Voted four years in a row as Hawai‘i’s best contractor for its quality work and customer service, Atlas Construction is a family-owned, local general contracting business that handles everything from design to construction. With four generations of experience under its belt, Atlas Construction is owned by Bruce Kim and his family, built upon the traditional foundation of family values.
Rodney Kim, Bruce’s cousin and vice president of the company, says, “We make it our responsibility to take care of our customers like they are part of our ohana, making sure each home is treated like our own.”
He shares that a recent survey showed that median homes cost an average price of $800,000, and interest rates are on the lower end (as of this article, rates are at the 4 percent). He says that people are trying to build equity into their home through remodeling and renovations. Multigenerational families — grandparents, parents and their children — are especially making the right choice when they reach out to Atlas Construction and ask for help in planning and building new additions in their homes.
When clients approach Atlas Construction, the first step Rodney and his staff will take is to look at the site and make sure that the construction would be feasible. He feels it’s important for clients to be prepared and educated before making the decision to start any kind of construction. Even if there is enough space to add a new structure, the existing structure must be sound. For example, in Hawaii, termites are a common setback. If this is an issue, Rodney will refer the client to a termite pest control sub contractor. Other issues can range from getting the required permit approval to addressing soil conditions.
“Many of the homes we see are single-wall constructions, and that’s not the best to begin with either,” adds Rodney. “We look at these pre-existing conditions and make sure that these families can do something with it. Our goal is to make sure our families get their projects right the fi rst time.”
Atlas Construction takes time during this research, because Rodney believes that families shouldn’t jump into a project and run into surprises. “We want to make sure they have all the information so they understand what they’re getting into and then make a well-educated decision,” he says. “Surprises during a construction project are never a good thing, so we want clients to be aware of everything as much as possible. Once that’s done, we can then design into their budget.”
Budgets are a concern to most clients, so Atlas Construction will thoroughly research the cost of the project. They’ll also encourage clients to attend Atlas Construction’s open houses,
which take place once a month. Clients will be able to see an actual project that has been completed by Atlas Construction — Rodney says you can learn more about future open houses in ads in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper or the company’s online website and social media.
Another good resource would be attending informational building seminars, which are held twice a month. The seminars are free and open to the public, and potential clients can learn about the different steps of putting together a budget, having site visits, getting permits and more.
Atlas Construction works on 40 to 45 projects a year, and after being in business for so long, they have a long list of trusted, licensed sub contractors who provide high quality work. “We have relationships with different specialists who we refer out to for different situations, whether it’s a soil engineer, structural engineer, civil engineer,” says Rodney.
In addition to the sub contractors, clients also receive access to a complete referral list of hundreds of families who were previous customers. Atlas Construction encourages clients to reach out to these referrals and hear firsthand what kind of experience they may have had with their own home.
Finally, the fourth step would be the actual design and completion of the project’s blueprints and gathering
appropriate documents such as building permits from the County’s Building Division. “This step can sometimes take a long time, as much as six months, so we plan that into our schedule,” says Rodney.
His last advice to families looking to remodel or make renovations is to reach out to professionals instead of trying to do it themselves. “At Atlas Construction, we want the best for your family, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure you make a good, educated decision. After all, home is the place to be,” he says.