Converting existing spaces to new uses — for example, a lanai that became a master suite in a Hawaii Loa Ridge home — is one of the specialities of Homeworks Construction. The company also has established a reputation as a specialist in multigenerational homes and what has become known as “designing for life.”

Homeworks project coordinator Sarah VanDeVanter, who is also a licensed real estate broker, said an increasing number of her clients are remodeling and building new to include a master suite on the ground floor. She offers as an example a 24-year-old Hawaii Loa Ridge custom home purchased by a couple with the intention of “re-customizing” it.


“They liked the layout of the property and the neighborhood, but the house would require extensive alterations to suit their lifestyle,” VanDeVanter said. “The project involved structural work, all new kitchen and baths, replacement of floors, doors, windows and cabinets, plus the addition of a ground floor master bedroom suite and study.”

Homeworks bumped out the wall of the original bedroom and utilized existing lanai space to create a master suite with a seating area that doubles as an office, large walk-in closet and bathroom with both a stall shower and tub. The room was reconfigured to take advantage of sweeping views from the ocean to Diamond Head. The swimming pool deck can now be accessed directly from the bedroom.

“I just provided another Realtor with an estimate to create a new master suite on the ground floor of a home on the golf course,” VanDeVanter said. “Lately, a number of Realtors have contacted me to provide quotes and proposals for potential buyers of two-story homes where offers were contingent on the feasibility of creating a master suite on the ground floor.


“With new builds, we often design two master suites, one on the ground floor, which can serve as a guest suite or office, and the main master suite on an upper level for the use of the owners, who may want to take advantage of views or have easy access to upstairs children’s rooms.”

Homeworks Construction CEO Jim Byxbee has focused on the topic of “designing for life,” or “aging in place,” in his popular radio show, “Build New Or ReDo.” The show is broadcast on Saturday mornings from 9 to 10 a.m. on KHVH Radio AM830. “We’ve been doing the show for eight years now, but recently there’s been a notable increase in listeners calling in with questions about these topics, as well as designing for multi-generational living,” Byxbee said.

“In fact, we’ve restructured the show with my new co-host, Rick Hamada, to take more listener questions. We encourage listeners to jot down their questions about any building or remodeling project and call us during the show at 521-8383. Over the next month or so, we’ll be discussing features that can be built into a home to make it adaptable for the occupants as they age … as well as creating spaces for older parents who may have mobility problems. There are great advances in kitchen and bath appliances and fixtures that both address special needs and conserve energy.”


With approximately 1,000 new custom homes, remodels and additions completed on Oahu over the past 15 years, Homeworks is a true design build firm providing all services “under one roof,” from drawing plans and obtaining permits to demolition, construction and interior finishes.

You can meet the Homeworks Construction designers and builders and review photos of Homeworks projects at the Homeworks booths at the BIA Home Building and Remodeling Show at Neal Blaisdell Center Jan. 27, 28 and 29. Or make an appointment to meet for a free consultation at the Homeworks showroom in the Homeworks Building at 2111 S. Beretania St. A free Build New Or ReDo seminar will be held at the showroom on Tuesday, Feb. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. For reservations and directions, please call Homeworks at 955-2777.

CONTACT: 955-2777


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