Trying out new, affordable housing options

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: RemodelRenovating
June 21, 2015

Town & Country Builders LLC is a licensed, general contracting design-build firm that has been serving Oahu residents for more than 35 years. The company specializes in custom and package homes, remodels, additions, designer kitchens and bathrooms, Americans With Disability Act (ADA) modifications/improvements, as well as multigenerational homes. The company also offers full construction services including planning and permitting.

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The rules governing the construction of smaller homes on residential properties in Honolulu are under review and may soon be changing. There is a major shortage of affordable housing on Oahu, especially for rental housing. The proposed change would allow construction of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), a second dwelling unit that includes its own kitchen, bedroom and bathroom facilities, attached or detached from the primary dwelling unit on the zoning lot. Review will be subject to meeting the Land Use Ordinance provisions. ADUs would allow a maximum of 400 square feet for lots ranging between 3,500 square feet and 4,999 square feet, and 800 square feet for lots 5,000 square feet and up, provided that there is adequate infrastructure. The proposed ADUs are similar but not synonymous with Ohana Dwelling Units. The key difference is that ADUs will allow occupancy by non-family members, require only a single off-street parking space and limit the size of the ADU. Size limits also will help to ensure that they remain affordable.

New Ohana Dwelling Units on certain residential properties have been approved for many years, and in some areas they still are eligible. What is an Ohana Dwelling Unit? It is a second home permitted on a lot where zoning normally allows only for one. They generally can be built on agricultural, country and residential zoning districts, except R-3.5. These units restrict occupancy to family members, have no size limitations, other than the normal set-back and lot coverage requirements, and require two off-street parking stalls. A separate water and electrical meter may be installed.

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Town & Country Builders is a member of Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, a certified remodeler, winner of the excellence in customer satisfaction award every year from 2011 to 2014, member of National Association of Home Builders and The Hawaii Building Industry Association, as well as winner of the 2014/2015 Best of Honolulu Award in the general contractor category.

For assistance with your next project, or to obtain a recommendation for design, call the professionals at 737-7766 or visit its website at

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