ADU Guidance

Download the ADU form you need or look over Accessory Dwelling Unit frequently asked questions.

Residential Design

We’ll create a design of your vision for your new home or addition to your existing dwelling.

Engineer Coordination

We’ll manage coordination with a licensed engineer if structural design is required for your permit drawings.


We create accurate drawings of your home design or addition using plans, sections, and elevations taken straight from the 3D model.

Permit Processing

Let us handle this final step in obtaining your building permit to begin construction on your project.

About Us

Owner Built Design, founded and owned by Jim Kane, specializes in residential design and drafting services on Oahu. Decades ago, it began as a part-time service which grew over time into a successful residential design and drafting business with 30 years of experience. Having helped and provided Hawaii homeowners and owner-builders with drafting and permitting needs since 1988, we’re confident we can help you get the design you want and the building permit you need to move forward with your own project on time and under budget. If you’re looking for residential design and Hawaii drafting service contact us today for a free service estimate on your site!

Since 2005

Projects Completed
SF of Designed Area
Dollars in Construction Value

From the Blog

building permit delay in Hawaii

Ongoing Building Permit Delay in Hawaii and How You Can Help

Ongoing Building Permit Delay in Hawaii The delayed permit saga continues in Hawaii as the Honolulu Department of Permitting and Planning issuance of building permits remains stalled. Oahu contractors’ staff layoffs are still taking place, and the Building Industry Association (BIA) has taken on the fight to speed up the issuance of building permits, financing, and […]

Building Permits in Hawaii

Why Double the Time for Building Permits in Hawaii

Building Permits in Hawaii Hawaii’s builders, contractors, and designers continue suffering under the significant slowdowns in the building permit processing. Permits for accessory dwelling units (ADU), which according to the laws of Hawaii must be in the hands of the builder within 60 days, are taking double that amount of time, said Marshall Hickox, president of […]

Hawaii Building Permit Backlogs

Hawaii Building Permit Backlogs: Why & What’s Being Done

Hawaii Building Permit Backlogs A backlog in obtaining a building permit is causing distress for many parties involved. This includes builders, contractors, drafting service providers, remodelers, and other building-related entities in Hawaii. The problem, in many people’s opinions, is at the crisis stage. Let’s take a look at the process of securing a building permit, […]

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I was looking for an residential designer to develop plans for my new ADU and garage unit of my house, and approached one Honolulu architect for a quote. His quote for his services came back much more than I wanted to spend for constructing the entire project. So when I approached Jim Kane about the same project, having known Jim as a competent residential designer with Federal and private work experience, I was very very pleasantly surprised to have Jim’s quote come in right at, or actually under, the amount I had budgeted. Plus, Jim proved himself to be a diligent and very knowledgeable designer, not to mention hard working. He set a schedule and kept to it, developing my architectural plans very fast and thoroughly answering all my questions and concerns. I’m delighted that I hired him as my designer. He’s very experienced and a joy to work with. THANKS JIM!!

Harley R.

Hands down, the best drafter on the island! Jim is creative, innovative and knows how to leverage your space so that you get the most out of it. He is extremely professional and moves the whole process along at a rapid pace. My wife and I live on a narrow and sloped plot of land. I had my own ideas of how we could build on. When Jim came back with the first draft of the plan, I was blown away at how much better he had used the space. The addition he drafted is exceptional! If you are doing a project and need a building permit, go with Owner Built Designs.

Dustin H.

Mr. Kane was awesome to work with. He communicated with us regularly leaving nothing to the imagination. Communication was key for our piece of mind to know that things were being handled. I highly recommend Mr. Kane if you’re looking to build or remodel your home!

Justin W.

James helped me with drawing up my remodeling project and submitting the plans for the permitting process. He offered some suggestions that I had overlooked and added a lot to the final design. He is simply great to work with! Does the work at very reasonable prices, is professional and follows through as needed. Could’t be more pleased and recommend him for any size project you might have.

John S.

What Jim did for me was exactly what I was looking for. I had already arrived at my design and simply wanted my ideas drafted so I could get the building permit and start construction. Because Jim has built houses himself he has depth of knowledge, which was helpful in taking my ideas and fleshing them out to create plans I could build from. Thank you Jim!

Heidi L.