General Contractors in Hawaii

Hammers and nails. Faucets and pipes. Shingles and siding. Paint and trim. Our homes are intricately created to provide a safe place to sleep at night and make memories throughout the years. And at the forefront of creating Hawaii homes are general contractors.

What can I hire a Hawaii general contractor to do for me?

You may be wondering, ‘What do general contractors do?’ The main responsibility of a general contractor is to safely coordinate and manage all aspects of the building process. On any given job – whether big or small – Oahu general contractors may do the following:

  • Price and buy materials
  • Provide labor or hire subcontractors to do the actual building
  • Provide equipment, such as vehicles and tools
  • Apply for building permits
  • Dispose of construction waste
  • Monitor the construction budget
  • Manage building plans and phases

People hire a Hawaii general contractor to do a number of construction jobs:

An Oahu general contractor is general, meaning they are qualified to basically complete any home project for you. They may do the work themselves or hire subcontractors, like electricians, plumbers, or roofing specialists, to complete the projects.

Who can be a general contractor in Hawaii? What are the qualifications for Oahu general contractors?

The state of Hawaii regulates general contractors, and in Hawaii they are required to obtain a license by filing a comprehensive application, passing an examination, and then paying license fees.

The general requirements to obtain a contractor license in Hawaii include these items:

  1. Be older than 18 years old.
  2. Have a good reputation for honesty, truthfulness, financial integrity, and fair dealing, as determined by a credit report among other considerations.
  3. Have four years of supervisory experience within the past 10 years, as shown through notarized experience certificates and a list of projects completed along with the contract amount.
  4. Pass an examination in the appropriate classification, which includes questions on business and law and a specific trade (general engineering, building, or other trades like electrical, elevator, landscaping, masonry, plumbing, swimming pools and more).
  5. Be employed by a licensed contracting entity, meaning before becoming a contractor one must have worked in the construction industry.

After initially becoming licensed as a Hawaii contractor, these building professionals must take steps to continue to maintain the Hawaii contractor license, including the following:

  1. Maintain continuous liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
  2. Renew the license every two years on September 30.

The state of Hawaii has fairly strict laws to become a general contractor, so people who hire a general contractor in Hawaii can have some peace of mind that the state regulates these important builders. Also, a client can file a complaint against a contractor with the Hawaii Contractors License Board.

Who are the best home builders near me?

Luckily, there are many quality Hawaii home builders on the islands. Here are some of REAL’s top-rated “Hawaii home builders near me” in different Oahu, Hawaii neighborhoods:

What should I consider when selecting new home builders in Hawaii?

If you are ready to remodel, upgrade, or build a completely new home. You will most likely need a contractor. But how can you select your perfect Hawaii home builder? Here are some tips.

Tip #1. Ask family and friends. 

Did your friend just finish a new home build in Hawaii? Ask them about their experience with their contractor.

  • Was the job completed on time?
  • Did the contractor listen to their needs and desires?
  • Was the contractor licensed, bonded, insured, and did they get the necessary permits?
  • Would they use the contractor again?

Take a look at their finished build to see the details and overall construction.

Tip #2. Make a list of general contractors to call. 

After asking family and friends and researching Hawaii general contractors online, call each of your top contractor contenders and ask these general questions before scheduling a time for a meeting and quote:

  • Do they build homes in your Hawaii neighborhood?
  • Can they do your desired renovations?
  • How will you make payments?
  • Can they show you examples of work previously completed that is similar to yours? Do they have references?
  • Do they employ subcontractors? If so, for what parts of the job and are those subcontractors licensed?

Tip #3. Meet in your home or on your lot with the Oahu general contractor. 

After making the phone calls to about five general contractors, set up a time to meet with at least three of them.

Before meeting, give the contractor a list of your needs and wants. Reference photos of your style and desired look if you have them. If you are doing a new home build in Hawaii, you might need to discuss architectural plans with the general contractor; note that you could separately hire an architect and a general contractor, or a general contractor could subcontract an architect or designer.

At the meeting, review the space. Give the contractor time to answer questions and propose building plans. Ask more questions and gauge if you feel comfortable with the contractor.

Tip #4. Select the best Hawaii home builder for your project. 

After meeting at least three general contractors and receiving bids, review the bids.

  • What are the timelines?
  • How do change orders work for this contractor?
  • What is included and what isn’t? How about clean up?

Hiring the right Hawaii home builder for your job does take some detective work. Be patient and be as thorough as possible. Ultimately, selecting the right general contractor for your Hawaii home building project can be the key to making your home building dreams a reality.