I have added a new page to the website that is intended to introduce our HOUSE PACKAGE INFORMATION SHEET which has questions and options that need to be considered when starting a project. it is called HOUSE INFO SHEET. It has a button to download the sheet itself and also has a few pages of information that could help one determine choices. We need to have all the information before we can send the project to drafting. This page also helps me calculate the cost of plans and engineering that needs to be collected to start the process.
I have had a personal conversation regarding this information with everyone who started a project for the last 23 years, and I enjoy that process, but I think a prior introduction to the questions will help me have more productive meetings.
This is a big part of my effort to allow clients to customize their projects rather than accept what we have selected as fitting for everyone.
Well! There have been a few problems in the building department. The one that concerns me most is the backlog of applications that are languishing in some kind of black box. Kind of like container ships off Long Beach except they are not floating out there for all to see. It is a serious disruption to the orderly conduct of construction that has everyone unable to act (spend money). Lots of people waiting and waiting and waiting some more
We did get a new code. Only added to the burden of providing reasonably priced housing. All new construction now has to have roofing plywood and the structure that is needed to support the plywood. On the other hand, we are temporarily relieved of the insulation requirements for "unconditioned structures". Without the added weight of unnecessary insulation, we may be able to go back to smaller rafters that we used to use before insulation was required.
The new code has made it very difficult and costly to build on a wood floor, particularly if a lanai is involved. The footing has to be continuous and buried 12" deep. The shear walls have to have plywood inside as well as outside. The length of the shear wall has to be calculated including the open space under the lanai. The total shear requirement for a long wall is calculated as a percentage of the total wall length. When a lanai is added sometimes the calculation requires practically solid walls. The other problem is keeping water out of the small shear panels that are required at the perimeter of the lanai itself when the open decking drains water. There are so many considerations that we think builders are going to raise prices for that type of construction.
The solution we have begun to recommend is the use of CMU blocks as the supports for the beams used on the elevated floor. A slab is also an option.
We have been involved with a few projects recently that have used a type of treatment (ACZA) that is not readily available here but can be special ordered easily. The material is treated for ground contact and exterior use. If you or anyone you know need some special or hard-to-find product, give me a call. See what we can do.
My thanks to all the loyal customers that support us. We will continue to work hard to have the products you need and provide the service you expect.
Everything I said in my last update still applies today.
The building department is preparing now for what they anticipate will be a faster review process of submitted plans. The object is to review plans electronically rather than wrestle with printed plans. I have doubts that it will speed anything up, but I am encouraged that they seem to think the present process is not efficient and are trying to make it better.
The other news is that the long-awaited migration to a new building code is now supposed to happen in August.
Wow! New process and a new code within a month. What could possibly go wrong? Seriously, I hope it is super successful.
Because the new code is going to require new things, the drafting process at the moment is uncertain. Because of the backlog of projects already begun, we will probably be unable to start any new ones that don't include the new code requirements. The most notable one is the requirement to use plywood on the roof. There will be added costs! We are told, however, that the changes will result in much safer and stronger homes.
Pricing of a package right now, that won't be permitted for months, is probably just a guess. Continue to use my posted prices as a "ballpark for preliminary planning purposes only".
One request I would like to make: when sending me a contact email, please include a phone #. I can accomplish so much more with a conversation rather than email.
Thank you for your continued understanding of current conditions.
The continuing volatility of the lumber market
and ongoing mysteries at the county building and planning departments has made it impossible to post firm prices for our home packages. I have posted a new updated list that should be used for preliminary planning purposes only.
We expected a new code to be adopted last November but it was postponed. Still Lord only knows what new requirements will be imposed at the whim of "the building official".
Plans continue to be "resting" in the building department awaiting permit. Once we have a plan approved we can develop a quote based on the materials needed. Sorry I can't be more positive. In answer to the the question a lot of people ask, no, I can't speed up the process by charging more. The county apparently processes in order of submission.
Thanks for your understanding
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Argus Building Supply
107 Makaala St.
Hilo, Hi 96720
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Mon.-Fri. 7:30 to 4:30
Saturday and Sunday. CLOSED for family time
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