Building a new home anywhere can be an exciting time. Building a home in Maui is the experience of a lifetime.
If you’ve lived in Maui for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with the lay of the land. But if you’ve only visited before, you may not be familiar with the “tribal knowledge” that goes along with building a home here.
What To Expect
You may have found the perfect location to build your home, but that’s a small part of the beginning. In addition to figuring out your budget and getting plans, you’ll need to find out if you actually can build it on that parcel of land. Everything is bigger in Texas, but it’s smaller in Hawaii out of necessity.
Because The Hawaiian Islands are limited in space, you’ll need to find out what restrictions are in place before you even begin to consider house plans. Things like:
- Building codes (Maui has restrictions on height)
- Allowable uses
- Flood zones
- Historical buildings
- Archaeological areas and remains
In many areas, such as shorelines, there are additional requirements to meet before considering building something. In areas with archaeological remains, there is a special process required in order to build. There is no “way around” these kinds of requirements.
Before purchasing the property, you should get this kind of information so that you’ll know what to expect when you start building. We offer a project assessment service to find this information so that we—and you—know what to expect, how much it might cost, and what’s involved in order to build on a piece of property. We take the address or tax map key number and review exactly what kind of zoning, allowable uses, and other regulations are in place, so that there are few to no surprises when designing a structure.
The State of Hawaii has a complicated permit system that takes time to get through. In some cases, you may need more than one, and they run about $500 per application.
For instance, there is always a building permit, and in most cases, the only one that’s needed. However, if you’re in a flood zone, you’ll need an additional application and permit for it. And if you’re in a “special management” area, you’ll need another permit for that as well.
Occasionally, properties have unpermitted work that no one knew about. When the new owner buys the home, he or she doesn’t realize that the work was unpermitted and illegal and will have to get new plans and new permits to deal with this little “surprise.”
In this case, the county will require remediation to address the unpermitted work during the permit approval process. This is also expensive, since the application and fines alone are $2,000, and more for the electrical, plumbing and building, as well as an additional 10% of construction costs in an SMA zone.
You’ll have two choices: remove the unpermitted work or spend a significant amount of money and 6 to 12 months waiting for the County of Maui to approve your after-the-fact permit.
Pro Draft For All Your Architectural Design Needs
When you’re ready to begin building a house in Maui, remodeling, or adding to your home or commercial property, Pro Draft can help with architecture, drawings, blueprints, permits, and answer all of your questions before the first day of construction. We’re happy to help and will work to ensure your project is exactly the way you envision.