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Situated at the heart of Oahu (meaning “The Gathering Place”), the city of Honolulu is a bustling mix of Eastern and Western cultures. This cosmopolitan capital of Hawaii has its roots in Native Hawaiian values and traditions while still beating with the pulse of modernity.
Over the years, from the Kingdom of Hawaii era to Statehood, Hawaii has evolved traditional styles that compliment its natural beauty, developing distinct architecture that is uniquely its own. Hawaiiana homes are built to last in the ever-changing weather of the islands and are designed to accommodate the growing ohana (family). Renovations and remodels are popular in the city and the islands, and there are many skilled contractors to choose from. We researched the firms with the highest quality projects, most awards, best press coverage, and highest customer ratings.
15) Pacific Dynamic Construction
12345 Anykine Rd. Kailua, HI 96734
With over 40 years of construction and remodeling experience and an ohana-centered business, Pacific Dynamic Construction has built a reputation for quality craftsmanship and personalized service. Principal Steve Gerwig founded the Kailua-based firm, which was named one of the Top Builders for 2018 in the Hawaii Home + Remodeling Magazine. He owns the business along with his brother Robert and their father Harvey.
The company takes a variety of residential projects, from warming up a condominium unit to updating and modernizing an ancestral home. They specialize in home renovation and remodeling, with several custom build projects. Customers praise the firm’s reliability, respect to their client’s space, and quality work. One of Gerwig’s minor projects – a kid-safe custom treehouse – was featured in the April 2015 issue of Hawaii Home + Remodeling.
14) HK Construction
905 Factory St. Honolulu, HI 96819
Family-owned HK Construction is a design-build, fourth-generation contractor specializing in new homes, additions, and renovations. The company was founded by couple Harry and Angie Kim and is now headed by their son Alan Twu who continues the more than 40-year legacy of the company in Hawaii.
As a member of BIA-Hawaii and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), as well as an accredited business under the Better Business Bureau, H.K. Construction has an extensive network of subcontractors, designers, and engineers. “I enjoy seeing how we can transform a piece of land for someone to be able to call it home,” says Two. Their ohana-centric work has made them experts in building additions and big remodels of homes for all types of families.
13) Ko’olau Builders
730 Moowaa St., Unit I, Honolulu, HI 96817
A relatively young company from second-generation builders in Hawaii, Koolau Builders is a design-build firm with an in-house design team and a full-time build team. Its owner and founder Nick Tang is a son of an accomplished architect and learned the ropes early on. After studying art and architecture in Washington, Nick returned to his home to form Ko’olau Builders in 2010.
The company specializes in residential remodels, new construction, renovations, and additions, as well as commercial and federal contracting. Their residential projects are a staple in Hawaii Homes + Remodeling Magazine, earning them reader votes to be the top ‘Design + Build Company’ in the magazine’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards and as one of the Top Builders for 2018.
12) Dan O’ Sullivan Construction
P.O. Box 25071 Honolulu HI 96825 US
Born and raised in the island of Oahu, Dan O’ Sullivan has extensive personal expertise in creating homes built for the Hawaiian climate, culture, and aesthetic. He has been in the home remodeling and renovation business since he got his license in 1984.
As a member of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii, the company has received several awards such as the 2008 Building Industry Association Overall Grand Award and a place in the 1993 Parade of Homes. Its award-winning project features covered lanais on both sides and is set back from the beach to protect it from the elements, but to also allow for a large lawn.
11) Atlas Construction
302 N. School Street, Honolulu, HI 96817
Atlas Construction is a full-service design-build contractor that has built and remodeled residences in Hawaii for over 25 years. Their residential renovations range from small updates to full house projects. They also do home additions to accommodate multi-generational families. Atlas president Bruce Kim says “I love the relationships we build with our homeowners. We go through a journey with them.”
Their mission of giving excellent customer service has made them the top-voted general contractor in the state. They were voted Best of Honolulu Magazine (General Contracting) four years straight since 2015 as well as Hawaii’s Best in the Star-Advertiser newspaper for six years in a row since 2013. Recently, they were voted as the winners in the Best of Hawaii Home + Remodeling Magazine as Best Builders and Contractors for 2018 and Best in Concrete and Masonry for 2017.
10) Graham Builders
1144 Young Street, Honolulu, HI 96814
A company that specializes in providing homes for Hawaii’s ohana culture is Graham Builders. The design-build firm has been building and renovating custom residences that accommodate multigenerational, extended-family, aging-in-place and single-family living styles. It is a member of the NAHB and is the first firm in Hawaii to have a certified Aging-in-Place specialist on staff. Their styles range from traditional Hawaiiana cottages to sleek modern bungalows.
The company was founded by Danny Graham in 1990 when he was a realtor and businessman. Prior to that, he served four years in the US Air Force and was a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines. Graham Builders is a member of BIA Hawaii and the Better Business Bureau, with Danny Graham has served as a member of the Board of Directors for both organizations in the 1990s. As CEO, he was named BIA Hawaii’s Remodeler of the Year in 1995 and has won five BIA Parade of Home Awards.
9) Canaan Builders
1122 Makepono Street, Unit 300, Honolulu, HI 96819
Canaan Builders has a long history in the building industry in Hawaii. Founded in 1978 as Canaan Decorating by Raymond C. Suiter, the company reinvented itself in 2014 as a full-blown design-build general contractor. They perform specialty construction in-house and now do luxury home additions, remodels of bathrooms and kitchens, and new custom home construction. They have also completed a couple of historical renovations around the island.
Raymond’s son, Max Suiter, has taken over as principal and RME of the company. One of his notable projects as head of the company is a remodel of a kitchen in a condominium unit at One Waterfront Towers. This project earned kudos from the BIA Hawaii, winning the Carl Reppun Award for residential remodeling in the 2004 BIA Hawaii Renaissance Awards. In the same year, the firm got the Grand Award in the Residential Remodeling Division for their collaboration with Peter Vincent & Associates on a seaside retreat in Wailupe.
8) O’Donnell Construction
45-24 Ka Hanahou Circle, Kaneohe, HI 96744
New Jersey native Tommy O’Donnell traveled all over the country – from Connecticut to California – learning the business and trade of building, before finally settling in Oahu. There he and his wife Pauline founded O’Donnell Construction in 1991, and the family business quickly grew. O’Donnell specializes in new custom homes, whole house remodels, additions and renovations, and occasional commercial projects. As a member of BIA Hawaii and the NAHB, O’Donnell Construction was certified early on as GREEN Professionals, because of their use of healthy and efficient techniques, products, and building methods.
In 2008, they received the Hawaii Built Green Award and the Carl Reppun Award, presented to a small-size contracting company for residential work, for their Kahaluu project. The 2-story addition to the 2,700 square-foot home was built using sustainable materials and energy-saving appliances throughout.
7) H-1 Construction
590 Farrington Hwy, Suite 524 Box 226, Kapolei, HI 96707
H-1 Construction is a general contractor serving the Oahu, Honolulu, and Maui areas. With over 25 years of building experience, the company has contributed much to the landscape and infrastructure of Hawaii. From custom new homes to extensive additions and renovations, the company has done projects in all different scales and budgets. Renovations typically range between $350k to $400k.
The company’s principal, Lucas Stensland, hails from the Minnesota/Wisconsin area and brings his strong building background to the forefront of Hawaii’s construction industry. The company often collaborates with Fujita + Netski Architecture on many of their projects. Their partnership earned them a BIA Building and Design Award in 2016 for a new home construction, an Editor’s Choice Award at the 2016 AIA Honolulu Design Awards, and placed them as a finalist in the following year’s awards in the same category. H-1 Construction has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
6) Design Trends Construction
905 Factory St. Honolulu, HI 96819
Since 2001, Design Trends Construction (DTC) has provided topnotch design-build custom homes and renovations in the state of Hawaii. This licensed full-service general contractor was founded by CEO Greg Liu. He personally attends to all the company’s projects as the head contractor, ensuring quality and efficiency, while his son Greg Liu, heads the design department. Together, they offer a ‘turnkey’ approach to their renovations.
The company has won a number of prominent awards. The firm won two awards presented by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (Aloha Chapter) in the 2017 BIA Renaissance Awards. They took home the Maikai Loa Award (Third Place Overall) and the Phil Zweedyk Award (First Place Overall), named after the first kitchen designer/studio in Honolulu. The won the latter award again in 2018 for their remodel of a 1970’s bathroom. DTC’s renovation projects have been featured in Hawaii Home + Remodeling Magazine and they are included in the magazine’s Top Builders for 2018.
5) Complete Construction Services
P.O. Box 757 Kailua, HI 96734
When it comes to award-winning construction, Complete Construction Services (CCS) lets its work speak for itself. The firm has won several accolades. Two of their most notable projects earned Renaissance Awards from the Building Industry Association of Hawaii (BIA). The Tantalus Renovation, a collaboration with architectural design firm hiarchy, won the 2012 BIA Renaissance Grand Award, while a remodeled 2,000 square foot original 1937 Claude Albon Stiehl-designed home in Makiki Heights earned them the 2013 Carl Reppun Award in the Residential Remodel Division.
The firm was founded by principal Greg Thielen in 2001, after a career in a family owned business and a large construction management company. CCS works on custom-built homes, residential remodeling, and light commercial projects. Other than giving quality work to their clients, the company says its primary focus is being “focused on client satisfaction.”
4) Armstrong Builders
80 Sand Island Access Rd. Suite 209, Honolulu, HI 96819
Boasting 42 decorated years of history and experience in the industry, Armstrong Builders is recognized as one of the leaders in residential and commercial construction in Hawaii. The company has grown over the years to include all aspects of real estate, such as development, design, sales, construction, property management, and community philanthropy, under the guidance of its CEO Robert Armstrong. Armstrong is a five-time BIA Builder of the Year Awardee and the BIA Builder of the Decade for the 2000’s.
The firm does a large range of residential building projects, from single-family homes to whole communities. As a renovator and remodeler, Armstrong Builders has done a variety of residences, some of which were recognized by the BIA through its annual BIA Hawaii Renaissance Awards. One of these award-winners was its makeover of a Diamond Head mid-century-modern residence, which won the 2016 Editor’s Choice Award. The 2,500-square-foot residence, which was designed by well-known architect Edward Sullam, FAIA, also received the Preservation Honor Award from the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation in 2015. Additionally, they won the Overall Grand Award for Residential Renovation in 2013.
3) Barker Kappelle Construction LLC
970 North Kalaheo Avenue Suite A-306, Kailua, HI 96734
Barker Kappelle Construction (BKC) has earned a reputation for award-winning high-quality, reliable, design-build residential construction, renovation, and remodeling. New Zealand contractor Phil Barker and California carpenter Brett Kappelle established the company in 2006 and they went on to build a variety of projects in Honolulu and the Windward side, from luxury custom homes to high-end remodels.
The Building Industry Association of Hawaii has given them several awards over the years for their notable projects. In 2014, BKC received a Grand Award for Residential Remodeling at the 29th BIA Renaissance Building and Remodeling Awards for their work on the Auger Residence – a 20-year-old Fritz Johnson original with modern, tropical, plantation, and Asian styles. They also received Grand Awards in 2010 for a Hawaii Kai residence that incorporates Japanese tradition and island style, and in 2011 for a 1950’s remodeled ranch-style family home. Recently, the company earned the Overall Grand Award in the New Residential category in the 2018 BIA Hawaii Building Industry Design and Construction Awards.
With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the company is also widely featured in Hawaii Home + Remodeling Magazine. The publication included them in the Top Builders List of 2018.
2) Mokulua High Performance Builders
1156 Luna‘apono Place Kailua, HI 96734
“Designed, engineered and constructed for operational excellence… efficient, healthy and sustainable homes.” – That is Mokulua’s definition of a dream home.
Mokulua High Performance Builders is a licensed general contractor based in Kailua on the Big Island of Oahu. It has produced new custom built residences and commercial buildings as well as many home remodels. The company was pioneered in 2005 by Mike Fairall who holds a number of green building credentials, and the company does projects that aim to minimize the impact of construction on the environment.
Mokulua HPB is currently making waves in the remodeling industry, receiving several accolades. It recently won 2 awards in the 2018 BIA Hawaii Building Industry and Design Awards – Hawaii Built Green Grand Award and the Grand Award for New Residential. The company’s collaboration with Archipelago Hawaii on a 1,217-sq.-ft. classic Hawaiian style 1950’s era cottage was a runner-up for the 2016 BIA Renaissance Editor’s Choice Award. In 2011, its woodmill, Mokulua Woodworking Ltd., won the BIA Grand Division Award for its historical remodeling of a residence, a project that also won the Carl Reppun Award. They have been included in Hawaii Home + Remodeling Magazine’s Best of 2017 list as a runner-up in both the ‘Builders, Contractors & Developers’ and ‘Concrete and Masonry’ categories, and were listed as one of the Top Builders of 2018.
1) Homeworks Construction
2111 South Beretania St, Honolulu, HI 96826
With more than 1000 projects, award-winning renovations and a full-service offering in construction, Homeworks Construction have earned their place as one of the top builders of Hawaii. They specialize in new home construction and remodeling, while still accommodating smaller projects like bathroom remodels and kitchen overhauls. They work in various styles whether it be the trademark Hawaiiana home design or bold contemporary. President and CEO Jim Byxbee runs the company along with Marshal Hickox and Sylvio Boucher. Byxbee currently chairs two committees in the Building Industry Association of Hawaii while Hickox has also served on several other committees in the BIA. Boucher has experience in custom historical renovation with his own architectural firm in Quebec in the 1990’s.
The company has won several accolades from the Building Industry Association of Hawaii. Their impressive list of awards include two from the 2018 BIA Hawaii Building Industry and Construction Awards: the Grand Award for Residential Remodeling (more than $450,000), and the Carl Reppun Award – both for the Iosivas Hawaii Kai revival project. They also received two Grand Awards in 2016 in the Residential Remodeling and Kitchen Project categories for their ‘Vintage Addition – Monoa’ And they won three 2013 BIA Renaissance Building and Remodeling Awards – for a kitchen, bath and fireplace in a Hawaii Loa Ridge home remodel. In the same year, they received an Award of Merit in the division for “Projects more than $500,001” for their renovation of a 65-year-old Wilhelmina Rise home into a 4,829-square-foot building that includes two bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths, an art studio, music room, art gallery, study and recreation room. Additionally, they have been voted “Best Kitchen and Bath Designer,” as well as Best Builder, by the readers of Hawaii Home + Remodeling magazine.