Hawaii is known for its breathtaking beauty and island climate, but weather conditions, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, also require unique building codes. RAD Builders, Hilo’s top home builder, explains that the islands’ stretches of sea and volcanoes threaten construction, which has been subject to strict regulation. Having offered new home construction, improvement, and remodeling projects for 28 years, the Big Island experts weigh in on how climate affects your residential plans.
The Influence of Climate
The Big Island is surrounded by a gorgeous ocean, but with rising sea levels, that puts your home in danger of flooding and hurricane damage. Whether you’re designing a home remodeling project for an existing structure or undergoing new home construction, safety comes first.
The Big Island also houses five volcanoes, a major cause of earthquakes that could destroy property if it’s built too closely. Building codes keep these conditions in mind; so, before you undergo any project, you must obtain a building permit from the county of Hawaii.
Building Codes & Permits
According to code, a permit is required before any construction takes place, whether you’re adding a pool or building an entirely new property. This is meant to protect the safety of all area residents, as your house can’t be too close to flood zones, hilly regions that pose a threat during mudslides, or in volcanic areas. Once you obtain a permit, your home remodeling or construction project is ready.
Since codes are meant for safety, they affect more than just location. The design itself must meet high standards, along with the quality of materials, use and occupancy of the property, and regular maintenance. The islands vary in their specific provisions, so if you’re building or remodeling on the Big Island, you’ll be working with the County of Hawaii.
According to County laws, properties must meet the standards of the County Department of Water Supply, the State Department of Health, the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, and Airport zoning regulations. All materials must be asbestos-free. For specifics on what each department requires, ask your home builder.
Obtaining the Permit
To obtain your building permit, you must submit detailed plans and specifications of your project, along with engineering calculations, diagrams, soil investigation reports, and special instruction data. The county will examine this information and decide if it’s okay to move forward. If the land isn’t safe to build on or you’re using cheap materials that could be easily destroyed in the next storm, you’ll need to revise your plans and reapply.
While Hawaii building codes are unique and sometimes difficult to understand, RAD Builders is your best ally for making your dream residence a reality. The Big Island’s top home builder will ensure all construction and remodeling plans are up to code and obtain a permit. Contact the experts online for more information, or call (808) 640-4016 to discuss your project today.