Five Tips for Building a Home in Hawaii

Congratulations, you’re ready to build your dream home. But, as you might suspect, making that dream a reality is a bit of a process, especially in beautiful Hawaii. At Architect Honolulu, we’re here with five handy tips  to guide you through the process, from first plans to final walkthrough.

Tip One: Meet the Neighbors

Or at least, the neighborhood. The Hawaiian islands might be small, but there are many distinct neighborhoods and communities. Research what area will be best for your lifestyle, including things like weather patterns, proximity to amenities and services, and waterfront accessibility. This first step is one way to guarantee you’ll enjoy your dream home long after construction ends.

Tip Two: Find your Team

Hiring professionals who are familiar with residential construction in Hawaii is a crucial part of the home-building process. Local architects, contractors, engineers, and designers have the knowledge base necessary to navigate Hawaii’s complex construction system, including local building codes, permits, regulations, and environmental considerations. 

Speaking of permits, you don’t have to navigate Hawaii’s notoriously complex system alone. Third-party reviewers are available to help you successfully maneuver through the Department of Planning and Permitting. We can help connect you with the best reviewer for your plans, thereby significantly expediting the approval process. 

Tip Three: Build Best 

Work with your contractor and architect to find building materials best suited for Hawaii’s climate. Materials that can withstand both high humidity and high winds are ideal. Lastly, remember to try and source local building materials whenever possible—both to eliminate transportation costs and support local businesses. 

Tip Four: Go Green

Hawaii is committed to preserving its incredible natural resources. Part of building on the island includes joining in the effort whenever possible. Consider incorporating sustainable design features into your new home, including solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems, energy-efficient appliances, and native landscaping options. 

Tip Five: Build the Budget First

Building in Hawaii can be expensive, so it's essential to create a budget before you start making major purchasing decisions. Remember to consider the cost of land, labor, permitting, building materials, and the inevitable unexpected expenses. Partner with a financial advisor or mortgage lender experienced in Hawaii's real estate market to better understand the financials  of your project.

Building a home in Hawaii is an exciting process, but it can also be time-consuming and stressful. Working with the right professionals is key, which is why we help potential home-builders find the right team for their needs. Contact us today for help finding the best architects, designers, contractors, or engineers in Hawaii, and don’t forget to check out our free online cost estimator for help planning your budget.

Phone Number

(808) 222-4069

Opening Hours

Mon - Sat 8:00 - 5:30,
Sunday - Closed


200 N Vineyard Blvd.
Ste A325 - 5145
Honolulu, HI 96817

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