Dream Homes and Development Corp.
Dream Builders LLC & Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC
Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog –
Hi Sandsters –
Hope all is well with you on this Sunday. Again, it’s been too long since I’ve blogged…
88 degrees yesterday. Who doesn’t love warm weather?…😊 Today, we’ll kick off with some news about the new township HMGP grants, which may help you where there are no other options. Strangely enough, no one has called and taken me up on my $100,000 Challenge to complete an elevation project without a mistake. The lesson is about the monetary effect of making mistakes in a construction project.
Communications and clarity are discussed in detail – help your project run more smoothly and get completed on time, by following these few simple guidelines.
We talk again about planning fall project starts, and talk about an alternate foundation system that could save you some money, which we’ve started to recommend. Finally, we’ll review our April rebuilding seminar, and mention our next Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar, which is scheduled for Wednesday, June 14th, 2017.
So, let’s jump in the water…once more into the breach, as they say….
New RREM & HMGP News – Township Grants Available – Call us for help
You may have recently received notice that your town is participating in the new HMGP grant. It comes from the state to the towns who applied, and is anywhere from $1,000,000 – $2,000,000 per town.
If you are in an eligible town, you must complete an application including an estimate and submit it to your township. You will be entered in a lottery and if you are chosen, 75% of your project costs could be covered.
One drawback is the fact that you must fund the construction and then get reimbursed. If you don’t have the funds to work with, you’ll have to borrow them or be unable to participate.
The other shortcoming is that several of the towns that we know about have very short deadlines to submit very substantive applications – and you need to have an estimate from a builder to submit.
If you are eligible and think we might be able to help you with any of this, give us a call at 609 693 8881.
April 19th Rebuilding Seminar – Review
This was easily one of our best and most informative seminars in 4 years. We were moved from the Fire Room and the rear meeting room, to the Pizza Room, which is a little noisy, and very crowded for the 25 people we had, but it worked out. We had 7 great speakers that covered the widest range of topics we’ve ever presented at one of our seminars.
Topics covered included architectural and engineering planning, construction technique, consumer safety cautions when dealing with a builder, advice on financing your project, comments and tips about home elevation and finally advice on how to buy a new home or sell your existing one. Among many other items, we talked about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, the money builders really make on your project and ways to avoid delays and going over budget.
A special thanks to all of our Guest speakers at the seminar – You Helped Many People!: Scott Lepley – Architect – Design & planning considerations
Jason Devooght – Devooght House Lifters – Elevation technique and consideration Kathleen Dotoli – Workers’ Compensation Attorney, consumer protection Camille Marotta – AnnieMac Home Mortgage, finance options Tim Tennis – Dream Homes Project Manager, timing and change orders Valerie Jones – Dream Homes office manager, working with RREM and project stress
Jamie Stevers, Glen Kelly Real Estate, buying or selling your home Dan Straffi – Bankruptcy and divorce law
and me – Vincent Simonelli – Putting it all together for you
Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar – Wednesday June 14th, 2017
Our next Rebuilding Seminar will be held Wednesday June 14th, 2017 from 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall.
If you are planning a project, whether a new home, elevation or renovation, make sure you are there for tons of great information from our excellent speakers. It will really help you get started on the right track. We’ll focus on Sandsters that are early in the process, and have not completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect. We offer engineering & architectural design advice, RREM guidance at the initial stages, and help with choosing the right builder or contractor.
Mark the date and call to reserve – Wednesday, June 14th at 6:00 pm at the Tuscan Bistro 1250 Hooper Ave. in Toms River, across Hooper from the OC Mall. Please call 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Refreshments will be served and space is limited.
New Client Welcome!
Again, we’d like to welcome two more new clients— Mike & Peg from South Seaside Park and Kim & Joe from Bayville. Mike & Peg are building a new house with us. Kim & Joe were stuck after another builder disappeared on them. Thank you to both you for trusting Dream Homes with getting you back in your homes!
Communications – What Works, What Doesn’t and How to Improve
We’ve spoken often about this topic but I can’t really focus on this enough. It is a crucial subject for any complex undertaking, whether it is construction or otherwise. Today we’ll focus on 2 aspects – written communication and field discussions.
I’m a reasonably intelligent person, but no one has ever nominated me for a Nobel prize in anything and I doubt anyone ever will. I’ve won hundreds of wars and thousands of battles from diligence, persistence, good communication and organization and precisely 0 due to brilliance or a perfect memory. I mention this because organization and written lists are vitally important. No one can remember everything.
Ben Franklin said, “The faintest pencil is better than the sharpest memory.”
If you don’t write things down, they effectively don’t exist. If one doesn’t commit thoughts and agreements to paper or email, they may as well not have occurred.
No matter how smart you are, unless you have total recall (some people do – I am not one of them), you must write things down in order for them to be completed.
So, please remember the following two thoughts, which will serve you well.
Point 1: If you have discussions with anyone in the field (project manager, owner, salesperson, mechanic, inspector) and review several items, someone should be taking notes. If no one writes anything down or enters it into a tablet, assume that over 50% of what is discussed will be forgotten, remembered incorrectly, or misunderstood upon later reflection.
Point 2: Stop texting novels and long lists of worries, thoughts and ideas. If it takes more than 140 characters in a normal text message, don’t text.
Use email like an adult, or type your thoughts into a document and fax it if you don’t like email. If neither of those methods works for you, write your concerns and thoughts in longhand with pencil and paper and send it snail mail.
Teenagers, college students and immature people rely on texting as their primary method of communication. This does not work in real life. The founding fathers didn’t text their thoughts at the Constitutional Convention in 1776, and neither should you about your project in 2017.
Lesson: If you care about your project, reduce your thoughts to writing and email or fax them to your builder so they can be addressed correctly
Remember – if you don’t write it down, it doesn’t exist.
If you do write it down, and present it to your professional for comment, it will be taken in, categorized, disseminated through the organization to the proper people and (most importantly), followed up on.
Summary: If you have concerns, questions or comments, write them in a 1-2 page email and send them to your builder to address.
Telling a project manager in the field a list of concerns serves little purpose. You are focused only on your 5 items. They are focused on the 1000 items needed to complete your project and others. If you don’t see him or her commit your conversation to paper, assume it didn’t occur and don’t expect that your items will be addressed.
New Dream Homes Team Member – Welcome to Larry Schmieder
We have a new team member at Dream Homes who we’ve brought on to help us improve our building times and communication with our (currently 24) active clients. Again, I’d like to welcome Larry Schmieder to the Dream Homes family and really look forward to working together with him. Larry has a wealth of experience in construction and management (40+ years) and we’re glad to have him aboard. If you come to our next Rebuilding Seminar on June 14th, you can meet him. Larry can be reached at email@example.com.
Repeat: Link – The Asbury Park Press Article about Shore House Lifters and How RREM Dropped the Ball
Here’s the link to the APP article, which was in the paper 3 weeks ago.
General Resource – Consumer Protection: Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire is a workers’ compensation and disability attorney in Toms River and speaks regularly at our Rebuilding Seminar. Kathy gives an excellent presentation about consumer protection which is filled with great information to save you money and grief. (Next one is this Wednesday, June 14th, 2017). Email Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation.
New Blog Development – Easier for you to read and use for reference –
We added some specific Pages on the main page, including References, Definitions, About Dream and Photos/Videos. Result: blogs can be shorter and more focused and refer you to specific pages. Hopefully it will help you use the blog more easily.
Grand Opening – New Office Glen Kelly Real Estate branch office – 2818 Bridge Avenue – Point Pleasant – Glen Kelly Real Estate is sharing an office with Dream Homes and handling all Dream Homes inquiries for elevations, renovations, new homes as well as the rest of your real estate buying and selling needs. Stop by with your real estate and construction needs.
Foundations, Foundations, Foundations – Part 2 Cement Piers and Cement Board Surrounds
The foundation is one the most important aspect of your construction, the category that costs the most and is easily the most complex. Today we’ll talk about reinforced concrete piers built on individual concrete footings or continuous footings or grade beams.
With this method, there are monetary savings since you’re not building a full block wall, but instead building a breakaway or cement board skirt wall surround. If you want a finished solution, the cement board over pressure treated lumber in various colors works well. If you frame the wall with wood sheathing, it is ready for siding to be run down as far as you wish.
It’s not a bad option and works especially well when the lift is not full height. Without the added wind shear consideration, you can construct 24” x 24” x 12” reinforced footings under each pier and avoid the expense of pouring continuous footings.
You can expect up to a 20% – 35% savings on your overall foundation, depending on your ultimate interior and exterior finish choices.
Mission Statement and Comment: AT Dream Homes, we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle the messiest, most unpleasant, real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the projects that few other people can do, and help people finish their projects and get back in their homes. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to proceed, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.
At Dream Homes, we believe that taking on difficult unpopular projects is part of the social contract we have with the community and the Jersey Shore. We’ve never abandoned a client or failed to finish a project – we feel very strongly that it is our obligation to help Sandsters and others in need.
Video & Past Seminars
Photos & Videos – Click on the link below
Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale: We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.
Dream Homes at Tallwoods: We’ll be offering 13 beautiful new 3 and 4 bedroom single-family homes for sale in the mid $200,000 range in late 2017 / early 2018.
Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2018.
If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.
2017 Scheduling & Priority projects – Critical dates to remember: If you are stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) at least we can help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. As an additional service to our neighbors in the Jersey Shore community, we do initial consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck in the poop. It doesn’t change what happened to you, but at least you’ll know what’s happening and how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and then a written estimate.
Timing for permits: Up and down the shore, we’re running 4-6 weeks to get through building and zoning Save time – submit zoning as soon as you have the footprint and the stair/entries done even if you’re still working on finalizing your architectural plans. Zoning and Building Departments are separate functions in each municipality. They work together, but can be pursued separately.
Perfect Time for Fall 2017: It is however, the perfect time to start working on a September or October 2017 start. Get agreements signed, engineering and design scope started, and get plot plans and architecturals submitted to zoning for review. There’s no reason you can’t have an approved plan set of plans waiting at the township in July or August, awaiting receipt of your utility disconnect letters. Planning ahead doesn’t cost you any additional money, and the value to you is priceless. This is the type of service that you receive from us, and what you should expect from a good builder.
There’s Real…and then there’s Memorex…What an Estimate and Scope of Work is Supposed to Look Like…
Click on the link above or call us and we’ll send you a blank scope of work for your reference.
Yeah, We Do That for You… This was an excellent (if I do say so myself) article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received much positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at
Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below
References & Testimonials – Click on the link below
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 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 and hold the seminars to help guide Sandsters and others through the maze that is any reconstruction project, Dream Homes actually does what I write about. Dream Homes & Development Corp. 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 supervise and manage elevation projects & house moves, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build entire new neighborhoods. In the past 23 years, we’ve completed over 1500 new homes, 190 elevation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 28 of our elevation projects have been rescue projects, where we came in to save a homeowner when someone else left. Dream builds new homes, demolishes existing damaged homes, elevates and move homes, complete additions and renovations and rescues homeowners when their other builder abandons them. We work with private clients as well as Path B clients in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for a free estimate on your rebuilding project.
That’s all for today Sandsters. I hope my words helps you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.
Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: VRTR)
Dream Building LLC
Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC
New Home Builder #045894
Home Improvement Contractor #13VH07489000
Office: 314 S. Main Street
Mailing: PO Box 627
Forked River, NJ 08731
Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619