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Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – 8-30-14 – Dirty Words to Avoid – Building in the Winter – RREM Path B GAP & Design Scope News – Zoning comments – Keeping Perspective & Sanity

Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog –

8-30 -14 

Hello Sandsters!

Hopefully this Labor Day post finds you healthy and enjoying your weekend. Everyone please keep in mind that the summer does not officially end until September 21, regardless of how many naysayers tell you it’s all over after Labor Day. Any Sandster worth their sand knows that beautiful September weather is the super secret that you just don’t know about until you’ve experienced it. So let’s not talk about fall until sometime in October…or later. Winter is an even more forbidden subject.

Today, I will experiment with a Rebuilding Bloglet, which is a shorter version of my regular blog. I keep telling myself that if I write shorter blogs, I will write more often (which is a very common request from my beloved Sandster following). I’ve gone down this road before and only managed to write about 50 fewer words out of 1000, but today I am determined to post this quickly…J

We’ll see…I started this at 9:06 am…update 9:55 – still writing…10:18 wrapping it up and about to post…10:27 posting….sooooo the final Bloglet Grade for Vince: D-.

Happy Birthday wishes to my brother James, who turned 46 years young yesterday. Recently back from living in Holland for several years, I am glad to have him back in Jersey where I can see him and my adorable niece and nephew. James was also smart enough to come back at the best time of the year…wishing you 100 more healthy birthdays, brother!

Today we’ll talk about some soft stuff, like how to stay sane during the rebuilding process and some Dirty Words never to use while in the throes of your project…we revisit some money stuff since GAP funding was approved (finally) for Path B and RREM Design Scope costs under Path B might (will) soon be eligible for payment outside of your grant. We talk again about the urgency moving through the market as we enter the fall rebuilding season, and in what weather you probably shouldn’t do work. So, once more into the breach, friends… 

Seminar location change – Our next Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar will be a week from Wednesday in Manahawkin at the Holiday Inn, where we had our July seminar. Sorry for the change but both locations in Toms River were booked for our date, so we’re back to the Manahawkin Holiday Inn. Call me at 732 300 5619 to reserve your space. Light refreshments will be served.

RREM Path B – Design Scope News: Ok, it’s real, although still not announced. I now have 3 clients that are having design costs paid by the program instead of from their Path B pocket. Ask about this before you are about to go into the Locked Room Where They Pressure You To Sign (that’s real speak for what happens when you go to sign your grant documents. You get a phonebook sized pile of contracts that you are supposed to read, comprehend, not ask questions about and sign, all in the time it takes to have a small cup of coffee. Completely ludicrous.)

Helpful Note: Typical design scope costs, including full survey package, architectural/engineering design and plans and township building permits averages about $10,000 – $11,000. That’s a decent savings, if you can get RREM to pay for it.

Dirty Words and Other Unpleasant Subjects: Was it George Carlin who listed the 10 Dirty Words we shouldn’t ever use? Some profanity can be quite useful, often amusing and a necessary part of the rebuilding process (the judicious use of the word “F$%&” can be very helpful in the construction business) but George missed a few. He didn’t list the 11th or 12th Dirty Words, which are “problem” and “can’t”.

When I was growing up, we were grounded for using the word “can’t” and I’ve found that is a great word to eliminate from your vocabulary. Try “won’t”, “would rather not”, “choose not to”, “have found another alternative”. “Can’t” is usually not true and is extremely psychologically limiting – you’re much better off choosing not to do something than thinking that you cannot do it.

The word “problem” is even more of a problem, and you should stop saying that word right now. More importantly, as the leader of your team, forbid the use of that word by your builder, kids, spouse and anyone else you speak with regularly. For reference and perspective, problems are when people die or suffer grave illness, Obama’s foreign (and domestic) policy, genocide, armed insurrection in the streets, Ebola, etc. Missing an inspection, having a contractor not show up on time or installing a piece of trim incorrectly are not problems.

Let’s all substitute these words and terms going forward and see how much better we feel each day.

Let’s use “obstacle”, “concern”, “issue”, “wart on the path of progress”, “opportunity for better understanding”, or “chance to learn and grow”.

Eliminating the use of the word “problem” from your lexicon will eliminate “problems” from your life.

Try it and let me know how it works. Keep a sense of perspective and remember what’s important. 

RREM Path C Sandsters – Switching to Path B?: As you know, Path C is no more, except if you’ve been grandfathered in as of 7/1/14. Though the rules say that if you were Path C you have to stay there, on a case by case basis, RREM will evaluate your request to move to Path B. It’s something to consider, especially if you haven’t had your Step 8 meeting yet, or if the design work for your home has not been completed. As always, move in the direction that is right for you and will get you back in your house soonest. If you’re 2” from the goal line, don’t get disgusted and scream and yell about switching paths. If you’re not, it may be an option. The important thing to remember is that if you hadn’t signed your grant documents by 7/1/14, you absolutely can switch to Path B, regardless of what you may have been told.

Reminder – Great News: Since 8/11/14, GAP funding (now $20,000, not $30,000 as before) is now available to Path B recipients! That is outstanding news and long overdue. Remember, GAP funding is income based, so if you qualify you get it. If you haven’t applied, or don’t know about it, talk to your PM or go on www.renewjerseystronger.org and click on GAP funding.

Standard Fare – Repeat – Sandsters Call to Action! If you want to be back in your elevated home before the end of the year, you must start your design scope now. You need final plans, survey, plot plan, flood elevation certificate and permit packages ready to go by October 1, and even that is tight for year end, assuming 3 weeks for building permit review. If you have all that material, or much of it, you’re ahead of the curve.

Building in the winter? Constraints and concerns: We can and do build through the winter (this past winter was miserable, unpleasant, wet, snowy, rainy, sleety, yucky, crappy, frozen…did I say unpleasant?) but we were still out there uncomfortably freezing our little butts off. Most of the listed items are inconveniences as opposed to critical path items that cannot be overcome. The one exception is the temperature as it pertains to masonry construction. You can pour concrete and do masonry work at a minimum of 25 degrees Fahrenheit (and rising) with the addition of calcium (antifreeze) to the concrete mix. Any temperature lower and the concrete will not set correctly. Above 32 degrees F you can pour with no problem. Also, the concrete should set prior to temperatures dropping at night, or be covered with thermal blankets. Summary: winter at the shore is generally not too much of an impediment to progress, although rain, sleet, snow and consistent temperatures under 25 degrees will definitely cause delays in your project. 

Common Sense Reminder: If you aren’t living in your home, and know you are raising or demolishing it, call for your electric, gas and cable disconnects. There’s no reason not to, and it will be one more item off the list.

Zoning issues – Repeat: Reminder to apply for your zoning permits as soon as you are able, even if other items needed for building permits are in process. Zoning permits have become and will remain, a definite cause for delay. The real reason, which is quite sad, is that the majority of zoning officials are not equipped or knowledgable enough to evaluate many of the new scenarios caused by home elevations. Given the choice between making a common sense call or erring on the side of extreme caution, most zoning folks are choosing caution. Land use can be quite complicated and it is much easier to say “no” than it is to research details in the code. Remember – every building permit application in NJ must go through zoning approval first. No reason not to take care of that step as soon as possible and avoid delays.

Definition:  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.

Author’s note: It is legal to have your architect or engineer include the plot plan on the engineered drawings, but I don’t recommend it since it will probably cause your zoning officer to grab the Maalox. You may think you’re saving money, but 90% of the time you aren’t since you will have to revise and resubmit.. Your surveyor generally does a much more thorough job including grades, elevations and setback notes than your architect or engineer.

New Sunset Beach Model arriving soon in Toms River! For those of you thinking of designing a new home, we’ve recently introduced a new model called the Sunset Beach. It’s a very different house with a distinct island look and feel. This model is being done in about 1800 square feet but can be as small as 1400 and as large as 2500 square feet. Send me an email if you want to check out the new plan. We’ll be starting the house soon on Rt 37 West in Pelican Island so stop by and see us.

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.

Searching the Rebuilding after Sandy Blog for Your Topic: One of the (few) nice things about WordPress is the Search function. Just 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. You can feel 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’ll 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. I do miss messages here and there.

Note to Sandsters: Though I began and continue to write this blog 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 in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for an estimate on your rebuilding project.  

That’s all for today Sandsters – generally good news & suggestions, and I hope it helps you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

Stay well Sandsters.

Regards,

Vince

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

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog:http://www.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: foxbuilder

House raising and Moving · Monmouth & Atlantic County · New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean · Pilings · Rebuilding · Renovations

Dream Homes Ltd – Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC – Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – 8-18-14 – 6 P’s of RREM Success – Secrets to Speed Up Permits – RREM Path B GAP Funding Approved & Path B Design Scope Possibilities

Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog –

8-18 -14

Hello Sandsters! Hopefully this post finds you healthy and enjoying the Jersey shore this summer.

So much to talk about and I have been badly remiss in my blogging. My only excuse is I have been spending much time with clients and actually building lots of things throughout NJ! I actually started this blog a week ago…

Today we’ll talk about GAP funding being approved (finally) for Path B, notes and comments for your project, getting started and ways to overcome delays once you start. I have some good tips for dealing with zoning issues that might help speed up your project time. There are some RREM Design Scope changes pending where Path B might soon be eligible for additional funding. We welcome a bunch of new clients and talk about the urgency that is moving through the market as rebuilding really starts to heat up. I repeat a few things that are helpful to remember about real time out of  your house, and how it varies a lot from town to town. So, without further adieu Sandsters…

Our last Rebuilding seminar on July 23 was excellent. Thanks to all the Sandsters who attended for their input and comments. We got a lot accomplished that night and a number of people have been able to move forward with their projects in the last few weeks. Special thanks also to our speakers, Kathy Dotoli who is an attorney in Toms River that we work with and Jeff Barton, who is an architect in Manahawkin.

Our next Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar will be in September at the Toms River Hotel (formerly the Holiday Inn) on Wednesday September 10th, which is 4 weeks from yesterday. Our Spring 2014 Toms River seminar at the Toms River library was very popular so we are moving to a larger space. Call me at 732 300 5619 to reserve your space. Light refreshments will be served.

Thank you and welcome to all of our newest clients! Ruth & Ron, Kim & Nate, Sally, Terry, Matt & Claudia, Tom & Priscilla, Sue, Marci, Brian, Kathy & Joe…all of your Sandy nightmares will be over very soon…JJJ To all the Sandsters out there who regularly read my scribblings, a special thanks for your kind references and referrals.

Thoughts and prayers to the many Sandsters I know who are experiencing health issues of one kind or another. Without our health we have nothing and sometimes we forget that until something happens to focus our attentions.  Every day we should wake up and thank God we’re looking down at the grass and not up. Life can always get worse…sometimes in one instant. 

Okay, enough gravitas and serious stuff for the moment. Carpe the frigging diem already and get on with it Vince. 

RREM Path C Sandsters – Frustrated?: As we all know, Path C is no more, except if you’ve been grandfathered in as of 7/1/14. Theoretically, your project is proceeding normally under state guidance. Though the rules say if you were Path C, you have to stay there, on a case by case basis, RREM will evaluate your request to move to Path B. It may be something for you to consider, especially if you haven’t had your Step 8 meeting yet, or if the design work for your home has not been completed. As always, move in the direction that is right for you and will get you back in your house soonest. If you’re 2” from the goal line, don’t get disgusted and scream and yell about switching paths. If you’re not, it may be an option.

NEW Extremely Bright Note: Since 8/11/14, GAP funding is now available to Path B recipients! That is outstanding news and long overdue.  Once again, great news. Remember, GAP funding is income based, so if you qualify you get it. Unfortunately, the amount was decreased from $30,000 to $20,000 but it will help make more projects happen. Odd how the decrease in funding available to each Sandster, corresponds with the average percentage profit that is being earned for construction management and oversight in the RREM program…probably just coincidence. Anyway, $20,000 is $20,000 and the inclusion of this option is another key piece of the rebuilding financing puzzle for many Sandsters.

RREM Thoughts – Remember the 6 P’s…To succeed in RREM, Be a Pleasant, Polite, Persistent, Prepared, Proactive Persistent Pain (in the Ass)…and Get Your Money!! We know RREM is trying to put money out there and often you can make it easier for them to get it to you so you can start.

How? Be a nudge. Make a list. Keep poking away at the list until you get something done. Then pick another item and work on that one. Continue being a pleasant, polite, persistent, prepared, proactive pain in the ass. Ask questions about moving forward of your builder, the township zoning officer, the building department, and your architect, attorney or engineer (if you have them). Constantly move forward in incremental baby steps. Think the Great Wall of China…

Your objective is to get an engineered architectural plan, a survey, plot plan and flood elevation certificate and an estimate from a good builder you are comfortable with.

The minute you have that, you can wave your arms and jump up and down and RREM will pay attention to you.

At that point you are ready to go and can insist (nicely) that your application be processed immediately.

Really – this is truth. Often the best way to get someone to focus is to make them realize they can “move a file”, “resolve something”, “get somewhere”, “sign documents”, etc. Everyone wants to be productive and earn their keep. Make it easy for RREM to get your project going by being prepared.

RREM Path B – More Good News? Is this Possible? Sometimes when it rains it pours…J The next open secret is that Design Scope costs may soon be paid for Path B Sandsters, and not subtracted from your grant amount. This is another change that is overdue and sorely needed. There was never a rational explanation for why Path C folks were eligible for GAP and didn’t have to pay design fees, and the GAP funding restriction has been changed. Hopefully within a very short time, design costs will be paid by the program instead of from your Path B pocket.

Our typical design scope, including full survey package, architectural/engineering design and plans and township building permits averages about $10,000 – $11,000. That would be a really nice holiday present for a lot of people. Let’s hope that happens soon. The GAP change took about 5 weeks after the Fall Of C, so hopefully the design scope change is soon to come.

(Author’s Note: I am sure it is a complete coincidence, but all the needed changes I’ve been jumping up and down about in the last year and a half have been made by DCA and RREM, excepting the design scope. If this trend continues, I will have nothing to write about but construction and dealing with townships. Good for all of us!)

Standard Fare – Sandsters – Call to Action! If you want to lift your house this fall and be back in your elevated home before the end of the year, you must start your design scope now. You need final plans, survey, plot plan, flood elevation certificate and permit packages ready to go by October 1, which means you should be finalizing your contracts in the next few weeks.

If you have all that material, or much of it, you are ahead of the curve. The point is not to delay any longer if you want to start in the fall and be back in your house before the end of the year.

Common Sense Reminder: If you aren’t living in your home, and know you are raising or demolishing it, call for your electric, gas and cable disconnects. There’s no reason not to, and it will be one more item off the list.

Time Saving Tip – Repeat: Unless there is a reason not to do so, apply for your zoning permits as soon as you are able, even if other items needed for building permits are in process. Zoning permits are becoming a Royal Pain in the Doopah and are holding up projects right and left for rather insubstantial reasons. You want the elevations noted for roof ridge, eave and mean? You want sheet flow drainage analysis that the water won’t go on the neighbor’s yard? You need 3 sealed copies of a full architectural plan for a zoning permit for demo? You get the idea.

If you’re not working with a builder, get your survey, plot plan and building permit application and go down and talk to the zoning officer. Ask him if you can submit for a zoning permit with the information you have. If you can’t you will be able to revise surveys, plans, etc. and not hold up your process. Remember – every building permit application in NJ must go through zoning approval first. You may as well take care of that step as soon as possible.

Definition:  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 need both for your project.

Caution: Repeat: Be wary of anyone who gives you an estimate without visiting your project first – it is almost impossible to estimate accurately without going to the site. Remember – “The Map is not the Territory”.

New Sunset Beach Model arriving soon in Toms River! For those of you thinking of designing a new home, we’ve recently introduced a new model called the Sunset Beach. It’s a very different house with a distinct island look and feel. This model is being done in about 1800 square feet but can be as small as 1400 and as large as 2500 square feet. Send me an email if you want to check out the new plan. We’ll be starting the house soon on Rt 37 West in Pelican Island so stop by and see us.

You Tube Link to the last 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.

Searching the Rebuilding after Sandy Blog for Your Topic: One of the (few) nice things about WordPress is the Search function. Just 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. You can feel 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’ll 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. I do miss messages here and there.

Note to Sandsters: Though I began and continue to write this blog 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 in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for an estimate on your rebuilding project.

That’s all for today Sandsters – generally positive news and 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

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

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog:http://www.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: foxbuilder