While many older homes have undeniable charms, they weren’t always built to take advantage of the natural gifts of their surroundings.
That was certainly the case with a home Graham Builders rebuilt for a Pauoa family this past year. Created in 1958, the original single-wall home lacked the views of the neighborhood’s peaceful forests and the gentle breezes that channel through the valley.
“The original house had very small bedrooms and an enormous living room,” explains the homeowner. “The only windows that we could see out of faced the carport. In retrospect, I don’t believe I used to look outside before!”
Though they were confident in their property’s potential, the homeowner and her husband had difficulty finding a contractor who seemed like a good fit.
“Then, my friend gave me a list of names that included Graham Builders. Once we attended their seminar, we were sure we wanted to build with them!” she says.
A presentation by Graham Builders president Evan Fujimoto on the importance of designing for the property had particular resonance for the couple. They were impressed even more at the designers’ first site visit.
“Our property had level changes and difficult, sticky clay soil,” explains the homeowner. “The flow of our old house was poor. It was like a big, cut-up box. On their first visit, the designers were checking things like wind direction and the sun/shade paths.”
CUSTOMIZED DETAILS AND CRAFTSMANSHIP
As the homeowner recounts, she and her husband were determined to build a residence that their family could enjoy for generations to come.
“We wanted a forever home,” she says. “We looked at items like cabinets as investment pieces. I’m glad we did, because I can see the quality throughout my home.”
The homeowner’s favorite features include the kitchen island, farmhouse sink, the window seat/reading nook with room for two, and the French doors that lead to the lanai. Her family noticed with delight that their crew’s master carpenter customized the island, stair bannisters, lanai rails and window seat.
“It is so nice how everything matches!” says the homeowner. “The quality and craftsmanship of the finish carpenters blew our minds.”
She’s certain that the designers’ careful study of her property has resulted in a home that is comfortable in any weather conditions — and that perfectly suits her family’s lifestyle.
“Once you open the windows, the beautiful cross breeze keeps us cool no matter what room you are in,” she says. “The shared space flows seamlessly from the kitchen through the dining area and living room to the lanai. The natural light is wonderful, too!”
COMFORTABLE ALLIANCE AT EVERY STAGE
At each stage of the project, the homeowner and her husband were completely comfortable with the Graham Builders team.
“It felt like a true partnership with our architectural designer. She was available at every turn to bounce ideas off of — she truly understood my vision!”
That comfortable alliance continued with the construction manager and crew.
“It was so easy to work with Graham Builders!”
She’s already enthusiastically recommended the company to several friends.
“It’s funny,” muses the homeowner, as she gazes around her bright, comfortable home. “I wanted to believe the end product would be as good as I expected, but I didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment. I kept telling myself not to expect much.
“And now it’s like, ‘I didn’t know it would come out this good!’” she chuckles happily.
Founded in 1990, Graham Builders remains the only local general contractor honored with Better Business Bureau Hawaii’s Torch Award for Small Business Ethics, and was also Oahu’s first general contractor with a certified aging-in-place specialist on staff. You are invited to register for Graham Builders’ free “Building Your Home for Life” seminar, scheduled for Feb. 6 at grahambuilders.com/seminar, or call 593-2808.