Vinyl Is Final
Tropical Wholesale is one of the most respected names in home improvement. Below, company president and owner Matthew Houar explains why you should call Tropical Wholesale’s team of experts to work on your home.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY?
In 1961, my father Richard Houar and my uncle Bud Shasteen started Hawaiian Improvement Inc. They were the first guys to bring vinyl siding to Hawaii. “Vinyl is final!” was their famous slogan. In 1978, we brought the first vinyl window in Hawaii.
We are an American-made company, and the plumbing, faucets, drain pipes, windows and fasteners are all American-made. They may cost more, but it’s better quality. Our vendors and suppliers are all in the U.S.
WHEN DID TROPICAL WHOLESALE OPEN?
April 2021 will make 60 years.
WHAT DOES TROPICAL WHOLESALE BRING TO HAWAII?
In 1961, there were so many siding options, but vinyl has consistently been able to endure the elements here. There is a home in Manoa that has the original siding on their home today. In the ’80s, vinyl took over about 100 percent of the market.
HOW MANY DIVISIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR TROPICAL WHOLESALE?
We do aging-in-place bathrooms — tub-to-shower conversions, walk-in tubs, seats, etc. — from there, it goes to other renovations, such as redoing the floors and sinks for the bathrooms. Those turn into requests for kitchen remodels, since our customers are very happy with the results of their bathroom remodels.
Between 1986 and 1997, we were the biggest metal residential roofer in Hawaii. When they changed the coating on the material, it wasn’t the quality we look for, so, we stopped with the metal roofs and started going to shingle roofing, as the metal roofing options were double the cost. We switched to the shingle roofing options, which we use currently today.
We can also add solar PV panels or water heaters at the customer’s request. When we do our roofing jobs, we have the capacity to remove and replace or reinstall the PV panels so we are able to accommodate our clients and save them money in the long run.
Remodeling makes up the majority of work for our current customers, friends and family. We have acquired over 20,000 customers over the years. If they call us to help them redo their kitchen or bathrooms, we are able to help them.
We have the best windows and doors in the nation, Simonton. Simonton windows and doors win the J.D. Power customer award every year. Windows have grades, low to high. In the ’80s and ’90s, I designed a specific window for Hawaii, and I worked with Simonton and also with Alside to create this window. These are made per my specs, designed for Hawaii and the elements. These have stainless steel hardware and thicker glass. Our windows are triple-pane, with more reinforcements. They are fifth-and sixth-generation vinyl — which means the technology is the best and more advanced. We also have the only true hurricane window, that I call the Stormbuster window.
Vinyl siding comes in all grades, depending on thickness. We have 40-50 colors and 20 different styles. An appointment can be made in-person or you can come into the showroom. A consultation takes about 45 minutes, depending on how big the house is. We can turn this around in three days. We also fix wood rot or water damage. Sometimes, when we do the siding, we see water damage and wood rot, and we are able to fix it before adding vinyl.
WHAT IS YOUR GOAL REGARDING CUSTOMERS?
We are the first and oldest vinyl and window company in Hawaii. We are the exception to the rule, and are going on 60 years in Hawaii. We offer a lifetime workmanship and can stand behind that as we have been here for over six decades.
This comes through our diversity; that’s how we survive. We have a lot of different options for our customers. We want to make sure we do a great job for our clients, and that is how we were able to be here for 60 years.
The company is family-owned and -operated with four licensed contractors on staff. Tropical is the expert in Hawaii for installing windows and siding.
WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO THE HOMEOWNER?
Most people call us for a specialty that they need. Our whole staff is family.
We are wholesale, with better quality. We can save our customers money at the end of the day.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
The people. Ninety percent of our customers are local people and homeowners. We have worked with local families, and the people of Hawaii are the nicest and trusting people.
I have made lots of relationships with my clients and been fortunate to service generation after generation.
CONTACT 593-2000 • 263-1252
ADDRESS 1351 S. Beretania St., Honolulu