When the Kihara family moved into their first new home in Hawaii Kai in 1966, the area was still in the earliest stages of development. The three bedroom, two bath house, which will be replaced by a custom home by Home-works Construction, was in a new subdivision developed by Blackfield Hawaii Corporation. The infrastructure for the neighborhood was built by Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, where Cliff Kihara was employed for 35 years.

“Our offices were in town, at the time at 1441 Kapiolani (Blvd.) in Ala Moana Center, which was one of our company’s projects,” Kihara said. “Buying a house in Hawaii Kai was considered ‘moving to the country.’There was little or no commercial development in the area and only a few new residential subdivisions with affordable prices. Our home, which cost $27,000, was one of the better built homes for that period with double wall construction. At this point, it requires extensive remodeling, so it made sense to rebuild and make better use of the 5,500-square-foot lot,” Kihara said.



Kihara’s criteria for the new home include maximizing living space and orientation for views. The new home with 2,023 square feet provides approximately 100 additional square feet of living space and a more open interior floor plan with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, family room, dining room, kitchen, a patio and two-car garage.

Kihara worked with Homeworks project coordinator Kim Green to determine the scope of the project and set a budget and time frame. “Mr. Kihara had come to one of our seminars early in the year and expressed interest in working with us to build a new home for him and his family. We reviewed similar Homeworks projects, met with him at the site and determined that we could complete the kind of house he wanted for the price. He had done a sketch, which I passed along to our Homeworks ar chitect Mario Tadeo. He was very pleased with the plan Mario came up with, as well as the kitchen and bath designs by our designer Sean Bradshaw,” said Green.

The next phase of the project, demolition of the existing house, site work, foundation pour and initial framing, will be completed in November and covered in part 2 of this series in the Dec. 1 issue of Hawaii Renovation.

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