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MARCH 13, 2011


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HAWAIIRENOVATION athrooms are intimate rooms of transition. We go from dirty to clean and from no make-up to being made up. It is a room in which we let go of the old and release our toxins, as well as our tears. The bathroom assists us in processing that which we no longer want to keep within us. It is the most private room of the home, and in public, it is the only place where we can get privacy. As such, the bathroom is a very important place in which to create comfort and support, especially when you are transitioning in your life and going through changes. When you are feeling vulnerable, make sure that your bathrooms are protected energetically.


they lose a minimal amount of energy. Of the cures I mention below, you can choose to do all or just a few.

bathrooms offer minimal energetic security and comfort. In feng shui, the color white represents metal. Metal has the qualities of being cold, hard, and unyielding and can transfer




What is a good color? Most people will agree that being naked is a vulnerable state to be in. Imagine yourself naked in a sterile white bathroom. Does the thought make you feel uncomfortable? White


to the “feel” of a bathroom. If you want a bathroom that is energetically supportive, choose colors that are deep and saturated to create a surrounding that is rich and enveloping. Creating more of the “womb” energy allows users to feel protected and nurtured while there. Earth tones, jewel tones, and deeper color values are excellent for the bathroom. That being said, due to personal taste, some prefer


ALICE by Alice Inoue

Bathrooms light-colored, airy bathrooms and feel claustrophobic in anything else. In this case, just use a few accent pieces (area rugs, towels, curtains, shower curtains) in complementary earth tones to offer a bit of stability and warmth. You can also choose to add images of nature scenes to bring in more supportive energy.

Aren’t bathrooms “bad” feng shui? Bathrooms are filled with drains and are thought of as “bad” because of the idea that water, which represents flow and abundance, gets flushed away or goes down the drain via the bathroom. Bathrooms can actually be “cured” or fixed so that

Simple Bathroom cures Keep the door shut whenever you can. Keep the toilet lid down and the drains closed when not in use. Add upward-growing, “strong-looking” plants instead of droopy and delicate plants to counter the downward energetic force of the toilet and drains. Hang a full-length mirror outside the door to deflect the energy. If you can’t hang a full-length mirror, hang one that is half-length, or at least one that you can see your head in. Create a “wow” bathroom with your décor. This will

help to raise the energy. I have seen Victorian, Elvis, cat, dog, and pig themes in bathrooms. If guests use your bathroom and come out complimenting it, they have helped you in keeping the energy high!

Feng shui expert and life guide Alice Inoue offers books, DVDs, workshops and private consultations. For more information, visit

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E’s innovative GeoSpring™ Hybrid Water Heater is the most energy-efficient 50-gallon electric water heater you can buy. With advanced heat pump technology combined with traditional electric elements, this new GeoSpring hybrid electric heat pump water heater has been designed with maximum energy efficiency in mind and saves energy without sacrificing hot water. This remarkable product can reduce water heater expenses up to 62 percent compared to a conventional 50-gallon tank water heater, and will save the average Hawaii household approximately $875 per year (based on the statewide average electricity cost of 28.91 cents/kwh as of November 2010. Your savings will vary based on your individual circumstances). It exceeds ENERGY STAR® standards with a 2.35 energy factor, and qualifies for the $175 Hawaii Energy Rebate and a $300 Federal Tax Credit. Check with your tax adviser to see how you qualify. The GeoSpring hybrid

electric heat pump model fits in a similar footprint as a standard 50-gallon electric water heater and uses existing water and electrical connections to make water heater installation quick and easy. Ideal as a replacement water heater, the GeoSpring is designed for all common indoor installations including closet, laundry room or garage. Since the water heater draws in air from the room to heat water, the room must be at least 10 feet-by10 feet-by-7 feet (700 cf) or larger. If the room is smaller, there must be a louvered door in the opening. Ideal for Hawaii homeowners because of our high-energy costs, the GeoSpring™ Hybrid Water Heater is the perfect choice when replacing your water heater today. Do you turn on your hot water faucet and then wait for minutes while cold water runs down the drain? If so, consider adding the Act D’Mand System to your home. This is the only recirculating system that is available on

demand, saving water, energy and money. No additional plumbing is required so it is an addition to any standard-plumbed home or abode with a recirculating loop, and can be installed in both new construction as well as on existing homes. In addition, the pump works with any kind of water heater, from standard electric and tankless gas to solar and the new GeoSpring. The D’Mand System is designed to move the hot water from your water heater to your most remote fixture (kitchen, master bath, etc.) within seconds. At the push of a button, the cool water you normally let run down the drain is circulated back to the water heater through the cold water line. The D’Mand System is easily installed under the sink farthest from your water heater. At your command, the pump pulls the hot water from the water heater moving only

the cold water back through the cold water line into the water heater to replace the hot water being moved. When the hot water arrives at the D’Mand System, it is automatically shut off by a thermo sensor. The D’Mand System has both commercial and residential applications and is available in three models: S-50T, S-70T and S-02T series. S-50T series are designed for homes and condos with hot water runs up to 50 feet from the water heater. The S-70T series

are designed to deliver hot water rapidly up to 100 feet from the water heater. The S-02T series will accommodate larger homes and commercial applications where distance from the water heater and larger diameter piping is a factor. Servco Home and Appliance Showroom is the display facility for Servco Home and Appliance Distribution, a wholesale distributor of premier lines of kitchen appliances and bath accessories. The showroom presents quality brands like GE Monogram, Bosch, Thermador, Gaggenau and undercounter refrigeration and wine captains from ULine. Other brands include GE Profile, GE Café and GE appliances, Best and Broan hoods, plumbing products for both kitchen and bath from KWC, Hansa and Rohl, kitchen systems from Franke, undercabinet lighting from Hera, outdoor grills from Alfresco and split air-conditioning systems from Sanyo. Visit the Servco Home and Appliance Showroom to see this and many more innovative products on display. The showroom, located at 2841 Pukoloa St. in Mapunapuna, is open to the public for viewing Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information, visit the website,



BIA Parade of Homes Announces Leadership Team he Building Industry Association of Hawaii will present the 55th annual Parade of Homes during the Open House weekends of Oct. 8-9 and 15-16. This premier statewide showcase of new homes in Hawaii will educate consumers on the latest trends, technology and design innovations in residential construction. The 2011 theme is “Sustainable Lifestyle ... Sustainable Homes” and the steering committee chairman is McKibbin Mist, purchasing and contracts manager of Gentry Builders. Other members of the steering committee are: Judy Engkabo, Title Guaranty Escrow Services Inc., sales chairman; Donna Tomita, Donna M. Tomita Consulting, and Mary Flood, D.R. Horton-Schuler



Homes, LLC, sponsorship co-chairs; Rick Hobson, Gentry Homes Ltd., marketing chairman; Todd Niizawa, Gentry Home Loans and Gary Okimoto, Honolulu Wood Treating, golf co-chairs; Jay Kadowaki, Jay Kadowaki Inc., judging chairman; Brooke Kaneshiro Peters, Wells

Fargo Home Mortgage, Carol Marx, Bank of Hawaii and Laurie Lee, Pacific Island Realty, LLC, Gala & Silent Auction co-chairs; and Jim Byxbee, Homeworks Construction Inc., BIA-Hawaii president. Chartered 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.

Economy, housing market drive smaller, smarter home-remodeling projects hings may be looking up, but the economy remains sluggish. That reality, coupled with tight lending and home resale uncertainty, is driving consumers to prioritize


home improvements based not just on immediate need, but also on potential appeal to future buyers. For the most part, it is best to make useful improvements that will ap-

peal to a wide range of buyers down the road, say experts. Proceeding cautiously, homeowners are therefore thinking twice before undertaking major projects. When SEE PAGE 14

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HAWAIIRENOVATION hen Shirley Pai Hilton of Pacific Imports first started working in the wood flooring business a number of years ago, it was a totally foreign world to her. Having come from


larly equipped and is often called upon by local groups and publications for a contribution of her expertise. But what she enjoys most of all is talking to her customers, learning


Mission of Educating Consumers

a finance and high-tech world, you can imagine what a change it was to start dealing with wood, stone and carpet! Furthermore, she found that there was a huge amount of information that needed to be absorbed if one was going to make a reasonably informed buying decision. From that time forward, Pai has made it her goal to gain as much technical and practical knowledge about flooring as she can so that she can be of the best possible service to her customers. She regularly trains her staff to be simi-

what their needs and wants are and helping them to sort out the many choices. “I hate it when retailers put selfish interests first. Of course, I want to sell a floor — that’s what I’m in business for. But it has to be what is right for the customer, not just what I have in stock. And it has to be a good value and installed correctly.” Pai and her staff can literally spend hours with customers, educating them on the different types of wood and stone flooring, each product’s features,

functions, and benefits,and also give them tips on what might best suit their decorating taste. This is accomplished through seminars, which have been well received, with many commenting how much they’ve learned and how they’ve enjoyed themselves. The company’s next seminar will be held at its showroom Saturday, March 26, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.. The program will start with very basic information on the various types of wood, stone and tile flooring on the market

and also expert installation information. It will end with a Q&A session and private consultations. Best of all, Hilton offers a private sale, which is exclusive to seminar attendees. Home to Kahala Floors’ line of beautifully engineered woodflooring, which is specially made for Hawaii, Pacific Imports invites the public to come down and

experience the company’s spacious showroom while enjoying light refreshments and receiving a great education in flooring

choices. For more information or to reserve a seat at the upcoming seminar, call 847-7711.



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Welcometo your newOutdoors t’s always nice to have a beautiful home with stone flooring, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances and fixtures, but what about your pool deck, lanai or driveway? Since the first thing people see is the outside of the home, shouldn’t the exterior get just as much attention as the interior? Quartzite and slate, for example, are two of the most popular stones that are typically used for outdoor flooring. But because there are many other beautiful options to choose from, it can be difficult to achieve the look that


you want. Well, it’s time to come to Hawaii Home Expo and see just how beautiful the outside of your home can be. At Hawaii Home Expo, not only is there a vast array of products to choose from, but there’s also more than two decades of expertise to help you achieve a fresh, vibrant look for your home. From common Chinese quartzites and slates to extravagant Brazilian flagstone and Peruvian travertine slabs, everything you need to give the outside of your home that “wow” factor is here.

But it doesn’t end there. Landscaping your garden with river rocks, creating unique stone veneers or installing a Brazilian flagstone deck are other projects you could choose to do in order to spruce up the outside of your home. Wouldn’t you like to enjoy a dip in a Jacuzzi, or grill a meal for the family on a Lynx or Viking grill? Could you make use of the health and wellness benefits from having your own outdoor sauna? At Hawaii Home Expo, the only limit to the look and comfort of your new outdoors is your imagination. Check out the Hawaii Home Expo showroom at 2933 Koapaka St. Or for more information, call 695-EXPO (3976) or visit the website, hawaiihome

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HAWAIIRENOVATION 1. Respect ponding water. If it’s over a half-inch deep in places, make sure you strengthen those areas with GEO’s reinforcing roof fabric and use an extra coating. 2. Coat your roof before 2 p.m. on a sunny day. A night rain may rinse off any uncured coating. 3. Reinforce your perimeter drip edge with fabric. This keeps the water from rotting out your fascia board.

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n an effort to save money, many islanders are safeguarding rooftops themselves as the winter storms rage around the 50th state. The smartest residents, in fact, are turning to


Green Energy Outlet (GEO), which sells many of the top roof-coating brands, including Hawaiian Sunguard, White Lava, Apoc Ultra Premium and Tropical Silicone.

GEO values its customers and desires that their homes remain intact during the windy, rainy season. Here are 10 suggestions on how to protect your home:

tractor, look for ones that have A-plus ratings with the BBB. GEO can also recommend roofers with experience in coatings. 9. Have fun, do it with a friend. Throw a rooftop party after you’re done. 10. Choose the right coating for your particular conditions. GEO carries the following brands: Hawaiian SunGuard for hot areas, with ceramic granules; APOC Ultra Pre-

mium for long warranties on commercial jobs (15 years labor and materials with authorized applicator, Tropical Silicone for heavy ponding; White Lava for great performance at a reasonable price; and APOC Sta-Kool, a dependable workhorse with a low price. Call 591-1900 to have GEO’s experts inspect your roof, free of charge. Or for additional information, visit the website,

4. When in doubt, start with an epoxy primer. It’s cheap and assures a tight bond. 5. Why not reinforce your entire roof with roof fabric? It may be the last roof you’ll ever need. Simply recoat every 10 to 15 years using just a fraction of the original material. 6. Most shingle roofs can be waterproofed. Choose any light to medium color to blend in to your neighborhood, or go bright white for maximum coolness. 7. Go with ceramic coatings. They’re the best option when it comes to staying cool in hot areas. 8. When choosing a con-

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A one-stop shop for kitchen, bathroom materials

hana Building Supply is your one-stop shop for homeowners and contractors alike. A variety of high-quality kitchen and bathroom materials are available at very reasonable prices. Best of all, the company’s selection, from readymade to custom cabinetry, in-


cludes a full line of granite countertops, stainless steel sinks, and hardwood and laminate flooring — all designed to fit any architectural style. The ready-made and custom cabinets are constructed of full plywood boxes, solid wood face frames and doors. Locally

stocked are maple, light or dark cherry espresso oak and the new white oak, constructed of plywood boxes and engineered with MDF-flat, panel-style doors and frames. Selections are growing, with new styles soon to come. Ohana Building Supply stocks a vast selection of granite coun-

tertops such as African Fantasy, Blues in the Night, Jurpana Tier Ivory, Yellow Dragon and River White, 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 (three styles to choose from) with the purchase of any kitchen cabinet set. Other granites are 15 percent off with purchase of a kitchen cabinet set. Ohana also stocks an assortment of laminate and hardwood flooring, under mount and top mount stainless-steel sinks. All of these products are in stock and available for prompt delivery or pick-up. The friendly staff ensures excellent customer service and can assist with any questions you may have. Visit the company showroom at 2815 Kaihikapu St. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 833-8338.



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Homeowners may learn more about photovoltaic energy at free open house

n November 2009, Manoa resident Kenneth Chang chose Hawaii’s largest solar company, RevoluSun, to design and install a solar system for his home. Now, less than 18 months later, he no longer spends $120 each month on electricity and his clean, renewable energy system has paid for itself, leaving Chang with


literally zero out-of-pocket cost. Thanks to generous state and local tax incentives, as well as RevoluSun’s customer referral program, Chang was able to quickly pay for his solar system. “When I began looking for alternative energy sources, I considered wind power, but decided against it due to the noise and aes-

thetics,” he says. “I met with RevoluSun, who walked me through the design and options for my home. RevoluSun project developer Abbie Willow made the entire process stress-free; the installation was simple and efficient, and now I get only a monthly $18 bill for administrative fees from HECO. In addition, I’ve been able to really help spread the word of solar by hosting educational solar open houses at my home. In the past year, I’ve held about 30 of these, educating dozens and dozens of Hawaii homeowners.” Hawaii-owned RevoluSun’s robust solar open house program features Hawaii homes almost every weekend throughout Oahu. With the company’s recent expansion to Maui and the Big Island, RevoluSun plans to begin offering these educational events there as well. “Our goal is to help people really understand how solar can help them significantly reduce their electric bill,” says Eric Carlson, RevoluSun partner. “A solar open house is a great

way for homeowners to learn about PV not just from us, but to talkstory with other local families, to learn first-hand their experience with RevoluSun’s design and installation quality, and the financing options that make solar affordable for everyone.” As for Chang, he enjoys helping more people “join the RevoluSun”. “It was such an easy decision — not only am I saving money, I’m also helping protect Hawaii’s

environment and I’m able to share my experience with other Hawaii homeowners. Plus, for each new customer I refer, I get a referral bonus. It’s a win-win all around.” Ask questions about the technology and see a solar installation by visiting a RevoluSun solar open house this weekend. RevoluSun is constantly adding solar open house locations, so be sure to visit for the most complete list of

solar open houses. As Hawaii’s leading solar provider, RevoluSun designed and installed more residential photovoltaic projects in 2010 than any other company, and is able to help you, too. RevoluSun offers free, understandable energy evaluations to homeowners, which allow for customized systems based on each home’s unique energy needs. To schedule your free energy evaluation, call 7488888.

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HAWAIIRENOVATION pdating your home or building a new one is about to get a whole lot easier. Oahu homeowners and landlords can get answers to all of their renovation questions at either of two “Building to Your Lifestyle” seminars being presented by HK Construction. “These informative seminars are free, fun and open to the public,” says company vice president Alan Twu. “If you’re thinking of building or remodeling for the first time, this seminar will help you understand



the process a homeowner will go through from start to finish.” The “Building to Your Lifestyle” seminars will take place at Pearl Country Club on Thursday, March 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. and at Ward Warehouse on Friday, March 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. A bank representative will be on hand to give options and answer any

financing questions. “Most of all, we get people one step closer to having the home they’ve always dreamed of for their family,” says Twu. At the end of the seminar, participants will be invited to meet one-onone with HK Construction design consultants for advice. “HK Construction is a kamaaina company that

has built hundreds of quality homes and home improvements throughout Oahu,” says Twu. “We have more than 35 years of experience in the construction industry. Our staff offers a full range of services with the knowledge and designing capabilities to build to your unique lifestyle.” “As a local company,

we want to give our clients a “One-stop Shop” that you don’t often see anymore because many companies become very specialized,” Micah Keoho says. “We are able to offer a wide array of services, and are able to control costs and offer better quality because we keep it in-house.” “Although some con-


offer building tips tractors dread the thought of warranties, I can tell you with full confidence that HK Construction is not afraid of warranties. We back our work 100 percent and are

not happy until our customers are happy,” says Twu, who represents the fourth generation of builders in his family. HK Construction tackles projects ranging from new home construction and major additions to complete interior renovations. Team members guide and inspire homeowners throughout the design and building process. “They were very professional and efficient in providing their services, and were very knowledgeable as well as friendly, which made me very comfortable with them,” says Cynthia Lai, a recent customer. “I would highly recommend them to anyone who needs work done to their homes.” To reserve a spot at this week’s free “Build to Your Lifestyle” seminars, call HK Construction at 3483111. Or, to learn more about the company, log on to




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in your living room for

here’s a reason we call it “the living room.” We might all spend most of our time in the kitchen, but when we want to relax with family and friends to watch a movie, take in a TV show or just enjoy some good conversation, we head to the living room. Between the kids playing trampoline on the couch or taking the “throw” in throw pillows literally, the family dog decorating the carpet with her hair, and the overall wear and tear the room gets, it may be hard to imagine living large in your living room anymore. The


$100or less good news is, refreshing the room and making it a showpiece of your home again needn’t cost a bundle. In fact, you can give your living room a facelift by making some key changes that each cost $100 or less. From wall decor ideas to furniture fixes, here are some easy, do-it-yourself decorator moves that can update the look of your living room for less than the cost of a designer handbag: Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize Just as the right shoes and a bright scarf can add pizzaz to an otherwise so-

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so outfit, the right mix of accessories can add power and pop to your living room decor. Accessories can also help conceal a host of flaws, from worn-out upholstery to stained carpeting. Hit a discount home goods store and replace tired accent pillows with new ones in bright colors. Add designer-inspired tiebacks to the same old drapes after you’ve freshly laundered them. Scatter plush throws around the room. Cover carpeting that’s seen better days with an area rug that looks fresh, new and fun.

Back to the wall She who wields a paint roller well (or is even just reasonably OK with one) has the power to completely change a room — for less than $30 a gallon.

at can transform any room with a nature mural or images that evoke a tropical getaway, a vibrant cityscape, an undersea wonderland or a rustic Tuscan villa. On the SEE PAGE 14

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2815 Kaihikapu Street Honolulu, HI 96819 Ph: 808.833.8338 Fax: 808.833.8339

Professional & fast service

Licensed & Insured BC-20690 Waialae Plumbing 825 Halekauwila Street Honolulu, HI 96815

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(Off Dillingham Blvd. by Kapalama Canal)

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:30am -5pm • Sat. 9am - 4pm


HAWAIIRENOVATION Next, if you can’t afford to add new cabinetry, change out the hardware so the knobs, drawer pulls and handles match your decor and add a modern flair. Adding technologydriven fixtures, including built-in water filtration systems, garbage disposals and high-tech faucets is another great way to increase the room’s appeal. Delta Faucet’s Touch2O Technology will impress homebuyers and add a sense of luxury to the room. The technology enables users to turn the faucet on and off with just a touch anywhere on the spout or handle, and is available on a variety of models.

Selling your home in 2011? ajor home renovations can be overwhelming, but there are a few fundamental repairs that can update your home’s appearance and increase its value. If you’re planning to sell your home in 2011, prepare now by focusing on a few key projects:


1. Make a first impression The entryway is the first up-close encounter a potential homebuyer will have with your home. Manicure your front yard and update or even replace your front door to complement your home’s exterior. Select a rich, dark stained wood or bold white door to draw attention to the main entry and add personality to your home. If your door is already in great shape, consider a simple replacement of weak or older-looking hardware that will impress buyers at first sight. 2. Get cookin’ in the kitchen Experts agree that a kitchen can


Here are

tips to add value significantly impact a home’s perceived value. An outdated kitchen can be a deal breaker for many homebuyers. Naturally, then, it’s the place you might spend the most amount of time updating. To increase the appeal of your kitchen, consider investing in updated, matching appliances that match the style of your kitchen. Some manufacturers even offer replacement panels to update the exteriors of older appliances.

3. Update and upgrade light fixtures Lighting is key. It can drastically change the look and feel of a room, and lighting fixtures are affordable and relatively simple to install on your own. Shop discount stores and home improvement depots to find a statement piece to add spice to your living room. A beautiful ceiling fan with lighting can serve double-duty to update your family room. Remember, well-lit and bright rooms appear larger and more open. 4. Step on it Flooring is one of the first things that potential homebuyers notice. Make sure you dust, vacuum and clean so that you show off the flooring to its best advantage. If you have carpet, consider replacing it with wood floors or wood alternatives. If you already have hardwood floors, polish and protect your flooring so that it gleams when potential buyers step into the home. Whether you’re trying to sell your home this winter or simply want to update its look, you don’t have to wait until the spring thaws. When the cold weather drives you inside, take advantage of the time to make attractive upgrades that can increase the appeal and value to your home.

Free Seminar • • • •

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

Wed, March 16 6-8 P.M. Honolulu Country Club

Call: 593-2808

or register online at:


New Home, Multi-Family, Additions, & Renovation Seminar for Homeowners!

“Building To Your Lifestyle” • Have your questions answered! • We’ll show you the ABC’s of Design Building! • FREE onsite property evaluation!

Thur., Mar. 17, 2011

@ Pearl Country Club – Pearl II 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Come hear about our builder’s incentive special!

Fri., Mar. 18, 2011 @ Ward Warehouse 6:00pm – 8:00pm

HK Construction, Corp For FREE estimate call 841-1800

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KAIMUKI 1st & Waialae • 735-3005 KANEOHE 45-620 Kamehameha Hwy. (Behind 7-11) • 262-0900 SAND ISLAND 330 Sand Island Access Rd. • 841-6183


For seminar reservations please,

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Over 35 Years of Experience - Your Full Service Building Provider Lic. #ABC25837 MARCH 13, 2011 | HAWAII RENOVATION | 13


Economy, housing market drive smaller home-remodeling projects FROM PAGE 4

they do decide to remodel, they are sticking with smaller, tried-andtrue improvements — like adding a bathroom. Bathroom additions are a wise renovation option, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2009-2010 Cost vs. Value Report. An added bath can be expected to recoup just less than 60 percent of its cost at resale. Cost-effective solution Fortunately, creating a new bath need not be costly — especially in spaces that lack below-floor drainage; that is, where a bathroom does not currently exist, such as a basement, an attic, a garage or even a bedroom closet. In these situations, many plumbers recommend installing macerating, above-floor plumbing. “With a macerating, or up-flush, toilet, there is no need to break up the floor to install drainage lines,” says Al Warren, a licensed plumbing contractor for more than 30 years and owner of Warren Brothers Mechanical Contractors in Stafford Springs, Conn. Warren uses Saniflo brand macerating

plumbing systems. “This technology,” he continues, “makes it possible to inexpensively install a brand new bathroom in any room in the house, including the basement.” Up-flush technology isn’t new, having been invented a half-century ago, but its application is growing rapidly. These systems pump waste and water from toilets and sinks upward through smalldiameter piping that transfers the waste to the sewer or septic tank. Unlike sewage ejectors, up-flush systems evacuate waste immediately through this piping, rather than storing it in a holding tank. William and Jane Sprague from Annapolis, Md., wanted a bathroom in their basement family room, but they didn’t want the high cost and expense of digging up the concrete floor to create drainage. In addition, space for the proposed bathroom was limited. Up flush plumbing saved the Spragues money and simplified their half-bath remodeling project. “We’ve had a lot of compliments” on the new bathroom, says Jane Sprague. “It’s very small, but I love it. It’s worked out perfect for us.”

Multi-generational households Bathroom additions remain extremely popular, and with the increase in extended-family households, what could be more important to personal convenience and privacy than adding a bathroom? Recent U.S. Census data showed that a record 49 million Americans now live in multigenerational households. That rising trend will likely impact future buying needs, so savvy homeowners are making strategic improvements now. When it comes to bath additions, Saniflo up-flush systems can help. “Time and again, clients ask me for advice and guidance to update their bathrooms without breaking the bank,” says April Bettinger, owner of Nip Tuck Remodeling in Woodinville, Wash. “They are happy to have recommendations for products that will hold up well, provide a useful life and look nice at the same time,” she says. Learn more about low-cost abovefloor bathroom systems by visiting or calling 1-800571-8191.

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Furniture fixes If your wooden furniture is still sturdy but suffering from scratches, dings, dents and watermarks, consider refinishing it yourself. One gallon of wood finish can


HPS Home Improvement Services


website, you’ll find plenty of easy-to-install murals for less than $100. You can use yours to create a focal point in your living room, accent an architectural feature, make a small space feel more open and airy, or add interest to an otherwise boring wall.


cost less than $30, and cover a lot of wood furniture. Or, you can check out used furniture stores, flea markets and yard sales in search of gently used items in better condition than what you have. Another option would be to visit a big box store that sells unfinished furniture and do the finishing yourself.


Living large in your living room again is possible, and you don’t have to have the large budget of a home improvement show to achieve it. Some creativity and the willingness to try some fun do-it-yourself projects can go a long way toward making your tired old living room look and feel new again.

• Repairs • Remodels Protect Your Home From • Updates • Interior/Exterior Hurricanes With HPS! • Masonry • Tile/Granite Tested Strongest & Most • Laminate/Engineered wood flooring Affordable •• Expert Licensed • Termite damage/water rot/structural fixes Installations •• Meets State Tech Specifications • Remodel/add a room, and much more! 1-story from $1099 • Numerous Great References 2-story from $1599


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Don't miss Hawaii's premier drive time, call-in, home repair and upgrade news/talk/non-infomercial show: "Fix It Fridays on The Mike Buck Show", Co-hosted and content produced by Gerald Peters of HPS, Fridays live 3-4 pm, KHVH 830 AM, now in its 8th year.

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Use retaining wall systems to build your own ‘victory garden’ planter

ore and more, people are taking up gardening to supplement their groceries with healthful, homegrown produce, but yard space sometimes is a problem. However, a raised-bed planter can be tucked into just about any corner of your yard. And thanks to easy-to-use segmental retaining wall systems, most do-it-yourselfers can build one with minimum skill and tools. “We’ve seen quite a few folks come in with spring fever who are anxious to start their own ‘victory garden,’” says Dave Johnson, If your yard is sloped, tiered walls are an option for buildmanager of Patio Town, an ing raised planters. Stairs also can be integrated into Oakdale, Minn., landscape tiered wall designs for easier access to your gardens. supplies retailer. “But for many of them, their yard space is limited, so we suggest a tion from the weight of the blocks raised-bed planter that can stand stacked on top of one another, along alone in the yard or be built alongside with interlocking mechanisms, keep the units together. your house or garage.” They’re also more environmentally A raised-bed garden has other advantages besides size, Johnson notes. friendly than landscape timbers and “Because they’re elevated, there’s other materials that may contain hazless stooping and they’re a lot easier to ardous preservatives, and far less costly tend to. With a nice capped top, you than poured-in-place concrete walls. have a place to sit or place your gardenEasy to install ing tools while you work,” says JohnNo special equipment is required son. Segmental retaining walls are built for building a planter with segmental using high-strength concrete blocks retaining wall systems, Johnson exwithout mortar or frost footings. Fric- plains. “A few basic tools such as a


A freestanding garden planter can add a new dimension to your yard — and a new source of produce for your table. With an elevated garden, there’s no more stooping over or kneeling to weed either.

shovel, level, mallet and masonry chisel are needed. Without a need for costly footings, the wall itself sits on a bed of crushed gravel and sand. Depending on your design, you may want to rent a concrete saw or you can just use a masonry blade in a standard circular saw.” Johnson recommends a pinned wall system like Versa-Lok for better stability. “Versa-Lok is a premium engineered wall system that is held together by synthetic pins inserted from the top of each course of block into the course below. Top pinning systems make unit alignment easy,” Johnson explains. “The blocks are solid for added strength.” These retaining wall systems come in a variety of natural colors and textures, Johnson continues. “I like the tumbled retaining wall products that have a more natural look that blends in easily with the landscape and existing structures. They have a random face pattern that offer a stunning appearance, and their solid, top-pinning design is easy to build with, so do-it-yourselfers and contractors both like them.” Tiered wall option Many yards suffer from a problem of having plenty of room but little of it usable. Tiered walls - two or more walls stacked and set back from underlying walls — offer a terrific opportunity to convert some of that unusable space into elevated gardens. Tiered walls also are useful in visually breaking up a single tall wall to make it more aesthetically pleasing. For example, rather than building one 8-foot-tall retaining wall, a more pleasing solution might be to build two staggered 4-foot-tall walls, one on top of the other, and create gardens in the level spaces between the walls. Stairs and landings also may be integrated into tiered walls to allow easier access to garden spaces between the walls. However, tiered walls are more difficult to design than conventional single-level retaining walls, so you may want to consult with a qualified engineer or building inspector before beginning your project.

Call for a Free Consultation

630-6741 or 285-3663

New and Exciting at PII! We have now added beautiful and high quality

PATIO FURNITURE Beautiful wicker-like designs in cocktail table sets, sofa ensembles & chaises! Check out our “Shower of Aloha” today!

Aloha, Shirley Want to learn more?

WOOD AND STONE FLOORING 101 Saturday, March 26, 2011, 10 am please call to reserve a seat

Hawaii’s Best Flooring! 926 KOHOU STREET ! HONOLULU ! 847-7711 MARCH 13, 2011 | HAWAII RENOVATION | 15



Luxury Vinyl Floors: Simple, yet Superior


ou have to see and feel the luxury vinyl floors at Wayne’s Flooring to appreciate them. Alterna vinyl tile is soft and warm underfoot, and offers the most natural and realistic ceramic or stone looks you’ll find anywhere. Luxe Plank luxury vinyl floors also offer highly realistic looks — but do so in hardwood colors and textures. Luxe Plank even comes in authentic plank lengths and widths, with beveled edges and ends. Alterna luxury vinyl can be installed with or without grout, for a true stone or ceramic look. Consider hiring an Armstrong-certified, professional installer for Alterna since gluing and grouting are usually skills beyond the average DIY-er. 16 | HAWAII RENOVATION | MARCH 13, 2011

Alterna comes in the large format (16 inches-by-16 inches) tiles. If you want a luxury vinyl floor that’s DIY-friendly, take a closer look at Luxe Plank. You can install Luxe anywhere in your home, and since you install the planks to each other, and not to the subfloor, they can go over most existing flooring easily. All you have to do is peel the linear sheet and stick the plank in place. If you make a mistake, just remove the plank and reapply. You can continue moving the planks into different positions until the adhesive starts to set. Armstrong’s luxury vinyl floors are made to last, and its vinyl tiles are easy to maintain and can be installed in any room, includ-

ing bathrooms. Both Luxe Plank and Alterna are made up of three primary layers. The top layer is a protective wear layer that provides resistance to stains, scratches and scuffs. This wear layer is combined with a clear film layer that adds more durability and helps protect the luxury vinyl floor against rips, tears and gouges. The second layer is the printed design layer that offer realistic ceramic, stone or wood visuals. The bottom layer is the tile backing, which adds structural strength and durability. Find Armstrong Luxe and Alterna at one of four Wayne’s Flooring locations (Sand Island, Kaimuki, Kaneohe or Salt Lake). For more information, visit


Hawaii Renovation 13 March 2011  

Hawaii Renovation 13 March 2011

Hawaii Renovation 13 March 2011  

Hawaii Renovation 13 March 2011