Hawaii Renovation 27 March 2011

Page 1


MARCH 27, 2011


808-695-3976 SHOWROOM HOURS M-F 8-4, SATURDAY 9-4 www.hawaiihomeexpo.com TOLL FREE 800-895-7070

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Motivated by


Aside from drawing positive energy into a room, mirrors add light or redirect energy flow. ©istockphoto.com/aliceinoue


irrors are a tricky thing in feng shui and in my experience qualify as the most inquired-about subject. Proper usage depends on each situation; however, if you first understand the function of a mirror, you can better understand its role in feng shui. Mirrors can be used to draw in positive energy, expand an area to give it a more spacious feeling, energetically and visually “break down” wall blockage, bring the essence of nature in, add light, brighten up a room, redirect energy flow or strengthen an image. In feng shui, the intention you hold when placing a mirror is important. Be clear on what you are using the mirror for and why you are placing it in a particular location.

Does my entrance need a mirror? If you are contemplating whether a mirror at the entrance is “right”, look at what the mirror reflects, and ask yourself whether hanging the mirror there brings beauty

into the space, or whether, for example, it reflects the messy neighbor’s yard. Your answer will determine whether a mirror is right for that wall. If I look in a mirror and feel drawn into the room, then I know the energy is being drawn in, as well. If I look in the mirror and want to run out, it is obvious where the energy is going.

What to do about a “blocked” entrance If you have a blocked entrance, where a wall is blocking your vision from seeing the rest of the room, you could consider placing a mirror to “unblock” it. Blocked entrances stop your movement, and consequently the flow of energy. Putting a mirror on that wall can “open up” the space and the flow of energy, but again, as mentioned above, look to see what it is reflecting. Is it “bad” to have mirrors in a bedroom? There is no simple “yes” or “no” to this question. If a client asks this, I ask how they are sleeping. If they sleep fine and wake up feeling refreshed, then no matter how many mirrors they have or where they are placed, they are not being adversely affected by them, and there is no need to take the mirrors out. If they have trouble sleeping and I notice a lot of mirrors in the bedroom (often as mirrored closets), I explain that mirrors naturally increase photon activity,


which in turn increases the vibratory energy, brightness, and unseen movement in a room. Since rest and rejuvenation are the purpose of a bedroom, having too many mirrors can create excess “exciting” energy. A good solution for curing this, without having to remove the mirrors, is to install a simple curtain rod over the mirrors and hang sheer curtains that, when closed, will “quiet down” the mirror energy. During the day, the curtains can be pushed open to conveniently reveal the mirrors for use.

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Basic mirror rules Use high-quality mirrors. A mirror that warps images (usually a low-quality mirror) sends warped energy into the environment. Avoid mirrors that have ripples, distortions, cracks or flaws, are darkened,


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smoked, crackled, or tile mirrors, as they can have unpleasant subconscious effects. Since mirrors symbolize clarity and selfimage, be conscious of the mirror energy that you When removing mirror place around you. energy, give it some time to take effect Feng shui expert and life If you decide to remove mirror energy from your guide Alice Inoue offers bedroom because you sus- books, DVDs, workshops pect they are the reason and private consultations. your sleep has been dis- For more information, visit turbed, do not expect www.aliceinoue.com. immediate results. Your body is accustomed to “managing” the energy at night and will continue to do so for a while. Give your body about 21 days to readapt to the new, “quiSince 1982 A+ Rating eter” environment, and be able to relax more deeply. What about mirrors in children’s rooms? Children naturally have a high level of energy and are easily excited. My recommendation is to have no mirrors or only one in a child’s room, since it’s enough to get them to calm down each night as it is.

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he sun is definitely shining on the solar industry energy these days. Here in the Islands, where we have year-round sunny weather combined with the highest electricity rates in the nation, plus attractive state and federal tax credits, it makes more sense to install a photovoltaic system than ever before. In fact, according to the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, a record 7,300 kilowatts of photovoltaic power were installed in Hawaii in 2009 — compared to only 167 kilowatts in 2005. But given the level of interest and the financial incentives, there are a lot of new providers jumping on the bandwagon. Five years ago, there were about 20 companies providing PV system design and installation in Hawaii. Today there are more than 100. At Alternate Energy Inc., owner Bruce Ekimura and his workers are in it for the long haul. Ekimura and his dad started out as plumbers. As solar water heating became more popular, they saw the evolution that was destined to take place. Ekimura and his family founded


HAWAIIRENOVATION Alternate Energy Inc. in 1993, and since then, the company has grown steadily and become front-runners in Hawaii’s PV revolution. What drives them is the knowledge that more solar installations means less dependence on expensive oil and electricity, and more Hawaii families and businesses keeping their hard-earned dollars in the state. That’s why all of the company’s installers are Alternate Energy employees, not subcontractors. Ekimura insists on this so he can take full responsibility for every single installation, no matter how large or small. Alternate Energy purchases the highest-quality materials and systems direct from the manufacturer, and distributors aren’t used as middlemen, meaning that any savings are passed along directly to the customer. In fact, Alternate Energy



A family history of harnessing the sun for Hawaii recently became an official Certified Mitsubishi Installer and Premier Dealer, and the only authorized dealer based in Hawaii to provide Mitsubishi’s photovoltaic modules, including the new UJ6 Series. The new panels are engineered to withstand tough outdoor conditions including coastline corrosion. While all other manufacturer warranties specify a 500-meter minimum installation distance from saltwater, Mitsubishi is the only manufacturer to extend its warranty on modules installed near salt-water, making the panels an ideal choice for Hawaii. Additionally, while standard windload rating for PV panels is 50 pounds per square foot (ppsf), Mitsubishi panels are rated to withstand 112 ppsf and winds up to 130 miles per hour. Mitsubishi also is one of the only Japanese manufacturers to produce 100 percent

made-in-Japan modules. That kind of quality makes an important difference especially in Hawaii, where wind is a constant factor and saltwater corrosion can be an issue even in Leeward communities. “In a market where new solar product manufacturers are materializing virtually overnight, Mitsubishi is a well-diversified, 150year-old company with a long history of excellence,” says Ekimura. “By bringing our modules in direct from Japan, we can ensure that our customers are getting the best quality

product available, and that the maker of their solar investment will be around to honor any warranty issues for generations to come.” Alternate Energy’s customers say it gives them peace of mind to know that they are working with a longtime, established local company and manufacturers when they make this important environmental investment for their home or business. Today, Alternate Energy is proud to be one of Hawaii’s oldest residential and commercial solar energy companies, locally

owned and operated from day one. They have been a Hawaii Energy conservation and efficiency program approved independent solar water heating contractor since the program’s inception. And like always, they will continue to focus on what they do best: design and installation of photovoltaic systems, solar water heating systems and solar attic fans. Alternate Energy is located at 1111 Dillingham Blvd., #H3, in Honolulu. Call 8425853 or visit the company online at www.alternateen ergyhawaii.com.




Go with

when remodeling withEssential Cabinet Refacing Inc.


t’s time to give that kitchen a new look since it is the most visited room in the house. Since you are spending so much time there, don’t you deserve a room that is efficient, modern and

pleasant? Undoubtedly you want to make improvements that make sense and fall within your budget. You also want quality within a price you can afford. Most of all, you need an experienced

licensed contractor that has proven time and again capable of completing the job at an affordable price. Essential Cabinet Refacing Inc. is in its 22nd year of business. For owners Ringo and Michele Pauly, the first advice they got as young entrepreneurs came from Lex Brodie, who encouraged them to run their business with integrity. To them, this meant listening to their customers, sharing their remodeling expertise with clients to ensure the job performed was the right match to the customer,

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and doing the job at a competitive, yet fair price. Since then, their mission has been to have satisfied customers at the end of every project. Over the years, materials and remodeling methods have changed a great deal. ECR has kept current in the industry and offers up-to-date styles, designs and materials. ECR has offered refacing as an economical option for upgrading cabinets since the beginning in 1989. Refacing is the method of giving cabinets a “facelift” without going through the time and expense of ripping out existing cabinets and installing new ones. Since the doors and draw-

ers are replaced, the exterior of the cabinets is brand new and gives a modernized look. The interior remains the same and a lot of money is saved. This gives customers the freedom to increase their budget and add features such as new countertops, appliances or special features like rolling pull-out drawers. As the needs of their customers changed, ECR has continued to expand on its scope of work to include new custom-built cabinets and countertops. Custom

cabinets are locally built in ECR’s shop. Owners have their choice of materials in the cabinet structure, hardware and exterior finish. Countertops come in almost any material customers desire. ECR’s office and shop is located at 212 Mohonua Place. Showroom hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information or to schedule a free, no obligation estimate, call 847-7835, or visit the website, essen tialcabinetrefacing.com.


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Emergency Preparedness at Home BY KAREN NAKAMURA


merica is more “connected” now than ever before, with on-demand access to information and just about anything you want delivered to your front door overnight. But recent natural disasters around the world have shown that even in this modern age, you and your family need to be prepared to survive on your own after an emergency.

It may take days or even weeks for emergency and relief workers to get to everyone impacted by a disaster. And basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may not be restored for a lengthy period of time. Every family needs to keep on hand enough food, water and other necessary supplies to sustain themselves until help arrives or you can safely leave the area and get to a shelter.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a website, www.ready.gov, with information on how to be prepared for both natural and man-made disasters. FEMA recommends putting together a basic emergency supply kit and keeping it in your home in an easily accessible location. The items that should be included in the kit are: • Three-day supply of food and water, including at

ications, food or supplies for infants or pets, copies of important family documents such as insurance policies, medical histories, bank and financial records, and passports; cash and/or traveler’s checks, extra clothing, blankets or towels; a fire extinguisher and matches; and personal hygiene items. A disaster can strike without warning, and the best way to protect your family is to be prepared. least one gallon of water that contaminates the air These tips, along with addi• Items for personal sani- tional information available per person per day and tation such as moist tow- at www.ready.gov, are a non-perishable food items • Hand-crank or battery- elettes, garbage bags and good start to make sure operated radio and a plastic ties your family is safe follow• Tools and supplies ing an emergency situation. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration including a flashlight, a can For more tips for your (NOAA) Weather Radio opener, a wrench or pliers home, visit biahawaii.org or to turn off utilities, extra the National Association of with tone alert batteries and a whistle to Home Builders at www. • First-aid kit • Cell phone with a signal for help nahb.org. • Maps of the local area charger, an inverter or a solar charger Karen Nakamura is execuOther items you may tive vice president/CEO of • Dust masks, plastic sheeting and duct tape in want to keep with your kit Building Industry Association case of a chemical event include prescription med- of Hawaii. SERVCO HOME AND APPLIANCE DISTRIBUTION BRINGS YOU...

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HAWAIIRENOVATION ple thousand dollars more, you can get it right and enhance your daily living experience and the resale value of your home or condo. The secret to cost-effective kitchen and bath improvements, according to Peters, is to reject notions that you have to move drains and other plumbing or electrical, suffer through drafting/plans and permit costs and time agony and frustration, to get a really nice-looking, modern and functional kitchen and bath. HPS says that, depending on the level of change and whether there is current water or other damage, these upgrades can be had for $3,500-$8,500 for baths, including tub-to-shower conversions, and $9,000-$15,000 for kitchens. Another major area of concern on choosing the right bid is to determine how detailed the proposal is, and whether it addresses potential unforeseen hidden problems, such as termite and water damage.

Tub- to -Shower

Conversions a Popular Option


s a large segment of our Hawaii population and your families/relatives enter the golden years, it is a wise move to convert one of your bathrooms to a walk-in shower and add assist bars on the walls, says Gerry Peters, president of HPS Construction Services. Taking out and replacing one of your tubs with a low or flat threshold walk-in shower is much more usable than ordering one of the so-called walk-in tubs, which usually cost more for the tub and shipping alone than the entire job to convert from tub to walk-in shower. Furthermore, beyond unaffordable pricing, these tubs, according to reviews, are problematic relative to the swing-in

hatches developing leaks. You can install a built-in bench in the walk-in shower and also a convenient sliding, adjustable shower head. This enables you to take comfortable, water-saving showers and save money in the process. Most importantly, it is safer than a tub and roomier also. That’s because tubs have an inward slope, which takes up space. Options to have a hatchet job being offered by some places to merely cut out a slice of your tub and use a shower curtain is a heartache waiting to happen. Not only do they look awful, but the open sections allow water to rot the floors, rust the tubs, or create large amounts of mold. For a cou-

Another warning on upgrades, remodels, and repairs and bigger projects is to watch out for “low-ball” base pricing to get you hooked, but then you get add-ons for things you were thought included, Peters adds. Unforeseen damage, clearly spelled out in advance, is a legitimate addon, but only when it is really necessary. On the other hand, keep in mind that you cannot add things in that weren’t discussed. Peters says that assuming a handyman or socalled contractor (one without a license) knows everything about the project or jobs you have for them is foolish. Remember that a state General Excise Tax license is not a contracting license. Check and double check whom you choose to do business

with. HPS offers licensed handyman services in addition to kitchen and bath upgrades and remodels, plus other general contracting services. Call HPS at 847-4400 or send your email to hpp@aloha.net.

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Design-Build Contractor

tlas Construction is a full-service, design-build contractor that specializes in the most complete customer experience. We are a fourth-generation family business. By learning

from the generations before us, we’ve discovered new and innovative ways to making the customer experience with Atlas Construction an enjoyable and simple building process.

As a design-build contractor, we offer the full complement of services that someone would need when taking on a building project. We start with our design services where we take the time and effort to

create a design that fits a family’s wants and needs. The emphasis is placed on a design that fits into the family’s budget while attaining the function and use of the building project. Once the design is approved by the family, we create a full set of permit-ready blueprints. Here, we start the building permit process and follow through with the building permit. Although we are not a finance company, we do

offer assistance in this area by providing all the necessary documentation to satisfy the loan process. Necessary documentation includes the building permit and bonding certificates. Research into every phase of this process is done by our company to provide the best value for your building project. We have a weekly design meeting where we not only review every current design, but also

review products and service for your project. The owner of our company is one of our project managers; this affords unmatched hands-on attention to your building project. The customer service is handled with utmost importance from start to finish of all projects. This is our definition of a full-service design-build contractor. For more information on Atlas Construction, call 951-9500.


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here are many choices to be made when considering which manufacturers’ photovoltaic (PV) modules to go with, and from Pacific Islands Construction’s vantagepoint, not all modules are made the same. Suffice to say, better made modules will last many more years and provide a higher energy yield over time, thus becoming the least expensive purchase. As a result of the many changes in wafer production over the last few years,

Examining the costs of photovoltaic modules

Pacific Islands is concerned that the quality of the PV cells has been compromised, as a push to cut costs by making thinner wafers has taken over the industry. One of the most common questions asked regarding photovoltaic systems is, “Will the prices be coming down next year?” For this to happen, one of the cost components will have to come down, lowering the price paid for a PV module. The No. 1 cost component of a PV module is the pho-


tovoltaic cell. Photovoltaic cells based on crystalline silicon is the most common material used to make PV modules. The process for making a cell requires the manufacturing of wafers that comprise the cell. Wafers are made by cutting silicon ingots, and it is in the process of cutting the wafers out of the ingots that waste of the ingots takes place, contributing to the cost of the wafers. Wire saw cutting of silicon ingots is a key step in the production of photovoltaic cells based on crystalline silicon. For many years it has been a reliable approach to providing the wafers used for the manu-

facturing of cells. The process removes almost 50 percent of the starting poly, which is not recoverable. As a result of manufacturing cost pressure, the PV wafers are getting thinner and with that, quality issues surface as manufacturers attempt to compete on price. PV wafers dropped on average from 200 millimeters down to 150 millimeters in 2010, and subsequently, are even thinner now. This reduction in thickness poses significant challenges for wire saw wafering as materials get thinner, consumers inherit any defects associated. As the pursuit to lower

the production costs is actively pursued, there are five areas or considerations that manufacturers deal with: 1) cut thinner wafers 2) minimize kerf-loss (wasted silicon ingot) 3) get a higher yield 4) attain a high throughput/quality 5) achieve the lowest processing cost The thinner wafers are more difficult to handle and the opportunity for defects in the materials increases. There are too many manufacturers willing today to compete on price, and it is the con-

sumer who must be aware of how these lower cost modules are being achieved. Our best advice is if you are buying on price, be careful what and whom you are buying from. Pacific Islands Construction believes that manufacturers that have been producing high-quality PV modules for a long time, such as Kyocera, have not lowered their standards. They continue to produce these wafers in a responsible way and continue to see the long-term benefits in producing a product that produces over the long haul. For more information on Pacific Islands Construction, call 841-7756 or email pic05@hawaii.rr.com.


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Sustainable Benefits of

Wood A

worldwide trend toward environmentally friendly building is gaining popularity each year as consumers warm to the idea of green homes. Although there is a vast amount of green building material to choose from, no other commodity can compete with the sustainable benefits of wood. With wood, there are opportunities to reduce the immense environmental impact of building and operating homes through construction and building design. However, in order to be considered sustainable, wood must be certified and acquired through forestry and harvesting practices that ensure the long-term health and diversity of forests. Sustainable forestry practices, or certification systems, are the management of forest resources to meet the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations. There are more than 50 different forest certification systems in the world today that represent nearly 700 million acres of forestland. Additionally, there are 15,000 companies involved in producing and marketing certified wood products. According to Hawaii

Lumber Products Association’s (HLPA) new president, Jeff Browning of Sause Bros., the association’s purpose is to “promote the use of forest products in Hawaii through an informational and educational campaign designed around the benefits of utilizing not only costeffective but also ‘green’ and sustainable resources during construction.” Natural wood uses less energy and produces less air and water pollution than other major manufactured building materials. “Wood is a material that can be used instantly and only needs a few preparatory treatments,” said Browning. “It’s manufactured in the forest and only needs to be shaped and sawed into the correct sizes.” Also, with continuous technological advancements, engineered wood systems can maximize the use of the material to reduce the use of resources. Over the past decade, a trend toward environmentally and climate-

friendly building is becoming apparent in the construction industry worldwide and will continue to grow in the future. With sustainable qualities from production through construction, wood is undoubtedly leading the way in this green trend.

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Restoring Old

Hardwood Floors T

oday many homeowners are discovering a potential showpiece of any older home; beautiful hardwood floors. Questions arise: How old are these floors? What kind of wood is this? Can these floors be refurbished to their original appearance? Who can help? Jewels Under That Old Carpet! Imagine the look on the faces of those homeowners who removed their carpet to find beautiful border work on a floor that had been covered for years with carpet. Older homes offered

higher quality hardwoods such as old growth and quarter sawn material. Old growth was harvested from trees much older than what they mill today. These types of floors show a much tighter grain pattern because of their age and the number of growth rings. Quarter sawn are still available today at much higher prices than past years, offering a unique appearance. Homeowners also find red oak in homes less than 50 years old. Do you have one of these treasures? There’s only one way to find out: Use a pair of pliers, grab a section of the carpet in the corner and pull back.

How Do I Know If The Floors Can Be Refinished? To determine how many times the floor has been refinished, look at the wear layer left on the flooring. This is the area above the tongue and groove. Different thicknesses have been milled over the years; wear layers are different. One place to look for current thickness would be around removable heating register vents. What Happens When They Refinish My Floors? Dust? This depends largely on who is doing the work. Professionals who care more about indoor air quality have

invested in dust extraction systems. Others may just have a bag attached to their sanding equipment which is not a good way to avoid airborne dust. Dust extraction systems help to minimize an enormous amount of dust and older finish materials that would have lingered in your home for months after the floor finisher leaves. Without it, you’re likely to incur extra costs by having to hire someone to clean the home top to bottom. Labor costs from companies that have this equipment will be a little higher. But what is more important than you and your family’s health?


The Best Choice!


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Borate-treated framing lumber has MUCH less impact on our environment than the “next best choice” building material: 4x less fossil fuel usage, 1.8x less green house gases and 2.5x less ecological impact overall.*

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Flawless floors from

Hawaii Hardwood FROM PAGE 10

Poor dust control could have an effect on everyday health and also on the final appearance of your floor.

When Is It Safe To Move Furniture Back In? Some finishes will take longer to cure, but friendlier water-based finishes will take the least amount of time. Conditions can vary and depend on relative humidity within the home or conditions outside. You can speed up odor removal with an open house.

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5Old Windows Reasons to

Replace your


s it time to replace your wornout windows with new Anlin windows? If so, here are five things to consider:

1. Security Jalousie windows are the easiest to break into. It takes a matter of minutes for a thief to remove the glass and break into your home. Anlin windows have

passed the stringent CFE (California Forced Entry) requirements. They come with a tamper-proof cam lock system and with a locking system that lets you lock windows in the open position to allow ventilation and prevent access at the same time. 2. Comfort Anlin windows have a dual-

increase the value of your home the day that they are installed. Available are six different types of obscure/frosted glass that will give your home a distinctive look and afford you privacy without the need for curtains or window covering.

fade, crack or powder. Great for our salty air. And no need to paint again. Also, the easy-clean glass reduces the need to clean your windows.

5. Price Windows Hawaii has installed more than 100,000 windows. The pane, infinite-energy barrier. company carries most major 4. Maintenance They will keep heat and harmful Anlin windows come with a brands so that you can choose the ultraviolet light reflected away lifetime installation warranty. window that is right for your from your home. If you have air This covers not only the windows home and budget. Our buying conditioning, you can save up to themselves, but the installation as power and factory-direct pur35 percent of your energy bill well. If one of Anlin’s windows chasing get the best quality for each month. leaks in 15 years, call Windows the lowest price. Hawaii and our service depart3. Privacy/Appearance Call Windows Hawaii today at ment will repair or replace it at no New Anlin windows give your cost. The marine-grade vinyl is 671-0808 or 383-7233 for a free home a new-home look and easy to clean, guaranteed not to consultation.



Cash Rebate!

JAPAN NEEDS OUR HELP! Please help! Donate $25 to REDCROSS for relief efforts in Japan and receive $250 off of your next flooring package with us. Valid until April 19, 2011. Dustless Sand & Finish Slab Prep & Leveling • Vinyl & Carpet Installation • Border and Inlays • Hardwood & Laminate Installation • Stone and Tile Installation

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tax credits before the system is even fully paid for. EnergyPro Hawaii proudly installs Heliodyne solar hot water systems, as well as provides many other energy-efficient solutions, such as tank-less gas water heaters and solar pool heating systems. The company also is capable of servicing all other brands of solar systems. For more information on the company or to receive a free quote on the Heliodyne system, call EnergyPro Hawaii today at 377-6686.

Free Hot Water:

Too good to be true?

he solar photovoltaic (PV) market has really started to take off, and the idea of generating your own electricity for free is a great one. Did you know that it takes approximately 18 solar PV panels to offset the cost of heating hot water for a typical household? By far, the most cost-effective way to take advantage of solar power is to install a solar hot water system. The return on investment (ROI) for a typical residential solar hot water system is currently a little more than two years and two months, with existing tax credits factored in. After that period, you will have paid for your system and


continue to save of the newly introduced $1,000 interestmoney for the life of free loan when choosing the standard the system. Even if $750 cash rebate. The increased rebate you wanted to is a federally funded stimulus grant that only will be offered now though May 31. Several local banks and credit unions are currently offering special financing for solar water heating systems through their Energy Smart Loan Program. This gives the customer 5 years of interest free financing, as long as a Hawaii energy approved contractor is used. install a solar PV system, 18 fewer pan- A 5-year loan at 0 interest els would be needed if you had a solar percent would not only hot water system. It was also just announced that allow you to save Hawaiian Electric has doubled the cash money while paying rebate of newly purchased solar hot for your system, it water installations to $1,500 cash back! allows one to take Homeowners also will have the option advantage of the


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HAWAIIRENOVATION ou can easily turn your master bathroom into a green retreat — without breaking the bank. By making smart, sustainable updates, you can transform your space into one that’s both eco-friendly and stylish.


Save where — and what — you can The ultimate green act when remodeling is to repurpose materials you already have, instead of buying new. Spruce up your existing vanity instead of purchasing a new one by refinishing cabinets and drawers with

a fresh coat of stain or paint. If you have a glass shower door, try to save the existing structure and reinstall it once your new tile is in place. By using what’s already in the space, you’ll help the environment and your wallet, you’ll save a lot of money and prevent those materials from winding up in landfills. The most important type of “savings” in any eco-friendly makeover is reducing the amount of natural resources used. In order to make an impact, replace the standard elements in the space with sustainable ones: Switch incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescents (CFLs), replace your current toilet with a high-efficiency model and install new eco-performance fixtures in the shower and at the sink. The new Method bathroom collection from Moen is a stylish, eco-

Green ways to ‘master’ the bath friendly solution. Method lavatory faucets feature clean lines and soft curves and are certified to meet WaterSense criteria. That means the fixtures meet the EPA’s guidelines as environmentally responsible and efficient by reducing water usage by up to 32 percent, without sacrificing performance. An Eco-Performance showerhead that flows at 1.75 gallons per minute also is available within the Method collection, allowing you to continue your water savings in the shower.

Take a cue from the outdoors Before starting your green updates in the master bath, gather some inspiration from the most natural space there is — the great outdoors. Try a rustic-meets-modern style. Neutral colors are the perfect backdrop for graphic, contemporary linens and sleek accents. Look for tiles in shades of brown and taupe, and install them around the entire surround of your shower or tub for an airy and expansive feel. What’s more outdoorsy

and natural-looking than rich wood floors? Sustainable wood flooring is just as affordable, more ecofriendly and even easier to install than most tile. If you can, run the flooring through the master bedroom right into the bath. Not only will it visually expand the bathroom, but it also creates the feeling of a unified master suite.

For more information on the latest eco-performance products from Moen, visit moen.com/eco-perfor mance or call (800) BUYMOEN (800-289-6636).




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n today’s tight economy, freshening outdated home interiors can seem like a daunting, budget-breaking task. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot to remove eyesores such as unattractive paneling toodark cabinets or that not-socharming “retro” fireplace mantel and surround. Instead of living with these design disasters from another era, there’s an easy and inexpensive fix — paint.


Quality interior coatings, applied with the proper applicators, can go a long way in giving those design debacles a quick and easy facelift for hundreds of dollars less than a full-scale renovation. But before you start your paint project, it’s important to know that the key to success is selecting not only a quality coating, but applying it with a quality painting applicator. If an inferior applicator is used, even the most outstanding paint may not provide the smooth finish you desire. Using superior applicators can streamline a variety of interior painting projects, saving you time and money, and ultimately helping you achieve a fabulous end result.

Rolleror brush?

these tips in mind:

• Use 1- and 2-inch brushes for trim work, touch-ups and smaller projects such as window frames and moldings. Angular 1- and 2-inch brushes are great for painting around windows.

The applicator matters for your DIY painting project “Paint has long been considered one of the great budget boosters for decorating projects,” says Andrew Marsden, product manager for Purdy applicators. “When you combine a first-rate paint with a quality painting applicator, you can transform a variety of surfaces — from outdated cabinetry to knotty pine paneling — giving any room in the house a fresh look.”

• Choose brushes measuring 2 1/2 and 3 inches for medium-size surfaces such as cabinets, baseboards, doors or steps.

lar choices is the mini roller. Purdy has a variety of innovative mini roller choices that are versatile, lightweight, can quickly and easily deliver a perfect finish with smooth rolling action and have the ability to reach tight spaces. These combined features make them the ideal applicator for an endless number of projects, from painting walls, doors and cabinets, to freshening up tables, chairs and even bedroom furniture.

• Paint larger surfaces, like walls, ceilings, and floors with brushes ranging in size from 3 1/2 inches to 6 inches.

“Whether you’re using a brush or mini roller, the right applicator can make or break any painting project,” Marsden says. “By paying as much attention to the size and quality of applicator used, in addition to the paint, you’re guaranteed to end up with a fantastic finished project that you’ll be able to admire and enjoy for years to come.”

paint brush is still the hero for most projects especially when trim work is needed. A quality brush is a must when you’re aiming to end up with a professional-looking appearance. Most consumers might not know it’s When to use a mini roller also important to use a Premium applicators brush that’s the appropriate When to use a brush come in a number of Even with all the advan- size for your painting projshapes and sizes; however one of today’s most popu- tages the mini roller offers, a ect. So, be certain to keep

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ith so much information about solar in the news, homeowners often wonder, “Would solar be right for my family?” The easiest way to find out is to talk to one of the solar professionals at Poncho’s Solar Service. The following case concerns a family of three with an average of $160-$170 electric bill per month. They had an electric hot water system and electric dryer and stove. Before they could determine if solar was right for this family, however, Poncho’s Solar Service looked at several factors: • Would the homeowner benefit from a solar hot water system, a photovoltaic system or both? • Discussed the family’s current energy use to determine if their power usage would increase or decrease in the coming years. • Check the age/condition of the roof and for any shading issues • Taking these things into consideration, size the system panel photovoltaic system that would reduce their average for a kW average per day monthly power bill to the eleccompany’s minimum The Poncho’s Solar Service tric team member determined the charge. For this family, switching to family was using an average of 16-19 kW per day and would for solar appealed to their sense of the foreseeable future. After going green and made good reviewing the options the fami- financial sense. The cost for ly decided to have Poncho’s their hot water system and Solar Service install an 80 gal- photovoltaic system was: lon hot water system and a 10





tax credit • $(4,554.97) 30 percent federal tax credit • $5,628.27 total cost after tax credits

When you buy from locally owned companies like Poncho’s Solar Service and Walter’s Electric Inc. rather than nationally owned businesses, much more of your money stays local to make purchases from other local businesses and strengthens the economic base of our community. Buying local keeps Hawaii unique — where we shop, where we eat and have fun all make Hawaii our home and keep our distinctive local character. Buying local gets you better customer service — local businesses hire people who understand their com• 80 gallon solar hot water al tax credit munity and take more time to • $1,936.45 total cost after get to know their customers. “B” package with a five-year rebate and tax credits warranty. Investment in the community • $6,000 purchase price — local businesses are owned 10 Panel Photovoltaic System by people who live in our com• $ 282.72 Tax • $6,282.75 price before with 10 Micro-Inverteres munity, raise their families here • 245-watt Solar World HECO rebate and are more invested in our • $14,500 purchase price • $(1,500) HECO rebate community’s future. • $683.24 tax • $5,532.72 Buying local supports your • $15,183.24 total cost • $(1,936.45) 35 percent state family and neighbors businesses. tax credit Think local. Buy local. Call • $(5,000.00) 35 percent state 422-4266. • $(1,659.82) 30 percent feder-

for you


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