It’s been nearly 20 years since Graham Builders designed and built a home for a young couple and their two children. Although the views were stunning, the property presented challenges that could impact the home’s endurance.

“Nuuanu is wet and windy so it was important to select materials that would be easy to maintain,” recalled Evan Fujimoto, president of the Honolulu design-build firm. “Simple care means homeowners are more likely to follow our prescribed maintenance plan.”


Additionally, a timeless home is responsive to changing needs. “Good design is adaptable and flexible from season to season in family’s lives,” said Fujimoto.

The initial program had a powder room on the ground floor, and the bedrooms and full baths upstairs. Graham Builders suggested adding a low step shower to the downstairs half-bath, providing options in case a weekend soccer match injury made stair climbing difficult. The couple decided that this was a wise change and a downstairs accessible bathroom was added to the plans.

With its expert team, Graham Builders designed and built a graceful, elegant house that was enjoyed by its original owners for nearly two decades. In 2017, with the kids grown and out of the home, the couple decided to sell. The Watanabes, a recently retired couple who loved the home, immediately made an offer.


“It was cheerful and light-filled; there are open spaces and private spaces. Everything flowed together. It was perfect!” said Connie Watanabe. She loved its spectacular massive windows that open to Koolau and Nuuanu views and appreciated the easy flow of the house’s floor plan. “The spaces are kind of differentiated and yet … together,” she observed.

Thanks to Graham Builders’ careful design, this home has an everlasting look and feel.

“It’s hard to think that this house is 17 years old,” said Watanabe. “It feels like it’s brand new. It’s fresh and clean. The quality of materials, the workmanship … It’s a very thoughtful home.”

With a focus on multigenerational households and homes that hold up beautifully to the test of time, Graham Builders is a recipient of the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Business Ethics. You’re welcome to attend the free “Building Your Home for Life” seminar on Oct. 5 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Honolulu Country Club. Register at or call 593-2808.