By Maria Kanai
Another year, another hurricane season. But as the recent Lane scare taught us, it’s always important for you and your family to be prepared. That’s why Atlas Construction can offer peace of mind and security by helping you make sure that your home is hurricane ready.
A family-run homebuilding company that has been voted six years in a row as Hawaii’s best contractor for quality work and dedicated customer service, Atlas Construction is proud to offer multiple ways to keep your ohana safe. Recently, Atlas Construction began a new project: installing a safe room following Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) specifications inside a house in Manoa.
A safe room is a hardened structure that can provide near-absolute protection in extreme weather events, especially if it is built in accordance with FEMA guidance. “Having a safe room inside your house is one of the best options when it comes to you and your family’s safety,” says Rodney Kim, vice president of Atlas Construction. “We’ve finished designing this safe room for our client and we are just starting to break ground on it. It’s rated to withstand a category five hurricane, which is really cool.”
If you don’t have the budget or are looking for something simpler than a new room, Atlas Construction can offer other ways to protect your home. “You can strengthen up your hallways in case of a hurricane or tornado by making sure that the layout of your home – the walls and length of hallway – is designed in such a way where in case something happens, the hallway could be one of the safe places in your home,” says Kim.
You can also try hurricane strapping, where you can use building connectors to connect the whole roof, walls and foundations together so it is one solid structure. “This way, you don’t have to worry about having your roof flown off during a strong hurricane,” says Kim. Another idea is to use an impact resistant film over your windows. “The good news is that even if your current house may not have these things, we can help retrofit and renovate your existing home. You don’t have to necessarily build from scratch,” says Kim.
“While we may not have experienced a direct hit from a hurricane in recent years, it’s always good to be prepared,” says Kim. “It’s good to see that we have clients who are already forward-thinking and planning ahead for the future. As a family-run business made up of four generations, we want to make sure our company supports the entire ohana and can come up with flexible plans that leaves your home protected during any emergencies.”
As a full-service construction company that’s been in business for more than 25 years, Atlas Construction has a tried-and-true four-step process that’s proven to work well. First, Kim will help customers figure out a realistic and clear budget. “If customers have their own desires about where to place the safe room or what to include, we’ll be sure to include those details into the budget. We can also provide more than one budget so that customers can choose,” says Kim.
After a design consultation – visiting the site and making sure that the construction would be feasible – he and his staff will sit down with clients to set up a firm budget and a monthly payment plan. After the design consultation and budgeting, Kim and his staff will assist with drafting and design – where designs will be put on paper. During this process, he will also call in other contractors. 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 45 to 60 projects a year, and after being in business for four generations, they know that relationships are key. “Whether it’s a window specialist, engineer, a realtor or a special management area contact, we pride ourselves with our list of reliable specialists,” says Kim.
Throughout this process, Atlas recommends attending their open houses, which 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 Star Advertiser newspaper or the company’s online website and social media.
Another good resource would be attending their informational building seminars, which are held monthly. 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.
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.
For more information on Atlas Construction, visit atlasconstruction808.com.