What makes a good contractor?

Are you looking for a contractor that can help you with your home renovation project, but don't know where to start? This is a struggle for many homeowners, and you are not alone.


Finding a contractor starts with building a relationship with the people or person that you will be working with. For most homeowners, it can be an intimidating or cumbersome process... often filled with mistakes.


We are here to help you avoid mistakes. Whether you are looking for a roofer like us, or maybe another type of trade work, these tips will help you select a reputable and reliable contractor to be your service provider.




Is the Contractor Properly Licensed and Insured?


Hawaii has many laws meant to protect consumers with regard to hiring a contractor. For most, if not all trades you are required to have a state license to be able to perform the work.


Far too often, we see homeowners hire unlicensed people to perform their renovation work, which leads to long term pain... for a short term gain.


Sure you might save a little bit in comparison to reputable contractors that must pay for insurance, payroll, and taxes.... but far too often we see homeowners that have taken the short-sighted approach that must eventually call us to assist them with their work.


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An unlicensed, improperly insured contractor leaves the homeowner exposed to many liabilities that have potential to cause unnecessary stress, complication and risk to your home renovation project.


This means that the homeowner, in the long term ends up paying not only for the first job, but also for it to be done correctly a second time.


Making sure that the contractor you hire is properly licensed and insured will prevent you from taking a gamble, that we see far too often does not end up in the homeowners favor.


Our company has multiple specialty, a general contractors license, and are adequately insured with General Liability, Workers Compensation, Builders Risk, Environmental Pollution, and many other policies to ensure that we not only protect you but protect the company so that we are here for you in the long run.




Industry Recognition, and Consumer Trust


Another thing that you should look for when selecting a contractor, is industry and consumer recognition. Often times building associations, and media outlets poll consumers to see who is standing out within the industry.


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This means that the industry and other reputable groups recognizes them for the work that is performed. As a homeowner, it's difficult to differentiate a "good job" from a "bad job", unless you are an expert in the field!


When a contractor is recognized by their own industry, it means that other experts have vetted what they do and approve!


Our team has won many awards from various outlets, which include:


The Star Advertiser

Hawaii Home Building & Remodeling Magazine


Pacific Business News

Roofing Contractors Association of Hawaii

Honolulu Magazine

Angie's List

Better Business Bureau


We are also the highest rated on Google!




A Culture of Craftsmanship


This issue of subcontracted work vs. self-performed work is a controversial subject in the specialty contracting space.


However, what is (almost universally) agreed on is that it is always best for the most qualified professionals to be performing work on your home.


Whether the work is subcontracted or self-performed, we believe that the tradesmen should have a long term approach in their thinking, take pride in the work that they perform, and see the company that they are working for as a vehicle to provide for their own families and loved ones.


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A culture of craftsmanship is something that we take pride in here at Kapili. We self-perform 100% of our roofing and painting work, and train our team for the long term.


For the trades that are subcontracted, we work with vetted subcontractors that we trust. These contractors are trusted experts in their field, and include electricians, plumbers, sheetmetal, carpenters, other general contractors and engineers.


The relationship that we have with our subcontracting team has spanned many years with some since the start of Kapili. We entrust them to work on our own homes, and work exclusively with each in their respective trades.


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We are certified for nearly every system offered here in Hawaii, and regularly bring in manufacturing representatives to provide training and certifications to our team.




Bonus Tip - Locally Owned and Operated


While this one isn't a requirement... it does help! Finding a locally owned and operated business, often leads to better results when hiring a contractor here in Hawaii.


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There are many unique conditions that we experience here that are unique to the islands and the way homes were built here. It's important that your contractor understands the history of how things were done here, so that they can plan accordingly. Hawaii also has unique conditions such as low-lying coastal areas, high-winds, and some of the highest UV exposure in the nation!


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Being able to understand what the existing site conditions are, and how to properly perform work that will last here is important when hiring a contractor.


Another benefit to hiring a locally owned and operated business is that they will be here for the long term for you.


Hiring a contractor should be seen as a relationship with them, for the long term. Even if you expect to do just a single project, and be done with it... knowing that if something were to change, or to go wrong that there is someone that you can count on is important.






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Here at Kapili, we are a multi-generational local business. Our family has been in the industry for over 40 years now, and we look forward to being here to help you for the next 40+ years!




We love what we do, and we hope these tips were helpful in helping you feel a little more confident in selecting a home service provider when the time comes that you decide you need some work done.