Dream Homes Ltd. Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog –
Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC
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Hello Sandsters and I hope this good weather finds you well and your project is moving along faster than fleeting snails…or RREM Path C…:):)
Today we’ll try once again (have you heard this before?) to be brief, but make no promises. It’s the middle of the day and I am forced to be focused, so we’ll see.
Items we’ll be talking about today include our Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar tomorrow in Egg Harbor Township, an important clarification about Realtors, more on scheduling inspections and delays, a You Tube link to our last seminar, and RREM Path B & C comments.
Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar Schedule: Our next seminar is tomorrow, Thursday, April 24th, at the Egg Harbor township branch of the Atlantic County Library from 5-8. The library is located at 1 Swift Avenue, which is on the corner of Swift and Ocean Heights Avenue (Rt. 559) in Egg Harbor. The library is located next to the Board of Education.
We’ll host Andrew Baumgardner from Baumgardner House Lifting, Kathleen Dotoli, attorney and Evan Hill PE from Dewberry Engineering. We will also have Steve Brasslett from Ivy First Hope Bank back on our schedule with great financing ideas for you.
If you haven’t signed up for tomorrow’s seminar, give me a call or an email since I hate to run out of cookies (and seminar brochures).
Sandsters from AC, Brigantine, Margate, Ventnor and Egg Harbor Township – this is our first seminar in Atlantic County, so try and attend if possible. Remember to bring your surveys, flood elevation certificates and any other documents if you have them and haven’t already sent them to me.
Clarification and retraction from a previous blog, about Realtors: I try to be very fair in my writing, presenting both the positive and negative aspects of the topics I write about. Several blogs ago I offered some cautionary advice regarding dealing with real estate realtors and brokers. Several Sandsters called me, (nicely) lowered a house on my head and informed me that though my intent may have been good, the blog actually presented realtors in a poor light.
I reread the blog, and they were right. Sometimes I’m under the gun and don’t reread the blogs enough before I publish them. I apologize to all the decent realtors out there working to put people in new homes or sell their old ones. I work with a number of realtors up and down the shore and clients are referred both ways between us. My intention was not to disparage realtors as a group, but to warn against unscrupulous practice by a very few people.
That being said, my caution was borne from trying to protect a client that I am currently working with who is elderly, and who was represented very poorly and completely taken advantage of by a broker on the Seaside barrier island. The broker had the client signed a dual agency agreement, did not put the property on the MLS, did no advertising and charged a full price 6% commission. To make matters worse the new waterfront house was listed at $700,000 and the broker brought one buyer at $620,000 and told the seller they were lucky to get that amount, that other properties were not selling for anywhere close to this amount and pressured them into signing a contract. All of their statements were untrue and their behavior was unscrupulous. I was incensed (still am!) and was motivated to write about it.
I know that any Sandster reading this blog would not have dealt with a client in this manner and that is something I should have clarified. My sincere apologies to all the decent realtors out there – many of whom I work with regularly. I know it would have bothered you also. I truly meant no offense to the profession.
Anyway, 90% of the professionals practicing any trade are decent and make the effort to be competent. 10% are not. In fairness, there are most probably a greater number of unscrupulous builders than there are realtors. Contractors have come from all over and become instant “Licensed NJ builders” and there is definitely incompetence and predatory practice. I regularly warn Sandsters about being careful selecting a builder. It is actually much easier to find a good realtor…:):)
Construction tip for the day: Be on site for your critical inspections, no matter how inconvenient it is. We failed a footing inspection because some dirt had fallen in to the exposed footing from 6 pm the night before when I had checked it. If someone was there to talk to the inspector, they could have taken the 4.5 minutes necessary to use a teaspoon and clean it up, and we could have been pouring concrete. The moral of the story? If it is a critical path item (you can’t proceed without passing go and collecting $200), make sure someone is there with Wawa breakfast sandwiches for the inspector…:)
Construction tip for the day: Repeat: Many towns are encouraging us to schedule inspections in anticipation of work being done by a certain date, as opposed to requiring that work be complete prior to calling in an inspection. This is a really helpful tool to use to manage a construction schedule and is good for both builders and inspectors. Important note: If you are not ready for your inspection, make sure you call and reschedule it so the inspector doesn’t waste a trip.
May Seminar Schedule: We have a busy schedule for May, starting with a special seminar on Wednesday May 14th at the Riviera Bay Beach Club at 203 Bay Stream Drive in Toms River. It starts at 6 pm and I am looking forward to meeting a bunch of nice people and helping clarify the rebuilding process. Call or email to reserve a spot.
You Tube Link to the last Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar: A little late to the game, but 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.
Searching the Rebuilding Blog: One of the (few) nice things about WordPress is the Search function. You don’t need to read every blog to find what you want – simply enter a key word and it will take you to blogs where the subject you are interested in is discussed.(Private Note to Sandsters who are WordPress experts: I find WP very difficult to navigate and only use about 2% of the functionality. Any helpful tips would be greatly appreciated and will earn you a discount on your rebuilding project! JJ)
Time frame – repeat: Our complete elevation projects are consistently running in the 5-8 week range. This is because of careful scheduling and planning and is not accidental. I told someone recently that when the building permit is picked up, it’s like flipping a switch and suddenly moving at 100 miles an hour until the project is complete. There is no downtime and if you slow down or stop, it is not a good thing at all.
Reminder – Sad but True: The design stage (surveying, soil boring and geotechnical analysis, foundation inspection and design, architectural design, utility disconnects and plan submission and approval) takes as long or longer than the actual construction stage, so get started on design as soon as possible and be ready to start construction when you want to.
Rule of Thumb: An average, realistic time estimate for your entire elevation project from contract signing to certificate of occupancy is about 4 months – 2 months for design and permitting and 2 months to finish the project. For new homes including demolition, figure an extra month or so.
Reminder – you can switch from Path C (RREM manages the project) to Path B (you manage your contractor and project), but once you switch, you cannot switch back to C. I am averaging one new client a week who is fed up with Path C and switching to Path B.
Important Note worth repeating: If anyone tells you they are 100% certain what type of foundation you will need without a soil boring and/or geotechnical analysis, they are lying or misinformed. It is reasonable to have several options for a foundation system presented in an initial estimate (I use my experience and give my best evaluation when I see each home, and am right about 80% of the time)…but the final foundation design and cost will be determined by your soil boring.
Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. You don’t need to wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point or two. The same goes for those of you under construction. Whether or not you are Dream Homes/Atlantic Northeast Construction client or not, I will always try and help you or guide you in the right direction.
If you’ve sent me email or left a voice mail and have not received a response within a day or so, please try and contact me again.
Note to Sandsters: Though I began and continue to write this blog primarily to help as many Sandsters as possible, Dream Homes Ltd. is a new home builder and general contractor who actively does renovation and reconstruction projects up and down the shore. We actually are doing all of the work that I talk about in the blog. We work with private clients and Path B and C in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for an estimate on your rebuilding project.
Hope this helps. As always, call or write with any questions.
Stay well Sandsters.
Dream Homes Ltd.
Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC
Licensed NJ New Home Builder License# 045894
Licensed NJ Home Improvement Contractor License# 13VH07489000
PO Box 627 Forked River, NJ 08731
Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802
Cell: 732 300 5619