Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog · House raising and Moving · Monmouth & Atlantic County · New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean · Pilings · Pilings - Helical versus timber · Rebuilding

Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – Rebuilding Seminar 5-28, Stop Yelling at Your Builder!, Don’t Use Elevation Contractors as GCs, Material & Labor Shortages

Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Nearly Famous Memorial Day Rebuilding Blog –

5-25-15

Hello Sandsters and Happy Memorial Day to all!

Today, I’d like to start with a tribute to all our service men and women around the world, who serve and sacrifice on a daily basis, in order to protect our democracy and way of life. Let’s all take a moment today to reflect on that, and offer prayers for their safe return. Over 6800 lives have been lost thus far in Iraq and Afghanistan by brave soldiers, in addition to the hundreds of thousands who served in World War 2, Vietnam, Korea and other places over the years. Our thanks and prayers are with you always. Once again, thank you for your service.

I hope you enjoy the day with your family and offer a toast to all our brave souls, both past and present.

The weather has been beautiful and it is supposed to remain hot this week. Summer seems to have arrived early.

In addition to our Memorial Day wishes, today we have more interesting news about RREM and FEMA, with a good link to an article in the Press, if you missed it in the last blog. We talk about the next Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar which is this Thursday night May 28th at the Manahawkin branch of the OC Library and we warn you again about dealing with out of state (and overpriced) contractors for your project. We remind you about elevations and how high you should lift your house and offer some thoughts on (pleasant) dealings and things to avoid when dealing with your builder.

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar – Thursday 5/28/15:

Our next Nearly Famous seminar will be held this Thursday, May 28th at the Manahawkin branch of the Ocean County library. The library is located at 129 N. Main Street (Route 9) in Manahawkin and will start at 5:30, so we can be out by 9 and avoid being reprimanded. Unfortunately Kathy Dotoli has her own seminar that night, so she can’t attend with her usual excellent presentation, but we’ll have an architect or engineer, a representative from a local insurance agency, and me speaking at this seminar. George Kasimos from Stop FEMA Now may also attend to discuss the details about RREM reopening claims due to fraud. It should be another really informative presentation and sure to help you clear up some of the rebuilding confusion.

The seminar after this one will be in the Point Pleasant / Brick area and I will post details as soon as I have them finalized. In the meantime, shoot me an email or give me a call at 732 300 5619 and let me know your interest in attending the seminar on the 28th in Manahawkin. Seating is limited at this library.

Finding and Working with Contractors – Beware Out of State companies! – Part IV:

In the last few blogs, I’ve written an excellent summary of items to consider when choosing a builder and if you haven’t read them, please go back and do so. To again stress one very salient point, I remind you that pricing will generally come in between 25% – 40% higher when dealing out of state, or with very large contractor/builders. Of specific note is the concern when you are dealing with one of the original approved Path C contractors. They spent 2 years giving pricing for RREM Path C projects which are significantly higher than fair market pricing and are now finding it difficult to adjust their estimates.

Recent comparisons for projects we have signed, with real numbers: Quoted: $282,000. Dream pricing: $209,000. Quoted: $143,000. Dream pricing: $103,000. Quoted: $128,000. Dream pricing: $88,000.

Be warned. Caveat emptor.

11 Tips for Good Communications with your Builder – Part II:  If you missed this article in a previous blog, go back to it and read it now. It’s really useful for effective communication and a great thing to reread.

Much of it talks about being nice to others. In that vein, I would like to stress a simple point that is sometimes is forgotten in the friction of day to day communication. You get more with honey than you do with vinegar.

Q: Will your project get completed if you are grouchy, irritable, nasty, negative and completely stressed at all times throughout the process?

A: Yes it will, but it will be painful, difficult and you will be in a constant state of stress. It will also take longer and probably cost more.

Q: Will your project get completed if you are pleasant, positive, flexible, and speak to people nicely (as you like to be spoken to)?

A: Same result. Yes it will. But it will be much less stressful, go more smoothly and probably quicker, you will enjoy the result much more, and you will not develop an ulcer along the way. You will also be afforded more courtesies that are outside of the scope of work, simply by being a nice person.

It is also much easier to get timely responses from your builder when they are not certain that each communication with you will be unpleasant. It is human nature to avoid being yelled at and reprimanded.

Be nice, and get more…:)

Working Directly and Separately with Elevation Contractors and a Builder/Contractor for your project & Using Elevation Contractors for your General Contractor:

Recently, some of our clients have presented us with comparative estimates from several elevation and masonry contractors, who have decided to try and offer full service general contracting to Sandsters in addition to their core services. We caution you strongly about moving in this direction. Most of the Sandsters we deal with would like a complete, turn key project and that is rarely effectively offered in general and even more rarely from an elevation or mason contractor. Ask specifically for project references for complete projects, not just elevation or foundation work.

We are finding regularly that since complete projects are not what they do on a day to day basis, you will encounter much greater delay, errors and inability to perform finish operations for your project. You will inevitably wind up incurring greater costs and most probably have to step in at some point (or points) to pick up the slack for items that are not included in the initial scope of work. Be careful of this.

Professional contractors know (or should know) what is needed to complete a project. Unfortunately, many builders and contractors deliberately omit items that you will not notice in order to offer lower priced estimates, and then plan to make up the necessary difference with repeated change orders. This will cause you constant anxiety and additional cost, and you will wind up paying more than you would have with a qualified builder.

This practice has been around for thousands of years, is still reprehensible and we choose not to do business in this manner. It is a common concern and occurrence when you are dealing with an elevation contractor or a mason to do your entire job. They don’t generally bring the experience to the table to address and deal with unforeseen events.

Remember, your project is like a Broadway show. You need a director to make sure that once the curtain goes up, events proceed smoothly through all the acts to a successful conclusion. That is a particular skill set and one that is in short supply. You will not get this type of result with an elevation contractor or mason who does not focus on this type of work.

In addition, they use their in house crews for elevations and foundations, so you are stuck waiting if they get busy. They will not go to an alternate contractor in order to keep your project moving, but instead will wait until their crew’s schedules are open.

On another note, you should not separate the elevation or masonry portion of your project from your entire project scope. These are not items that you should direct yourself, nor will you be able to accurately monitor progress of your project or avoid the inevitable finger pointing if (when) events go awry. You definitely will not save money, though it may initially appear as if you will.

If you would like to build your own deck, do interior finish like painting, sheetrock and cabinets, or perform some other cosmetic, non-essential service, have at it and save some money. Avoid handling mechanical and structural aspects of your project yourself unless you are specifically qualified and have the time to devote to the effort.

Material and Labor Shortages – Welcome to the New Normal:

Sadly, we’ve all been dealing with material and labor shortages for the last 2 months since the winter weather broke, and it will be like this for the foreseeable future.

There is no way around this concern, except to effect better planning and deal with someone who has the resources to bring to the table when material, subcontractors and labor are in short supply. We deal with several elevation, masonry and mechanical contractors in each field and have the flexibility to seek qualified alternates if our first choices are not available. This can save weeks over the life of a project.

FEMA Insurance Scandal & RREM Reopening Claims:

On May 18 letters went out to ALL policy holders who made a claim for Sandy damages. You will have 60-90 days to respond with the goal of this process being to have a final resolution within 45 days of your initial response after receiving your letter. If you need more time you can get it but the goal is to finalize the claim quickly since so many aspects of the process have gone on for too long already.

  • I had an exhaustive list of bullet points in the last blog, and encourage you to reread it if you haven’t already. Here is a decent article to view.

View full article here http://www.app.com/story/news/local/monmouth-county/sandy-recovery/2015/05/07/sandy-fema-claims-letters/70939654/

Repeat: 5 Tips for picking the right Builder: Go back and reread the 4-5-15 blog – there’s good common sense there advice about choosing a builder.

Tip: If you don’t want to miss any of my blogs, go the blog and “follow” it. Sometimes 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.

Repeat – RREM appeals – Recommend Foundation Only: If the difference between your grant award and the cost from the builder you wish to use is minimal (usually under $10,000), you are probably better off not bothering with an appeal. If there is a substantial difference in the assumptions RREM made and the actual condition of your house (the most common item is different foundation assumptions), then an appeal is worthwhile.  Example: If RREM says you can elevate on existing block and your soil boring and geotechnical analysis dictate a deep foundation system (helical or timber), that is definitely an item worth appealing. Note that this item will now be changed, since you will be able to reopen a claim based on the insurance fraud issues.

Stop FEMA Now Association: We’re now a proud sponsor of Stop Fema Now (www.stopfemanow.com) which is an excellent organization trying to save and protect NJ Sandsters (as well as other states) from FEMA tyranny. Those folks are doing more to try and protect the interests of Sandsters than all the HUD and DCA committees combined. George and his organization are actually attempting to change policy to improve the situation for thousands of Sandsters and that is an effort we wholeheartedly support. If you want to get involved and either donate or volunteer your time to this worthy effort, please visit their web site, which is listed above in this paragraph.

Path C to Path B – Update & Repeat: A reminder to Sandsters still considering Path C, “Time is much more valuable than money. Don’t waste one minute of your life on a pursuit (Path C) where the guidelines are completely unclear and subject to change.” Sandsters up and down the shore are still switching from Path C to B, so do not listen to anyone who tells you that you are unable to do so. Call / email me for assistance if you cannot get past this point with your program manager.

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. Hopefully this is helpful to mobile Sandsters.

Design work and timing: Fall 2015. Now is a great time to be working on your design scope and scheduling for a September start to your project. We currently have a dozen Sandster projects we are starting in the fall – all have either completed or are actively working on their design scope at this time so permits will be ready and plans can be made to secure alternate housing. Besides, there are much cheaper rentals in the fall/winter at the shore.

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.

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.

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 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 clients 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. 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://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: foxbuilder

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

Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – 5-10-15 – Rebuilding Seminar 5-28-15 – FEMA & RREM Reopening Claims – Warning about Out of State Contractors – FEMA / RREM Rally 5-14-15

Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog –

5-10-15  Mother’s Day 2015

Hello Sandsters and Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!

Today, I want to wish all the special Moms out there a wonderful, peaceful & happy Mother’s Day. I hope you are with family and enjoy your day to the fullest.

As usual, we seem to have skipped spring and vaulted right into summer with temperatures supposed to be hot and sticky for the next few days. It’s a bit uncomfortable, but much better than the cold.

In addition to our Mom’s Day wishes, today we have a ton of interesting news about RREM and the FEMA insurance scandal, with excellent summaries of the issues. We explain how you will be eligible to reopen your claim and give you a link to a good article in the Press. We talk about an important Sandy Rally happening this Thursday in Trenton, sponsored by Stop Fema Now. We warn you again about dealing with out of state contractors for your project. Finally, we talk about the next Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar which is Thursday night May 28th at the Manahawkin branch of the OC Library.

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar – Thursday 5/28/15:

Our next Nearly Famous seminar will be held on Thursday, May 28th at the Manahawkin branch of the Ocean County library. The library is located at 129 N. Main Street (Route 9) in Manahawkin and will start at 5:30, so we can be out by 9 and avoid being reprimanded. Unfortunately Kathy Dotoli has her own seminar that night, so she can’t attend with her usual excellent presentation, but we’ll have an architect or engineer, a representative from a local insurance agency, and me speaking at this seminar. George Kasimos from Stop FEMA Now may also attend to discuss the details about RREM reopening claims due to fraud. It should be another really informative presentation and sure to help you clear up some of the rebuilding confusion.

The seminar after this one will be in the Point Pleasant / Brick area and I will post details as soon as I have them finalized. In the meantime, shoot me an email or give me a call at 732 300 5619 and let me know your interest in attending the seminar on the 28th in Manahawkin. Seating is limited at this library.

Repeat: 5 Tips for picking the right Builder: Go back and reread the 4-5-15 blog – there’s good common sense advice about choosing a builder.

Finding and Working with Contractors – Beware Out of State companies! – Part III

Recently we’ve started working with a number of new clients who had initially worked with out of state contractors, particularly from Louisiana and Texas. Many of these contractors have completed few (if any) elevation projects in NJ, since their pricing has been generally up to 30% higher than fair and reasonable pricing.

Though I’ve said it many times, it bears repeating – Ask any contractor or builder (especially those from outside of NJ) specifically for the addresses of recently completed and current ongoing projects. If they cannot supply you with that information, the chances are they are not doing work because they are much too expensive.

Companies from outside of NJ do not have the personnel or local business resources in place, but have to develop them from scratch. YOU are paying for sales commissions, extra layers of management and new site supervisors, charges you will not necessarily be paying when you deal with an established local contractor. Companies that based outside of the state generally have no team (or a minimal team) in place in NJ, so they wind up subcontracting everything out to….NJ Contractors!

Remember – if you deal with an out of state contractor, they have no vested interest in finishing your project other than the detail in your contract – they don’t live here.

Tip: Find a builder you trust, who has significant elevation experience (at least a dozen completed elevation projects), who you can vet sufficiently (references, other projects, local offices, active jobs) rather than use a big name you don’t know or an out of state company. Competence, continuity in business, reputation and company history are very important. Size should not necessarily be the only deciding factor – good builders and contractors come in all shapes and sizes (although your choice should be large enough to have sufficient resources and experience with home elevations or new construction).

FEMA Insurance Scandal & RREM Reopening Claims:

On May 18 letters will go out to ALL policy holders who made a claim for Sandy damages. You will have 60-90 days to respond with the goal of this process being to have a final resolution within 45 days of your initial response after receiving your letter. If you need more time you can get it but the goal is to finalize the claim quickly since so many aspects of the process have gone on for too long already.

Some bullet points:

  • People with engineering reports will be handled first.
  • Once you receive your letter you must “Opt In” to review your claim by either phone or email, at which time you would schedule a basic intake phone meeting with your newly trained claims adjuster. You will have a direct line of contact with this person. Unlike the nonsense FEMA 800 number we have dealt with in the past, you will have his/her direct phone and email. There will also be a “buddy backup” system so in case your adjuster isn’t available someone else will be able to respond to you.
  • The goal is for your adjuster to build a case and get you what you are entitled to under your policy. This adjuster will be working in “the best interest of the policy holder.” He/she will be very clear with you on why exactly something may not be covered under the policy.
  • After you have submitted everything they need (pictures, receipts, plans, estimates, etc) they hope to have a decision within 14 days. If you are not satisfied you will be able to go to a neutral 3rd party to help mediate.
  • FEMA will not pay for legal fees because this process doesn’t require a lawyer.
  • If a house has already been demolished, there will not be an issue as long as there are pictures submitted with the original claim.
  • Local non profits will be helping and working as an advocate for you as they have been.

View full article here http://www.app.com/story/news/local/monmouth-county/sandy-recovery/2015/05/07/sandy-fema-claims-letters/70939654/

RREM / FEMA Rally in Trenton – There is an Action on Sandy Recovery rally this Thursday May 14th at 8 am at the statehouse in Trenton where Governor Christie will be brought to task for not keeping Sandy promises. If you can attend and don’t want to drive there are a number of buses being chartered from the shore area so visit www.stopfemanow.com for more information.

Here is a summary of items to be addressed:

Dune replenishment: – Why is the NJ Attorney General not filing Eminent Domain proceedings against the easement holdouts? – Why are there no plans to raise dunes on Island Beach State Park? – We need sea gates on the 3 inlets on the Barnegat bay to fully insulate us from future storms (Point Pleasant Inlet, Barnegat Light Inlet and Little Egg Harbor Inlet)

RREM: – Why are NJ residents receiving 150K and NY residents receiving 300K? – Why is RREM not paying to raise the home 4 feet above the BFE? – Extensions should be 1 year extensions not 3 month extensions – What are VALID reasons for extensions with RREM? – NY residents receive 25K upfront for their engineering, architect, survey, flood certificate and foundation plan so that they can obtain accurate estimates. Why not NJ? – Why is the cost so high with Pathway C contractors vs. Pathway B? – Why are Pathway C contractors given RREM pricing, but residents on pathway B do not have access to the pricing? – If you are litigating with RREM then the money should be held in escrow until the case is settled. – ECR and WIP documents are riddled with errors. – All RREM answers to our questions need to be IN WRITING. – The RREM grant should stand as is. RREM needs to do their due diligence up front with no recapture because of RREM mismanagement or mistakes. – The rules and regulations need to be reduced and made definite. The program continually changes with the current rules and regulations on the RREM program at 180 pages and growing. – Changing from Pathway C to B. Why is it so difficult with denials for some homeowners? If the engineering cost is to be borne by the resident, they should receive all the engineering reports. – Requests to RREM should be answered in writing in a timely fashion (3 working days). – OMBUDSMAN – we need one with POWER who can get answers quickly. – ECR needs to be correct before moving forward with construction. – Homeowner should be given ECR pricing. – $15,000 for “soft costs” Why are some people receiving this as an addition to the $150K grant and others as a “contingency”? – Pathway “C” residents must have itemized cost of project. – Why are Pathway “C” residents “banned” from their own homes during construction? – Pathway “C” residents should be able to move to Path “B” easily. – Pathway “C” contractors are paid for engineering but when a homeowner switches to Path B they are not given the engineering work performed.

Utility Companies: – Why does it take so long to cut off and turn on the utilities? – Why are homeowners required to pay $10,000 for utility pole movement?

Permits: – We need a streamlined process to approve permits in a timely fashion. – Why is the cost of the permits not picked up by NJ Government as part of the RREM grant? – The Boards of Adjustment for each town need to meet every two weeks, to review Sandy applications. – Even if Sandy homes have been demolished their status should be grandfathered. Real Estate Taxes: – Real estate taxes should be reduced until our homes are raised and rebuilt. – After raising / rebuilding our homes our taxes should not be raised because of renovations. – Our overpaid real estate taxes since Sandy should be repaid back to Sandy damaged homeowners.

Water, Electric, Taxes and Sewer Bills: – Should be credited to displaced victims during displacement.

Funding to raise homes: – Low interest loans should be made available, by the state, to all Sandy damaged properties (Primary, 2nd homes, rentals and comm. properties), regardless of credit rating or equity in home.

Rental Assistance: – Rental assistance should be granted until homeowners are back in their home AFTER the lift. – The rental assistance period should be extended and increased to more than $825 a month.

Dredging: – Many lagoon systems are still filled up with sand and need dredging

General:

– Why is the NJ Dept. of Banking not applying pressure to NFIP WYO insurance companies writing other insurance in NJ?

– The $25 Million in Sandy Funds spent for the “Stronger than the Storm” advertisement should be returned to the RREM pool.

– HGI should be sued for the funds given to them to administer the RREM program, since they were fired a few months into a 4 year contract.  They were almost paid in full after being fired.

This Rally should be quite interesting. If 50% of the issues are addressed, it will be a resounding success. If at all possible, try and attend.

Tip: If you don’t want to miss any of my blogs, go the blog and “follow” it. Sometimes 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.

Repeat – RREM appeals – Recommend Foundation Only: If the difference between your grant award and the cost from the builder you wish to use is minimal (usually under $10,000), you are probably better off not bothering with an appeal. If there is a substantial difference in the assumptions RREM made and the actual condition of your house (the most common item is different foundation assumptions), then an appeal is worthwhile.  Example: If RREM says you can elevate on existing block and your soil boring and geotechnical analysis dictate a deep foundation system (helical or timber), that is definitely an item worth appealing. Note that this item will now be changed, since you will be able to reopen a claim based on the insurance fraud issues.

11 Tips for Good Communications with your Builder – Part 1:  If you missed this in the last blog, go back to it and read it now. It’s really useful for good communication and a good thing to read on Easter. It talks about being nice to others.

Stop FEMA Now Association: We’re now a proud sponsor of Stop Fema Now (www.stopfemanow.com) which is an excellent organization trying to save and protect NJ Sandsters (as well as other states) from FEMA tyranny. Those folks are doing more to try and protect the interests of Sandsters than all the HUD and DCA committees combined. George and his organization are actually attempting to change policy to improve the situation for thousands of Sandsters and that is an effort we wholeheartedly support. If you want to get involved and either donate or volunteer your time to this worthy effort, please visit their web site, which is listed above in this paragraph.

Path C to Path B – Update: A reminder to Sandsters still considering Path C, “Time is much more valuable than money. Don’t waste one minute of your life on a pursuit (Path C) where the guidelines are completely unclear and subject to change.” Put in simple language, “If you don’t understand the rules of the game, don’t play.” As we’ve said, you are much better off trusting the potential level of your skill and attentive common sense than a government entities’ fairly certain non-interested incompetence.

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. Hopefully this is helpful to mobile Sandsters.

Design work and timing: Fall 2015. Unless you are picking up a building permit tomorrow, it’s now probably too late for you to be back in your house by summer (unless it is a very simple lift with no complications). If you aren’t ready to file for permits or are just starting your design scope, it is a great time to schedule for a September start to your project. We currently have a dozen Sandsters who we are starting in the fall – it’s too much stress for them to get it done before summer and there are much cheaper rentals in the fall/winter at the shore.

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.

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.

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 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 clients 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. 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://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: foxbuilder