Togetherness. Sharing. Patience. Resilience.Imagine raising two daughters and a son in a three-bedroom home with 824 square feet of living area and one small bathroom. Temperance and a resilient bladder, you might say, is the secret.

For this Whitmore Village family, “togetherness” is more than a clich or buzzword; it’s part of their identity that defi nes who they are as a family. Now that the kids are grown up and have families of their own, this quaint home along the edge of Dole’s former pineapple plantation was passed its zenith and in need of refurbishment and expansion.

With six grandchildren often coming to visit and an adult son and his young daughter moving back home, a new multigenerational household was beginning to emerge. The owners realized one bathroom just wasn’t going to cut it anymore and the existing bedrooms created feelings of claustrophobia. Storage also was in short supply and would be needed with all the “old and new bodies” showing up to reclaim their old bedrooms.

With a wide open backyard only covered with grass, it made complete sense that the ideal solution would be to build an extension with three larger bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Soon after their “Aha!” moment, the family read about Graham Builders’ “Building Your Home for Life” seminar in Hawaii Renovation and decided to attend. They learned that their situation was not unique as thousands of Hawaii families have opted for multigenerational living as a way of caring for kupuna and overcoming the fi nancial challenges of exorbitant real estate prices.


The family soon after hired Graham Builders and embarked on the preliminary stages of design. Keith Kilburn, senior architectural designer with Graham Builders for over 14 years, showed the family how they could create a separate new living room in addition to the new bedrooms and bathrooms. This would give the home some breathing room for everyone to comfortably live together again.

This story is part one of two following this family’s design-build journey and renovation experience with Graham Builders.

Homeowners interested in learning more about the latest trends in design and renovations, as well as multigenerational living, can attend Graham Builders’ upcoming “Building Your Home for Life” seminar on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Honolulu Country Club. Seminars are free, but reservations are required. To register, visit or call 593-2808.

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