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Dream Homes Rebuilding Blog 8-4-17

Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog –



Hello Sandsters –

I hope today finds you well and enjoying your summer. Since I am unable to write short blogs, I have given up on that illusion and am now writing until I feel satisfied. Just acknowledging that is like a mental weight off my shoulders…😊😊 the first step is acknowledging you have a problem…

Today I have some helpful items for you. We discuss our Beach Bungalow model, a delightful compact model starting at $89,800. We talk about maintaining perspective and not losing your mind while building. We let you know about our next Rebuilding Seminar on August 16th, which is being held live at Tuscan Bistro and streamed on Facebook Live. We talk about the Toms River Home Show on October 28 & 29th at the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River, where we’ll be exhibiting. Different types of decks and their costs are discussed.

Finally, we again mention our new Dream Homes Jersey Proud Design Center at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, where you can see modular home plans, kitchens, baths, flooring and tons of fixtures.

New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!! Our new Beach Bungalow Model starts at $89,800 and offers 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, loft, laundry and cathedral ceilings in 560 square feet. You’re welcome to drive by 30 E Kingfisher in the Ocean Beach III section of Toms River and see the house. For those of you thinking of designing a new home, we’ve introduced this new model last year to fit in a very small footprint (26’ wide x 20’ deep). We can adapt it to fit on other small lots.

Author’s note: Cost/Benefit – Elevate vs: build new & When to Spend Money: The Beach Bungalow is perfect if you are in a great location and your house is a 40-50-year old bungalow on a slab that must be raised. It’s much more economical and energy efficient to demolish an old slab foundation house and build new, as opposed to elevating and renovating an old house. Send me an email if you’d like to see this plan, and we also have 200 other plans to choose from, all of which can be altered to suit your requirements.

Is it worth it?  Cost / benefit discussed in detail: One of the most common questions we all face when renovating, rebuilding or investing in real estate is the fundamental question of whether a particular portion of a project is worth doing. A good way to determine where to spend your money is to initially decide if the improvement is a vanity or essential addition to your project. Vanity improvements make you happy and add to your quality of life, but may or may not add incremental value to your home. These types of improvements include expensive tile, finishes, kitchens or landscaping, where the cost is greater than a middle of the road improvement. An example is spending $30 a square foot on tile you love (versus $2 per square foot), spending $40,000 on a kitchen and new counters when you could spend $10,000, or spending $20,000 on landscaping and plantings versus $5,000. These items do not add value to your house to the extent that they are in excess of base cost. You should include them in your project scope only if they give you specific and definable enjoyment, and you should not expect to recoup these costs when you sell. No one (or only a select number of people) cares about your $30 per square foot Italian marble, or exotic landscaping, unless they happen to share the same tastes as you.

Essential or valuable improvements undeniably add value to your home and include new kitchens, baths, new decks, full height elevations and elevators (or elevator shafts). These items add a dollar for dollar (or more) value to your real estate, and can be recaptured when you sell, as well as adding to your quality of life and enjoyment every day. Their value is also relatively easy to quantify.

Simply being aware of the difference and considering an improvement in this manner helps you decide whether the money is worth spending.

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar Wednesday August 16th, 2017 – In person and on Facebook Live!

Our next Rebuilding Seminar will be held Wednesday August 16th, 2017 from 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. We’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire, Jason Devooght (Devooght House Lifters) and Scott Lepley, architect, and all give very informative presentations. We’ll also be streaming it on Facebook Live and be online if you want to email questions or comments while the seminar is under way. We had over 30 people join us on Facebook at the last seminar and were able to take questions from people who couldn’t make it to the seminar, which was an excellent addition to our program.

If you are planning a project, whether a new home, elevation or renovation, make sure you attend for helpful information from our excellent speakers. It will help you get started on the right track. We focus on homeowners that are early in the rebuilding process, and haven’t completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect.

Topics covered will include architectural and engineering planning, construction technique, RREM guidance, help with choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions when dealing with him, 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. We also talk 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.

So, mark the date and call 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Refreshments will be served and space is limited.

Perspective and Sanity: I’ve written about this subject many times in the past, but as with money basic concepts, it bears repeating. Simply put, issues that come up during the construction of your project are not worth losing your mind or sanity over. These issues include delays, code changes, additions made during your project and any other unknown occurrence that may cause you stress.

To maintain your sanity, preserve your marriage or relationship and live through your project without having a heart attack, it is important to keep everything in perspective.

If you and your family wake up in the morning looking down at the grass (instead of up at the grass) and are healthy, not much else matters.  Without exception, there is nothing that happens during a construction project that is worth angst or domestic unrest.

Changes and delays are not tragedies – war, pestilence, disease, car accidents, civil unrest, and having a President who is a Twitter addict are all tragedies. Reserve your angst and concern for matters that merit that degree of worry. Don’t stress if your project is delayed because you added a floor in your garage or inspections (in Brick, Toms River, Manahawkin, or Little Egg) are inexplicably delayed. It’s not worth it. If you and your family are healthy, don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember that we still live in the greatest country in the world where we are free, enjoy public utilities, no one is standing around on the streets with machine guns or kidnapping people off the streets and by and large our society is stable. Without exception, when you find yourself getting upset over an unforeseen occurrence during your project, step back and look at it in perspective. Minor issues are minor issues and will pass. Nothing happening in residential construction is worth having a heart attack over.

A good rule of thumb is as follows: If an issue can be fixed with money or time, it’s not a problem. If it can’t be addressed with money, it is a real issue and merits your time and concern.

Common sense words to the wise, Sandsters. Heed them and you’ll sleep better.

About Dream Homes …as a reminder, Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company. We’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey. Please view us online – if you like us and believe in what we’re doing, we would love to have you as shareholders. For more information and an information package, contact Matt Chipman, our investor relations person. Matt can be reached at (818)923-5302, (310) 709-5646 or You can view our operational results and financials at any time at

Decks, more decks and railing…Decks are one of the more popular improvements and one of the easiest ways to add value to your home. They can be reasonably priced and can also run to tens of thousands depending on complexity. Decks fall into 3 main categories – pressure treated, composite and fiberglass. Railings can be pressure treated, vinyl rail, glass or wire.

Pressure treated decks and rails are the most economical but require a certain amount of maintenance (or not) to keep the appearance constant. Or not (if you’re like me). Maintenance is simple and involves applying Thompson’s Water Shield or some other preservative once every few years. P/T decks are also subject to shrinking, swelling and fading. You should expect to pay somewhere in the range of $40 – $50 per square foot, including footings, framing, decking and rails. Add an additional $5 per square foot for vinyl rail instead of pressure treated.

Composite decking (Trex or other) with vinyl rail are easily the most popular choice over the last decade or so. We’ve become a maintenance free society, we’re aging as a populace and few people want to bother keeping up with the maintenance a pressure treated deck requires. Composite decking comes in many colors and brands – just the Trex brand alone has 3 product lines, with the Transcend line being very high end and including wood grains and exotic colors. All styles are installed with hidden hangers so no nails can be seen (except for stairs). Expect to pay between $50 – $60 per square foot, including footings, framing, decking and rails. Add an additional $3-$5 per square foot for upgraded styles and quality levels, instead of entry level composite decking.

Fiberglass decking is the choice when you want to create a waterproof space under the deck. It’s very useful to create outside patio space where you can linger when it’s raining. It does get hot and eventually must be gel coated after 5-7 years as it may start to crack in places. It comes in many colors. Installation is much more complicated, since a solid floor must be built, the floor must have a pitch for water runoff, and the fiberglass itself is installed in a 3-stage process. The price difference for fiberglass alone is $12 – $15 per square foot, and other than omitting the decking, all other framing is the same. Fiberglass is usually not done on stairs. Expect to pay between $60 – $70 per square foot, including footings, framing, decking and rails.

Railing generally falls into 3 categories – pressure treated, vinyl and glass or wire. Vinyl is the most popular choice and is most often paired with composite decking. Glass is increasingly popular and can be used selectively (for cost savings) for areas facing the water. Expect to pay $60 – $70 a running (linear) foot extra for glass rail. Vinyl and pressure treated railing are generally included in the prices I listed above, but are generally $45 – $65 and $25 – $35 a linear foot, respectively is priced separately from the deck costs.

Why are building and general contracting companies getting out of the elevation/renovation business? That’s a simple answer. It’s difficult, unpredictable, time and resource consuming, complicated, fraught with change orders, and unknown, unforeseen circumstances. On top of all that it requires a greater amount of personnel than any other line of construction. The business involves building custom homes one after another with blue prints that are being written as you advance, filled with jack-in-the-box surprises. Few companies want to do residential turn key elevation projects anymore – new homes and commercial construction are immensely easier.

I predicted this occurrence 4 years ago – fly by night contractors are gone (for the most part) and real companies are making measured decisions whether to engage in this line of business. Many are opting out for the reasons above.

In addition, most general contractors and builders are unwilling to provide turn-key elevation/renovation projects. It’s messy, requires diverse skill sets and deep administrative support and places all responsibility for everything directly on the builder’s shoulders. Dream Homes regularly perform turn-key renovation and design build projects and will remain as one of the best, solid companies in the years to come.

Why does this matter to you? If a company isn’t committed to being in the line of work for which you are contracting, they will not support it correctly during and after the project. That means less resources (personnel and otherwise) devoted to your project. Currently at Dream Homes, we’ve been actively hiring carpenters, helpers, marketing and support staff for 2 years. We’re committed to the elevation /renovation business and improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.

Moral of the story: Try and avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current projects being started.

Notes – Permit fees, Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: Generally, permit fees are paid by the homeowner, since they can’t usually be determined at the start of a project. Design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost. In other words, we oversee the entire design process and it costs our clients the same (usually much less) amount of money than if the homeowner deals with the architect directly. This also results in significant savings in both construction design and redesign fees. Remember – the person who is going to build the project should be involved in the design from inception, so practical best practices can be designed in from the start.

Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? 2017 Scheduling & Priority projects – If you’re stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) we’ll help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. We do consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck. It doesn’t change what happened to you in the past, but at least you’ll know how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and written estimate. As a note, often we’re the only company willing to finish projects that have been abandoned.

New Dream Homes Modular Division – Design, Kitchen & Bath Studio –

Come see our Dream Homes Jersey Proud Custom Modular design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point, with complete kitchen, flooring & modular home design studio. See Lou Obsuth, who has a wealth of experience in modular construction as well as kitchen and bath design.


Kathleen M. Dotoli, Esquire – Consumer Protection:  Kathleen 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 that will save you money and grief. (Next one is Wednesday, August 16th, 2017). Email Kathy at or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation.

Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the projects that few other people can do, and help people finish 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.

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 a Dream Homes 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 homeowners through the maze that is any reconstruction project, Dream Homes does what I write about.  Dream Homes & Development Corp. and Dream Building 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 contractors abandon 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.


Vince Simonelli

Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)

Dream Building LLC

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

New Home Builder #045894

Home Improvement Contractor #13VH09325600

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




Twitter: #foxbuilder

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