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Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC.

Nearly Famous Rebuilding, Renovation, and Elevation Blog

11-18-17

Hello all –

I hope this blog finds you well. It’s been a busy few weeks, with new clients and many projects starting, and we also have some new items for you today as you get ready for Thanksgiving next week. One important article deals with insulation and options you have when building a new home or raising a home, to increase your energy efficiency.

Welcome New Clients: Dream Homes signed 4 new clients in the last 2 weeks and it’s a real assortment of projects – 1 new home, 1 elevation, a kitchen remodel and a master bath project. We welcome our new clients to the Dream Homes family and thank them for putting their trust in us! A special thanks to Chris & Janice in Surf City, who are trusting us with a difficult move directly on the beach.

New Home Developments & Projects: If you’ve been following the blog and website, you know we’re working on 2 developments in Ocean County (details are below for the 13 single-family lots and the 58 townhomes). In the last few weeks, we’ve also signed 2 new letters of intent for new developments which will start next summer and fall. One is for a 74 townhouse project in Bayville which should start construction in Fall of 2018 and offer townhomes from $225,000. The other development is 80 single-family lots located in Mickleton, where 3000 – 4000 square foot homes will start from $590,000. The new home developments Dream Homes currently has in planning and development encompass 3-4 years of new home construction starting in early 2018 and will include townhomes and single family homes priced from $225,000.

Dream Homes – Awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2016 by the Asbury Park Press. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 200 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help New Jersey rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey!

BOB2017LogoAP_Ocean

Urgent Notice: I keep saying it, but it bears repeating – Get your contracts signed now, so plans can be submitted and your project can start before January and be finished in time for summer. If you’re going to move forward anyway, there’s no sense waiting to start paperwork until after the New Year. There is a ton of work that happens before the construction begins on a project, and if you know you’re going to commit to your project, don’t wait for the last minute. Pick a contractor or builder and get started. There is another section below with more detail and some time-saving tips.

Dream Homes – Kitchen & Bath Design Studio & Custom Modular Division –

Though we’re known more for new homes and elevation projects than kitchens and baths, we also do quite a bit of remodeling. An excellent place to start Is at our Custom Modular, Kitchen & Bath design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, with complete kitchen layouts, flooring selections and our own in house modular home design studio. As necessary parts of the 1900 home projects we’ve completed since 1993, we are well equipped to accommodate your remodeling needs, from the simple to the most complex. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by.

Insulation & Wall Thickness – How Much Is Needed and What’s Involved? One of the most important (hidden) features of your home is the insulation. Under the current building code, your new home must meet stringent standards for efficiency, including heat loss and gain. Your elevation project is also a good time to add extra insulation and it is an excellent improvement on a cost / benefit bases. Though many people think you can simply add more insulation to create a tighter building envelope, energy efficiency is a complex system involving insulation, windows, air circulation, high efficiency furnaces and boilers and other factors. Everything works together to achieve the energy efficiency that is needed.

Though it is not necessary by code to frame walls with 2” x 6” studs instead of 2” x 4” studs, if you want to increase your fiberglass insulation from R13 to R19, you need the extra depth of the wall cavity to allow this. Since fiberglass batt insulation cannot be compressed without losing a

portion of its R value, you cannot fit R 19 insulation in a 2” x 4” wall. One alternative to increase R value is to install a rigid foam insulation board on the outside of the wall sheathing in addition to the insulation in the wall. This helps prevent cold and heat from intruding into the building envelope, and allows the wall insulation to be more effective. Foam board is an additional cost, but you can increase R value by 4 -10 points with this technique.

When insulating your floor, either after an elevation or with a new home, R19 is the minimum, but R21 or even R30 can be used (depending on the height of the floor joists). Since most floor joists are 2” x 10”, R30 can be installed without compromising efficiency, and the cost difference is relatively small (material increase only, since labor is the same) considering the overall benefit.

Another option is rigid foam insulation, which is sprayed on. Though it is generally 2-3 times more costly than fiberglass insulation, it has a higher R value in a much smaller depth and can be used instead of, or in conjunction with, normal batt insulation to achieve higher overall energy efficiency. Spending additional money on insulation leads directly to energy savings that last forever.

Hurricane Preparation: We again 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”, which you must print now so you can refer to it if the power goes out. 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. I’ve included it again 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. Again, print this guide now for your reference – if the power goes out, you won’t be able to access the internet. https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf

Manditory Builder & Contractor Licensing & Testing Needed in New Jersey (partial repeat): In the last blog I spoke about the need to have manditory licensing with testing in NJ for new home builders and home improvement contractors. I stand by that statement and will reiterate it over and over. Builders should be licensed and regulated in NJ and require proficiency testing. Home building and home improvement contracting does not currently require testing.

As readers of this blog know, I am not a fan of additional regulation or governmental interference in our lives. However, it is our opinion that New Home Builders and Home Improvement Contractors should not only be licensed, but that proficiency testing as well as the corresponding continuing education credits should be required. See the last blog for more detail and the rest of the licensing article.

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar –Wednesday December 6th, 2017 – See us in person and or watch us on Facebook Live!

Our next Rebuilding Seminar will be held Wednesday December 6th, 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’re 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) Partial Repeat

Here are a few items from our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. The October 8th blog has all of them or you can get them from our website at http://www.dreamhomesltd.com. It’s a useful, concise guide to address common questions and lets you know what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder.

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. I included two FAQ’s today. For the full list, go to the October 8th blog, or our website at http://www.dreamhomesltd.com.

General – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Partial – See 10-8-17 blog for the full list of FAQ’s.

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 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 stories 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.

See the October 8th blog for all the FAQ’s or check our website.

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.

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. The Tesla Power Wall is the most notable example, but there are others. 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 http://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/can-homeowners-use-rooftop-solar-power-during-an-emergency

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 and was recently awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2016 by the Asbury Park Press. 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 http://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 http://www.dreamhomesltd.com or at http://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.

Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: Generally 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.

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, December 6th, 2017). Email Kathy at kmdotoli611@aol.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 https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/video-photo/

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… https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/28/dream-homes-rebuilding-blog-1-27-17-shore-house-lifters-indicted-a-real-scope-of-work-rebuilding-seminar-hometown-hero-rrem/

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 https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/definitions/

References & Testimonials – Click on the link below https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/references/

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 1500 new

homes, 190 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.

Regards,

Vince Simonelli

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 Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com Website: http://www.dreamhomesltd.com Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Contractor Fraud · Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog · Foundation systems · House raising and Moving · Monmouth & Atlantic County · Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar · New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean · New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County · New homes and elevations in Monmouth County · New Homes and elevations in Ocean County · Pilings · Pilings · Pilings · Pilings · Pilings · Pilings · Pilings · Pilings · Pilings - Helical versus timber · Rebuilding · Rebuilding, House raising and Moving, Pilings, Renovations · Renovations · RREM Path B · RREM Path C · RREM Seminars

9-24-16

Welcome to Fall 2016 – Is RREM Putting Builders Out of Business – Note to our Esteemed Governor Christie… Dream Building $2000 Discount to Fraud Victims – Why Exactly Are We Lifting Our House? Review September Rebuilding Seminar & November 16th Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar – Getting Accurate Estimates & Courtesy  – RREM Fraud Update – Contractors & Homeowners

 

Hello Sandsters –

A little late, but welcome to fall. In the rebuilding world it is shaping up to be a busy season.

Today, we have a number of items for you. We talk about how RREM (and a numerous dishonest home owners) are putting small contractors out of business, which is a sleeping dog that is starting to bite….We welcome 6 new clients, in the last 10 days! (2 of them are sadly victims of bad contractors). An important item today is a repeat – Why Exactly are we Lifting our Houses? We repeat warnings about committing RREM fraud – on both sides – homeowner and contractor. We give you some tips on getting a good, accurate estimate and remind you of common courtesy. We review our September 14th Rebuilding Seminar, which was simply the BEST EVER! Finally we mention our next Rebuilding seminar – which is  Wednesday November 16th at 6 pm at Tuscan Bistro & Bar in Toms River.

November (11/16/16) Dream Homes Event & Last Seminar Review:

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar – Wednesday November 16th – 6 PM – Tuscan Bistro in Toms River.    We’re holding this seminar for 3 ½ years and counting

Our next Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar will be held Wednesday November 16th, 2016 from 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. We’ll focus on Sandsters that are early in the process, and have not completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect. We offer engineering & architectural design advice, RREM guidance at the initial stages, and help with choosing the right builder or contractor. Please call to reserve a space if you would like to attend since refreshments will be served and space is limited.

Note: We are only accepting 15 reservations for the 11/16 seminar, since we’ve discovered that is the ideal number of people for us to offer the best advice and counsel. If you want to come, reserve your space early.

 Once again,  professionals will be speaking.  Kathy Dotoli, who is a worker’s compensation lawyer in Toms River, will also give her excellent presentation on precautions to take to ensure a smooth relationship with your contractor. We’ll have one of our architects or engineers speaking, though we’re not sure exactly which one. This is a great chance to meet our professional team, and there’ll be plenty of time for discussion about your project so bring your info (or send it to us ahead of time) and get some questions answered.

A special thanks….

To all who attended the September 14th seminar, as well as the fantastic group of speakers we had presenting. It was simply our best seminar ever, and the culmination of 3 years of practice and numerous rebuilding projects.

The comments and reviews we received were uniformly extremely positive and showed clearly that our efforts to bring a diverse professional team to the table continue to be successful. A huge Thank You to Dan Wheaton (architect), Kathy Dotoli (attorney), Tim Ferguson (Hale Built House Raising), Tim Tennis (project manager, northern region), Valerie Jones (VP Human Resources and RREM expert) and Michelle Hendley (office support staff). The combination of input from everyone helped 5 groups of people clearly chart their way towards moving forward with a rebuilding solution.

A warm welcome to our new clients…and new Atlantic County clients! We now have limited space remaining for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017.

In the last 10 days, we’ve been retained by 6 new clients and thank you all for your confidence and trust in us at the Dream Homes team!

We’ve also done 8 new client intakes, which is a record for a 10 day period!

We’ve also (after repeated requests for the last 2 years) decided to open an Atlantic County region and start helping people in the southern New Jersey area. Not something we’ve decided lightly, we now have an excellent support team in place and have begin accepting commissions  in Atlantic City, Brigantine, Egg Harbor and surrounding areas.

Now that some of the rubbish has been cleared out, we can focus on helping people rebuild their homes in a timely, cost-effective, efficient manner.

You can read the last few blogs for more detail, but suffice to say, the 2 largest elevation and general contractors in south Jersey (defined as south of Toms River) are not solvent, and generally unable to complete projects.

That is one of the biggest reasons we decided to open up in Atlantic County. The Sandsters of Atlantic County deserve better treatment than they have been receiving. Bring us your tired, your poor, your hungry….and we will fix their houses and make them happy again!

 Note: Schedule your project: The market is heating up again, due to a number of factors (dishonest contractors going bankrupt or being indicted, honest contractors going out of business because of RREM and homeowner fraud, out of state contractors moving back out of state to purportedly greener pastures) so if you haven’t retained a professional for your project, expect delays.

We can accept only 1 additional client into our schedule for a Fall 2016 start, and only 3 more for Spring of 2017. It’s nice to be appreciated and in demand.

If you want to be in for Summer of next year, it’s time to get moving. Stop dithering Nero – Rome is burning.

Have you been ripped off by Shore House Lifters or any other dishonest contractor?

We are continuing our offer of a $2000 discount to any homeowner who has been left in the lurch by a crooked builder. It’s not a ton of money, but every little bit helps when you’ve give someone $60,000 and received only $30,000 worth of work before your builder retired to Bimini on his new boat.

Facts, Facts, Facts – Repeat about Shore House Lifters and others

If you are one of those unfortunate folks who isn’t hanging on my every written word, (can you believe there are still people out there like that??), you missed the last blog, and you’re dealing with, or considering dealing with Shore House Lifters, stop reading this blog right now and click on the 8/14/16 blog for a very detailed warning and caution before proceeding any further with this company. I’m tired of cleaning up their messes. And Price Home Group’s. And G&L Construction. And Axis Builders. And the list goes on and on…Be careful who you are dealing with.

Hall of Shame: If Governor Christie wasn’t kanoodling down in Washington with Mr. Trump….

He actually might be able to work on some issues here in NJ. As it is, we have a Washington Theatre of the Bizarre, and little work being done in NJ. We’re not interesting enough for our Governor, since he can’t be elected governor again (for myriad reasons), is busy putting out Bridgegate fires and is busily planning his next career path.

Thank God Kim Guadagno is doing what she can to help – she is the only person in the current administration that has any idea what the RREM program is supposed to accomplish. Reminds me of a one-armed paper hanger though…only so much she can do. It is difficult soaring with eagles when one is mucking around with turkeys.

Note to NJ Government: The RREM program is, once again, off the rails and heading merrily off into the magic mushroom field.

Is RREM actually causing small contractors to go out of business? Is RREM helping dishonest homeowners to rip off their builders?

Fact #1: RREM through their direct actions is putting small contractors out of business. Their bizarre, Byzantine payment terms, their insane clawback provisions and their incessant change in policy, has made it completely impossible for a 3-5 home a year builder to work for anyone in the RREM program.

Now I am an absolute capitalist and a firm believer in “May the best man – or woman – win”, but when a state sponsored program has an insidious design, which serves to bankrupt small business owners, there is nothing good about that for anyone.

It hurts the economy and it specifically hurts homeowners by removing choices in a free market, and directly causing honest small builders to go out of business in the middle of projects.

Fact #2: RREM through their indirect actions is putting small contractors out of business. They are assisting tacitly in the systemic, continuous perpetration of homeowner fraud, by not requiring payment to contractors for work that has been completed. This is illegal, immoral and truly counterproductive to the macro intent of the RREM program, which is to efficiently rebuild NJ after Sandy, and put people back to where they were before as quickly as possible.

The sad truth is that many RREM homeowners (certainly not all) are deliberately delaying payment, or not paying contractors, over completely insignificant matters. If a homeowner is living in their house with a certificate of occupancy and a homeowner has received their RREM funds and is not paying their bills, they are directly contributing to the insolvency of honest small contractors.

Thankfully, this is not affecting Dream to too great of a degree. We carry no debt and are in a very strong financial position. Out of 160 clients in the last 3 years, we have only 4 people who we’ve had to pursue through litigation. All of them have eventually paid, including legal and late fees. All of them have been audited (FINALLY!) by RREM. All of them are subject to civil penalties. All of them had added significantly to the RREM scope of work and decided they didn’t want to pay for any of their extra work when they couldn’t scam RREM out of the money. 

This is atrocious individual behavior and incredibly bad oversight by the RREM program.

The fact that there is no RREM mechanism to prevent this from occurring is absurd. Instead of fostering competition which leads to better consumer pricing and choice, it has had, and will continue to have, the opposite effect of destroying smaller builders due to nonpayment.

 Again – Why Are We Lifting Our Houses??

I’ve written about this topic many times, but it bears repeating and updating. Certainly, we are not elevating our homes because we want to, need an aggressive home project or have nothing better to do with our time and money.

Repeat: How close did we come to another wicked storm event?…This plays right into, “Why are we bothering to raise our homes (below)?” Click on this link and see more detail below.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/with_hermine_gone_another_bullet_dodged_on_duneles.html#incart_river_index

 

Summary of the main reasons we are elevating, or rebuilding at a higher level:

  1. To avoid or mitigate flood risk.
  2. To save (a lot of) money on flood insurance.
  3. To protect the value of what is (probably) your single largest investment.
  4. To add value to your home by incorporating improvements that will add to the worth of your home. Improvements that add value include (among many others) full height lifts, garages under the house, enclosed space for storage, concrete floors, better views, new or larger decks, and better insulation to create ongoing energy savings.

 

You will also be accepting the inherent risk of living through another significant storm event – your home may flood again. That is a calculated risk. For a working hypothesis, I am assuming another event within 10-20 years with an average of 2’ of water over finished floor, as opposed to the 4’ we experienced with Sandy.

 

Call to Action – RREM Homeowner & General Contractor Fraud – Can DCA/RREM Fix This?

To say that our justice system is broken as it relates to contracting is an incredible understatement. We have much greater oversight in a vast number of other professions, often where much less money is at stake.

Ironically, the process of awarding $150,000 grants with no oversight attached to homeowners is also quite flawed.

(Turns out that the moral of the story is that a certain percentage of people in general are flawed and will steal. One can’t legislate that fact out of existence.)

Summary: 1. Contractors: If you accept people’s money, you should be held to a higher standard, and in any other business other than construction, you are. 2. Homeowners:  If you accept federal and state RREM money, you should treat it the same way you would want your contractor to responsibly behave and not spend the money you need to finish your job on furniture, a pool or a vacation.

 Sandsters, if you take your RREM grant and go on vacation, install a new kitchen, build a new Trex deck, install cultured stone on the front of your house, or do a full height raise with garage and concrete, and don’t pay your contractor, you won’t be able to close out your RREM grant, you will definitely have your entire project file audited, and will be subject to civil and criminal penalties for fraud. We see RREM and DCA eventually catching up with fraudulent contractors and they wind up under indictment. Homeowners are also subject to severe repercussions if they do not pay their contractors and close out their RREM file. If you are living in your home with a CO and have not paid your RREM contractor, you are taking a tremendous chance of having your grant revoked, your file audited and being fined. If you have a valid disagreement with your contractor, escrow the balance of payment due with your attorney and file suit. Otherwise finish your RREM project and get the government out of your life. RREM is finally catching on to homeowners that are holding up $35,000 payments for discrepancies about sheetrock cracks – while moving back into their homes with certificates of occupancy. A word to the wise – don’t come under RREM and DCA scrutiny for fraud.

When contractors behave improperly, they are (eventually) arrested, indicted, fined and go to live in 6’ x 10’ rooms.

When homeowners defraud the RREM program, they are at risk of having to return their RREM grant and are subject to fines and penalties.

Hiring Your Own Architect or Engineer: Pros (none) and Cons (many)

I’ve written about this in the past, and have shared various thoughts. This is an update which reflects my most recent experiences.

The upshot, though a general statement, is that dealing with your own design professional does not save you any money and generally costs you time and stress.

1st, the reality is that the architectural/engineering cost to you is the same (usually less), whether you deal with the professional yourself or retain your builder to handle this aspect of the project.

2nd, you will save yourself a tremendous amount of time, since you will avoid the constant interaction between your professional and your builder. Your builder will handle the professional discussions and break it down for you in simple language you can understand.

3rd, you will avoid excess costs which are incurred when you design your plan with your architect without input from the person who will be building your project. Remember – architects and engineers draw pretty pictures, which sometimes are not the most cost effective methods to achieve your objectives. Sometimes (too often) the plans cannot be actually constructed as they are designed.

Last but not least, if there is an error and you’ve designed your own plan, you’re responsible for your architect’s errors. When you give a plan (that you’ve designed) to a builder to estimate, any errors in the plan are ultimately your responsibility and will cost you money.

Points to ponder, Sandsters. Sometimes we try to save money – and end up stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.

Repeat – Partial – Beware of fancy trucks and equipment – You’re paying for it – PRICE HOME GROUP was only one notable example and is symptomatic of many other contractors;

Debt is a killer, Sandsters. Though it is relatively impossible to determine, the amount of debt a company carries on depreciable assets (vehicles, equipment, furniture and fixtures) as well as their fixed overhead, dictates behavior. You can request a balance sheet and income statement but you might not get one. If it’s not audited, it means little anyway.

We have no debt. We own everything outright. We don’t buy new vehicles – ever. We very rarely buy new equipment. We have the same office we’ve had for 14 years. We have low overhead. Everyone rows or we throw them out of the boat. We are not flashy. I may be one of the most boring people on the planet – and my clients like that. We’re quietly competent. We don’t need to impress anyone with anything but our performance.

Ultimately, you want to work with someone who is not taking your deposit to make truck payments, pay high salaries, support a fancy office and dazzle you with nonsense.

What you SHOULD be asking before your hire a builder or general contractor:

The real questions are, “How many projects have you completed?” (We’ve finished 155 in the last 3 years, and over 1500 new homes in 200 + developments in the last 2 decades)

“How many projects are unfinished?” (We have 0 unfinished projects)

“How many clients are suing you for misappropriation of funds, fraud or consumer fraud?” (We have 0).

What is the Difference between Non-Performance & Fraud versus a Difference of Opinion?? Important Repeat:

I’ve written about this in the past several times but the topic bears repeating (over and over) again.

Sandsters, there’s a world of difference between the two above categories. You are well served to understand this difference prior to embarking on a renovation project.

Notwithstanding any of the drivel regularly posted on Facebook, having a disagreement

with your builder, does not mean they are defrauding you or abandoning your project.  Misunderstanding is materially different from contractor fraud, abandonment, mismanagement or incompetence.

 The objective is to complete the project and move you back into your home. It is not about personalities, or who is right or wrong. It is about dealing with, and accepting, that human communication is complicated and fraught with misunderstanding.

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – Reader Survey: Do you have any specific topics you would like covered in the Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog that I haven’t mentioned? Send me an email or give me a call and I’ll try to include them in one of the upcoming bogs. Construction science is a pretty varied field and there is always something new, whether it is a method, a material or a design technique. Let me hear your questions, especially if it’s an item I haven’t written about.

 Last Look or If you don’t ask, you’ll get nothing: If you are making a final decision and are between 2 builders that you like, where one is slightly more expensive but you like them much more and one is cheaper but you have concerns over him,

Ask the builder or contractor you like and want to use to meet your proposed budget number or the other written estimate.

I recommend this particular technique because it is easier for you. There is less detail and discussion about particular pricing and ultimately you don’t really want or need to know all the whys and why nots and details of a particular estimate.

If your first builder choice can meet the price you need or at least the other valid estimate from another contractor, that’s good enough for you.

Anyway, you have nothing to lose by asking your 1st choice builder to meet your budget number.

That being said, your builder choice should also:

1) Have an office that you can visit

2) Has been in business for long enough time to have learned how to do what you are contracting for

3) Have completed numerous projects similar to yours

4) Have current insurance and licensing and

5) Not be asking you for a huge non-refundable deposit up front.

This category, as well as worker’s compensation and social security disability, is something Kathy Dotoli, who is an attorney in Toms River, covers in depth at our Rebuilding seminar. Feel free to call her directly at 732 228 7534 for further discussion. Come to the seminar or call us and we will send you the handout.

Signing Blind Contracts – PLEASE STOP DOING THIS SANDSTERS!!

If a builder or contracting is asking you to sign a contract with a non-refundable deposit, without plans or a defined scope of work, be careful. If an estimate is based on a set of assumptions which turn out to be inaccurate, you should have the right to cancel the contract and have the unused balance of your deposit returned to you.

Further detail in past blogs.

Repeat: Does Anyone (Carpenters, laborers, helpers, contractors) Really Want to Work Rebuilding New Jersey?  We run 7 crews for our elevation projects and 3 crews for new home construction and we’re constantly hiring (and firing!!) at least 2 new people a week. We’re one of the best builders out there (we pay promptly and are very honest) and always have room on our team for the right people, but good people are 1 in 10 at best. If you are competent and positive and looking for work or know someone who is, give them my email or phone number and have them call me.

New Townhome Announcements: Some great news for Sandsters on the new home front – we’re planning an 88 unit town home waterfront community locally which will open at the end of 2017 and be very affordably priced.

 Facebook: Please visit us and like us on Facebook! I am a social media illiterate but thankfully there are some great people on the Dream Team that are Facebook addicts and will communicate with you on Facebook 25 hours a day…

 Dream Homes – Satellite office – 2818 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant:

Dream Homes has been so busy in the Point, Brick, Manasquan area in the last year that we recently opened a branch office for client service, sales and construction at 2818 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant. You are welcome to bring your surveys, plans and paperwork to that location if it’s easier than scanning, faxing or bringing documents to our main office on Rt. 9 in Forked River. Please call us for hours if you want to visit this location.

 Tip – Follow the Nearly Famous Blog: If you don’t want to miss any of my blogs, go the blog and “follow” it directly. Some times I don’t send email alerts when I blog. If you “follow” the blog you will get an email reminder whenever I post. We’re also on Facebook if you want to Friend us or post a comment.

Stop FEMA Now Association: We’re a proud sponsor of Stop Fema Now  which is an excellent organization trying to save and protect NJ Sandsters (as well as other states) from FEMA tyranny. To get involved and either donate or volunteer your time to this worthy effort, please visit their web site, which is HYPERLINK “http://www.stopfemanow.com” http://www.stopfemanow.com

New development: Dream Homes Mobile Web Site is now Live!

You can now log onto “http://www.dreamhomesltd.com” http://www.dreamhomesltd.com from your mobile device and see a mobile site tailored to a smaller screen.

 Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project:

RREM Program Manager: RREM Program Managers DO NOT supervise the construction of your project. You do, as you should, since it is you that is responsible for how the money is spent. RREM Program Managers manage the paper flow for your project, authorize payment disbursements and (try to) lead you through the confusing RREM maze. That’s it. Nothing further.

They do not consult with you on construction process, give legal advice or comment on who you should choose as your builder, or advise if they are competent and stable.

You are the only person responsible to oversee the professionals you hire. A sobering truth, but one worth remembering.

Lowest adjacent grade (LAG): This is an important elevation since the lowest point in your crawl space has to be even or above the LAG. That is important because even if you don’t want your crawl filled that much (so you have more storage space) you will not pass final zoning / final building if this condition is not met. LAG is defined as the lowest grade immediately next to your house. There can easily be a foot or more difference between one side and the other, or back to front, so if you wish to use the least amount of fill (maximizing room in the crawl) make sure you find the lowest adjacent elevation.

Elevation: Elevation refers to “height above sea level” and not the height above grade at the house or distance the house is being elevated. The numbers on your Flood Elevation Certificate indicate how high in vertical feet your crawl, finished floor and grade are above the sea level at the ocean beach. It’s easy to make a mistake with these descriptions and it causes much confusion. Example: If you are raising your home to elevation 11, your finished floor is 6 and your grade is 4.5, you are raising your house 5’ to elevation 11, or 6.5’ above grade. When you use the expression “elevating my home 5 feet” that means you are lifting it 5’ from where it is now. The expression “building or raising the home to elevation 11” refers to the height above sea level, not the distance you are lifting.

Footprint: A building “footprint” is defined as the disturbed area of the lowest level including the garage.

Ex: a 1200 square foot ranch with a 240 square foot deck has a footprint of 1440 square feet.

Survey: An exact depiction of what exists on your lot, from a top view.

Plot plan: A top view of what you are proposing to build, including new heights, stairs, entries, decks, etc.

These two items are not the same and you will need both for your project.

HVAC Elevation height in crawl space: This must be considered when planning your lift. This is the elevation of the lowest duct, furnace or air handler in your crawl space. Most townships require a minimum elevation of base flood, some townships have no restriction, and some are at minimum BF + 1 to the bottom.

Design scope: These costs are defined as architectural and engineering fees, all survey costs (survey, plot plan, foundation as built, flood elevation certificate and final survey), soil boring & geotechnical costs, cribbing diagrams, permit fees, soil conservation design, and wind load calculations.

Please note – you do not get $15,000 in cash to spend on your design scope. You get up to $15,000, depending on what your actual costs are.   So if your design costs are $9,200 you get $9,200. If they are $14,000, you get $14,000. If they are $16,600, you get $15,000. The balance of any remaining money in the $15,000 design scope budget does not go back into your grant and you don’t get to keep the extra cash.  

If you signed your grant prior to October 1, 2014, you are not eligible for the extra $15,000 in design scope funding. Note: I have seen a number of clients kick, scream & please enough to have the $15,000 added to their grant, even though they had signed before 10/1/14, but that is not the policy.

Contingency costs: This item is part of your grant package and is designed to provide for unforeseen events or conditions that must be corrected in order to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) and finish your project.

These are not mistakes, omissions or errors on your part, your builder’s part or the design professional that did the plans. Rather they are items that are not knowable or evident in the actual structure until it is elevated, or the result of one of the shore townships deciding arbitrarily to change, invent or augment the existing building code. These items include (but are definitely not limited to) rotten or termite infested sheathing, wall studs or sill plates, twisted, broken or rotten girders, site conditions or changes needed to comply with current codes which were not in place when the house is built, upgrades to water pits or valves required by the MUA, installation of hard wired smoke & CO2 detectors, installation of condensate lines to the exterior from the dryer, and a number of other items that we’ve encountered. These items should be itemized by your builder in a separate sheet and submitted to RREM. 95% of the time you will be reimbursed.

There is not a monetary limit to this contingency, although it is generally 5% – 10% of the grant amount. The contingency does not come out of your grant award.

You Tube Link to a Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar: If you’ve missed our seminars and can’t easily attend, here is a link HYPERLINK “https://mail.foxmoorhomes.com/owa/redir.aspx?C=k5TFzkRAAkGU8ZY4NsMK_eZZ0s4wMNEI4fjCWNZ1F5euRIUWkyL5Y3FT1L0r7zXdkG1ZrUuQQlA.&URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.youtube.com%2fchannel%2fUCVI69KoM8DRXqoEblHd94xg” \t “_blank” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVI69KoM8DRXqoEblHd94xg

It is not edited and is about 2 hours so feel free to fast forward and skip around to watch what you like and need to know.

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 or not you are Dream Homes/Atlantic Northeast Construction 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 to help Sandsters, Dream Homes Ltd. and Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We actually elevate & move homes, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build new neighborhoods. In the past 23 years, we’ve having completed over 1500 new homes, 150 elevation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 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 it helps you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

Good luck and good building!

Regards,

Vince

Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

New Home Builder #045894

Home Improvement Contractor #13VH07489000

PO Box 627

Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802

Cell: 732 300 5619

Email: HYPERLINK “mailto:vince@dreamhomesltd.com” \t “” vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: HYPERLINK “http://www.dreamhomesltd.com/” http://www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog: HYPERLINK “https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/” \t “” http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: #foxbuilder

 

 

 

 

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Dream Homes Rebuilding Blog – RREM, Cheap Money, Foolish Behavior, The Last Look Concept, Seminar July 13th

Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog –

6-5-16

Hello all –

Hopefully your weekend is going well and you are getting ready for the official start of summer.

For today’s blog, we have some fraud alerts and elevation contractor bankruptcies, which is always good reading. We have our (continued effort to) talk about foundation design ideas and options, we explore the concept of “Last Look” when you are getting estimates for your project, and we talk about cheap money and foolish behavior. Finally we mention our next Rebuilding seminar – which is Wednesday July 13th at 6 pm at Tuscan Bistro & Bar in Toms River.

July Dream Homes Events: Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar –Wednesday July 13th – 6 PM – Tuscan Bistro in Toms River.

Our next Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar will be held Wednesday July 13th, 2016 from 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. Once again, we’ll focus on Sandsters that are early in the process, and have not completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect. We offer engineering & architectural design advice, RREM guidance at the initial stages, and help with choosing the right builder or contractor. Please call to reserve a space if you would like to attend since refreshments will be served.

Rich McGowan from Prospect Mortgage will talk about financing options with the SBA to help bridge the gap from your RREM and ICC funding. Kathy Dotoli, who is a worker’s compensation lawyer in Toms River, will also give her excellent presentation on precautions to take to ensure a smooth relationship with your contractor. This is a great chance to meet our professional team, and there’ll be plenty of time for discussion about your project.

Money’s So Cheap Now, It’s Almost Criminal to Wait to Improve Your Real Estate….

It’s always cost/benefit calculation at the heart of it.

Money’s cheap so the smart money invests in capital assets, which appreciate when interest rates rise.

Interest rates are definitely going to rise in the short term, although probably very little and very moderately.

So if you can borrow $50,000 more than your current mortgage while you are elevating or repairing, and add $75,000 – $100,000 in value to your property, and it costs you another $150 – $200 per month on your mortgage, you should probably choose to make the improvement.

We can help you with this calculation but a good rule of thumb is if the improvement serves a function and is not simply a vanity project, that’s a good start.

A new kitchen is great. Spend $10,000 – $20,000 – not $50,000.

Same with the pool, if you’re thinking about one.

You probably cannot overbuild adding a nice deck, unless it is much more than 10% of the value of your house.

These are only a few examples – there are hundreds.

Call me at 732 300 5619 to discuss. 

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – Reader Survey: Do you have any specific topics you would like covered in the Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog that I haven’t mentioned? Send me an email or give me a call and I’ll try to include them in one of the upcoming bogs. Construction science is a pretty varied field and there is always something new, whether it is a method, a material or a design technique. Let me hear your questions, especially if it’s an item I haven’t written about. 

Delays – 2 Reasons that cause the Biggest Delays & Biggest Issues:

Excessive change orders and lack of, or slow, payment.

These are the most common causes for project delay.

Assuming you are satisfied that the work that has been invoiced, is complete, pay your bill as soon as you are able.

Steady cash flow helps any building project.

Your builder should not be hounding you for money, and nor should they have to chase you.

95% of the time, if bills are paid within 1-4 weeks of invoicing (once you are comfortable that a fair amount of work has been completed), everything moves along fairly smoothly

Keep on top of RREM and keep your project moving as quickly as possible. It’s the most important thing for you to do and your most effective contribution to your project.

BANKRUPTCY – FRAUD ALERT –

Alert!!  A LEADING NJ ELEVATING COMPANY IN THE SOUTHERN HALF OF THE STATE HAS DECLARED BANKRUPTCY WITHIN THE LAST 2 MONTHS.

They are still in operation while reorganizing.

THEY DECIDED THEY WANTED TO BE GENERAL CONTRACTORS AND WORK WITH RREM CLIENTS AND MANAGED TO GO BANKRUPT IN 15 MONTHS.

Good show men. Screwing up in a raging bull market after a natural disaster takes a special talent.

BEWARE. BE CAUTIOUS. WHEN IN BANKRUPTCY ALL EXECUTORY CONTRACTS OF ANY TYPE CAN BE VOIDED IF THE TRUSTEE DEEMS IT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CREDITORS.

Definition: You can lose your deposit, or money invested.

Another leading elevation company, which I have been writing about forever, chose the inventive path of declaring personal (instead of corporate) bankruptcy.

So all his money is being sucked out of the company, which is why his client’s houses are up in the air for a long, long, long time.

WARNING WILL ROGERS! WARNING!! REPEAT REPEAT!!!WAKE UP AND DON’T GET RIPPED OFF! CHEAPER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER!

Don’t want to beat a dead horse here. See last 4 or 5 blogs for more detail on this.

Finding the Right Builder…Repeat – And the Really Interesting Last Look Concept that works!

I’ve written about this several times in the past, but it bears repeating.

Focus on finding someone you like and trust to manage your project.

You’ll be living with someone for 6 months or so from the signing of the contract through the completion, so it makes sense to do business with someone you like and are comfortable with.

They don’t have to be the biggest, or the one your friends all like, or have an office around the corner, or be someone who did your deck 8 years ago, but they should be someone you can talk to and understand.

Last Look: If you are making a final decision and are between 2 builders that you like, where one is slightly more expensive but you like them much more and one is cheaper but you have concerns over him,

Ask the builder or contractor you like and want to use to meet your proposed budget number or the other estimate..

I recommend this particular technique for discussion because it is easier for you. There is less detail and discussion about particular pricing and ultimately you might not really want to know all the whys and why nots and concerns of any professional builder.

If they can meet the price you need or at least the other valid estimate, so be it.

If they’re good and honest and they can’t, they should tell you.

Anyway, you have nothing to lose by asking.

That being said, your builder also should.

1) Have an office that you can visit

2) Has been in business for long enough time to have learned how to do what you are contracting for

3) Have completed numerous projects similar to yours

4) Have current insurance and licensing and

5) Not be asking you for a huge non-refundable deposit up front.

This category, as well as worker’s compensation and social security disability, is something Kathy Dotoli, who is an attorney in Toms River, covers in depth at our Rebuilding seminar. Feel free to call her directly at 732 228 7534 for further discussion.

If a builder or contracting is asking you to sign a contract with a non-refundable deposit, without plans or a defined scope of work, be careful. If an estimate is based on a set of assumptions which turn out to be inaccurate, you should have the right to cancel the contract and have the unused balance of your deposit returned to you.

Further detail in past blogs.

Repeat: Good Advice – Contractor’s Corner

 – Tips and Warnings about Speaking Directly to Workers and Sub-Contractors on Your Project:

Short version – DON’T DO THIS! Maintain one field point of contact on your project – either the project manager or the owner – and one point of contact in the office.

DO NOT speak directly to your builder’s workers on the job.

DO NOT speak directly to sub-contractors on your project.

There are numerous reasons for this. The most important (to you) is that it will slow up your project and (definitely) cause mistakes.

Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth. One person steers the ship or it crashes into the rocks. One person has to own and accept responsibility for the completion and correctness of a project.

Lead, follow, or stay out of the way. If you are lucky enough to hire someone who is competent, try and stay out of the way and let them do their job.

Repeat: Does Anyone (Carpenters, laborers, helpers, contractors) Really Want to Work Rebuilding New Jersey?  Atlantic Northeast Construction is running 6 RREM crews for elevation work and 3 crews for new home construction and we’re constantly hiring (and firing!!) at least 2 new people a week. We’re one of the best builders out there (we pay promptly and are very honest) and always have room on our team for the right people, but good people are 1 in 10 at best. If you are competent and positive and looking for work or know someone who is, give them my email or phone number and have them call me.

Note: If you are looking for a part time job for which you will not show up, DON’T CALL US.

New Townhome Announcements: Some great news for Sandsters on the new home front – we’re planning a 75 town home waterfront community locally which will open at the end of 2017 and be very affordably priced.

Facebook: Please visit us and like us on Facebook!

Dream Homes – New satellite office – 2818 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant:

Dream Homes has been so busy in the Point, Brick, Manasquan area in the last year that we recently opened a branch office for client service, sales and construction at 2818 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant. You are welcome to bring your surveys, plans and paperwork to that location if it’s easier than scanning, faxing or bringing documents to our main office on Rt. 9 in Forked River. Please call us for hours if you want to visit this location.

Contingency funds vs. Design scope funding:

I’ve written and spoken extensively about this item but Sandsters are continually confused about it, so I’ve started to include it below in the glossary of definitions which is a part of each blog. See below for more information.

Tip – Follow the Nearly Famous Blog: If you don’t want to miss any of my blogs, go the blog and “follow” it directly. Some times I don’t send email alerts when I blog. If you “follow” the blog you will get an email reminder whenever I post. We’re also on Facebook if you want to Friend us or post a comment.

Stop FEMA Now Association: We’re a proud sponsor of Stop Fema Now  which is an excellent organization trying to save and protect NJ Sandsters (as well as other states) from FEMA tyranny. To get involved and either donate or volunteer your time to this worthy effort, please visit their web site, which is www.stopfemanow.com

New development: Dream Homes Mobile Web Site is now Live!

You can now log onto www.dreamhomesltd.com from your mobile device and see a mobile site tailored to a smaller screen.

Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project:

Lowest adjacent grade (LAG): This is an important elevation since the lowest point in your crawl space has to be even or above the LAG. That is important because even if you don’t want your crawl filled that much (so you have more storage space) you will not pass final zoning / final building if this condition is not met. LAG is defined as the lowest grade immediately next to your house. There can easily be a foot or more difference between one side and the other, or back to front, so if you wish to use the least amount of fill (maximizing room in the crawl) make sure you find the lowest adjacent elevation.

Elevation: Elevation refers to “height above sea level” and not the height above grade at the house or distance the house is being elevated. It’s easy to make a mistake with these descriptions and it causes much confusion. Example: If you are raising your home to elevation 11, your finished floor is 6 and your grade is 4.5, you are raising your house 5’ to elevation 11, or 6.5’ above grade. When you use the expression “elevating my home 5 feet” that means you are lifting it 5’ from where it is now. The expression “building or raising the home to elevation 11” refers to the height above sea level, not the distance you are lifting.

Footprint: A building “footprint” is defined as the disturbed area of the lowest level including the garage.

Ex: a 1200 square foot ranch with a 240 square foot deck has a footprint of 1440 square feet.

Survey: An exact depiction of what exists on your lot, from a top view.

Plot plan: A top view of what you are proposing to build, including new heights, stairs, entries, decks, etc.

They are not the same and you will need both for your project.

HVAC Elevation height in crawl space: This must be considered when planning your lift. This is the elevation of the lowest duct, furnace or air handler in your crawl space. Most townships require a minimum elevation of base flood, some townships have no restriction, and some are at minimum BF + 1 to the bottom.

Design scope: These costs are defined as architectural and engineering fees, all survey costs (survey, plot plan, foundation as built, flood elevation certificate and final survey), soil boring & geotechnical costs, cribbing diagrams, permit fees, soil conservation design, and wind load calculations.

Please note – you do not get $15,000 in cash to spend on your design scope. You get up to $15,000, depending on what your actual costs are.   So if your design costs are $9,200 you get $9,200. If they are $14,000, you get $14,000. If they are $16,600, you get $15,000. The balance of any remaining money in the $15,000 design scope budget does not go back into your grant and you don’t get to keep the extra cash.  

If you signed your grant prior to October 1, 2014, you are not eligible for the extra $15,000 in design scope funding. Note: I have seen a number of clients kick, scream & please enough to have the $15,000 added to their grant, even though they had signed before 10/1/14, but that is not the policy.

Contingency costs: This item is part of your grant package and is designed to provide for unforeseen events or conditions that must be corrected in order to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) and finish your project.

These are not mistakes, omissions or errors on your part, your builder’s part or the design professional that did the plans. Rather they are items that are not knowable or evident in the actual structure until it is elevated, or the result of one of the shore townships deciding arbitrarily to change, invent or augment the existing building code. These items include (but are definitely not limited to) rotten or termite infested sheathing, wall studs or sill plates, twisted, broken or rotten girders, site conditions or changes needed to comply with current codes which were not in place when the house is built, upgrades to water pits or valves required by the MUA, installation of hard wired smoke & CO2 detectors, installation of condensate lines to the exterior from the dryer, and about 50 other items that we’ve encountered. These items should be itemized by your builder in a separate sheet and submitted to RREM. 95% of the time you will be reimbursed.

There is not a monetary limit to this contingency, although it is generally 5% – 10% of the grant amount.

The contingency does not come out of your grant award.

You Tube Link to a Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar: If you’ve missed our seminars and can’t easily attend, here is a link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVI69KoM8DRXqoEblHd94xg

It is not edited and is about 2 hours so feel free to fast forward and skip around to watch what you like and need to know.

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 or not you are Dream Homes/Atlantic Northeast Construction 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 to help Sandsters, Dream Homes Ltd. and Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We actually elevate & move homes, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build new neighborhoods. In the past 23 years, we’ve having completed over 1500 new homes, 125 elevation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 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 it helps you move forward. As always, call or write with any question

Good luck and good building!

Regards,

Vince

Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

New Home Builder #045894

Home Improvement Contractor #13VH07489000

PO Box 627

Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802

Cell: 732 300 5619

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog:http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: #foxbuilder

Foundation systems · House raising and Moving · Monmouth & Atlantic County · Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar · New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean · New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County · New homes and elevations in Monmouth County · New Homes and elevations in Ocean County · Pilings · Pilings · Pilings · Pilings - Helical versus timber · Rebuilding · Rebuilding, House raising and Moving, Pilings, Renovations · Renovations · RREM Path B · RREM Seminars

Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – 12-5-15 – January Event Schedule – The Incompetence of Bricktown – New FEMA LIMWA Regs – Common Courtesy – Avoiding Paralysis Through Analysis

Hello Sandsters –

I hope this blog finds you doing well and enjoying your Sunday.

In today’s blog, I’ll talk again about the change in the codes for Coastal A zones, since that’s a hot topic which is affecting many people. We’ll talk about Brick Township and their continued incompetence and refusal to move forward in a meaningful way with rebuilding. We’ll try and touch on helical piles and 2 different methods of using them in your foundation but that probably will happen in the next blog. We’ll post a repeat of the Paralysis through Analysis section and try to encourage you to get past mental stumbling blocks. We’ll remind you to be considerate of others during your rebuilding efforts. Finally we’ll list 2 upcoming events, including our next Rebuilding Seminar as well as the NJ Home Show, both in Toms River in January.

Zone Change and Acting Quickly: We’ve said it in the last 3 blogs and I’ll probably repeat it until 3/1/16. If you’re in the Coastal A zone and thinking about when to move forward you should get started now to save yourself a significant amount of money. Get your permits (either obtained, or at least submitted, depending on your paranoia level) before 3/15/16 or else you’ll be forced to raise your house on pilings, as opposed to being permitted to raise on concrete block.

This is an important issue, which will hit many Sandsters in the pocketbook if they are not aware.

These new UCC updates are in effect now, but we are within the 6 month grace period. They are scheduled to be mandatorily implemented on 3/15/16, but if you have your permits submitted by that time you are grandfathered and not subject to the new requirements.

What that means in English is that if you are in a Coastal A zone, you will not be allowed to build or elevate on concrete block, but will have to use a deep foundation system such as pilings. 

The update to the UCC (uniform construction code) says that all homes in the Coastal A zone will now have to adhere to V zone construction standards. Until now, this has been a voluntary choice, as opposed to a requirement.

Some additional notes from our last Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar:

  1. If you do pour a slab under the house, it can’t be reinforced, or tied into the pilings or foundation
  2. There is now a $250 surcharge on insurance for second homes
  3. 2”x4” exterior walls are no longer allowed – minimum 2” x 6”, with R-19 vs R13 insulation.
  4. When moving a house into the street, you must leave a minimum of 18’ clear traffic way
  5. You will be able to build a maximum of 300 sq ft in the flood area below the house before your flood insurance is affected. You can enclose a greater space but expect to pay a higher insurance premium.
  6. Everything on the first level is considered “sacrificial” which means FEMA won’t pay for it.
  7. Breakaway walls are required beneath the flood plain.

As always, if you can move your house and demolish your foundation, you can drive timber piles for your foundation structure. If you don’t have room to move your house, either on or off your property, you will now be forced to use helical piles as a foundation structure. Your costs will increase substantially.

Again, see the 11-8-15 Rebuilding Blog for more detailed information.

As always, call 732 300 5619 or email me at vince@dreamhomesltd.com with any questions.

Upcoming January Events – Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar – Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 & NJ Home Show – January 22-24 at the Ritacco Center in Toms River:

Our next Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar will be held on Wednesday January 13, 2016 at 6 pm at the Tuscany Bar & Grill restaurant in Toms River, across from the Ocean County mall on Hooper Avenue. It’s a great way to start the New Year and get ready for your project to start in the spring. As we have been doing, we’ll focus on Sandsters that are early in the process, and have not completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect. We’ll offer engineering & architectural design advice, RREM guidance at the initial stages, and information about choosing the right builder or contractor. We’ll be in the Fire Room, which is a great indoor/ outdoor space with a fire pit in the center.

If you haven’t been to a seminar in this space, try and make it. It’s a room that’s great for conversation and discussion. This time, we’ll have Tim Ferguson from Hale Built House Lifting, as well as Kathy Dotoli, Esq., Scott Lepley, architect, and me.

Exhibit Schedule: We’ll also be exhibiting at the NJ Home Show on January 22-24 at the Ritacco Center in Toms River. This is a great opportunity to meet our professional team, since there will be plenty of time for discussion specific to your project. We’ll be scheduling appointments throughout the show so give us a call and bring your plans and surveys for comments and suggestions.

Consideration & Common Courtesy: It’s always been an occupational hazard in any professional service business to complete estimates for potential clients, only to find that you weren’t being seriously considered for the work. I thought I would write a few sentences about this topic, since many (most?) people aren’t aware of the costs and details of preparing a real estimate.

On average, it takes no less than 3 hours to complete a detailed, accurate estimate and costs in the neighborhood of $200 – $250. This includes a visit to the site, as well as several hours studying plans, surveys, borings and other information. As I said, many people are not aware of this, and might behave differently if they were. So here are some notes to Sandsters who care about being considerate of their fellow man. Out of courtesy, if you have chosen a builder or contractor, and just want to verify that your project is priced correctly, tell the other builder or contractor that fact and ask for a courtesy consult. Most people in any professional service are glad to give you an opinion on the proposal you are considering in the hope that you will consider them in the future. A pricing opinion takes 10 minutes, versus the 3 hours that an estimate entails. The other thing you are accomplishing by being honest with the contractor you are considering, is that he or she will be able to properly devote time to people who really need construction services and haven’t chosen a builder. Treating people how you would like to be treated is a decent thing to do, and gives other people who are trying to get estimates the chance to receive those estimates.

Likewise, if you have received 3 or more estimates, and are still speaking with other people, out of fairness, make sure you share this information with your next potential builder. I will always ask, “What has held you back from finalizing an agreement with these other people?” If there is a legitimate reason for not proceeding with another contractor (often there is), we will estimate the project. If not, we’ll usually pass. We don’t need practice doing estimates – since we don’t charge for estimates and they are involved, we try to focus on Sandsters who really need our services.

Building Departments & Zoning issues – Brick Township Consistently the Worst!!:  I’ve written about this issue so often, it should be its own blog.

I have decided that I am now going to devote my life to exposing Bricktown as the incompetent progress averse group of folks they are and campaigning for change in the process. Question for Brick – are you folks splitting the atom or just reviewing building permits so we can rebuild our homes? Do you have to look on the Holy Face of God for inspiration or simply review our applications to make sure we’re at least one foot above base flood elevation?

For me to call out these townships is a strong statement – for them to continually delay this process is absolutely unconscionable.

Brick has no concern with expediting the rebuilding process – their only concern is protecting their jobs and not getting the state inspectors mad at them. Truth.

As a note, I am not that guy – I am always polite, pleasant, courteous and give people, companies and townships (too much!!) the benefit of the doubt. I don’t want to grandstand – I like to be left alone to do my work. I’m done with that nonsense, where building departments are concerned. It’s getting me nowhere. Nothing is changing.

As a suggestion, I have a lazy, incompetent Chihuahua who could do a fine job staying out of the way of people who are actually doing productive work. He needs no benefits and will work for table scraps and a dog bed in each room.

After wasting the time last year to meet with the Joanne Bergin the Business Administrator, Township Engineer and Dan Newman, the building inspector, and seeing no substantive change in process or procedure, we will now devote our efforts to direct communications and complaints to the DCA, Mayor Ducey, the Lieutenant Governor of NJ and all of the local papers. If Brick’s position is to blame the state for the fact that building permits can’t be issued in a timely fashion, let’s get the DCA involved to see if that’s the case. Let’s ask Lt.  Governor Kim Guadagno to explore the matter (our fine Governor is off somewhere diligently losing the presidential primary and ignoring NJ) and bring some resolution.

I am now convinced that building departments in the Sandy affected towns of Brick and Toms River are the single largest cause of delay in rebuilding. Period. End of analysis. It’s not the building process – it’s the permit and inspection process that’s slowing everything down. I welcome intelligent dispute from anyone with knowledge to the contrary.

Let’s all say it together – the LAW in the State of New Jersey  is that all building permits will be approved or denied within 21 calendar days or submission and building inspections shall occur within 72 hours of being called in and accepted. Permits are supposed to be approved or denied within 21 days – not 4 months.

Just to clarify in case you were watching a Seinfeld rerun, that’s not my opinion, that’s the law.

It’s not arbitrary, subjective, or subject to interpretation. It’s also quite easy to understand, assuming you have access to a calendar and can do basic math.

Next time you’re caught speeding, explain to the fine officer that your township has been Sandy affected and therefore you are not subject to the same strictures as the rest of the common folks. Let me know how that works out for you.

Think I’m annoyed? You bet I am. You should be also.

Let’s all start picking up the phone and calling the DCA (Department of Community Affairs) when our permits are held up. We’re paying our towns for permits and inspections – we should receive the service we are entitled to.

How many other projects are being unnecessarily delayed because of bureaucratic nonsense? If you are being delayed, call the building department every single day and complain. After they ignore you a sufficient number of times, call the DCA and complain. Eventually something will change. Heck, most of the ridiculous RREM policies were changed after enough people yelled and screamed about them (and I wrote incessantly in this blog.)

Grrrrr…..isn’t this process difficult enough? Shouldn’t building departments be working with us and not against us? Isn’t it in everyone’s best interests to move the process along? How are the tax ratables going to be restored to pre-Sandy levels if building is delayed because permits and inspections take twice as long as they should? We have 32,000 houses to rebuild and last year we pulled 1200 permits. At this rate, I’ll be collecting social security before we get close to finishing.

Sandsters are getting really tired of being treated like we’re  an annoyance. We’re paying their salaries and it’s time they started realizing that – and high time we started reminding them quite loudly

Dream Homes – New satellite office – 2818 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant:

Dream Homes has been so busy in the Point, Brick, Manasquan area in the last year that we recently opened a branch office for client service, sales and construction at 2818 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant. We’re still in the process of fitting out the front reception area, but you are welcome to bring your surveys, plans and paperwork to that location if it’s easier than scanning, faxing or bringing documents to our main office on Rt. 9 in Forked River. Please call us for hours if you want to visit this location.

Paralysis through Analysis – Stepping Over Dollars to Pick up Pennies: Part II: This is a partial repeat from last week, and previous blogs. If you have been waiting for a long time to get started and aren’t exactly sure of the reason, this section deserves your review and consideration.

Simply put, don’t worry so much about getting it perfect, because you might not ever get it done. 99.44% of the time, “good enough” is more than good enough and not proceeding with a “good enough” solution will eventually yield you less of a result than just getting started with a good enough solution and adjusting as you go along.

We’re overloaded with information and that has caused us to fear that a “better, stronger, faster, cheaper, smarter” solution is another click, conversation or estimate away. That mind set can cause one to spend 2.5 years evaluating a 100 day project. That’s the issue that Sandsters who are stuck need to focus upon to move forward on their project.

“Ready, Fire, Aim” is another way of looking at it. Shoot, adjust your aim, shoot again, adjust for conditions, shoot again. The first shot isn’t perfect, but you are moving forward and adapting as you go.

A good point to remember is that there are a number of correct solutions or courses of action in any multi-variable chaos equation, such as a home elevation project. The chances are that your choice is just fine, although inevitably in life, the grass is greener somewhere.

The point is not just to behave foolishly and not think at all about what you are doing, but rather to achieve a

balance somewhere between thoughtful consideration and the analysis required for astrophysical theory. That will enable you to pull the trigger and get started, with the understanding and knowledge that you will constantly adjust to changing conditions as you move through your project.

If you wait to achieve “perfection”, you will never begin.

RREM Update – Detailed ECR (estimated cost of repair) with pricing: From the 10-23-15 Blog…If you haven’t received this from your PM, ask for it. Go back and check the 11/1/15 blog for detail.

Design work and timing: Winter 2015, Weather Delays & Pouring concrete in the winter: At this point, if you have submitted or are submitting plans to your local building department, you will be lifting in late January or early February. Depending on what type of foundation you are using, you may encounter slight delays due to extreme cold.

For some additional notes on building in the winter review some of the blogs last year, where we spoke about pouring concrete in the colder weather. With the addition of calcium hydroxide (anti-freeze), you can pour concrete as long as the temperature is 25 degrees and rising. Here in NJ that generally takes us into January, at which time the weather can be hit or miss until mid-March.

Contingency funds vs. Design scope funding:

I’ve written and spoken extensively about this item but Sandsters are continually confused about it, so I’ve started to include it below in the glossary of definitions which is a part of each blog. See below for more information.

Tip – Follow the Nearly Famous Blog: If you don’t want to miss any of my blogs, go the blog and “follow” it. Some times I don’t send email alerts when I blog. If you “follow” the blog you will get an email reminder whenever I post. We’re also on Facebook if you want to Friend us or post a comment.

Stop FEMA Now Association: We’re now a proud sponsor of Stop Fema Now  which is an excellent organization trying to save and protect NJ Sandsters (as well as other states) from FEMA tyranny. To get involved and either donate or volunteer your time to this worthy effort, please visit their web site, which is www.stopfemanow.com

New development: Dream Homes Mobile Web Site is now Live!

You can now log onto www.dreamhomesltd.com from your mobile device and see a mobile site tailored to a smaller screen.

Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project:

Lowest adjacent grade (LAG): This is an important elevation since the lowest point in your crawl space has to be even or above the LAG. That is important because even if you don’t want your crawl filled that much (so you have more storage space) you will not pass final zoning / final building if this condition is not met. LAG is defined as the lowest grade immediately next to your house. There can easily be a foot or more difference between one side and the other, or back to front, so if you wish to use the least amount of fill (maximizing room in the crawl) make sure you find the lowest adjacent elevation.

Elevation: Elevation refers to “height above sea level” and not the height above grade at the house or distance the house is being elevated. It’s easy to make a mistake with these descriptions and it causes much confusion. Example: If you are raising your home to elevation 11, your finished floor is 6 and your grade is 4.5, you are raising your house 5’ to elevation 11, or 6.5’ above grade. When you use the expression “elevating my home 5 feet” that means you are lifting it 5’ from where it is now. The expression “building or raising the home to elevation 11” refers to the height above sea level, not the distance you are lifting.

Footprint: A building “footprint” is defined as the disturbed area of the lowest level including the garage.

Ex: a 1200 square foot ranch with a 240 square foot deck has a footprint of 1440 square feet.

Survey: An exact depiction of what exists on your lot, from a top view.

Plot plan: A top view of what you are proposing to build, including new heights, stairs, entries, decks, etc.

They are not the same and you will need both for your project.

HVAC Elevation height in crawl space: This must be considered when planning your lift. This is the elevation of the lowest duct, furnace or air handler in your crawl space. Most townships require a minimum elevation of base flood, some townships have no restriction, and some are at minimum BF + 1 to the bottom.

Design scope: These costs are defined as architectural and engineering fees, all survey costs (survey, plot plan, foundation as built, flood elevation certificate and final survey), soil boring & geotechnical costs, cribbing diagrams, permit fees, soil conservation design, and wind load calculations.

Please note – you do not get $15,000 in cash to spend on your design scope. You get up to $15,000, depending on what your actual costs are.   So if your design costs are $9,200 you get $9,200. If they are $14,000, you get $14,000. If they are $16,600, you get $15,000. The balance of any remaining money in the $15,000 design scope budget does not go back into your grant and you don’t get to keep the extra cash.  

If you signed your grant prior to October 1, 2014, you are not eligible for the extra $15,000 in design scope funding. Note: I have seen a number of clients kick, scream & please enough to have the $15,000 added to their grant, even though they had signed before 10/1/14, but that is not the policy.

Contingency costs: This item is part of your grant package and is designed to provide for unforeseen events or conditions that must be corrected in order to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) and finish your project.

These are not mistakes, omissions or errors on your part, your builder’s part or the design professional that did the plans. Rather they are items that are not knowable or evident in the actual structure until it is elevated, or the result of one of the shore townships deciding arbitrarily to change, invent or augment the existing building code. These items include (but are definitely not limited to) rotten or termite infested sheathing, wall studs or sill plates, twisted, broken or rotten girders, site conditions or changes needed to comply with current codes which were not in place when the house is built, upgrades to water pits or valves required by the MUA, installation of hard wired smoke & CO2 detectors, installation of condensate lines to the exterior from the dryer, and about 50 other items that we’ve encountered. These items should be itemized by your builder in a separate sheet and submitted to RREM. 95% of the time you will be reimbursed.

There is not a monetary limit to this contingency, although it is generally 5% – 10% of the grant amount.

The contingency does not come out of your grant award.

You Tube Link to a Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar: If you’ve missed our seminars and can’t easily attend, here is a link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVI69KoM8DRXqoEblHd94xg

It is not edited and is about 2 hours so feel free to fast forward and skip around to watch what you like and need to know.

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 or not you are Dream Homes/Atlantic Northeast Construction 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 to help Sandsters, Dream Homes Ltd. and Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We actually do all of the work that I talk about in the blog. We work with private clients and 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 it helps you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

Stay well.

Regards,

Vince

Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

New Home Builder #045894

Home Improvement Contractor #13VH07489000

PO Box 627

Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802

Cell: 732 300 5619

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog:http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: #foxbuilder

Calendar of Events – Join Us: Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar, 6 PM January 13, 2016 at Tuscan House in Toms River.

NJ Home Show – January 22-24, 2016 at the Ritacco Center in Toms River.

Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog · House raising and Moving · Monmouth & Atlantic County · Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar · New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean · New Homes and elevations in Ocean County · Pilings · Pilings · Pilings - Helical versus timber · Rebuilding · Renovations · Renovations · RREM Path B · RREM Seminars

Dream Homes Ltd – Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – 10-2-15 – The Calm Before The Storm, Should You Be Concerned and What Can You Do?

Hello Sandsters –

Hope all is well.

It has been a while since I’ve written but I wanted to pen just a few words today about the impending storm, the chance that it might be another Storm Sandy and preparations you are still be able to make in the next few days before the storm is supposed to hit our area. 

To begin, no one knows much of anything for sure except that we’ll be getting lots of rain. Keeping your windows closed, using an umbrella and wearing a hat are good precautions against that situation.

There are 14 out of 20 predictive models saying the storm will veer east somewhere near Virginia / Maryland, so rain might be the extent of our issues up here at the Jersey Shore. An excellent idea for your sanity is to stop drinking the Weather Disaster Kool Aid until there is something concrete to consider.

In other words, the mass hysteria gripping the Jersey shore may be all for naught. It’s not quite time to evacuate although it might not be a bad idea to get some gas for the generator and stock up on those tasty breakfast sandwiches from Wawa.

That being said, if your house is currently up in the air, there’s not really much that can be done to prevent storm damage, other than doing what we usually do, which is saying quiet prayers. It’s a bit unnerving seeing a house in the air, but the chance of a house falling or becoming dislodged from the cribbing structure is extremely small. Keep in mind that the average home weighs 40 + tons, so there is a tremendous amount of weight concentrated on the temporary support structure holding it down. It is very unlikely to shift unless one of the crib stacks is undermined in some way. If there is a trench dug within 2 feet of a cribbing stack which will allow water to flow and erode the ground, that could potentially be an issue, but otherwise if the house was correctly braced in the first place, rain and modest wind will not affect it adversely.

If there is a trench for a concrete footing or other reason, simply make sure the water has no place to run and just fills the trench, so there is no chance of erosion. Unless there is an earthquake (highly unlikely in central and southern New Jersey) or winds in excess of 100 mph (a Category 2 hurricane, which is also extremely unlikely), as long as there is no chance of the cribbing eroding or collapsing, your house should be fine.

However, there is still a risk of damage from wind-borne debris, which can do much greater harm than anything else. The most sensible precaution is to secure any loose objects around your property. We spent the day doing this and will continue tomorrow on all of our projects. This list includes lawn furniture, pieces of wood or plywood, general debris and small watercraft like kayaks, paddleboards, canoes and their associated stuff (paddles, oars, floats, etc). Even winds of 50 mph, which is 16 mph less than a Category 1 hurricane, can be dangerous if loose items become airborne. Keep in mind that the single largest risk during a storm event is the house envelope being penetrated and water and wind being able to come in. If the windows, walls and roof are not breached during a storm, there is little chance of a catastrophic structural failure.

Sandsters, I hope this helps calm some nerves and I wish you good luck. Statistically, the odds are that there will be no significant storm event and we will all be fine, although possibly a little soggy from the rain. 

If we can help in anyway or answer any questions, please don’t hesitate to call, text or email.

Take care and stay well Sandsters. 

Vince

Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Licensed NJ New Home Builder &

Home Improvement Contractor

PO Box 627

Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802

Cell: 732 300 5619

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog:http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: foxbuilder