an area of the household that is hot at some point in the day. The solution is to use Cardinal 366 Low E, one of the most energy-efficient glass types available in North America. By using a combination of Cardinal 366 Low E with Argon and NEAT® Self Cleaning Glass, more than 90 percent of heat can be reflected out of the home. Finally, screens are the first item to deteriorate in most windows because of their

poor design. Discount Windows & Doors has developed a strong screen system that can be removed from inside the home and, in most cases, with one hand. To learn more about these state-of-thear t, high-performance windows, call Discount Windows & Doors today at 6736656. DECEMBER 2, 2012 • 3

4 DECEMBER 2 • 2012

Fresh paint color can improve your mood L et’s face it, few of us are spending money the way we used to. But our homes are still our castles, and we want them to be as attractive as possible. In fact, the lackluster economy is all the more reason to create a comfortable, welcoming cocoon where we can ride out the economic storm. How to reconcile the desire to beautify a home with the need to economize? One possibility is to add fresh color to the indoor environment with a new interior paint scheme. “Repainting is a low-cost way to greatly enhance the appearance of a home,” said Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute. “And new paint colors can actually have a positive psychological effect.” The simple fact that you’re surrounded by fresh color, in and of itself, can be uplifting. But Zimmer said that certain colors have been shown to invoke specific desirable feelings and emotions. Knowing this ahead of time allows you to make the best color choices. If your life is very stressful, you might want to repaint the rooms where you rest

and relax — the family room and bedroom, for example — in a pale blue or soft green. Studies show that these colors can be very calming. Another approach is to introduce a color like taupe or brown. These also tend to create a tranquil environment, but they impart more warmth and coziness than blue or green. If, on the other hand, you want to inject some energy and optimism into your surroundings, consider using yellow paint. Like splashes of brilliant sunshine, yellow walls can lift your spirits and brighten your outlook. Apricot, cinnamon and tangerine are also energizing colors. But be careful with reds and burgundies:These colors can literally increase heartbeat and arouse passion. Not good for the room where you pay your bills! The tone, or brightness, of a color should always be factored into color choice. Brighter tones invigorate, while those that are muted (“toned down”) tend to be more relaxing. Whatever your response to your new color scheme, your reaction to the cost of


repainting is likely to be positive. A do-ityourselfer can repaint almost any room for less than $100. And that’s using the best quality paint, something that Zimmer strongly advocated. “Top-quality, 100-percent acrylic latex paints cost more than ordinary paint, but they offer the best value. Not only do they last longer and continue to look fresh over time, but they often save you money right away from an application and performance

standpoint,” she said. So, if you’re feeling blue over the state of the economy, think about painting your walls blue ... or green ... or yellow. It will cost very little, but doing so will likely give a big lift to your outlook! For more information, visit blog.paintqual ity.com or www.paintquality.com.

This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.

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Keeping up with the latest upgrades for your home T his year, Custom Contractors Inc. (CCI) celebrates its 26th year in the Hawaii window market. CCI has sold an impressive 220,000 windows to more than 15,000 customers during that time period. “You have to adapt to the times,” noted owner Luis Larcina. “As our customers’ needs change, we want to be there for them. A lot of our customers want to transition away from jalousie windows.They are extremely hard to clean, let in dust, dirt and noise, and do not let your AC run efficiently. Most importantly, the jalousie window accounts for over 85 percent of entry points during burglaries.” The aluminum awning window is CCI’s biggest seller. The manufacturer,Victor Sun Control, has been making this style of window for more than 53 years and converted several of its components to deal with Hawaii’s harsh salt atmosphere. “It’s been a great product for Hawaii right from the beginning,” said Larcina.“It addressed all of the jalousie shortcomings, they’re easy to clean, seal tight, meet building codes and feature Torque Bar activated cam lock security. As Victor Sun Control’s largest customer nationwide, we have a lot of say as to how the product is made, and the quality shows.” CCI offers endless glass options for its windows ranging from simple tint (reduce glare), obscure (privacy), laminated or tempered (for safety and security), to Low-e (for ultraviolet reduction). A close second in CCI’s inventory of replacement and new construction windows is its vinyl line, PLYGEM (formerly

CUSTOM CONTRACTORS INC. contact // 483-0100 address // 99-840 Iwaiwa St. #2

CertainTeed), one of the country’s oldest and largest manufacturers of this kind of window. Among the various architectural shapes offered are single and double sliders, single and double hunts, casements and sliding doors. While all of the options may seem overwhelming and confusing to the average homeowner, this is where CCI’s experience and expertise come to the forefront. Twenty-year veteran and head estimator at CCI Robert Abbett, better known as Rabbett, perhaps said it best: “When I go into a home, I find some of our customers know what they want, most are open to practical ideas and applications. We sit down and examine the home’s unique variables including trade wind direction, path of the sun, privacy and security issues and aesthetics,” he explained. “We then choose a window and glass type to meet that need. I’ll supply them with a computer-generated drawing and individual pricing for their windows.” Another thing that makes CCI atypical in the home improvement world is its low-key sales approach. “We won’t use gimmicks like ‘sign tonight and we’ll give you 20 percent

off’ or ‘we’re going to make your home the neighborhood model if you sign tonight,’ ” said Abbett. In addition to Abbett’s 20 years at CCI, lead installer Larry Fischer also has been with the company for 20 years and office manager Cheryl Wilson has been with CCI for 15 years. This type of departmental leadership allows CCI to smoothly transition a large quantity of jobs. That volume allows CCI to ship full containers of windows at a time, saving customers from $30 to $40 per window on average, and eliminating the damage that occurs when shipping in common containers or air freight. While CCI’s core value is home replacement windows, it also has extensive commercial and high-rise experience in Hawaii. The company specializes in lanai enclosures (Kahala Towers and Kapiolani Bel Aire to cite two condominiums) and builds its own bay windows. With an estimated 20 million jalousies still out there waiting to be retired, CCI will be around for a long time. For more information, call 483-0100.

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A competition for the finest in the industry T he Building Industry Association of Hawaii (BIA-Hawaii) will present the 28th annual BIA Renaissance Building & Remodeling Awards on May 8, 2013 during the Gala Awards Dinner at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. This premier statewide competition is open to all residential and commercial projects, either new construction or remodeled, that have not been previously entered in a BIA Renaissance Building & Remodeling Awards competition. To enter the competition, visit www.biahawaii.org. The final entry deadline is March 8. This call for entries is available to all residential, commercial and public works projects and welcomes contractors, developers, architects, designers and kitchen and bath designers. Entry divisions include Residential Remodeling, Commercial Remodeling, New Residential, New

Commercial, Public Works, Details, Landscape & Outdoor Living, Hawaii BuiltGreen™, Historical, Kitchen & Bath and Innovative Construction division. Official entry details are available online at www.biahawaii.org. Char tered in 1955, the Building Industry Association of Hawaii is a professional trade organization affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders, representing the building industry and its' associates. The 500 members of BIA-Hawaii are developers, contractors, suppliers, Realtors, architects, financial institutions and a host of other professionals who serve the building industry. BIA-Hawaii takes a leadership role in unifying and promoting the interests of the industry to enhance the quality of life for the people of Hawaii. For more information and to obtain a BIA

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Call in the home building experts BY KYLE GALDEIRA iang 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 and the duo, along with a team of experienced workers, has been assisting local home and business owners with their building and remodeling needs ever since. “In China and Japan, we can see many historic construction (projects) that were built a thousand years ago, but are still solid and workable,” said Andy Cao. “Our company would like to help our customers build or remodel their homes like that. We always provide high-quality works, friendly cooperation and reasonable cost to our customers.” As he explained, Hua Xia receives a great deal of business via positive referrals and by prospective customers noticing other finished projects. “Most clients will see a house we’ve built or remodeled in the past as an example of our workmanship,” said Andy. “We feel confident working as a family to make our clients happy.” Hua Xia is capable of handling both


HUA XIA CONSTRUCTION contact // 636-1888 web // www.HuaXiaConstructor.com commercial and residential jobs, although brand new construction of and renovations to homes have been the most popular requests as of late. Andy says that his company can accommodate various requests, from kitchen and bathroom additions to adding extra stories and rooms to existing structures and even building new houses. 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. Cao and his staff stress customer service every step of the way. Hua Xia provides homeowners with detailed models to aid in the visualization process, and will work to incorporate materials that are both costeffective and of the highest quality. From minor renovations to multi-million dollar

projects from scratch, Hua Xia is poised to handle the task. “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.” For more information, call Hua Xia Construction at 636-1888, or visit the website www.HuaXiaConstructor.com.



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Designer provides tips for holiday decorating H omeowners looking for design inspiration for the holidays should focus on enhancing their windows and doors. That’s the recommendation of designer David Bromstad of HGTV’s Design Star, Color Splash and The White Room Challenge television shows. “A home’s windows and doors are a natural backdrop for encouraging holiday design elements,” said Bromstad, president of David Bromstad Designs. “Especially during the evening, you get a warm glow coming from a home’s interior that reaches out as an invitation to guests. I always recommend making that invitation go a bit further by decorating windows and doors as part of a family’s holiday festivities.” Bromstad recommended that homeowners are careful with how they adhere decorations to key aspects of the home — especially windows and doors — that are used for exiting in case of an emergency. He suggested taking the advice of manufactur-

ers, such as Simonton Windows and ThermaTru Doors, regarding the proper way to decorate windows and doors in the home. Both manufacturers recommend using Designer removable hangers David Bromstad or attaching decorations from above the frames. Known for his “out of the box” design ideas, Bromstad recommended the following holiday decorating tips for the home: • Drape live garland around window and door frame interiors and exteriors. Add something whimsical to the simple greenery such as snowball ornaments, clothes pins that hold up brass jingle bells, miniature wrapped presents or handmade ornaments made by family members.

The experts at Simonton Windows also recommend these ideas for enhancing windows during the holiday season:

The experts at Therma-Tru Doors offer these tips for creating a warm and inviting entryway during the holidays:

• Affix suction cups on the window glass to hang glass ornaments, plastic snowflakes or glass icicles so that light can come through the windows to enhance the decorations.

• Consider a twig wreath adorned with greens, gourds or berries.

• Hang small wreaths on the inside of a double or single hung window by using suction cups with hooks. Use clear fishing line to loop the wreath gently over the window hardware.

•Accessorize your doorway with pots or urns of poinsettias or seasonal greenery accented with lights. This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.

• Welcome the sounds of the holidays by attaching an old-fashioned leather strap with jingle bells on the front door of the home. Instead of nailing decorations to the door, use Command™ Clear Hooks from 3M™ that can easily be removed after the holidays without damaging the door. • Create a winter wonderland inside the home by having the family create dozens of paper snowflakes. Hang them from the ceiling in the entryway and from curtain rods on windows with fishing line to create a snowy climate for the entire holiday season.


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It’s all about the details BY KYLE GALDEIRA ayco Hawaii Inc. has helped Island residents and businesses add that personalized touch to various structures since 1973. The full-service operation specializes in architectural metal and glasswork in both residential and commercial fields. Applications are seemingly endless as the company’s past projects have included creating and installing railings, awnings, sunshades, grilles, gates and screens. Owner and president Marc Delay is leading the business in its third generation after taking over for his uncle who had previously stepped in for Delay’s grandfather. “It’s a family company, and Jayco is known for providing good quality products, and we will get each job right all the time,” Delay said. “We take pride in every job we do. We’re thorough, very detail-oriented and we’re there to please the customer no matter what.” Jayco Hawaii Inc. is poised to aid in a wide variety of new construction and renovation projects, both outside and within various structures. Delay mentioned that his company is currently working on a job in Kaneohe for a client who was looking for an attractive yet secure fence to surround the


JAYCO HAWAII INC. contact // 676-7000 address // 94-519 Puahi St. property, while also including a rolling gate and some pedestrian gates. For work on a home’s interior, Jayco is well versed at fabricating and installing decorative and functional railings and staircases to provide a high-end, modern look with such features as metal cables and glass accents. Commercially, Delay discussed Jayco’s work on both hotel and condominium renovation and building projects. The company

New Great Name, Same Great Company

provided the glass railings at the Trump Tower in Waikiki, as well as the Aulani’s balcony railings at the picturesque Disney Resort. “It’s hands-on experience that goes into every job,” explained Delay, who also mentioned that all of the company’s employees have either been trained at specialized trade schools or hold engineering degrees. “All of our field workers on the commercial

side are ironworkers, so they’ve gone through the ironworker apprenticeship program. “We are the only company in Hawaii that manufactures on island,” added Delay, who noted that Jayco Hawaii Inc. is a complete design, manufacture and build company. “All our competitors bring in their materials from the Mainland where it’s fabricated. We have a support fabrication company in California that builds all our specialty parts and brackets just for us here in Hawaii, and we have about 12 people working in that facility and 25 working here.” Delay explained that by keeping its skilled and fully-trained employees on staff rather than hiring on a cyclical basis to keep up with pending jobs, time and money are saved, and the added value is then passed on to the customers. “When other businesses pick up work, they hire from wherever they can, while we keep ourselves staffed all the time so we don’t have to continuously train people,” he said. “If you’re always training new employees, you can’t expect to have the quality that we offer. It’s a benefit to both our pocketbook and the quality of each job, which is our No. 1 concern.” Jayco Hawaii Inc. works directly with architects and the home or business owner to meet their specific needs, and Delay advises customers to have a concept, design idea or sketch on hand to aid in the drafting and final design process. Call Jayco at 6767000 for a free estimate.


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A specialty loan could make your dream home a reality I f finding your ideal home has started to seem like an impossible dream, don’t give up! There is an alternative. A specialty loan could make it possible for you to build your dream home from the ground up, or transform your present home with an addition or second story. While financing a building project can be tricky, there are specialty loans — such as construction loans — created specifically for new home construction and remodeling. At Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union (HCFCU), a loan officer will be able to evaluate your specific situation and match you up with the right kind of financing to ensure that your project is completed on schedule and within the established budget. Construction loans are typically short-term loans and offer the option of interest-only payments during the construction process. Each construction loan is customized to fit the project, and varying amounts of funding are disbursed during each phase of construction. Since construction loans are much more complex than a typical mor tgage, it is vital to work with a lender experienced in construction lending. HCFCU’s construction loan program has quickly increased in popularity since it was introduced in 2010. HCFCU has funded numerous construction projects this year. They understand the process and the obstacles borrowers often face on the way to their new home. When dealing with a construction project, it’s essential

to work with a professional who will be there for you every step of the way. HCFCU will send a representative to visit the site to oversee each phase and make sure the work is progressing as scheduled. Also, all HCFCU construction loans are processed and funded locally, meaning the needed funds are made available in a timely manner. To find out if a construction loan is the right fit for your building project, or for more information, call 5363677 or visit one of the home loan officers at 681 S. King St. Home loans are provided by CU Network Services (NMLS# 375459), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union (NMLS#412820). Equal Housing Lender.

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12 DECEMBER 2 • 2012


Accommodate changing needs with a bathroom conversion leaks, D’s Plumbing only installs copper pans. Some customers prefer a solid surface shower in which three main, solid sheets cover the walls surrounding a tub or shower with the same materials fabricated for the shower pan. Duarte explained that “many seniors are inclined to use this material mainly because, as they say, ‘it’s easier to clean.’ ” Additionally, a built-in bench with a handheld shower nozzle is another ergonomic option available for those who need the assistance in conjunction with safety-grab bars. Regardless of the choices, D’s Plumbing can complement the finish with an elegant curvature curtain rod or sliding glass door enclosure. “So, if you’re thinking about a bathroom conversion, replacing your old tub with a new one or renovating your kitchen, let D’s Plumbing help you to decide what possible solutions are best for you,” Duarte said. “After all, we have been serving the people of Hawaii for over 30 years. We may be a small company, but with the skills that we possess, we are great in numbers.” For more information, log on to www.Affordable PlumbingHawaii.com or call Frank and his team at 230-8308 or 734-2032.

BY KYLE GALDEIRA s we get older in life, adjustments must be made to enhance one’s quality of life. With this in mind, D’s Plumbing is poised to help. First of all, owner Frank Duarte suggested considering how converting a tub into a shower would make bathing easier. For seniors, even adjusting the small details can go a long way. For example, lowering the edge of a shower area to 6 inches high from that of a 15-inch step can mean the difference between entering the shower safely and encountering a dangerous fall. The type of finishing materials should also be considered when renovating one’s shower. In regard to ceramic tiles, Duarte explained that most older homes have 4 by 4 inch ceramic tiles, and that for those who want to maintain the appearance, D’s Plumbing can install larger ceramic tiles, such as the popular 12 by 12 inch styles. “Of course, there are many different sizes that one can choose from,” said Duarte of the tile application, and that “our grout joints are small in size to help make cleaning a little easier.” When considering a bathroom conversion, Duarte is quick to point out that the drain size for a tub is 1.5 inches in diameter, and for a shower, the width must be 2 inches. Performing such an alteration may require increasing an existing drain size, and doing so usually proves less troublesome in a home as opposed to a condominium because of access to pipe systems and other potential restrictions. To help with protecting its customers from


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DECEMBER 2 • 2012 13

Season’s Beatings Are you feeling worked over by the holidays? Get in the spirit of the season by following these guidelines and de-stressing your home of disruptive energy


How to thrive in 2013

Alice Inoue

The New Year is just around the corner! Join Alice on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., for an inspiring presentation on how to make the most of your life and thrive in 2013. For more information, visit www.aliceinspired.com.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: The holidays are right around the corner and I’m starting to feel stressed thinking about all the additional work I’ll have to do. Do you have any good suggestions for how to better manage my stress?

nxiety often escalates around the holidays as the already frantic pace of our lives shifts into overdrive. If you feel that you have too much to do and too little time, you are a candidate for headaches, muscle tension, insomnia and irritability, not what you want, especially when we want to feel festive and joyful! Because your home’s feng shui mirrors your health, tending to a few things before the busy season may make this month’s additional duties easier to manage.


Survey your surroundings Take a look around. Do you see visible clutter, chaos and scattered items? If so, plan to remove them immediately because a cluttered visible landscape contributes to and triggers stressful thoughts and feelings, especially over the holidays. Get a few cardboard or plastic storage boxes and label them according to the room you are clearing (i.e., “living room,” “dining room,” or “home office”). Go room by room, placing in the box the items you won’t need during the holidays. Once the boxes are full, place them in a storage room or out of sight. This simple maneuver will help dismantle the anxiety that clutter supports, while providing you the energetic relief that you need. You can sort through the boxes afterward as part of your year-end cleanup.

Check the electrical Electricity runs through the wires in your home in the same way that your energy runs through the meridians of your body. Anytime something electric in your home

calmness. Help smooth out the energy as it enters your home by removing spiky plants, hard angles and items that are pointy, and exchanging them for curved items.

venation and intimacy. De-stress the energy of your bedroom by removing, or at least covering electrical sources such as TVs and computers when you sleep. Remove any exercise or “work” equipment such as ironing boards and irons.

breaks down, it interferes with your energy flow and ability to stay focused and calm. Repairing or changing broken light bulbs and faulty outlets, and removing appliances that don’t work can avoid energy clogs or leaks. Calm your bedroom A calm bedroom helps you wind down at night and get a fresh start every morning. If you don’t sleep well as a general rule because of disruptive energy in your bedroom, chances are you’ll sleep even worse during the holidays and wake up feeling more stressed. The bedroom is meant for renewal, reju-

Add color Many homes I see lack vibrancy. White or pale décor deflects life force and supports the avoidance of one’s own feelings — the very thing that can lead to anxiety. Putting color in the home invokes a connection to the home and helps those who live there be more in touch with their feelings, a necessary part of being balanced. Check out your entrance The entrance is where energy comes into your home, and it is vital for energy to flow. Stand at your entrance and check for sharp design features as you walk in. Anything sharp creates jabbing energy, not conducive to

Clear out your kitchen and pantry Over the holidays we often receive food items that we may or may not want to keep. Adding them to an already full pantry can cause overwhelm. Prepare for the holidays by going through your pantry now and taking out items that are still good but that you have had for a long time and are unlikely to eat in the near future. Set these items aside and take them to a local food bank. Next, go through your refrigerator and rid yourself of all expired food items. You won’t eat them anyway and, by removing them, you will free up space for all the holiday goodies.

Prepare for this holiday season In less than an hour or two you can create a monumental difference in your home that will help you to feel better as you enter the holiday season. Use your home as a source of support rather than an instigator of stress. Don’t delay. Mark your calendar now and make a stress-free date with yourself.

Alice Inoue is a life guide at Alice Inoue Life Guidance LLC, a company committed to assisting people in living empowered lives. Alice shares her wisdom as a professional speaker and personal consultant, and offers a series of instructional DVDs and books on feng shui, happiness and spiritual life wisdom. Visit www.aliceinspired.com. DECEMBER 2, 2012 • 13

14 DECEMBER 2 • 2012

The confident choice in eco-conscious floors F rom flooring and cabinetry to moulding and furniture, American hardwoods have been treasured for generations, and for good reason! They offer warmth, durability, luxury and design options that are unmatched by faux-wood products such as laminates and bamboo. Recently, however, an abundance of green product labels and misinformation has led to confusion in the marketplace, and has everyone asking, “Are American hardwoods really a sustainable resource?” And, “Are the hardwood products I want for my home really green?” The answer to these questions is a resounding yes! And now, homeowners have assurance from the federal government that American hardwood products are not only beautiful, but truly green and sustainable. Natural and sustainable In recent years, the U.S. Congress passed resolutions that officially recognized that the American hardwood industry sustainably manages an environmentally preferable natural resource, and that hardwoods should not be discriminated against in gov-

ernment procurement programs. Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agreed and announced its endorsement strategy regarding the merits of domestic wood as a preferred green building material. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in keeping with the USDA endorsement of American hardwoods as a sustainable material, directed the heads of all USDA agencies to begin increasing use of locally milled lumber in all new agency buildings

and facilities. Also, the U.S. Forest Service will examine ways to enhance research and development being done around green building materials. The facts are undeniable American forests continue to be a trusted source for sustainable and legally harvested timber. Imported wood and wood substitute products are not regulated like domestic products, and their quality control standards are inconsistent. In addition, local availability and manufacturing significantly minimizes the environmental impact

of transporting hardwood products. Hardwood forests naturally regenerate themselves and do not need to be replanted like softwood forests. For this reason, their harvesting methods differ. The preferred method of harvesting hardwoods is single-tree selection. A professional forester evaluates a forest and determines which trees are ready to harvest. This responsible forest management practice not only provides a sustaining supply of hardwood, but it also ensures the overall health of a thriving forest — including water quality, wildlife habitat, biodiversity


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and recreational opportunities — and has allowed the volume of our hardwood forests to more than double since the 1950s. Wood is carbon neutral Thanks to the work of our foresters, wood is a carbon neutral material. Healthy forests are net producers of oxygen through photosynthesis. Growing trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and separate the carbon and oxygen atoms.The oxygen is released back into the atmosphere, while the carbon is used to grow roots, trunk, branches and leaves. The carbon is then stored in the wood for the life of the tree and the products made from it. In addition, natural wood products are among the most energy-efficient to produce, while making products from steel, aluminum, glass, concrete and brick can require up to 126 times more energy to manufacture. With hardwood, the manufacturing process is limited to running a saw blade and kiln drying. In comparison, the steel and concrete manufacturing processes consist of numerous procedures that are extreme-

ly energy intensive. And for both, unfavorable environmental consequences result from open pit mining and from the substantial fossil fuels expended and emissions generated in the processing of the raw materials. Furthermore, advanced technology and manufacturing assures the least wood waste and efficient use of wood by-products. For example, tree bark becomes mulch and soil conditioners, sawdust is used for animal bedding or as fuel for boilers to operate dry kilns, and trimmings can be used for wood components and paper. No other material can compare. It’s clear: There really is no better or natural choice for green building and healthy home environments than American hardwoods. And now, with the endorsement of the federal government, eco-conscious homeowners can confidently choose American hardwood flooring, cabinetry, and millwork for their homes. For more information on American Hardwoods, visit www.HardwoodInfo.com.

About to show your hardwood floor the door?


on’t look down on your hardwood floors just because they’re old and you want a new look underfoot. Your existing hardwoods can be the foundation, literally, of a fresh new decorating scheme, anywhere in your home, and in addition to saving time and money, you’re also sparing Mother Earth when you don’t choke landfills with wood that’s still perfectly good and usable. In Redondo Beach, CA, designer Jackie Balint has customized old wood floors with floral patterns hand-painted to match the homeowner’s favorite plates. New York designer John Buscarello swears by faux-painted finishes like checkerboards and pretend parquet. And Arizona designer Karen Wirrig uses a unique glazing process that wins a floor prize for special effects. Design pros across the U.S. agree: Don’t show your hardwood floor the door. Simply refresh, renew and redeco-

rate to make hardwood floors look new and stylish again. This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.

This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.

DECEMBER 2, 2012 • 15

16 DECEMBER 2 • 2012


Think Outside the Box With a little creativity and the help of these guidelines, you can turn your outdoor living space into an entertainment area that’s cozy and fashionable

ere in Hawaii, when it comes to entertaining, so much of the festivities happen outdoors. Whether you’re planning a holiday party or an anytime outdoor barbecue, I have some tips for both light fluff-ups or remodeling to create a whole new outdoor entertaining area. Here’s the trick: The idea is to create an outdoor room. You can create an outdoor game room, an outdoor living room or an outdoor dining room. Whatever direction you decide on, give it the feel of the complete room, right down to your color palette, materials and finishing accents. The main difference will be finding things suitable for the weather. Look for outdoor, weather-resistant rugs in modern looks and materials like mesh vinyls or natural fibers like sea grass. For upholstery, Sunbrella and others make an amazing variety of prints and fabrics. You can even take the concept of accent walls outdoors using exterior paint. And art? Outdoors is not the place for your oil paintings, but for works of wood, glass or metals like wrought iron. For this client in Discovery Bay, I had a smallish lanai to work with.This project was a quick fluff-up to make the outdoor space as inviting as the indoors. The first thing I did was change the weathered flooring material to an outdoor carpeting. I kept it in the same dark color as the indoor flooring, so the transition was almost seamless. (A more affordable alternative would be an outdoor area rug.) Then, by finding some patio furniture, colorful pillows and a modern art piece for the wall, I created a setting that’s inviting to entertain or relax in. I finished staging it with some iced tea, and this fluff-up took only a little bit of time and money, but had a huge impact. The most common mistake people


16 • DECEMBER 2, 2012

>> Before

above Before, this outdoor area was weathered and impractical top left Now, updated features make the space feel like an outdoor living room bottom left Discovery Bay lanai enhanced with outdoor carpeting, fabrics and art inset Patterned, weather-resistant fabrics

>> After

make with outdoor spaces is getting matching sets of furniture. You can’t beat the pricing, but these can look uniform and uninteresting, so if you have one, find a way to make it uniquely yours. You can change out the bolster pillow and add a throw, or instead of using a fivepiece set, break it up and switch out the coffee table or side table for a more interesting one. This way your arrangement will look more personal — and not like the exact same set your neighbor has!

Now, if time and budget allow and you really want to invest in a great outdoor entertainment area, see if there’s room to extend that space or create a free-standing one, as I did at this home off Waialae Golf Course. When I saw the property, it had a small, roofed bar that I called the hot dog stand. Instead of trying to make it bigger, I tore it down and made the entire footprint larger. Where before there was just a bar stand with a few barstools, now there was an entire outdoor living room, complete with television, surround sound, outdoor chan-

delier and barbecue area. The first step was to think about materials. Was my flooring going to be tile? Some rustic wood decking? Flagstones? I needed something that would wear well and look amazing, so I went with natural quartzite. To give it the look of a living room, I designed the tiles in a pattern that looked like an area rug. The materials I chose for the TV cabinet, furniture and chandelier were all designed for outdoors, but in concept, all the elements of an indoor living room were there. Yes, this was a big project. But the end result was spectacular and added tremendous value to the home. So whether you’re looking for added resale value or simply love to entertain outside, literally think outside the box — and go big outside.

Cathy Lee is president and designer of Cathy Lee Style and Cathy's Marketplace, a furniture and accessories showroom and she recently opened reStyle Hawaii, an affordable, style-conscious consignment warehouse. Lee's interior design work has been featured in local and national publications, on HGTV and in her DIY design workshops. To find out more, go to www.cathyleestyle.com.



A company that makes switching to solar easy A kamai Energy is making the task of purchasing a solar system simple and affordable. A quick phone call to the company sets you up with a friendly Akamai Energy representative who will handle a short 30 minute on-site survey of your home and review your electrical needs. A verbal estimate is given on the spot, followed up with a formal written estimate within 24 hours. Akamai Energy understands that the clock is ticking and everyone is in a hurry to take advantage of 35 percent state credits and 30 percent federal tax credits before 2012 is up. For this very reason, the company is pre-


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pared with enough install crews to handle the fall rush for photovoltaic energy. To help expedite any financing needs, Akamai Energy has teamed up with one of Hawaii’s top local credit unions with 11 Oahu branches to help you get financed quickly for your solar system. To apply with an Akamai Energy solar loan program partner, all you

need is your Akamai Energy contract, signed loan application, two years of tax returns and two current pay stubs for all parties applying for the loan, and you can get financed in as little as three to four business days. Going green can be expensive, and that’s why Akamai Energy has the most competitive pricing program on the market for topof-the-line Solar World 255 American-made panels featuring 25-year warranties on both panels and micro inverters, as well as a 10year installation warranty. Did you know that Solar World panels are salt mist-resistant, which is perfect for Hawaii? Solar World panels have been proven and tested as the No. 1 American-made panel and Akamai Energy is upgrading all its customers to the top-rated SW255 model at no extra charge. Akamai Energy even takes care of your permits, HECO net metering agreements

and homeowners association paperwork to make it as easy as possible to go green for 2012. To make it even more enticing, did you know that Akamai Energy’s installers have more than 10 years of experience in hot water solar and roofing? Wouldn’t you prefer to have a roofer taking care of your solar installation on your largest family investment? Just in time for the holidays, with every complete Akamai Energy PV solar system purchase during the month of November, customers will receive a new iPAD, $500 mall gift card and free semi-annual cleaning for the first two years of owning your new system. This holiday season, Akamai Energy encourages everyone to give your family the gift that keeps giving back thousands of dollars in savings month after month, year after year: a PV solar system from Akamai Energy.

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Control your climate from anywhere ennox Industries has launched the icomfort Wi-Fi™ touchscreen thermostat, the newest comfort control product for the home. Simple to use, install and service, the icomfort Wi-Fi uses Cloud connectivity to offer homeowners temperature control from anywhere in the world — at any time — from a smartphone, tablet, laptop or web-enabled device. “With as much as half the energy used in the home going to heating and cooling, it made sense to develop an innovative and easy-to-use thermostat that could keep up with consumers’ busy lifestyles, while helping them to save energy and money,” said Bobby DiFulgentiz, director of product management, Lennox Residential. “The new icomfort Wi-Fi helps homeowners take control of utility costs by putting comfort control at their fingertips — no matter the location or time of day.”

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home wireless network. It’s brilliant, it’s convenient and it’s just what you expect from the innovation of Lennox. The product features include:

icomfort Wi-Fi touchscreen thermostat The new icomfort Wi-Fi thermostat represents a new way of thinking about connectivity, convenience and control. In addition to being a truly advanced digital touchscreen thermostat, the icomfort Wi-Fi opens up a whole new set of features once it’s connected to a customers’

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Increased convenience and reliability With the icomfort Wi-Fi, consumers can control their home’s temperature via the product website at www.myi comfort.com, or with the icomfort app, available free of charge for iOS systems — iPhone, iPad via iTunes and Android OS via Google Play. The icomfort Wi-Fi is compatible with any Lennox or third-party home comfort system using an optional 24-volt relay kit (launching in Q4 2012). It also offers enhanced performance when paired with premium icomfort-enabled Lennox equipment, exchanging information with system components to maximize energy efficiency. A five-year limited warranty offers consumers added peace of mind. This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.

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Stuff your stockings withgarden gift cards W e all have that family member who is difficult to shop for. Why not give him or her the gift that keeps on giving — a gift card from Geobunga! Green thumbs and do-it-yourselfers can shop Hawaii’s best selection of lilies, water plants, pottery, river rock, bamboo and more at Geobunga’s two locations: one in Salt Lake and a new one-acre farm in Waimanalo. Gardening for most is a personal activity that involves hand-selecting each detail — from the types of veggies that are grown to the pots they are displayed in. Because pots don’t fit in stockings, Geobunga gift cards are ideal for anyone who enjoys spending time in the garden. From now until Dec. 24, for every $100 spent on gift cards, Geobunga will include a complimentary $20 gift card. Here are just a few ideas to help build your outdoor oasis:


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can enjoy the beauty of a water garden. Contrary to what its stunning beauty might imply, a water garden is fairly simple to maintain for experts and novices alike. Grow your own herb and produce garden Anyone can have this hot trend at home in nearly any size space. Container gardens provide a wonderful activity to bond with the kids or grandkids, while adding a beautiful aesthetic to your home. They also are practical and attractive. “Growing food you use in everyday cooking is rewarding and relatively simple to do,” said Geobunga executive director Andrew Dedrick. “Herbs such as basil, oregano and rosemary; lettuces like Manoa and arugula; and cherry or regular toma-

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Recapture your water flow from the ‘Limescale Grinch’ W ith apologies to Dr. Seuss, limescale and its buddies, calcium deposits really are like Grinches in your plumbing, as is visible in the following take on the writer’s classic song:

You’re a mean one, Limescale Grinch. You really are a gyp. Just when we need our shower, all we get is a drip. You’re a monster, Limescale Grinch. You’re a cheater, take a bow. You’ve corroded our hot water heater and now it is pau. You’re a foul one, Limescale Grinch. All you do is plot and plot while our faucets you do spot and spot. You’re a cruel one, Limescale Grinch. You’re nothing more than hype. Yet you go around clogging each and every pipe. Limescale and calcium deposits steal space by clogging

>> After

>> Before

plumbing, which decreases water flow and wastes water as a result. They corrode water-using appliances, including hot-water heaters and dishwashers, and the calcium deposits spot shower doors and kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Limescale and calcium deposits are especially egregious on Oahu, where the water is high in mineral content. But just you wait, Limescale Grinch. There is a hero waiting in the wings: HydroFlow will take care of things. Like the littlest who in Whoville, the little HydroFlow unit is not afraid of the Limescale Grinch. HydroFlow attaches to your plumbing and goes to work attacking the limescale and calcium deposits in plumbing. It’s an easy installation with no cutting of pipes. HydroFlow is small, but mighty. Harald von Sydow, director of Nano Tek-On LLC, knows the truth about this little unit. He has been working with nanotechnology for quite some time, which he said makes HydroFlow work so well. Harald talked about the results he has seen time and time again and said that HydroFlow saves money and helps water-using appliances last longer, since it reduces corrosion. Other major benefits of HydroFlow are that it is environmentally friendly, saves water usage and uses no chemicals. It also increases energy efficiency and is maintenance-free. The Limescale Grinch won’t hear HydroFlow

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working because it is silent, and when he thinks he’s got you when you are drinking water, you have fooled him once again. HydroFlow does not alter the taste of the water. When a HydroFlow unit is installed, randomly varying electric fields are introduced to the water throughout the entire plumbing system, which breaks up corrosion and limescale precipitation. Yes, you’re a mean one, Limescale Grinch. But, this time, Harald has our backs. He’s putting HydroFlow in our homes, and limescale is under attack. To learn more about getting HydroFlow in time for the holidays, call 395-2996 or visit nanotekhi.com. Nano TekOn specializes in environmentally friendly surface treatments, including sealants for glass and natural stone, antimicrobial coatings and self-cleaning surfaces.

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Remodeling tips any baby boomer can use A s America’s 77 million-strong baby boomers reach retirement age, one thing is absolutely clear — they are not going to quietly retreat into their golden years. The most active generation in America’s history wants homes that will support their active lifestyles, and homes that will accommodate the challenges boomers will face from bad knees to working from home to taking on grandchildren. That’s why building and remodeling homes for aging baby boomers represents one of the biggest trends in the home improvement industry today. It’s primarily in response to how baby boomers view themselves, many of whom don’t believe “old” starts until a person turns 80, according to a Del Webb survey. While many boomers see themselves running, cycling, downhill skiing for many years to come, the reality is that aging creates physical challenges, ranging from arthritis to stiffness to balance issues that could result in debilitating falls. Expecting so much of themselves, many are starting to rethink the design of their homes to accommodate their changing lifestyles. To meet the needs of this active generation, home builders and remodelers are developing new design and building techniques that incorporate universal design principles. Universal design means creating products and designing spaces that allow the widest range of people, of varying physical abilities, to use one space, from babies to 80-year-olds. Because the typical American home is designed for an active American family whose adults are in their 20s and 30s, many do not meet the needs

of boomers who want to age gracefully in their own homes. “Universal design is about balancing style with the functionality we need as we move from one stage of life to another,” says John Gardner of APEX Siding System, a manufacturer of low-maintenance, high-durability siding and trim. “Universal design allows empty nesters to live in their homes longer, allowing them to pursue their goals and passions regardless of the physical abilities that aging may impose upon them.” If you’re among America’s baby boomer generation, here are some tips offered by Gardner on how to design and remodel your home to meet your needs today and in the future: Don’t wait until the last-minute If you intend to live in your current home into your 60s, 70s and 80s, don’t wait until health challenges force you to make changes to your home. Create a master plan using universal design principles that can be implemented over time to spread out the costs of your remodeling investment.

floor, easily accessible to your main entrance on the ground floor. This includes a bedroom, a bathroom with shower, washer and dryer, kitchen and dining area and access to technology (TV, computer and phone).

Get an expert Seek out builders and remodelers who have earned the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) age-in-place certification. These design/build firms are knowledgeable about universal design principles and in building and remodeling homes that meet the needs of aging boomers.

Low-maintenance High-maintenance projects, like painting a home, cleaning the exterior side of windows, or sealing cracks and seams in your siding are physically challenging and timeconsuming. For example, if your home needs to have the siding replaced, instead of wood or fiber cement siding, which requires re-sealing and repainting every few years, consider APEX pultruded fiberglass siding with Ultrex, a new type of siding that doesn’t need to be repainted or resealed when properly installed by a remodeling professional.

Plan for one-level living As you remodel your home, create a plan so that everything you need is on one

Zero-step entry Whether you’re maneuvering a stroller through the front door, carrying a load of

groceries, or navigating your mother’s wheelchair, invest in a new, wider front door system, featuring a low-maintenance fiberglass door frame, door and lever handle (not door knob) for easy entry.

Task lighting Add more lighting for close-up tasks such as cooking, reading, hobbies (knitting, fly-tying) and working from home.

Remodel the bathroom Create an accessible ground-level bathroom for guests of any age by installing a zero-entry threshold shower base, a handheld showerhead and shower rails. Don’t forget to give the shower a non-skid floor treatment and to add anti-scalding protection to the sink and shower.

For more information about universal design and remodeling for baby boomers, visit www.apexsiding.com. This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.

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22 DECEMBER 2 • 2012

Give your home a makeover with a high-quality paint job BY KYLE GALDEIRA or Jimmy Suh, owner of Deep Purple Painting, quality is the top priority when it comes to assisting customers with a wide range of painting projects. “I’ve been painting for 25 years, and my main goal is to produce a quality job — that’s the most important thing,” Suh said. Suh moved to Hawaii in early 2010 to be closer to family and friends, and brought his successful painting business with him to the Islands. The contractor spent nearly 20 years in San Francisco building his business and cultivating a sterling reputation for producing quality results. Whether the job involves painting a home’s exterior, or a few walls of a commercial space, Deep Purple Painting has it covered. At the onset of each job, Suh confers with the owner to determine the necessary steps involved in refinishing the desired surfaces. The painter considers many factors, including the relationships between colors and how they compliment one another, and presents the owner with the viable options. Other aspects that Suh considers include the tex-


>> Before

DEEP PURPLE PAINTING contact // 739-2000 >> After

ture of certain surfaces, and what variety of paint will coat them in a way that both protects and beautifies for years to come. Suh has cultivated a host of positive referrals from satisfied customers — a direct result of his respect for his clients and their needs. When meeting with Suh, customers are encouraged to view the completed jobs in person in order to fully understand the stellar workmanship that goes into every

Deep Purple project. After the look and feel of the project is determined, the client is presented with a written estimate of both the cost of the job as well as a timeline detailing the work to be performed. “The word-of-mouth referrals that I receive come from the extensive preparation and excellent results from numerous jobs, both residential and commercial,” said Suh of many notable projects in both Hawaii

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and San Francisco. “That’s why people like how I do business.” Suh has honed his craft for more than a quarter century, and can quickly diagnose problems with paint jobs that have resulted in unsightly chipping and peeling. Suh explained that the tedious tasks of priming and smoothing surfaces and filling in any cracks or imperfections with quality patching materials go a long way in ensuring a paint job’s effectiveness. He stresses quality and an honest approach to customer service throughout each project he’s involved with. “A painter needs to follow the proper procedures,” Suh said. “That’s why there are so many problems here in Hawaii with painting projects.You need to prime the area, and prepare it properly. It’s worth the price for a premium paint job that’s done right the first time, saving time and money in the long run.” For more information, or to set up a consultation with Suh, call 739-2000.

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‘Elite’-ly designed kitchens for all BY SARAH PACHECO lite Design Group LLC strives to turn dream kitchens into reality by working hand-in-hand with its customers from day one. The Honolulu-based design and construction firm walks clients through the entire design process step-by-step, starting with an initial meeting in which Elite Design Group’s project managers will give a free estimate on the project based on each client’s personal budget. “Some people have $50,000 to work with, while others may have $150,000 to work with. So instead of coming to the client with a proposal right off, this introduction phase lets us know their budget so we can put together something that is affordable to them and that they’ll be happy with,” said owner Ray Adams. From there, Elite Design Group and the client work together over the course of several meetings to put ideas to paper and piece together what the final outcome of the project will be. “We walk the customer through everything step-bystep,” Adams said. “We come out and do measurements, we go shopping with them for materials ... there’s a whole process.” Clients remain closely involved even after the actual physical labor begins, as Elite Design Group stays in daily contact


to keep customers updated with their project’s progress. And should any unforeseen problems or setbacks occur, Elite Design Group’s team of competent, experienced workers inform homeowners immediately of the situation and their proposed solutions. “A big part of the project is to make the client feel like they’ve actually done part of the work,” Adams said. “Overall, we make the customer feel like they’ve been part of the project.” Call Elite Design Group at 847-3888 to set up an appointment, or visit its showroom located at 570 A Dillingham Blvd. during normal business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

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24 DECEMBER 2 • 2012


Taking a closer look at glass block atural daylight helps us to be productive and happy people. Glass block allows natural daylight in, yet still provides privacy and security. Here are the answers to commonly asked questions:


Why should I use glass block? Glass block provides the unique combination of timeless beauty, practicality and flexibility, as well as the added benefits of privacy and insulation. Where can glass block be used? Glass block can be used in kitchens, bathrooms, stairways and reception areas, room divisions, windows and hallways. Can I have a glass block shower panel in a small bathroom? If you have room for a bathtub, you have room for a glass block shower panel. Your panel can be built as a walk-in to eliminate the need for a shower door or curtain. Is glass block difficult to install? At Glass Block Hawaii, we can pre-construct any size and shape panel in modular sections that make it easy to install. We can give do it yourselfers stack and grout components and assistance with installation. Do I benefit from air circulation if I install a glass block exterior window? We have fresh-air vents and Milgard sliders to allow for

HAWAII GLASS BLOCK air circulation. Replacing your jalousie windows is a good idea because glass block is easier to clean, provides privacy and gives you a more secure feeling. Is glass block hard to keep clean? There are many glass protective products available. Our sales staff will be happy to provide you with additional tips. Let us help you with your glass block project design. Our knowledgeable sales staff is waiting to assist you. Call 841-

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2565 today or stop by our showroom at 284 Kalihi St. from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. We also are available Saturday by appointment. You can email us at sales @hawaiiglassblock.com or visit our website, www.hawaii glassblock.com.

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DECEMBER 2 • 2012 25

Creating an entryway that sparkles with personality N othing says “welcome to my home” quite like an impressive entryway. Attention to detail and some added extra touches of hospitality can transform any “ho hum” entry into a warm and inviting approach to the home. Professional contractor Mark Clement recommended homeowners star t with the basics. Evaluate the look and condition of the front door. Determine if the current door needs to be replaced or just enhanced with some decorative pediments, crossheads and pilasters. “A front door should have good energy efficiency features, a snug fit to the frame and an appealing color,” said Clement, host of the home improvement radio show MyFixItUpLife. “If you’re missing any of those elements, then I would invest in a new front entryway. “My recommendation is a secure fiberglass door that resists denting and scratching, is easy to maintain, energy-

efficient and quiet. And, don’t forget to select decorative or privacy glass for the doorlites, and potentially your sidelites, to really add appeal to the home’s entryway.” For his own home, Clement recently tackled the job of adding a new fiberglass Therma-Tru® Classic-Craft® Canvas Collection™ entry door with an Augustine® glass doorlite. The insulated glass doorlite with granite glass features a high privacy level along with an elegant wrought-iron design. A Consumers Digest® “Best Buy” recipient, the premium smooth-finish Classic-Craft door is paintable and features architecturally-correct facets like wide center panels and rich embossment details. Clement painted his door teal and showcases the “before and after” project on his YouTube video at http://myfixituplife.com/ DIY/2012/02/making-a-grand-entrance-on-a-100-yearold-home/. “We needed a ‘door-lift’ for the front of our house — much like a facelift for the home,” said Clement, whose www.myfixituplife.com website offers home improvement insights to consumers. “We started with the new energy-efficient door, then finished with durable PVC millwork on the exterior of the door and urethane trim around the door’s interior. These moisture-resistant materials from Fypon resist rot, mold, insects and decay so they’re ideal to enhance the entryway. “For most entryways, I recommend a set of pilasters that stand up next to both sides of your door and attach to the surface siding. Then, add a crosshead and pediment that can ‘sit’ on the top of the entryway. With dozens of decorative pediment designs to choose from, such as a sunburst, rams head or peaked cap, you can add your own personality to the entryway. These low-maintenance synthetic products are all key focal features that make an entranceway more appealing.” Clement points out that urethane millwork products are long-lasting, since their surfaces are not subject to chipping and peeling as you’d find with many wood trim pieces. The synthetic pieces also resist humidity, warping and rotting, making them ideal for all climate conditions. “Even the simple and relatively inexpensive addition of a crosshead and keystone over an entry door can transform the look of a home,” said Clement. “For the final steps, consider new exterior lighting fixtures to complement your new door, along with a colorful welcome mat and planters of colorful flowers. Together these all add up to creating a warm, welcoming entryway for you and your guests.”


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This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.

DECEMBER 2, 2012 • 25

26 DECEMBER 2 • 2012

Affordable bathrooms that look expensive T he average cost of a bathroom remodel tops $16,500, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs.Value report. But you don’t have to spend the average to achieve above-average results when it comes to updating a bathroom. Generally, people renovate or remodel bathrooms for two main reasons: to boost their home’s resale value, and to enhance their own enjoyment of the room. A bathroom renovation yields a 62 percent return on investment at the time of resale, Remodeling Magazine’s report indicates. Fortunately, the bathroom is one room in the house where you can accomplish a lot with a small investment. Here are four affordable updates that can leave you feeling like a million bucks when you step into your new bath:

1. Redo walls and floors The key to bringing this job in under budget is to do the work yourself.The actual materials — paint for the walls and tile, stone or vinyl for the floor — can be purchased for a relatively low cost. By doing the work yourself, you avoid high labor charges. Most bathrooms require only a gallon or two of paint, so you can easily stay on budget even if you purchase a high-end brand. It’s also possible to find plenty of cost-effective flooring options, from luxury materials like marble to more economical ones such as ceramic tile or vinyl.


find many budget-friendly options. 2. Switch out the shower door After the walls and floor, the shower door is probably the third largest surface — and design element — in your bathroom. Unless your home was custom-built, chances are your shower door is bland and basic, albeit functional. Replacing a plain shower door with one that features a design, pattern or frosting can add personal flair to a bathroom. Manufacturers like Sterling offer a variety of shower doors that are both beautiful and functional, including patterned shower doors. In addition, Sterling’s frameless doors feature the company’s trademarked ClearCoat technology, which creates a barrier between the water and glass to keep the door looking pristine and new. Prices vary depending on the style of door you choose, but you'll


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3. Swap out the shower enclosure Cracked, chipped ceramic tile or an old, stained shower enclosure can make your bathroom look tired, dated and dirty. Replacing the shower enclosure can give the room a whole new look. Plus, if you only have a tub and would like to add a shower, an enclosure is a fast, easy and cost-effective way to achieve your goal. Or if a tub doesn’t suit your design and lifestyle needs, you can replace it with a shower enclosure. Products like Sterling Ensemble Curve shower enclosures are sized to fit standard 5-foot bath alcove spaces, and installation doesn’t require you to move the drain location. Replacing a tub with an enclosure makes for a spacious, luxurious showering experience. The Sterling prod-

4. Update fixtures Few bathroom upgrades have a greater impact on efficiency and beauty the way changing fixtures can. Whether you opt for a low-flow showerhead or a high-efficiency toilet that requires less water to flush, replacing older fixtures can update the look of a bathroom and yield long-term savings on utility bills. With abundant color, shape and design options in everything from commodes to sinks, faucets to shower controls, it’s possible to find fixtures that suit every design taste — and price point. Smart shoppers can find budget-friendly options that will allow them to replace more than one item, giving a bathroom a fresh look and feel. This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.


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How to maximize even the smallest of kitchen spaces T he kitchen is becoming more than just a food preparation area in today’s society. Yet, on average, the kitchen still remains one of the smaller rooms in the house. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) considers any kitchen 150 square feet or smaller to be a small kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it look more spacious with some big ideas.

• Use unique storage solutions. Install high pantry cabinets to eliminate extra small cabinets. Add pullout shelves, rotating inser ts and tilt-out bins to increase accessibility and storage within the cabinets. Light colored cabinets, open shelves, wire organizers and glass-

front doors will help to lighten the space.

• Choose appliances wisely. There are numerous high efficiency, sleek appliances that will allow individuals with small kitchens to have the same luxuries as those with large kitchens. Try to keep your cooktop and oven in the same area. Have microwaves built into the cabinetry to increase counter space. Keep all small appliances stored in either an appliance garage or pantry to maintain a clutterfree workspace.

A Division of

• Maintain a mix of natural and ambient lighting. A skylight will open the ceiling to more light and raise a portion of the ceiling, visually expanding the space. Bay or greenhouse windows create an open feel. Natural light should be complemented by ambient and task lighting to provide the same feeling during the night. • Add a personalized touch. Display small, simple items that add a personal touch without creating a feel of clutter. Too many displays will cause the kitchen to look much smaller, but the right amount can add to the warmth and provide an illusion of a larger space. This article is provided courtesy of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) via Home Improvement News and Information Center.

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DECEMBER 2 • 2012



Taking advantage of an exclusive solar offer BY JAIMIE KIM

t’s no secret that Hawaii’s solar industry has been booming for the past few years, but homeowners and industry professionals have recently expressed concern over the sudden changes in state tax rules that will drastically reduce the amount of tax credits available for Hawaii homeowners. If you have been considering reducing your electric bill with solar, but are worried you’ve missed the state tax credit opportunities because of changes being implemented in 2013, don’t panic: Sunetric has a solution. “The department of taxation issued a new administrative ruling to change the definitions of the state tax incentives,” shared chief operating officer Aaron Kirk. The new qualifications to receive state tax credits are now based on kilowatts installed. This means you may not be entitled to receive as much in return from the state as you may have in 2012. “This can result in up to a 50 percent cut in tax credits from the state level, just by altering the definition,” said Kirk. “Sunetric feels that the tax change decision was made too quickly and without looking at


28 • DECEMBER 2, 2012

the impact it’s going to have on the solar industry, on Hawaii’s clean energy initiative or to Hawaii homeowners.” “This tax code change will dramatically affect the ease in which local homeowners can put solar on their homes,” said Kirk. Kirk predicts that there may not be any openings for installations before the end of the year, unless you want to turn to drastic measures and go with someone who can’t guarantee the same quality of service. But don’t be discouraged and lose faith in turning your roof into a personal power plant. To continue to provide its reputable service to customers, and to assist homeowners that won’t be able to install photovoltaic before the end of the year, Sunetric has found exclusive means to cover the loss of tax rebates for homeowners. “We have access to an exclusive program that allows us to honor nearly all of the same tax credits that were available in 2012 for our new customers,” shared Kirk. “We’ve worked hard to find a way to give homeowners a little bit more time to get in, and benefit from the better tax rebates that were available before this drastic cut was made.”

SUNETRIC contact // 262-6600 web // sunetric.com However, Kirk noted that Sunetric will only be able to extend the 2012 tax credits for a limited time. “The resources of this program are limited and are allocated only to Sunetric customers. We are doing everything we can to extend it as long as possible and give as many local homeowners the benefits that these tax incentives provided before the

rules changed,” said Kirk. And choosing to trust in Sunetric also means knowing that you’ll get more than your money’s worth with top-tier, U.S.made photovoltaic panels. To ensure that you’ll be able to take part in Sunetric’s exclusive offer, visit sunetric.com or call the company’s main offices at 262-6600.


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