Dream Homes and Development Corp.
Dream Building LLC.
Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC
Nearly Famous Rebuilding, Renovation, and Elevation Blog
Hello all –
Hopefully today finds you well and enjoying your weekend.
Today, I’ve posted our entire new FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, which is only about 3 years late in coming but hopefully worth the delay. It’s a concise guide to address common questions and lets you know what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder. It will also be up in a separate section on both the blog and web site in the next few days, but I posted it here for your easy review.
Important Reminder: Our next Rebuilding Seminar is this Wednesday, October 11th, live at Tuscan Bistro and streamed on the internet on Facebook Live. We talk about the Toms River Home Show on October 28 & 29th at the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River, where we’ll be exhibiting. We’ll also be at the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City on November 8th & 9th.
We remind you again about common-sense preparations to make for the next hurricane, with a link to the FEMA guide, “How to Prepare for a Hurricane.” We offer a useful link from Builder Magazine about home solar systems – and how they don’t work when the grid goes down (unbelievably).
Most importantly, we repeat – it’s time to get plans submitted and to get going on your project so you can start before January and be finished before late Spring.
Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar –Wednesday October 11th, 2017 – See us in person and or watch us on Facebook Live!
Our next Rebuilding Seminar will be held Wednesday October 11th, 2017 from 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. We’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire, Jason Devooght (Devooght House Lifters) and one of our architects or engineers. We’ll also be streaming it on Facebook Live and be online if you want to email questions or comments while the seminar is under way. We had over 50 people join us on Facebook at the last seminar and took questions from people who couldn’t make it to the seminar, which was an excellent addition to our program.
If you are planning a project, whether a new home, elevation or renovation, and you haven’t already attended one of our seminars, come for helpful information from our excellent speakers that will get you started on the right track. We focus on homeowners early in the rebuilding process, who haven’t completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect.
We talk about architectural and engineering planning, construction technique, RREM guidance, help with choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions when dealing with him (or her), financing your project, comments and tips about home elevation in general. We also talk about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, and ways to avoid delays and going over budget. So, mark the date and call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Pizza and wine will be served and space is limited.
Dream Homes FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)
We’ve compiled a list of common questions about new home construction, structural moving services, home elevation, home renovation and selling your property to help you to better understand the process. Our FAQ list is organized into categories including General, Home Elevation & House Moving, and New Home Construction. Our clients have found this list to be helpful when planning a construction project or navigating through the construction process and we hope you’ll also find it useful. (Note: Some formatting was lost so numbers may be scrambled).
General – Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Why should I use Dream Homes for my home elevation or new home construction project? I’ve also heard you were a publicly traded company – what does that mean to me? A: The most important reason to choose Dream Homes is that we’re the region’s most trusted builder and your best choice for a licensed New Home Builder or registered Home Improvement Contractor in NJ. Our team has been building, elevating and renovating homes in New Jersey since 1993, and we’ve successfully completed over 1700 new homes and over 200 elevation projects. Most importantly – we’re never finished with a project until you are satisfied. Dream Homes & Development Corporation is also a publicly traded, audited company, and we trade under the ticker symbol DREM. Being fully audited means you can review our history, financials and performance at any time and be very comfortable that you are dealing with a solid company who will successfully complete your project. In addition, we are the only public company performing elevation and renovation projects in New Jersey.
- Q: How long should my project take from start to finish? A: Depending on the level of complexity and size of your project, and whether it is a new home or an elevation/renovation project, the average time to complete a project (counted from the receipt of a building permit) varies from 3-7 months. If you do not have architectural plans, you should also allow 2-3 months at the beginning of the process for soil studies, architectural and engineering design, and township issuance of permits. Please review additional detail regarding project duration under the New Homes FAQ section below.
- Q: How much of a deposit should I expect to pay to my new home builder or home elevation contractor when I sign a contract? A: At Dream Homes, we generally accept only a 5% deposit when we sign contracts, though many builders and contractors request much greater amounts. In our opinion, there is usually no reason a builder or contractor should require an amount greater than 5% to start a residential project.
- Q: What type of support and communication should I expect from Dream Homes once my project has started? A: Dream Homes has extensive experience dealing with insurance companies, ICC grants, RREM and other state programs and mortgage companies. We’ll help you navigate the details of each of these groups to assist you with your funding needs. As far as communication during your project is concerned, the Dream Homes team is always available for updates, status reports and discussions about your project. You can reach us by phone (609 693 8881), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), meetings in our Forked River or Point Pleasant offices or meetings at your project site. If you don’t receive an immediate response to your inquiry, you should expect a response to your email or phone calls within no more than 24 hours.
- Q: Where are the Dream Homes offices and how long have you been there?Dream Homes main office has been located in Forked River since 2003. A: Dream Homes’ main office is in Forked River at 314 South Main Street and is our headquarters for administrative, operations & accounting functions. We also have a custom modular design center and kitchen and bath showroom located at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant. Our design center is where all selections are chosen for new homes and renovations.
- Q: I might want to make changes while we’re under construction. Will change orders delay or affect my project? A: Repeated change orders are a primary reason for delay in any project but any change order will cause some type of delay. You should try to group as many of your changes as possible into one request, so that there is less chance of error. Remember that is generally more costly to make changes in the middle of a project than it is to plan them from the start. Please note that all change orders must be in writing, and signed by both Dream Homes and our client. We do not support change orders that are verbal or text. Payment for change orders is due at signing.
- Q: This FAQ section is really helpful but I’d like more detailed information. Where can I find it? A: Copies of this FAQ can be found both on our web site at www.dreamhomesltd.com or at our Nearly Famous Rebuilding blog at http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com . We’ve been writing about varied construction and real estate issues since 2012 and the Rebuilding blog has a vast about of searchable information on numerous topics including construction techniques and methods, insurance, and flood and storm damaged construction. You can also call us at 609 693 8881 and schedule a free consultation.
- Q: How should I expect to pay for my project? A: Your contract includes a payment schedule with various stages of construction that will trigger invoices and payment requests. Unless other arrangements are made, invoices are due within 10 days.
Home Elevations, House Lifting & Structural Moving – Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: What do I need to move from my house before a home elevation? How should I prepare? A: It depends on if your home is on a crawl or basement foundation, or it is on a slab foundation. If your house is on a crawl or basement, there is little you will need to do to prepare. We recommend laying any delicate collectibles down flat, and possibly taking heavy mirrors or wall hangings off the walls. Generally, there is little else that must be done to prepare for a house lift or move. On the other hand, if your home is on a slab, all items on the first floor must be removed and stored either on site or off. This is because the slab (which is currently your floor) remains in place when the house is elevated, and a new floor system is constructed which sits on top of the new foundation.
- Q: How long does the actual lift take? Should I stay and watch my house go up in the air?Whether to stay and watch the actual elevation is a matter of personal preference. Some people find it very exciting and some find it somewhat upsetting. It can be an unsettling sight, seeing your house which has been happily sitting on its foundation for many years, going up in the air and being placed on 4’ x 4’ cribbing stacks. If the house is on a slab foundation, there is no floor so you are looking right up into the house! If the house is on a crawl, it’s not as disturbing since it is like looking up at a basement ceiling. The actual home elevation process is fairly slow, with an average movement of one vertical foot per hour. If you were in the house and couldn’t hear the generators or machinery, you would never realize that your house was being elevated!
New Home Construction with Dream Homes – Site Built and Custom Modular – Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: How do I decide whether to elevate/renovate my home or to demolish and build new? A: The answer to this question is multifaceted and dependent on many factors. If your home was built before 2000, is a single-story and is built on a slab foundation, it is probably more cost-effective and energy efficient to demolish your home and build new. If your home was built after the year 2000, is 2 story and is built on a crawl foundation, it probably makes the best economic sense to do a perform a home elevation and renovate your home. Two very positive aspects of new construction are energy efficiency and construction quality. A new energy efficient home can save you 30% – 50% from your current utility bills. As far as construction quality, building codes have been updated 5 times since 2000. The homes we are building now in NJ are vastly superior in safety and quality than those built just 20 years ago. There are many factors that go into this raise/renovate or build new decision so it is difficult to quantify in a few sentences. Your best option is to contact us for a free consultation so we can meet and review your options.
- Q: Can Dream Homes handle my demolition needs if I decide to knock my old house down and build a new one? A: Dream Homes offers a full range of partial and full demolition services and can handle all utility disconnects, asbestos removal (if required) and house preparation prior to house demolition. We also prepare your lot after the demolition for new construction, importing or exporting fill as necessary to bring your lot to grade.
- Q: How do I decide whether to choose a site built home or custom modular? Is there a price or quality difference? A: Depending on the type and size of the house you are considering, there may be a cost and time savings to choosing modular construction over site built construction. Another factor is the number of changes that you think you might make during the construction process. It is difficult and costly to make changes in a modular home project, where a site-built home offers more flexibility with making chanes. Contrary of what is commonly believed, there is generally no difference in the quality of construction between site built and modular construction. Both site built and custom modular homes can be suitable for different needs and locations. Though Dream Homes has built more than 1700 new homes since 1993 with the majority of them being site built, we recently acquired a modular construction company and design showroom to meet the demand for custom modular homes.
- Q: How long does a new home construction project take to complete from start to finish? A: Depending on the number changes you make during the process, it can as little as 4-5 months but commonly runs 5-6 months. It is slightly longer than a home elevation project, since there are so many additional required inspections at the township and county level.
- Q: If I decide to build a new home, do I have to start from scratch to design something, or do you have plans I can choose from?Visit the Architectural Plans section of our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com , which is located on the home page. You can also check our blog at http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com for additional plans and designs. A: You don’t have to start from scratch at all. Usually you’ll be able to find a plan from our extensive selection that we can easily customize for you since all our plans are on computer. Starting with the framework of an existing plan can save you thousands of dollars.
Hurricane Preparation – FEMA Hurricane Prep, Common Sense Reminders & Sobering Statistics: Thanks to Joe Pascucci, our VP of Business Development, for forwarding this FEMA Hurricane link with his comments. I’ve included it here because it is so useful. Entitled “FEMA’s guide on How to Prepare for a Hurricane”, it includes tips on what to do before, during and after the storm to protect yourself and your property.
It’s been almost five years since Storm Sandy hit New Jersey and although we hope to never experience another storm like that, with each passing year the storms are becoming more frequent and more intense. Print this guide out for your reference – if the power goes out, you won’t be able to access the internet.
Important Repeat: Getting Started for late Fall/early Winter starts – If you haven’t submitted your plans for a late fall start, well, stop reading this blog (as fascinating as it may be) and call your licensed New Jersey builder or registered home improvement contractor and instruct him to prepare and submit your permit package right now. Though not completely necessary in NJ, it is much better to start your project prior to the first week of January, when difficult weather can become a factor in the schedule. This way you can also expect to be back in by late spring. Remember: Zoning and Building are separate functions and offices. You can (and should) submit your zoning package while you’re assembling your permit package, so you can save time and received your approved permit more quickly.
Keeping your Project Moving – RREM, cash flow and payment to your new home builder or home improvement contractor: This note is for those who are in an otherwise positive relationship with their builder, but are having a temporary cash flow issue. Many people who are working with RREM or ICC grants, or insurance proceeds that are being held by mortgage companies may find themselves in a situation where their project could be delayed for non-payment. As a general rule, you should assume that invoices for completed inspected work in place should be paid within 10 days. If you don’t pay your professional, they will probably temporarily stop working on your job.
Assuming again that your relationship is solid with your builder (all work is done and paid for, all invoices to date have been paid in a timely manner) if the project is delayed temporarily that means little other than your builder must be paid to continue working, or he cannot pay for supplies, payroll and overhead. An important practice is to communicate clearly if an issue arises and there will be a delay in payment.
You are also an important part of keeping your RREM or mortgage company submissions current, so you won’t cause a delay in your project. If you’ve submitted payment, ask for a date when payment will be made to you. Be proactive with your project and it will save you time.
Repeat – Solar Power at Home – Shouldn’t it work when the grid goes down?? One would certainly think so, but one would generally be wrong. I’ve included a link to a short article in Builder Magazine, but the summary is that the inverter and the entire solar array are run by power from the grid, and when the power stops, your solar array won’t continue to generate energy.
So, for your system to actually work when the power goes out, you will need a battery backup system, which will run the inverter when there’s no power from the grid. Note: The inverter converts the direct current (DC) which comes from the sun into alternating current (which is what everything in the house runs on). No battery – no inverter – no solar power generation. This is not a tidbit of info you want to discover when the power is out and you’re expecting your home solar system to keep right on making electricity only to find out that it won’t. See the article here
Toms River Home Show – October 29th & 30th Home Show at the Pine Belt Center in Toms River: Come out and meet our team members at the end of October and get answers to any questions you have. We’ll be covering elevation and renovation projects, new modular and site construction and any questions you may have about the construction process.
Dream Homes & Development Corporation – who we are: As you may know, Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company, and we’ve just released our 2nd quarter financials. I’m proud to report that sales, earnings and contracts have all increased significantly. Dream is the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractor. Dream is growing, improving our operations and service and adding new members to our team to better serve you. You can view financials on our web site at www.dreamhomesltd.com. Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information.
Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River and a Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and we’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey. You can view all the information about us online and if you like us and believe in what we’re doing, we would love to have you as shareholders. For more information and an information package, contact Matt Chipman, our investor relations person. Matt can be reached at (818) 923-5302, (310) 709-5646 or matt@GreenChipIR.com. You can view our operational results and financials at any time on our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com or at www.sec.gov.
Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’re the region’s most trusted builder and we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the elevation, renovation and new home projects that few other people can do, and help people finish and get back in their homes. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to proceed, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.
At Dream Homes, we believe that taking on difficult unpopular projects is part of the social contract we have with the community and the Jersey Shore. We’ve never abandoned a client or failed to finish a project – we feel very strongly that it is our obligation to help Sandsters and others in need.
Permit fees, Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: Generally, permit fees are paid by the homeowner, since they can’t usually be determined at the start of a project. Design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost. In other words, we oversee the entire design process and it costs our clients the same amount (usually much less) of money than if the homeowner deals with the architect directly. This also results in significant savings in both construction design and redesign fees. Remember – the person who is going to build the project should be involved in the design from inception, so practical best practices can be designed in from the start.
On another note, please visit our new Dream Homes Jersey Proud Design Center at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, where you can see modular home plans, kitchens, baths, flooring and tons of fixtures. You’re invited to visit us and see what we have – hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 – 2, closed on Tuesday, with other hours by appointment.
Siding, Trim and other Exterior Finishes: See the last blog of 8/26/17 for useful information on choices for siding, trim and other finishes.
Decks, more decks and railing…Decks are one of the more popular improvements and one of the easiest ways to add value to your home. Decks fall into 3 main categories – pressure treated, composite and fiberglass. Railings can be pressure treated, vinyl rail or glass.
New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!! This model is perfect for many small lots in the shore area including Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley and South Seaside Park.
Seaview and Bayview Models: From $149,000 including demolition. These homes are 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths and suitable for 40-60 foot wide lots. Call 609 693 8881 for details.
Most home improvement contractors and new home builders are unwilling to provide turn-key elevation/renovation projects. It’s messy, requires diverse skill sets and deep administrative support and places all responsibility for everything directly on the builder’s shoulders. Dream Homes regularly perform turn-key renovation and design build projects and will remain as one of the best, solid companies in the years to come.
Why does this matter to you? If a company isn’t committed to being in the line of work for which you are contracting, they will not support it correctly during and after the project. That means less resources (personnel and otherwise) devoted to your project. Currently at Dream Homes, we’ve been actively hiring carpenters, helpers, marketing and support staff for 2 years. We’re committed to the elevation /renovation business and improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.
Moral of the story: Try and avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current projects in process or being started.
Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? 2017 Scheduling & Priority projects – If you’re stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) we’ll help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. We do consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck. It doesn’t change what happened to you in the past, but at least you’ll know how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and written estimate. As a note, often we’re the only company willing to finish projects that have been abandoned.
New Dream Homes Modular Division – Design, Kitchen & Bath Studio –
Come see our Dream Homes Jersey Proud Custom Modular design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point, with complete kitchen, flooring & modular home design studio. See Lou Obsuth, who has a wealth of experience in modular construction as well as kitchen and bath design. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by.
Kathleen M. Dotoli, Esquire – Consumer Protection: Kathleen is a workers’ compensation and disability attorney in Toms River and speaks regularly at our Rebuilding Seminar. Kathy gives an excellent presentation about consumer protection that will save you money and grief. (Next one is Wednesday, October 11th, 2017). Email Kathy at email@example.com or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation.
Video & Past Seminars
Photos & Videos – Click on the link below
Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale: We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.
Dream Homes at Tallwoods: We’ll be offering 13 beautiful new 3 and 4-bedroom single-family homes for sale in the mid $200,000 range in late 2017 / early 2018.
Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages, in a private wooded setting. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2018.
If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.
There’s Real…and then there’s Memorex…What an Estimate and Scope of Work is Supposed to Look Like…
Click on the link above or call us and we’ll send you a blank scope of work for your reference.
Yeah, We Do That for You… This was an excellent article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/08/dream-homes-nearly-famous-rebuilding-blog-1-8-17-why-use-dream-homes-yeah-we-do-that-for-you-hometown-hero-award-in-brick-rebuilding-seminar-1-18-16/
Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below
References & Testimonials – Click on the link below
Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. Don’t wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point. Whether you are a Dream Homes client or not, I’ll always try and help you or guide you in the right direction. If you’ve sent an email or left a voice mail and haven’t received a response, try and contact me again. Messages are lost occasionally.
Note to Sandsters: Though I write this blog and hold the seminars to help guide homeowners through the maze that is any reconstruction project, Dream Homes does what I write about. Dream Homes & Development Corp. and Dream Building LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We supervise and manage elevation projects & house moves, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build entire new neighborhoods. In the past 23 years, we’ve completed over 1700 new homes, 200 elevation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 28 of our elevation projects have been rescue projects, where we came in to save a homeowner when someone else left. Dream builds new homes, demolishes existing damaged homes, elevates and move homes, complete additions and renovations and rescues homeowners when their other contractors abandon them. We work with private clients as well as Path B clients in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for a free estimate on your rebuilding project.
That’s all for today Sandsters. I hope my words helps you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.
Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)
Dream Building LLC
Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC
New Home Builder #045894
Home Improvement Contractor #13VH09325600
Home Improvement Contractor #13VH07489000
Office: 314 S. Main Street
Mailing: PO Box 627
Forked River, NJ 08731
Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619