When a homeowner makes the decision to do major remodeling or knock down an existing house and build new on the site, the first critical step is choosing a licensed, experienced general contractor. The other major consideration is how the project is being financed.

There are several ways to finance a remodeling or building project depending on its scope and the homeowner’s financial resources. Over the past few years, with interest rates at record lows, a cash-out refinance is often the borrower’s choice, but they may also take advantage of such alternatives as a second mortgage or home equity line of credit. New construction usually requires a construction loan, a type of financing with specific terms and guidelines. However, in order to go forward with the financing for a building project of any type or scope, an assessment of the cost will have to be obtained from the general contractor.


“This is a pivotal phase of the process,” says Home-works Construction president and chief administrative officer Marshall Hickox. “An unrealistic assessment can result in insufficient funding since the amount of the loan is based on documentation supplied by the contractor.”

So, choosing an experienced, licensed company with good references is essential because the client’s loan will be based on the working drawings, specifications and contract the company provides. A low bid is just as unfair to the client as one that’s too high because if the project is underfunded it may not be completed and result in litigation. If a contractor is willing to work for less, that may sound good to the client, but the usual scenario is that, down the line, the company may cut corners to complete the project — or tack on change orders, which means additional cost.

“When we first meet with a prospective client, we review our completed projects so they will understand what can be achieved in various price ranges. If the family is on a tight budget, we ask them to describe their needs and give us a wish list. If their vision exceeds their budget, we can start the process of value engineering to find ways to remodel or build them a new home for their desired budget.


“At this point, we would still be in the pre-contract phase, so they have no obligation to us. They’re free to continue ‘shopping.’ If they tell us they have a lower bid, we suggest reviewing the proposal to make sure everything is covered. We often find out that various costly items have been omitted, such as building permits, engineering and architect fees, and unrealistic allowances for finishes — all of which can add many more thousands of dollars to the cost. As a design/build firm, we are able to supply virtually all necessary services, so everything is covered in the specifications and the price is all inclusive.”

Hickox adds that Home-works is currently scheduling remodeling and new custom home projects for 2022 and offering no-fee consultation at its offices or the homeowner’s jobsite.

Established over two decades ago, Homeworks has completed more than a thousand new custom homes and remodels throughout Oahu.


Homeworks Construction has been chosen as one of Hawaii’s “Best Construction Companies” in Honolulu Star-Advertiser “Hawaii’s Best” awards program for three consecutive years and was named “Builder of the Year” by the Building Industry Association. The National Association of Homebuilders designated the company a “Built Green Professional” and “Aging in Place Specialist.” The Homeworks Construction conference room, offices and showroom are in the Homeworks Building at 2111 S. Beretania St. To make an appointment for a consultation call 808-955-2777 or visit homeworkshawaii.com.

CONTACT 808-955-2777
ADDRESS 2111 S. Beretania St., Honolulu
WEB homeworkshawaii.com