By Maria Kanai
As we’re nearing the end of the year, spending the holidays with family becomes a priority — and for Atlas Construction, that means making sure it’s time well spent. Voted five years in a row as “Hawaii’s Best” contractor for its quality work and customer service, Atlas Construction is a general contracting business that’s run by family and built on family values.
“As a family-run business, we know firsthand how busy it gets with the ohana during the holidays. With the fourth quarter coming in, there’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the new year; things can get hectic,” said the company’s vice president Rodney Kim. “That’s why we recommend having all your renovation or construction plans set for next year now, before the fourth quarter starts.”
Many local people are building equity into their homes through adding new structures, remodeling kitchens and renovating kitchens — and he said all are great ways to raise the value of their investments. However, trying to take on such costly projects on their own can cause unforeseen setbacks down the road, especially when it comes to acquiring permits from the county, monitoring soil conditions or checking for termite damage.
Just as families come together to make decisions big or small, Atlas Construction is there every step of the way. Relying on experts like Atlas Construction can allow the project to go smoothly, whether it’s a renovation or building a home from ground up. “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,” said Kim. “Our goal is to make sure our families get their projects right the first time.”
Building on core values of trust, integrity and honesty, Kim and his staff has put together a four-step process for their customers. First, they’ll do a design consultation: visiting the site and making sure that the construction would be feasible. “It’s important for us as well as the clients to be prepared and educated before making the decision to start any kind of construction,” said Kim. “Even if there is enough space to add a new structure or to extend an area, the existing structure must be sound.”
For example, in Hawaii, termites are a common setback. If this is an issue, Kim will refer the client to a trusted and reliable termite inspector — one of many local businesses on their referral list. Since Atlas Construction has 40 to 45 projects a year, and after being in business for four generations, they know that relationships are key. “Whether it’s a soil engineer, a Realtor or a special management area contact, we pride ourselves with our list of reliable specialists,” said Kim.
The next step would be setting up a budget and a monthly payment plan. The third step would be drafting and design — where designs will be put on paper.
Throughout this process, Atlas recommends attending the company’s open houses, which will take place once a month. Clients will be able to see an actual project that has been completed by Atlas Construction — you can learn more about future open houses on ads in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper or the company’s online website and social media.
Another good resource would be attending its informational building seminars, which will be held Sept. 27 and 28. 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.
“Attending these seminars can help local families know more about what they’re getting into. Along with our initial research process, these events can keep our clients from jumping into a project and running into surprises halfway during the process,” said Kim. “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.”
Finally, the fourth step would be the actual completion of the project’s construction documents, which include 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,” said Kim.
He added, “Ask us questions. Open communication is important between families, and it’s just as important for us with our clients. It’s important for families to feel comfortable enough to ask us anything during the whole process, whether it’s about the actual construction or the budget. Our staff is happy to answer any questions during the process.”