Hawaii Renovation 9 Oct 2011

Page 1



OCT. 9, 2011

Here’s Your Window of Opportunity Aluminum awning windows are just one of an endless number of great glass selections from Custom Contractors Inc. See page 3


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hen people ask me what feng shui is, I usually tell them it is consciously creating an environment that energetically supports rather than drains the individual. These days we give energy to so much in our lives (work, family, pets, worries, friends in distress, etc.) that it makes sense to invest some effort into creating a supportive environment. After all, no one wants to come home to be energetically drained

asking. About five years ago, she had hired a feng An Interesting Question shui consultant to come to Many people often tell her home. She made the me that when they make changes the consultant adjustments to improve suggested, and though she the energy of their home, was pleased with the they feel the positive results at the time, she felt effects. The other day, in that the feng shui “wasn’t fact, a woman with whom I working” anymore. was having a casual conThe Essence of Nature versation asked an interI explained to her that in esting question: “Does feng addition to creating a supshui last forever?” At first, I wasn’t exactly portive environment, feng sure what she meant but shui is based on the princiafter questioning her a bit, ples of nature, so it is to bring I understood why she was important

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nature’s essence into our homes to keep things flowing energetically. Nature is always changing. Summer turns to fall, SEE PAGE 16





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open and



his year, Custom Contractors Inc. (CCI) celebrates 25 years in the Hawaii window market. CCI has sold an impressive 200,000 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


shut case for great windows


CONTRACTORS ADDRESS: 99-840 IWAIWA ST., #2 CONTACT: 483-0100 window has been CCI’s biggest seller. The manufacturer, Victor Sun , 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 opportunities for its windows ranging from simple

tint (reduce glare), obscure (privacy), laminated or tempered (for safety and security), selfcleaning (for ease) 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 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 hung, 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 (or better known as Rabbett) perhaps says 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 computergenerated 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 have great products, prices and experience,” said Abbett. “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.’ Companies that use these practices know that if they walk out the door without a contract, they’ve lost your business. We actually encourage our customers to get other quotes; in the end, they feel better about us.” In addition to Abbett’s 20 years at CCI, lead installer Larry Fischer has also been with the company for 20 years. Office

manager Cheryl Wilson has been with CCI for 15 years and shop manager John O’Donnell for 10 years. This type of departmental leadership allows CCI to smoothly transition a large quantity of jobs — typically 80 to 100 at any given time. 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 4-5 millionjalousies still out there waiting to be retired, CCI will be around for a long time. Call CCI at 483-0100.



ideal kitchen

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countertops in your kitchen design is the first step toward creating that “dream kitchen.” At the C&C Cabinets Granite showroom, maple

hether you are remodeling or building new, incorporating craftsmanlike hardwood cabinetry and high-quality granite

and cherrywood cabinets are on display, as well as stainless steel sinks. A shipment of granite in 25 different colors and patterns arrived this past summer, along with ceramic tile and porcelain. The cabinets are precision designed and include high-quality handles, pulls and runners. No particle board or other synthetic materials are used in the fabrication of the cabinet doors, shelves and drawers. However, customers who wish to display their glassware or dinnerware can order cabinet doors with glass insets. Stop by the C&C Cabinets Granite showroom at 500 Alakawa St. (located behind the Costco gas station) where

you will be able to see exactly what the various styles and finishes will look like in your home. You can mix and match to achieve the perfect combination to suit the decor and fit your lifestyle. Sales personnel with design experience will be able to guide you in your choices and even create a kitchen layout on the computer, so bring along your ideas and photos. Because these are highquality products, people

assume they have to be Saturday from 8 a.m. to expensive. At C&C 5:30 p.m. The showroom Cabinets Granite, howev- is closed on Sunday. er, this is not the case. The company’s pricing is competitive even for cus- C&C CABINETS GRANITE tomized cabinets and countertops. On-site estimates for cabinets, instalADDRESS: 500 lation and interior remodALAKAWA ST. eling are free. C&C Cabinets Granite CONTACT: 853-2088 is open Monday through

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A weekend showcase featuring the best homes BIA-HAWAII REMODELERS



he Building Industry Association of Hawaii honored 11 entrants at the 55th annual BIA Parade of Homes last week, including the most outstanding home on the

market today — the 2011 Grand Champion winner, “Trades by Gentry ‘Olu‘olu,” by Gentry Homes Ltd. This weekend and next, BIA-Hawaii will offer free open house tours of new homes, with the 2011

theme, “Sustainable Lifestyle … Sustainable Homes.” Held today and again Oct. 15-16, this premier array of new homes will educate consumers on the latest eco-friendly technology, trends and Hawaii BuiltGreen energy innovations in residential construction. Great homes at great values will be showcased in one Wailuku, Maui entry and 10 entries located on Oahu in Ewa Beach, Honolulu, Kapolei and Maili. The 2011 BIA-Hawaii Parade of Homes “Grand Champion Award” and the “Best in Show Oahu Award” were both present-

ed to the Gentry Homes Ltd. entry “Trades by Gentry ‘Olu‘olu.” This home, located in Ewa Beach, also won the Single Family Detached Category in Division III of $499,001$599,000, a Gold Level Hawaii BuiltGreen award; the Appraiser Hawaii Chapter 2011 award and the HECO Energy Value Housing Award in the Single Family Detached Category. Developers and their projects that will be showcased in these open house weekends include Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii Inc. and “Kealakai at Kapolei Unit #2”; D.R. Horton-

Schuler Homes LLC and“La Hiki at Mehana Plan #3”, “Makalae at Sea Country Pawa” and “Pulewa at Mehana Plan B”; Gentry Homes Ltd. and “Haiku at Haleakea by Gentry,” “Trades by Gentry Aheahe” and “2011 Grand Champion Trades by Gentry ‘Olu‘olu”; Hale Ka Lae LLC and “Hale Ka Lae”; Kisco Senior Living and “Ilima at Leihano ”; St. Francis Development Corp. and “Franciscan Vistas Ewa” and “Best in Show Neighbor Island”; and Towne Development of Hawaii Inc. and “Milo Court Haku Plan at Kehalani” in Wailuku, Maui.

When visiting the 2011 new model homes, Hawaii residents will be encouraged to enter and win the BIA Parade of Homes grand prize, a $15,000 ninepanel 2.25 KW photovoltaic system from Bonterra Solar Services. Visit www.biahawaii.org for the locations and driving directions to all 11 model homes and information on the Bonterra Solar Services photovoltaic system grand prize. Karen Nakamura is executive vice president / CEO of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii.




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Construction of Makiki Home Nears Completion


Homeowners will have quieter, greener abode


ast month, we introduced a couple who is currently working with Graham Builders to build a brand-new home to replace their 85-yearold house in Makiki. Working closely with Graham Builders’ design team, the couple is well on their way to having a new home that is both quiet and energy efficient. The old house was demolished June 21, and Graham Builders began construction of the new home six days later. “The project is progressing extremely well,” said Evan Fujimoto, Graham Builders president. “The homeowners visit the site daily and we have collaborated on a number of items including fixture layouts, sound dampening, scheduling, among other things.” “The project is develop-

ing nicely and we have to say that during these past few months, it seems to be moving along at a fast pace,” said the homeowners in agreement. “It’s amazing to see the progress from demolition to foundation to framing and to roofing.” The drywall phase of the construction process is now complete. Interior finish work follows including doors and trim, painting, cabinets and counter tops, showers, electrical and plumbing fixtures, mirrors and shower doors, flooring, interior hardware, and Freedom Rail shelving (a versatile modular closetorganizing system). Installing sidewalks, driveways, fences and gates will be the final phase. The house is not extremely large in terms

CONTACT: 593-2808 • www.grahambuilders.com

of square feet, but will “live large,” meaning it has a feeling of spaciousness from an open and functional layout and from natural light that floods the interiors throughout the day. A big concern for the homeowners was noise abatement since their home is situated down wind less than 50 feet from the H-1 freeway. Insulation in the walls and

ceilings and the use of Quiet Rock drywall, in addition to dual-glazed windows, make the interiors very quiet and peaceful. Ensuring that the new home will be as energy efficient as possible was also high on the couple’s list. Working closely with the homeowners, Graham Builders installed a lightgray “cool roof” that mini-

mizes heat transfer and obscure glass clerestory windows in the great room, which will reduce the need for lights during the daytime, among other green features. This story is the second of three parts that follows the Makiki homeowners in their design+build journey and shares their experience in building a new home with Graham Builders. The final, completed project will be unveiled in December. Check back next month as you won’t want to miss reading about the finished product!

For more than 20 years, Graham Builders, Hawaii’s premier design+build firm, has worked with homeowners to design and build or renovate their dream homes and is ready to help you with your home construction project. Homeowners interested in learning more can attend Graham Builders’ upcoming “Building Your Home for Life” seminar on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Honolulu Country Club. Seminars are free, but reservations are required. For a full schedule of 2011 monthly seminars or to register, visit www.gra hambuilders.com or call 593-2808.

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simple ways

to modernize your home decor


f you’re like many peo- granite and hardwood ple, your home interior floors are popular, but could likely use some their high cost may limit updating. But you don’t how many rooms you can need to hire a professional update. Fortunately, styldesigner to modernize ish options are available your home decor. No mat- that won’t break the bank. ter how much of a deco- For instance, luxury vinyl rating novice you may be, tile (LVT) is available in a few simple updates can hundreds of styles that give new life to your living mimic authentic wood and space and bring your stone to give your home a home to the forefront of modern, lavish look for interior design. less. With a wide range of brands, price points and installation options availGround level Just because the floor is able, LVT is a great choice under your feet, it should- for anyone in need of a n’t be last on your list of flooring update. interior updates. You know that old carpet is Time to reflect ugly, but it will also overMirrors are an easy and shadow more modern ele- inexpensive way to inject ments in the room. personality into a room. Natural materials like Hang a large square mir-

ror to open up a small space, or arrange a number of smaller mirrors in a fun pattern to create an artistic statement. With endless framing options available, you’re sure to find a match to complement any room’s style. A thin, simple rectangular frame will create a contemporary look, while an ornate metal frame gives an oval glass a traditional, old-world feel. Or, for a completely clean and modern effect, frameless mirrors come in a wide variety of shapes and edge designs.

there are seemingly endless options to help you brighten up a room. Recessed lights create a clean look that can open up smaller rooms or highlight an area such as a photo or piece of artwork. Table and floor lamps can act as artful vessels of light, adding colors and patterns to a bland room. And hanging lighting, such as a unique chandelier, will bring interest and personality into a room while serving its functional purpose. To give your new lighting a sustainable side, energy-efficient light bulbs will save you elecBrighten up lighting New lighting can tricity costs and last change the entire feel of longer than standard your home’s interior, and bulbs.

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ctivities such as soccer practice, football games, student council meetings, volunteer events and parent-teacher conferences tend to fill family schedules in the fall, quickly replacing the lazy days of summer with extracurricular activities. While many find it refreshing for the family unit to get back into a routine, hectic schedules can often lead to miscommunication among family members and a relaxed attitude toward safety. “Fall brings an abundance of schedule changes and families working to adapt to new routines,” says Rebecca Smith, vice president of marketing for



Master Lock. “As each family member strives to balance various activities, it’s essential that families discuss security measures they should take to ensure they safely maintain their busy lifestyles.”


Secure your home. With people coming and going at different times, each family member should understand the importance of locking all points of entry when leaving, including dead-bolting doors, windows, sliding glass doors and garage/shed doors to bolster your home’s safety.

tips for the active family to stay safe while on the go


Utilize key safes. Whether you’re storing a house key for children to access after school or for your mother-inlaw who baby-sits, a Master Lock key safe will allow them access to your home without the risk of losing a key in transit, allowing parties to enter safely, even if no one is home.


Establish a “home alone” routine. If your child gets home from school while you are at work, or if your family is involved in activities on weekends, it’s important to have guidelines for your children to follow when home alone. These include locking the door immediately behind them after enterKeep your home active. For ing the house, not spending time periods of time where most outside and not answering the members of the family will be door for any visitors. away, schedule a dog walker to come over or ask a neighbor to No notes. Many families retrieve your mail. This helps to leave notes on their front ensure that your home still doors to communicate a change appears to have people coming in schedule. Communication and going regularly — a natural this important should happen theft deterrent. directly via phone call, text



message or voicemail — not set of eyes and ears, keeping out in the open for everyone to watch on your home when you see. can’t be there.



Share schedules. Be sure that your family is aware of each other’s schedules, including work, school and extracurricular activities. Keeping a calendar updated with everyone’s commitments in a common room such as the kitchen will prevent miscommunication about who will be home and when.

Set social media rules. In today’s digital age, location-based services are growing in popularity with both kids and adults. Set a family social media policy to limit check-ins and location information being made too readily available online to ensure your family’s schedule does not become too predictable.



Create an emergency plan. Every family should have a plan that details what to do in case of an emergency. This should include a list of numbers to call and steps to follow should anything happen to the home while a member of the family is there alone.

Secure items on-the-go. Whether you’re headed out for a walk or to a soccer game, odds are you are carrying several valuables including keys, a wallet and cell phone. Secure these items in a small, portable safe secured to a fixed item such as a fence, allowing you to relax and enjoy any activCommunicate with neigh- ity. bors. Communicate your For more security tips and schedules with a friendly, watchful neighbor you trust and solutions for families on the go, empower him or her as an extra visit www.masterlock.com.



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Give your home an annual checkup to help save energy, money


all home improvement projects can help protect your home from cold weather and save money on costly repairs down the road. “Check major systems that help protect your house — the roof, gutters, siding, exterior finish, windows, doors, foundation and steps, plus interior components like heating, cooling, chimney and electrical systems,” says Kathy Krafka Harkema, spokeswoman for Pella Windows and Doors. Look for obvious signs of deterioration, damage or potential problems, Krafka Harkema advises. Replace or repair worn or broken items before they cause potential problems.

Inspect windows, doors When checking your home’s windows and doors, inspect the interior and exterior finishes around them. Signs of flaking and peeling or water stains may mean that it's time to refinish or replace the unit. Next, check windowsills for dirt and debris like sand, leaves, insects or pine needles. Debris can hamper the airtight effectiveness and overall performance of doors and windows. Finally, feel for uneven sliding and sticking when you open and close a window. Try using a non-oily lubricant, like paraffin wax, on the opposing finishes.

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How to keep your home real cool I

t’s always a good time to start thinking air conditioning. “It doesn’t make sense to swelter through humid … weather when an efficient air conditioning system can keep you cool and comfortable for pennies a day,” said Aire Conditioner Shoppe owner Neil Wiedemann. “And the higher the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio), the more you save on electric.” The operative word is “efficient.” Old or malfunctioning air conditioning systems are energy hogs that don’t do the job effectively and run up your electricity bills. Air conditioning systems available from the Aire Conditioner Shoppe are the newest models that incorporate the latest technological advances. They are unobtrusive and virtually silent. Wiedemann, who has been in the air conditioning business since 1979, sells and installs split ductless systems on Oahu, as well as portable air conditioners. He also sells the less expensive window units that are often the choice for apartments, condos and houses. He

guarantees the lowest prices for any product he sells with installation of the same equipment. For 10 years running, in fact, Fujitsu has named him “Dealer of the Year.” “About five years ago, the inverter compressor was developed, a component of the condenser, which is installed outside the home and connects to the air handler unit inside the home,” Wiedemann said. “Then last year another advance was made in the technology, making it possible to cool up to eight separate rooms in the house with the same condenser connected to eight separate air handlers, all of which can be operated and set for the desired temperature independently. Automatic swing louvers and multiple fan speeds in the handler — the unit mounted in the home — allow you to control the amount and direction of the airflow to maximize comfort.” Wiedemann pointed out that split ductless systems can be just as efficient as central air conditioning, or more efficient in terms of energy savings, depending on the lifestyle of the

homeowner. Even the window air conditioning units, which are generally what you see in older apartment buildings or townhomes, have been extensively improved both in efficiency and appearance. However, the tenant and/or owner needs to obtain permission from the management

company and/or apart- customer satisfaction. The ment owners association Aire Conditioner Shoppe’s to install any type of air slogan is, “We do it right conditioning. the first time.” The Aire Conditioner “When our estimator Shoppe offers free onsite reviews your needs and estimates and design con- you make a decision on the sultation. The company system you want to install, installs and repairs what it you will have a quote the sells. Wiedemann credits next day by phone or fax,” his company’s success to a he said. “If the customer is strong commitment to satisfied, we draw up the

contract. Once I set a price, it’s firm and it will be guaranteed the lowest available price with the same equipment,” he said.



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

GEO celebrates

‘Plug in Day”

with cool roof seminar


reen Energy Outlet (GEO) is a proud supporter of the Sierra’s Club's first “National Plug-in Day” celebration Oct. 16. Honolulu is one of only 12 inaugural cities in the U.S. selected by the Sierra Club to

put on this historic event. Join the celebration in Kakaako for an opportunity to meet and interact with owners of electric cars about their experiences as early adaptors. It will be a good ol’ fashioned tailgate party — only without the tailpipes. Many

visitors also will be driving up to the Haleiwa Farmer’s Market that day from 10 a.m. to noon for free test rides in electric cars. Look for the Plug in America booth for more info. The festivities at the Children’s Discovery Center

parking lot will go from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. GEO will be offering free electric car shuttle rides from 575-G Cooke St. to the center location. Residents are invited to feel what it’s like to ride into the future of transportation. GEO also will celebrate the day with special guest speakers discussing the latest developments in the fast-moving electric car industry from noon to 4 p.m. at 575-G Cooke St. Call GEO at 591-1900 for more details. At the same time, GEO also will conduct a Cool Roof Seminar and Sale from noon to 4 p.m. Learning how to install your own cool roof can be fun and financially rewarding. Often, friends and

Leaky Roof?

neighbors pitch in to help each other make the job go easier. If you wish to have a licensed contractor install your roof, that can easily be arranged. Come and learn about the differences in the leading edge roof coating systems. Is your roof better suited for a silicone coating or an acrylic coating? They both have their place. Bring photos or drawings of your roof for an indepth consultation. Benefits of a cool roof include 100 percent protection from UV damage, and a permanent roofing system that never needs to be replaced. Simply apply a top coat every 10 to 15 years using only a fraction of the original material. SEE PAGE 19

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Avoiding PV pitfalls


s photovoltaic (PV) panels go up all over Hawaii, some customers are being made to feel a false sense of urgency. Unfortunately, some “over-eager� PV sales reps are taking advantage of rumors that tax credits for residential systems will expire soon. This is absolutely untrue — the state’s 35 percent credit and the fed’s 30 percent credit remain solidly in effect. Rumors also are flying that in certain high-penetration areas, new customers will be forced to pay for a usage study unless they purchase immediately. While there is certainly a limit to how much solar-supplied energy a distribution circuit or “grid� can handle*, there is no need for undue haste in making your PV investment. Anyone considering PV should take the time to research all their options and seek several bids. Here are some guidelines courtesy of Alternate Energy Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric Co.: 12 | HAWAII RENOVATION | OCT. 9, 2011

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Talk to more than one PV Go to nrel.gov and search provider. Make sure you are “Consumer Guideâ€? for easy-touse booklets on solar water heating getting the right-size installation for your home and electricity and photovoltaic systems. use. Don’t use a provider who tries Don’t be rushed into signing a to sell you a larger system than contract. More PV can be you need. It will be more expenadded to most areas with no reliabil- sive and take longer for you to ity problems. To see where circuits break even. may need added study, visit Alternate Energy Inc. was foundheco.com. Under “Renewable Energy,â€? select “Generating Your ed in 1993 and is one of Hawaii’s Own Power.â€? On the right side you first solar energy companies, specan â€œCheck Circuitsâ€? on each island. cializing in the design and installation of photovoltaic systems, solar While there, you can water heating systems and solar learn ways to send excess attic fans. power to the grid with Net Energy *To ensure continued reliable servMetering, Feed-in Tariff or Standard ice for all customers on a circuit, a Interconnection Agreement. technical review may be needed when A good PV supplier will urge the amount of distributed generation you to reduce your electricity (DG) on a circuit reaches 15 percent. demand before adding PV. A solar This is not a limit on solar; rather, the water heater can reduce your 15 percent threshold serves as a trigdemand by as much as 35 percent. ger point in determining whether Energy StarÂŽ appliances, compact additional study may be needed to fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), and evaluate the impact of more DG on the circuit. surge strips all help.


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aving a roof in good condition is very important. Roof maintenance to prevent leaks can avoid costly repairs and give you peace of mind. Common problems include wind damage, wear because of age, ventilation, wood rot, incorrect installation and moisture build up. Shingles are the most commonly installed roofing system. Shingles come in various styles, weights, warranties and costs. An important component of a proper installation is flashing.

Flashing. Roof flashing usually made of pre-painted galvanized, copper or stainless steel prevents leakage in areas where shingles alone will not be sufficient to prevent leakage. Proper installation and application are key

record with RICO (state of Hawaii), is in good standing with the BBB, and is not sub-contracting out the installation. Your contractor should review the terms and conditions of the agreement including warranties, installation process and materials. You should receive a detailed description of the job (the contract) for your review prior to your contractor selection. Be sure that your contactor gives you a full sevenyear workmanship warranty.

regarding flashing, and this is where having qualified and experienced installers is vital to a quality roof installation.

Ventilation. Roof ventilation is an often overlooked issue regarding a new roof. With rising energy costs, addressing ventilation through ridge vents, solar fans, insulation or radiant barrier systems will not only make the interior of your home cooler, but will also help maximize the life of your new roof. Proper ventilation also lowers the humidity in your attic while making your home a healthier environment.

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Although installing another layer of shingles without removing the existing layer will save you money, there are other issues to consider. If you have a concern regarding the sheathing (typically plywood), removing the existing roof will enable the contractor to inspect the roof deck. Also, removing the existing roof will remove the weight of your old roof, and your new roof will be nailed directly into the sheathing. There are situations where installing over an existing shingle roof is acceptable. It is best to consult with your roofing contractor to discuss your situation, needs, budget and plans.

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Asphalt shingles are selected 80 percent of the time because of reliability, cost and appearance. Asphalt shingle warranties will range in years from 20, 30, 50 to limited lifetime. In Hawaii’s climate, plan to reroof every 20 years (average) regardless of the quality of the shingle you select.

Metal Roofing. There are various metal roofing systems ranging from aluminum shingles, aluminum shake, met-tile, standing seam to Gerard tiles, to name a few. These systems typically have a higher cost and require more technical expertise by the installation crew. If

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you select from this category, be sure to do your homework prior to selecting the roofing style and contractor to ensure that you have the proper choice for your home. Contractor response. There are many other Did your estimator arrive types of roofing systems to your appointment (coatings, membranes, promptly and answer all brai, tile, etc.), which will of your questions? When be covered in future dis- you called the office, did cussions. you get a quick response or was there a delay in a Roofing Contractor. call back? Remember, it Protecting your home usually doesn’t get better with a reliable roof will once your roof is installed. give you peace of mind and it all starts with For a free estimate and selecting the correct roof- consultation, call United ing contractor. Roofing at 428-7947 or Be sure to verify that visit our website at unite your contractor has the droofinghi.com. United following: a current Roofing is known for quallicense, worker’s compen- ity and remembered for sation insurance, a clean service.

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Design-build firm benefits clients with ‘all services under one roof’


mong the many advantages of working with a design/build contractor are the “flexibility factor” as it applies and the capability to handle every aspect of a job from concept to completion quickly and efficiently “under the same roof.” “With a true design/build firm, such as Homeworks Construction, planning, permitting, architecture, engineering, and selections — literally all the services required by the client — are provided by professionals who work together as a team,” said company president Marshall Hickox. “The client benefits because we are in communication on a regular basis, so the many steps toward completion of a job follow each other in a well-organized sequence. Breakdowns in communication that can occur when, for example, the architectural designer

HOMEWORKS CONSTRUCTION ADDRESS: 2111 S. BERETANIA ST. CONTACT: 955-2777 is with one company and the engineer is with another are avoided. These kinds of breakdowns cause delays and delays cost money. When we prepare a budget for the client, whether for a remodeling project or a new custom home, it is contingent on

an approved design plan and a certain time frame. “However, because we are all working in concert a change doesn’t have to stall the entire project. I essentially see a design plan as ‘organic,’ meaning it can grow and evolve as the client and Homeworks designer review details and move toward the day when builders arrive at the jobsite to start the work.” But what about the impact of a change on the budget? Hickox cites a recent project in which the client made two major

changes after plans for a complete rebuild of a Kahala house were ready to be implemented. “Our client had seen some photos of a curved stairway that appealed to them more than the style of stairway that had originally been in the plans. They had also seen a Juliet balcony, essentially a small step-out balcony,

that they wanted to add to the second level above the main entrance to the home. Both of these additions were doable at the stage of the project we had reached, but the client’s concern was that they would add significant cost to the job. As it turned out, this was not the case. We were able to incorporate the desired

features into an updated plan and stay within the original budget.” Hickox explained that through a process he refers to as “value engineering,” Homeworks was able “to review the overall plan and find ways to save on other details without compromising quality. By working with


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‘Tis the season of change FROM PAGE 10

fall turns to winter and so forth. Your feng shui and the energy of your home can get stale if things remain the same season after season, year after year. When your home feels stagnant or seems to have lost its luster, keep these things in mind: • Nature is alive and expresses itself through the natural order of change. Your home is living space, so keep it “alive” by refreshing things from time to time to match nature’s essence.

Background check, referrals key to finding right contractor FROM PAGE 2

tractor to help you with the build or renovation work. Here are a few other things to look for:

belief systems and our style, our feng shui must As human beings, we be updated from time to are constantly changing time to continually reflect — physically, emotional- the reality of who we are. ly, mentally and spiritual- Where can you make ly. You neither look at changes in your home to • The basic premise in nor see things the way match who you are today? • When you do make feng shui is that our life is you did 10 years ago. You Feng shui expert and life changes in your home, set reflected in the space in have different clothes, an intention as to the which we live. When we thoughts, feelings and guide Alice Inoue, whose direction you want make changes in our perspectives. If some- bi-weekly articles appear change to happen. We lives, we should make thing in your life or in in Hawaii Renovation, become more “seasoned” corresponding changes in your environment feels offers books, DVDs, workwith the passing of each our space, otherwise it stagnant, perhaps it is shops and private consulyear, so the changes we can feel limiting. By time to make a change in tations. Join Alice on 11/11/11 for her, “Get make should reflect who adjusting our space, we your space. As long as we are alive, Inspired About Your Life!” we are today. For exam- feel a greater connection ple, choose new, more to it and can tap into its we are never done with event. Visit www.alicein comfortable furniture, supportive energy with change. Along with our spired.com select new towel sets that offer a fresher look, position items for increased convenience, and hang new, more inspirational pictures.

greater ease.

• Completion, timeliness record. This is key to keeping costs down and ensuring that your expectations are fulfilled.

CV Construction LLC does all of the aforementioned and more. From the company’s initial free estimate and its ability to effectively communicate with customers, to its workers’ • Extensive customer commitment to timeliness, service background check. CV Construction LLC is the Search for a contractor best choice for Hawaii’s who not only does a great homeowners. Call today to learn job for your project, but deals with problems more about the company’s new house build speswiftly. cial going on right now. • Referrals. Find someone who has used the company before and speaks highly of the business.


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This fall, dress your windows in style, warmth and savings with Duette® Architella® Honeycomb Shades. Their exclusive, insulating design can reduce energy loss through windows and help lower your heating and cooling bills. For select shades purchased and installed by December 1, you may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $500.† Plus, act before December 12, and you’ll receive a $25 rebate per unit.* Celebrate the season with Hunter Douglas, where good taste and great energy savings are always in fashion. *Manufacturer’s rebate offer valid for purchases made 9/13/11 - 12/12/11. Rebate offers may not be combined; there is a limit of one rebate per qualifying unit. For each qualifying unit purchased, the higher applicable rebate amount will apply. Other limitations and restrictions apply. All rebates will be issued in U.S. dollars, in the form of an American Express® Prepaid Reward Card. †For tax credit details and restrictions and a list of qualifying products, ask a salesperson or visit hunterdouglas.com/taxcredit. Hunter Douglas and its dealers are not tax advisors. The tax credit for 2011 is subject to a limitation based in part on the amount of Section 25C credits taken in prior years. It is recommended that you consult your tax advisor regarding your individual tax situation and your ability to claim this tax credit. ©2011 Hunter Douglas. ® and TM are trademarks of Hunter Douglas.


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HAWAIIRENOVATION The first thing we do when we accept a job is make sure the surfaces are prepared properly. Sometimes we need to strip off improperly applied paint. But ultimately the additional time and money invested in a first class, professional paint job pay off because the customer won’t have to repaint for a long time ... maybe never,” Suh said.

Painting it


ne of San Francisco’s top vintage home painting contractors, Jimmy Suh, moved his business to Honolulu two years ago and was quickly recognized for the quality of his meticulous work. A record of the hundreds of homes, both vintage and new construction, that Suh transformed during his 15 years in San Francisco can be viewed on a DVD he makes available on request. The precision of his work and understanding of color, as well as the technical aspects of painting, have made Deep Purple



CONTACT: 739-2000

Painting one of the most “in demand” painting contractors in Honolulu. Suh’s projects include both residential and commercial buildings located

in neighborhoods throughout Oahu. He said he is amazed to find that so many of the home and business owners who have contacted him,

and eventually became clients, attribute the poor condition of the surfaces to badly executed paint jobs in the past. “I’ve found that other painters have added coats of water-base paint over oil base … you just can’t do that without bad consequences later in the form of cracking and peeling.

on a time line which is be contingent on the owner’s plans and lifestyle. If the job is for a client planning to put the home on the market, or getting ready for a party or any special event on the property, deadlines may be critical. “If the project is a complete repaint of an interior, we will have to schedule carefully in order to avoid inconveniencing the homeowner,” Suh said. “We try to be as accommodating as possible. Once we can determine how long the job will take, we can provide a cost estimate. If it’s necessary to stay within a specified budget, we can always tailor the job to suit the owner’s financial resources. The one thing we won’t compromise on is quality.” Suh provides estimates personally and makes it a point to supervise every job from beginning to end. He notes that he also answers his own phone. Call him at 739-2000 to arrange a meeting and obtain a free estimate.

Suh’s standard procedure when contacted by a new customer is to visit the job site and assess the condition of the interior and exterior surfaces, discuss color with the owners, and, particularly if the job is an interior, whether there will be any special conditions involved. It’s always important to agree

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home improvements


ho wouldn’t like to save money on utility bills? But have you ever considered some of the more common energy-efficient home improvements — such as insulating your hot water heater or replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents — and thought “dullsville”? Sometimes the act of saving money just isn’t fun enough on its own. Fortunately, you can make home improvements that will trim your utility bills and boost your home’s appeal at the same time. Here are four fun home improvements that are surprisingly energy efficient as well:


Buy a new dishwasher or clothes washer. Older appliances were not only built to be less energy efficient, they can lose what little efficiency they had as they age. If your appliances are more than 10 years old, they likely use more energy and water than newer models, especially new models that are Energy Star qualified. Dishwashers purchased before 1994 use an additional 10 gallons or more of water per cycle than a new Energy Star qualified model, accord18 | HAWAII RENOVATION | OCT. 9, 2011


ing to EnergyStar.gov. And if you Let the sun shine in. A ventdon’t have a dishwasher at all, don’t ing skylight is a fun way to think of buying one as just a luxury. fill your home with nourishing Energy Star says you’ll save 5,000 natural light and passive ventilagallons of water and knock $40 per tion, but did you know it’s also year off your utility bills if you give energy efficient? Installing a ventup washing dishes by hand — not to ing skylight can help you lower your electric bill by reducing your mention 230 hours of your time. dependency on artificial light and Beautify your bathroom. electric fans. Natural light has Kitchens and baths sell homes, been tied to a host of health benebut they’re also the rooms where fits, including improving mood. A the most water gets used and wast- skylight not only enhances the ed. Old fixtures and faucets are energy efficiency of your home, it among the top water-wasting cul- adds decorating flair and could prits in a home. You can conserve make you feel better about living water by turning off the tap when there. you brush your teeth, but that They’re also relatively low-cost water savings goes down the drain when it comes to “luxury” home if the toilet runs constantly when improvements. You can get an Energy Star qualified “No Leak you leave the room. Replacing leaky fixtures can reap Skylight” from Velux for about significant water savings. Energy $1,000 per unit for a remote-conStar says a leaky faucet can waste trolled electric venting model that gallons of water. Just one drip per closes automatically should it second can waste up to 1,661 gal- rain. Log on to www.veluxusa.com lons of water in a year, according to to find a local installer for a cusEnergyStar.gov. You can also con- tomized cost estimate. serve water by installing a low-flow showerhead, which can save you as Saving money can be doubly much as five gallons of water dur- exciting, when you opt for energying a 10-minute shower. Many man- efficient home improvements that ufacturers now offer stylish, water- also enhance enjoyment of your efficient faucets and showerheads. home.


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The right coating for your roofs

A boon for clients FROM PAGE 15


While coating generally is fairly simple, there are definitely “tricks of the trade” that save you time and money. our experts can examine them. Tips for coating shingle roofs The good news is that you don’t need to use reinforcing fabric. We can tint the coating to blend in with your neighborhood. However, there are some helpful hints to ensure your project goes smoothly. Attend this weekend’s event to find out how.

What are my options if I have heavy ponding water? There are a few solutions depending on how much water is on your roof. This includes full fabric reinforced systems, as well as silicone-based coatings that will be on sale at this weekend’s event.

When can I get away with just a simple reflectivity coat? If your roof doesn’t leak or pond water, you may be a candidate for an inexpensive reflectivity coat, which will cool down your home and protect your roof against UV damage. Bring or email us photos of your roof so

Many roof coatings will be on sale, but only during the event. These include Hawaiian Sunguard Silicone and Ceramic, as well as the Sta-Kool and Apoc lines. For more information, visit www.LeakMaster.com or call GEO at 5911900.

the clients and prioritizing their needs we are able to implement new ideas into the project and decide which features are important and which are not. Our goal is, of course, to keep them all, but if we can’t, this is the next best thing and our clients love the flexibility. “A project is continually evolving. We would not want a client to miss out on a great idea because it came along later in the process. As a design/build firm we can make the necessary decisions within hours. We don’t have to wait a day or two for an architect to redraw plans and for a contractor to rebid it. In the case of the current Kahala rebuild, the job is right on track in terms of both budget and schedule.” Hickox pointed out that each member of the Homeworks team is individually licensed and, as such, is responsible to the client as well as to the company for the

quality of the services performed. Homeworks Construction maintains a showroom at the Homeworks Building, located at 2111 S. Beretania St. Clients or prospective clients visit the showroom by appointment or can meet with Homeworks staff members in the company’s second floor conference room to review photos of completed remodeling projects and new custom homes, as well as the gallery of awards. Homeworks has once again been named one of the nation’s “Top 500 Remodelers” by Qualified Remodeler Magazine. Homeworks CEO Jim Byxbee hosts the “Build New Or ReDo” radio show Saturday mornings from 9 to 10 on KHVH NewsRadio 830 AM. Listeners are invited to call in with their questions or to suggest topics for future shows. For information or to make an appointment to visit the showroom, call Homeworks at 955-2777.




Why not have the

Best Wood Flooring for Your Home?


acific Import International’s main goal always has been the same — to be the very best flooring company in Hawaii. From products to installation to customer relations, the company’s aim remains to provide you with the finest in flooring. And that formula has been successful for owner Shirley Pai Hilton and




her staff. It all starts with terrific products, which revolve around the company’s own brands of flooring — the Bayside solid prefinished woods, bamboo, laminates and the ever-popular Kahala Floors’ engineered wood flooring. All of these products are custom made for Pacific Imports International and delivered in whole containers to the company’s Honolulu warehouse. In fact, Pacific Imports is probably the only flooring company in Hawaii that has its own employees oversee both the production and shipping process. Nothing gets into the container that isn’t up to snuff, Hilton says. In fact, when Hilton first took

over the company a number of years ago, there just wasn’t any good engineered wood flooring line being sold in Hawaii. She had read industry studies indicating that engineered flooring was growing in popularity because it offered stability to consumers who desired wood flooring. One of Hilton’s first goals as owner was to sort through the hundreds of companies that manufacture engineered wood flooring in China. She and her assistant, Isabella, went to great lengths, visiting many factories to find the right products. Hilton wanted something that could be refinished several times, be of the most reliable construction, be made especially for Hawaii’s humidity and barefoot lifestyle, offer safe glues and finishes, and

never fail on the consumer. The result is the wildly popular Kahala Floors line of engineered wood flooring. Hilton says that with more than a million square feet sold, there has never been a single warranty claim! Hilton also feels very strongly about educating consumers so that they can make their own decision on what is best for them and feel good about their purchase. Offering product and installation information on solids, engineered, laminate and stone, the company’s Wood and Stone Flooring 101 seminars have been very well-attended. Past participants always rave about how much they enjoyed the session and how much they learned. “These free seminars are just another part of our excellent customer service,” Hilton says. The company’s next seminar is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at its showroom, located at 926 Kohou St. In addition to the seminar, a private sale will be offered to attendees only. It’s a great opportunity to save big on a new floor for the holidays or as a gift for a loved one. Call 847-7711 to reserve a seat today.


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