By Maria Kanai
Whether your project is remodeling your kitchen, adding a second story level to your home or building an entirely new house from the ground up, Atlas Construction is the general contractor you can trust. This family-owned business has been around for four generations, and was voted four years in a row as Hawaii’s best contractor for its quality work and customer service.
Atlas Construction is owned by Bruce Kim and his family – Bruce’s cousin Rodney Kim is the vice president and he says they work with only the best and most trustworthy licensed contractors around the state. “We do about 40 to 45 projects a year, so we have to work with people we can trust and will provide high quality work while keeping to our project schedule,” says Kim. Whether it’s designing, permit processing or construction work, Atlas Construction handles it all.
While some general contractors may experience a dry period during the winter season, Atlas Construction is experiencing regular business as usual. “We have about 18 projects in progress right now. Interest rates are at an all-time low, and home owners are taking advantage by building new homes and doing remodeling and additions,” says Kim.
Even with the recent rainier, windier days, the construction on their projects goes on, and Kim says that he’s thankful that Hawai‘i is blessed with a temperate climate that doesn’t get as bad as the mainland. The climate can also be a pro for clients – he says that he makes sure to factor the direction of prevailing trade winds during any home design, to take advantage of ventilation and air flow. He also says Atlas Construction builds window frames to protect the home from the elements, making sure that water doesn’t seep into the structure and reducing the risk of water damage for Hawai‘i homes.
“We do have to take extra precaution for homes in the valleys or mountain side because of water runoffs,” says Kim. “We make sure that the water diverts away from the actual building itself, because the water doesn’t just come down onto the roof, but it also travels on the ground.”
When working with customers, Kim says Atlas Construction has a four-step process. First, he and his team will conduct a careful site assessment by meeting with the customer and going out to the potential construction site or home to learn about the customer’s goals for the project. If both parties feel they’re a good fit, he’ll then offer estimates that fit into the client’s budget. The third step is a monthly open house, where customers are able to see firsthand an actual project completed by Atlas Construction. Customers also receive a complete referral list of hundreds of families who were previous customers. You can learn more about Atlas Construction’s future open houses on ads in the Star Advertiser newspaper or the company’s online website and social media.
Finally, the fourth step would be the actual completion of the project’s blueprints and gathering appropriate documents such as building permits from the County’s Building Division. “It can sometimes take up to six months, so plan accordingly,” says Kim.
For families looking to remodel or create an addition to their home, he advises, “Make sure your original structure is solid and has a lifespan. The best design is where you can make the new addition as isolated as possible from the older home. You don’t want to put further weight or impact on the existing structure, so try to make the new structure a stand-alone building by itself.”
He also says that Atlas Construction holds building seminars twice a month. The seminars are free and open to the public, and you can learn applicable information on different steps you’ll need to take to build or renovate a home, such as putting together a budget, having site visits, getting permits and more.
What makes Atlas Construction stand apart from other companies is its traditional focus on family values and cultivating relationships. By treating every client as family, the level of customer satisfaction is unmatched. “We treat each home as if it’s our own, and consider our clients as ohana,” says Kim. “We have good relationships with clients as well as with our vendors and sub-contractors, which is how we have consistent, quality work.”
“We’d like to wish everyone a happy new year full of peace and harmony!” Kim wishes “a warm mahalo to all our customers for allowing us to be a part of your family this past year.”