New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County

Dream Homes Ltd Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – 6-14-15 – Reopening FEMA claims – Rebuilding Seminar 6-25 -15 Tuscan Bistro Bar – RREM Bonding Lunacy

Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog –


Hello Sandsters and Happy Sunday!

Hope your project is not going terribly, or if you haven’t started, that your design work is glorious and exciting!

Today, we present a Short Blog. We primarily are reminding you again about filing for new FEMA claims if you think you are entitled to more money, because time is running out. We talk about project delays, and touch on the latest contemplated RREM lunacy about performance bonds. We have some RREM news, with a link to an article in NJ Spotlight about reopening FEMA cases, with commentary by George Kasimos. We talk about the next Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar which is Thursday night June 25th at Tuscan Bistro Bar in Toms River.

FEMA Insurance Scandal & Reopening Claims: Time is running out

Letters have gone out to ALL policy holders who made a claim for Sandy damages. If you haven’t filed yet, should you? Here is a good article from NJ Spotlight. It helps clarify some points.

Thanks to George Kasimos, president of Stop Fema Now, who has some good quotes regarding this issue.

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar – Getting Started – Thursday 6/25/15:

Our next Nearly Famous seminar will be held Thursday, June 25th at the Tuscan Bistro Bar in Toms River, across from the Ocean County mall on Hooper Avenue. The theme this time will be Getting Started, and we will focus on Sandsters that are early in the process, and have not completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect. (I’m finding that Rebuilding mimics life – starting things can be mind-numbingly difficult and actually pulling the trigger on their project is a main issue holding many Sandsters back.)

At this seminar, we’ll focus on working with people who need engineering or architectural design advice, RREM guidance at the initial stages, and information about choosing the right builder or contractor. I can comment and help many people in the active stages of construction either online, through email, text, or phone, but the Sandsters that are just getting started are the people that most need a team of professionals in person answering specific questions.

We’ll start at 6 and be in the Fire Room, which is a really cool outside space. Our speakers will be Kathy Dotoli, Esq., and Scott Lepley or Jeff Barton, architects. I will moderate and discuss RREM and general construction issues at this seminar. George Kasimos from Stop FEMA Now may also speak regarding current FEMA news and to discuss the details about RREM reopening claims due to fraud.

It will be a great seminar and as always we’ll try and clear up rebuilding confusion. Soft drinks, beer, wine and pizza will be served and it should be interesting, and maybe some fun. In the meantime, send me an email or give me a call at 732 300 5619 and let me know your interest in attending. Space in the outside Fire Room is limited to about 30 or so people.

Paying for Work in Place – Don’t get Ripped Off

Go back and reread the 6-7 blog. It is 2-3 pages and will help you if you have questions.

RREM Performance Bond Lunacy:

There are rumblings and policy set to go into effect which will require every RREM job to be bonded. For the record, if this policy is put into effect, Within 90 days, the number of RREM eligible contractors will decrease by 80% – 90% and project costs will increase by 20% – 30%. Further, the projected RREM buildout time of 8-10 years (which assumes 1000 RREM projects completed per year…we are currently ~ 600 per year), will increase to 12-14 years. (As a note, this analysis somewhat correlates to the projected 18 year buildout time for a total of 35,000 homes in Sandy affected areas.)

In short, you’ll wait longer, pay more and have personal and societal quality of life disturbed for a longer time.

Please note that you saw this information in this blog on this date. The summary is, if performance bonding is made mandatory for RREM projects, it will hurt every single Sandster, and set the economy back several years. Please voice your opinion to your PM and housing advisor, as well as directly to the DCA RREM Hotline. This is an important item, which is being overlooked and ignored.

Tip – Follow the Nearly Famous Blog: If you don’t want to miss any of my blogs, go the blog and “follow” it. Some times 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.

Stop FEMA Now Association: We’re now a proud sponsor of Stop Fema Now ( which is an excellent organization trying to save and protect NJ Sandsters (as well as other states) from FEMA tyranny. To get involved and either donate or volunteer your time to this worthy effort, please visit their web site, which is listed above.

New development: Dream Homes Mobile Web Site is now Live!

You can now log onto from your mobile device and see a mobile site tailored to a smaller screen.

Design work and timing: Fall 2015. You should be working now on your design scope and scheduling for a September / October 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

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.



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

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