New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County

Dream Homes Blog 4-23-13 – Rebuilding after Sandy – 13 Key Steps to Rebuilding

            Getting Started – 13 Key Steps to Rebuilding


Greetings NJ –

Hopefully this post finds you doing well.

Today we will focus on 13 steps you can take immediately to help you move forward with rebuilding your home. Recently, I’ve been talking to a lot of people that are confused about how to get started. Whether you choose to hire a consultant or undertake the project alone, it can be a daunting prospect. No matter how much information is out there and available for contemplation, sometimes it’s hard to focus on what’s important or relevant to your situation.

Remember – FREE Rebuilding after Sandy Seminar this Thursday 4/25/13 at 2:30 at Kate & Ally’s Restaurant in Forked River. We’re hosting an architect (Scott Lepley), realtor (Tracey Giery), attorney (Sandra Guage), mortgage professional (Steve Brasslett, Ivy First Mortgage) and myself (Vince Simonelli, Dream Homes Ltd., builder) It’ll be an open forum for discussion so come get specific questions answered – bring your surveys and flood elevation certificates. Seating is limited and refreshments will be served. Call 732 300 5619 to reserve your space.

The first step in the rebuilding process is definitely a mental one. In general, you have to decide whether you are staying where you are or moving. Once you make that critical decision, you can start moving forward. 

Though each one of these steps is comprised of a number of details, they are all critical and necessary, regardless of whether you are a brave soul and decide to manage your own project, or retain a consultant to assist you with the process.

13 Key Steps – How to Get Started

  • Retain a consultant (recommended) or read this Blog really carefully and perform the following steps yourself.
  • Find or order a current Flood Elevation Certificate for your house
  • Find or order a current survey
  • Determine how high you need to elevate your home. Remember, the minimum is BFE + 2 (Base Flood Elevation + 2 feet) although we are recommending BFE + 3 or BFE + 4.*  Example – A Zone: If you are currently at a finished floor elevation of 6 in an A zone, and your new BFE is A 10, you will need to lift your house at least 6 feet to achieve BFE +2.  Example – V Zone: If you are currently at a finished floor elevation of 6 in a V zone, and your new BFE is V10, you will need to lift your house at least 8 feet to achieve BFE +2. ** A useful resource is always .
  • Do a feasibility/cost analysis of lifting your home versus demolishing and      rebuilding new. Get a proposal for demolishing your existing home and building a new home and compare with the cost of lifting and rebuilding your home. Note: If you are in a V zone now and were in an A zone, are on a slab and your home is over 15 years old, this option should be a serious consideration.
  • If you decide to lift, and are in an A zone, order a Soil Boring/Compaction Test to determine the structural capacity of your ground.
  • If you decide to lift, and are in an A zone, order an architectural or engineering study of your existing foundation (unless you are demolishing it and building new).     
  • If you are in a V zone, order a piling plan from an architect or structural engineer for your new elevated home to rest upon once it is lifted.
  • If you are choosing  to lift your slab home, commission an architect to design a new floor system. Remember – your house has a concrete floor which will not exist when it is raised.
  • Make a claim to your insurance company for ICC (Increased Cost of Compliance) money
  • Get written proposals for raising/moving/demolishing your home and (if you are doing your own general contracting) have a professional (architect, engineer, builder) review it.
  • Begin filing permits to start your rebuilding project.
  • Stock up on ibuprofen and antacid and keep in mind that the process won’t last      forever.

* Currently, the lowest flood insurance rates are for construction at BFE + 3, although FEMA and NJ recommend BFE+2. I recommend BFE+4 to allow for the vagaries of future FEMA decisions.

** In an A zone, BFE is measured to the top of the finished floor. In a V zone, BFE is measured to the bottom of the lowest structural member of the house.

To make the rebuilding process work, you will need a professional team, whether you are the one to manage them, or you have a consultant do so. You cannot complete the process without this team. You, or a competent consultant, will have to actively manage your professional team, which will consist of some or all of the following members: architect, engineer, flood insurance advisor, attorney, real estate professional, financial solution provider, and builder or project manager.

As I’ve stressed repeatedly in the past, although the process is similar in all cases, everyone’s specific circumstances are different. Every homeowner who has been affected by Sandy is in the situation of being displaced or inconvenienced, but each person has unique needs for their home. There is no one solution for everyone. Working with a good checklist will help you clarify your actions going forward.

I hope this helps you…if you use it, a good checklist is worth its weight in gold.

On another note, we actively purchase raw land, building lots and existing properties and have done so for many years. If you have property to sell, give me a call and let us evaluate it for you.

Stay well NJ.


Rebuild, Renovate, Raise or Repair Your Home from Storm Sandy

Rebuilding NJ One Home at a Time…

Residential Construction & Development for over 20 years in NJ

314 Rt.9, Forked River, NJ 08731 Mailing: PO Box 627, Forked River, NJ 08731

609 693 8881 x 102 Fax: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619



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