Redesigning the closed-up, segmented interior layouts typical of most older single-family homes in Hawaii — both for existing owners and new buyers — has become a specialty of Homeworks Construction, an award-winning design/build firm.

“The numerous clients who have hired us in recent years to create an open, flowing floor plan for an older home generally tell us they want a layout that is more compatible with their lifestyle … meaning, in most cases, a more casual lifestyle … one that involves integrating the kitchen into the main living areas,” says company vice president Marshall Hickox. “This has become known as ‘the great room’ concept, and it’s a strong trend in Hawaii.”


He noted that reconfiguring large portions of a home and opening it up can be just a matter of removing a few non-load bearing walls and adding new windows and doors. But in some cases, major structural work is involved, as well as the rerouting of plumbing and electrical wiring.

“The first step is to meet with the client at the home, assess the condition of the house and review the main objectives of the remodeling project. In addition to a more open, flowing interior environment, people often want to find ways to take advantage of natural light and ventilation, or views, even if it’s only their own garden, or better access to their yard — this can often be accomplished with a few well-placed sliding glass doors.”

The focal point of a “great room” is generally the kitchen, although a family/media room is often a major component of the reconfiguration of the space.


A recent project, major renovations of a 24-year-old Hawaii Loa Ridge custom home, called for all new kitchen and baths, including floors, doors, windows and cabinets. A ground floor master bedroom suite and study extending out to the pool deck were added.

“When an all-new kitchen is involved, our in-house kitchen and bath designer Sean Bradshaw takes over and works with the client on the many details and choices involved. These can cover a wide price range, so we work with the client to come up with the best selections given the budget. When the objective is creation of a ‘great room,’ the client will designate the new dining area … a dining counter is almost always integrated into the new design. The counter not only serves for casual dining but also as a serving area and divider between the kitchen and the rest of the ‘great room.'”

At a 30-year-old home in Mililani Town, Homeworks expanded what had been a 2,000-square-foot home to 3,200 interior square feet. The main living area on the ground floor was opened up to create a great room, which involved demolishing the original kitchen. The new, enlarged kitchen includes a large custom, center work-station/island, a feature rarely found in older homes.


Photos and more information will be available at Homeworks booth #143 at the Home, Garden and Remodeling Show at Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall April 27-29. For a free consultation, call 955-2777.

A free Build New Or ReDo Seminar will be presented May 8, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Homeworks Showroom. For reservations, call 955-2777.

CONTACT: 955-2777


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