With Hawaii’s family-centered culture and high housing costs, it’s likely you know someone who resides in a multigenerational home. These residences make up for more than 16% of Hawaii homes, and typically provide shelter for grandparents, adult children and grandchildren. Family property is often passed from generation to generation.

Christin Sumida, a married mother, lives in a multigenerational home designed and built by Graham Builders. When her grandmother passed away, Sumida and her parents bought the property from Sumida’s mother’s siblings.

“It is nearly impossible to qualify for your own house here in Hawaii, especially for our generation,” Sumida says. “Multigenerational living has no stigma attached to it anymore. We are all about asking each other for help. It’s a local tradition. My grandma raised us while my mom and dad worked, now my mom is helping us raise our son and is helping raise my niece. Multigenerational living in Hawaii ensures everyone will be OK, comfortable and that you will always have family around. Plus, this takes a big financial stress off our shoulders.”


Bruce Miyoda and his wife, Linda, made the decision to replace a 60-year-old home on family property and add a new residence. The couple had been searching for the right home since moving to Hawaii.

“My aunt was looking to rebuild or renovate a house that was passed on to her from her father,” Miyoda says. “She had gone to one of Graham Builders’ seminars and liked what she heard. She asked if we were interested in helping her, as she knew we had been looking at houses.
“My aunt felt very comfortable with everyone at Graham Builders. We didn’t know anything about building a house. It was very comforting to have one place to go to address all phases of the build. We wanted to incorporate things that would not only provide for the present, but for the future as well.

“Both my wife and I had just experienced life changes with our parents and the accessibility needs that arise that you don’t normally think of. It was fresh in our minds as we started the design of the house, not only in accommodating my aunt and uncle if that situation arises, but also in having a space to age in ourselves.


“Looking back, the thought of financing, designing and building was very daunting and kept me up at night. But in working with Graham Builders, their range of experience and access to the teams to get the job done made it much easier to accomplish,” Miyoda says.
Graham Builders has helped hundreds of families to design functional, beautiful new homes and large renovations since 1990. The company has dedicated much of its efforts to helping families collaborate so they can complete their project and live comfortably under one roof.

Several Graham Builders employees have been certified by the National Association of Home Builders as aging-in-place specialists, ensuring that special considerations for elder family members are integrated into the design.

Founded in 1990, Graham Builders remains the only local general contractor honored with Better Business Bureau’s Hawaii’s Torch Award for Small Business Ethics.


The firm’s next free Building Your Home for Life seminar is on April 6. Register at grahambuilders.com or call 808-593-2808.