New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County

Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – 6-7-14 – Huge Changes to RREM Path C & B, Foundation treatments, Rebuilding Seminar Thursday 6/12/14, RREM Path A scandal,

Dream Homes Ltd. Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog –

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

6 – 7 -14

Happy Sunday Sandsters and I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful weekend.

Today’s blog will talk about some very important changes to RREM, particularly concerning Path B & C. We’ll talk about the scandal that is RREM Path A, some aesthetic considerations for your raised house and discuss errors in your project and how to deal with them. We talk more today about construction that we have recently, since we’ve been (unfortunately) focused heavily on RREM. We also include a mention about our upcoming Nearly Famous Seminar this Thursday in Bricktown, which is rapidly filling up.

Next Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar Date – This Thursday – 6/12/14, 6 PM Bricktown: Our next Nearly Famous Seminar will be held at the Bricktown branch of the Ocean County Library this Thursday June 12, from 6-8 PM. The library is located at 301 Chambers Bridge Road in Bricktown. Come get current RREM / HMGP information and have your questions answered. Our professional panel includes Evan Hill, PE from Dewberry Engineering and Kathy Dotoli, Esq. from the Law Firm of Kathleen M. Dotoli. I will be moderating and answering construction questions. It’s always an open forum for discussion so bring your surveys and flood elevation certificates. Seating is limited and refreshments will be served. Call 732 300 5619 to reserve your space. This seminar will probably be well attended since I’ve received a number of responses already, so please reserve a space if you plan to attend.

Offer to Sandsters in Need: If you are stuck in the middle of your project and need an objective evaluation to help you move forward, call me. As we move forward rebuilding after Sandy, we will see delays caused by mistakes and lack of knowledge, more and more often. We all have to live with the fact that many smaller contractors are attempting house raises and moves, without the proper knowledge, professional support or ability. This is causing projects to stop in the middle all over the state. If you are in this unfortunate position, call me (or an architect, engineer or other professional builder) for some guidance and advice. Don’t leave itup to yourbuilder to move things forward if he was the one that caused the work to stop. You have to get involved and informed.

Best Funny (anonymous) Abbreviation from last week:

RREM: Ridiculous Restrictions Erroneous Management

IMPORTANT NEWS:  There’s been a huge change to RREM Path B & C in the last few weeks. This has not been publically stated by the DCA or RREM, but I have positive confirmation from 2 separate clients in the last week, so I am sharing this knowledge with you. Starting approximately 2 weeks ago, when you sign your DBA (Design Buold Agreement) at your 5A meeting, you are committed to Path C and cannot change to Path B.

This is a very important note – until now you could sign the DBA and authorize the design scope (soil borings, surveying and engineering) but you were not committed to staying with Path C. Before, you still had the opportunity to switch to Path B once the results were in and you had a chance to evaluate RREM contributions you would need to make. That isn’t the case any longer.

If you sign the DBA at your 5A meeting, you are stuck with Path C. Be really careful that you understand what is happening at your 5A meeting – if you are unsure, call me and I will talk you through it.

Also, when unsure about anything with RREM, ask for a delay and consult with someone you trust.

Sad (but expected) Revelation about RREM Path A: To no one’s surprise, Path A has turned out to be a complete scam, like many of the other HUD programs which are being implemented by the state. Sad, sad, sad. It’s a shame for the DCA that the kind folks in NJ are smarter than the average populace in other parts of the country and can recognize what is actually happening when we are being swindled.

Okay, here it is. RREM Path A ONLY APPLIES to work done prior to March of 2013. So, if you were a good, diligent Sandster and in good faith, listened to all the pablum and nonsense that the Governor spewed out, you now come to find out that none of the money you spent to rebuild your house and bring it into compliance will be reimbursed.

Remember all that nonsense about moving forward and not stopping and getting your house rebuilt and don’t worry we’ll reimburse you? Well that was so much nonsense. The simplest definition of sin is “that which harms another person”. Based on that statement, what has been been perpetrated upon the citizenry is sinful. I haven’t said this previously, but I am amazed that some bright attorney hasn’t filed for class action status in a suit against DCA, RREM and the Governor. Stay tuned for that inevitable development.

Elevation – Definition: Please remember that elevation refers to “height above sea level” and not the height above your grade at the house or distance the house is being elevated. It’s easy to make a mistake with this and causes much confusion. Example: If you are raising 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.

Elevating your home – Appearance and Exterior Finishes: There have been many questions recently about the appearance of your home after it is lifted and many Sandsters are worried that the look and “feel” of your home will be different after you elevate. The simplest way to think about this is to realize that you can make your home look almost identical to how it does now, or you can change the appearance if you wish. Decks, porches and entry stairs should add to the curb appeal and usability and adding space under the house certainly adds to the utility of your home. You can use these spaces to add a positive factor to your homes elevation.

Assuming you are lifting on pilings, you can choose to do nothing and have pilings be seen, you can skirt the pilings with lattice, you can cut the pilings off at grade and pour a concrete grade beam and add a block foundation or you can construct a 2” x 4” skirt wall around the pilings with either siding or fiber cement. If you are elevating on an existing or new shallow concrete footing, you can simply parge coat the foundation with mortar (most common), install vinyl siding over the concrete block, install cultured stone over the block, or a combination of the three choices.

The summary is that whichever wall treatment you choose can be made to either match your existing exterior, or to introduce a new exterior treatment for a complimentary look. So concerns about radically different appearance are usually unfounded.

As an additional note, the place to spend a bit of extra money is on the front porch & entry. It is well worth it to upgrade from pressure treated lumber to composite decking and vinyl rail since it dramatically improves the curb appeal of your house and is an improvement you are very likely to be paid for when you sell your home.

Basement/crawl floor notes: Remember that if you are in an A zone (as most of you are) you do not  have to build breakaway walls or a floating concrete floor like in a V zone. You can pour a regular concrete slab which is tied into the exterior block foundation or the pilings, and you can do this whenever you wish – it does not have to be done when you are doing the rest of the project. You can also install a regular 2” x 4” skirt wall with siding or fiber cement  and don’t have to worry about it being a breakaway wall.

Repeat – RREM / HMGP tip of the day: Secret – What not to say to your housing advisor when asked about RREM or HMGP:  See last week’s blog for more detail.

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

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’re interested in was discussed.

Special Feature for clients from Dream Homes: We take photos of all of our jobs on a regular basis and upload them to Dropbox. We then send a link to each client with their houses folder, so they can see what’s happening each day. Everyone seems to like this – you can feel very connected to the process even if you can’t be there.

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.

Reminder: 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. I do miss messages here and there.

Note to Sandsters: Though I began and continue to write this blog primarily to help as many Sandsters as possible, 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 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




Twitter: foxbuilder

2 thoughts on “Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – 6-7-14 – Huge Changes to RREM Path C & B, Foundation treatments, Rebuilding Seminar Thursday 6/12/14, RREM Path A scandal,

  1. Hi Vince,
    I just heard of your blog and it is very informative. I do have one question. Are these programs -RREM & HMGP only for primary home owners? My secondary home in Ocean Gate was damaged but we have been ignoring all these programs since it is our secondary home. We do want to raise our home some day. Thanks

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