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Dream Homes Rebuilding Blog – 9-17-17 – How to Prep for a Hurricane – Wind & Water Dangers – Rebuilding Seminar 10/11/17 – Expansion to Florida – Texting Evils – Book to Read – “Lights Out”

Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Nearly Famous Rebuilding, Renovation, and Elevation Blog


Hello all –

Hopefully today finds you well, enjoying your summer and moving along with your project.

Today, we recap some of the events in the last few weeks and remind you about some common sense preparations you can make for the next storm, Hurricane Jose, which is due to impact us at some point this week. We recommend the excellent book, “Lights Out”, written by Ted Koppel which touches on what happens to society when power is lost for an extended period of time. We remind you again about why we are elevating our homes and rebuilding to greater heights. We discuss the effects of both wind and water, and how water and storm surge can be so much more devastating. We talk about our recent company ban on texting for meaningful communication. We mention our plans to open an office in southwest Florida to help with the rebuilding efforts that will be ongoing for years.

Most importantly, we send our thoughts and prayers (again) to the people affected by Harvey, as well as the thousands of people affected by Irma. The last week has been really lousy for a lot of people. Here in New Jersey we’ve understand what they’re going through and it’s miserable. We send our strength, prayers and donations out to those less fortunate than we are.

On another note, we remind you about our next Rebuilding Seminar which is Wednesday, October 11th, live at Tuscan Bistro and streamed on the internet 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.

Hurricane Preparation – Common Sense Reminders and Sobering Statistics: Here is a link to possible paths that Hurricane Jose might take this week, which will affect us in some manner.

For a bit more sobering information, there are 2 other hurricanes directly behind Jose, both of which have the potential to affect the eastern seaboard.

As a reminder, the possibility of being affected by another storm or hurricane is why we people all over the country (and the world) are elevating their homes. It’s not a question of  a storm will happen, but when it will occur. More and more people at the shore are realizing the need to elevate their homes, and one of the most sobering statistics is that for the first time in history 2 separate Category 4 hurricanes hit the US mainland within one year. To ignore this trend is foolish. One must accept that the fundamental choice is to move inland, away from the most probable path of hurricanes (which didn’t work out to well for the folks in Houston) or to address the need to elevate your house at least 3’ above the base flood level in your area. Call us to schedule a free consultation for your home.

So, here’s a partial list of what to do in preparation for a storm, where winds could exceed 60 miles per hour and there is a possibility of flooding or storm surge. Note that I focus strongly on what is needed when there is no power, which (other than structural failure) is the most pressing concern after a storm.

  1. Get rid of anything outside your house that could become a missile in high winds. That includes flower pots, umbrellas, loose lumber, and patio furniture (unless it is wrought iron), coolers and other assorted items. Anything that is under 50 pounds that you can easily move should be stored or secured down.
  2. Fill your bathtub and have a supply of bottled water. Ideally, buy one or more 7-gallon water storage containers from Walmart ($14). If possible, you should have a 2-week supply of drinking water.
  3. Generator & gas: Ideally, you should have a generator and at least two 5-gallon containers of gas, so at the very least you can run your refrigerator, furnace, a few lights and be able to keep your cell phone charged. I’ve written in past blogs how the installation of a disconnect switch ($200) next to your electrical panel will allow you to run essential items directly from your generator, through your panel, without running extension cords to your appliances.
  4. Batteries, candles, flashlights and a radio: These items are inexpensive and very important to have around when there’s no power.
  5. Books, board games and alcohol: Real books, cards and board games, and your favorite libation can help get through long nights with no electricity. They are old-school and analog, but what else are you going to do when it gets dark at 7 pm?
  6. Food: A 6-month supply of dry and canned goods for 2 people costs $300 and is a vitally important component for any kind of disaster preparation (Shop Rite Can Can Sale is a good start or hit BJ’s, Costco or Walmart). Beans of all kinds, pasta and canned sauce, canned vegetables, rice, coffee, dried milk, pet food and a few other essential items can make all the difference in the world. Assume you can’t leave your house for 2-3 weeks – could you survive or would you be looking at your parakeet thinking she might make a nice roast?
  7. Medicine and first aid supplies: This one is a little tougher, since most prescriptions can’t be filled for more than a month or so. In addition to basic first aid supplies, stock up on aspirin and ibuprofen. Try and have a one-month supply of any vital medicines and switch out each time you refill a prescription, using the older medicine and storing the new.
  8. Cars and other vehicles: Fill your cars with gas and move them to higher ground if you think there is any chance of flooding.
  9. Phones & other rechargeable: Charge all your batteries: Cell phone, radio and any other item that is rechargeable. It’s not much but will help for a short time. If the power goes out, do not use your cell phone unnecessarily and shut it off after each use.

There’s a lot more, but this is a good start. A little preparation goes a long way. Call us at 609 693 8881 with questions or if you need help with any of the above items.

Texting – A scourge on our ability to communicate: At Dream, we’ve recently introduced a no-texting policy between our clients and our team members. We find that texting is not good for extended conversation, doesn’t lend itself to accurate expression and is a constant disruptive factor which affects good accurate communication. Additionally, other than if the text stream is exported to a file, there is no common record of what was said. This makes follow up and follow through extremely difficult. We still use it internally for brief communications between team members.

Moral of the story: Keep texting to one or 2-line communications such as, “Remember to pick up milk and eggs” or “The sheetrock delivery is delayed 2 hours on 123 Main Street”. If your communication is longer than 2 sentences, put it in an email or pick up the phone and talk like we used to do.

Wind, water and storm surge: What do they mean and what’s more of a risk? We sometimes forget that water is much, much denser than air. In NJ, though we build to a 120 mile per hour wind rating, we rarely see winds like that. In Sandy, the majority of the damage was done from water. If your home was built in the last 10 years, it is strongly protected from wind damage. However, there is only so much that can be done to protect from water.

Water, because it is so much heavier and denser than air, causes most of damage in most storms in our area. This is why we install flood vents and breakaway walls in our elevated homes and have our furnaces and essential mechanicals located above the flood elevation.

Assume that you will be flooded by a storm surge, which can and often does occur after the brunt of a storm has passed. Remember – wind goes away when it is done blowing and (except for damage caused while it is windy) leaves no evidence of its existence. Water does not go away immediately and after the damage from the destructive force of a surge, rots, destroys and mildews everything it touches.

On another note, if you are ordered to evacuate, then do so and don’t delay. Do not assume that someone will come out and rescue you in the middle of the storm, because you weren’t ready to leave when instructed to do so. First responders often will not be tasked for rescues when winds exceed 40 miles per hour. Be governed accordingly.

Finally, if you decide to stay home and weather the storm, DO NOT go outside during the storm for any non-essential reason such as rescuing a yard sculpture or a deck chair you forgot to bring inside. Risking having one of your neighbor’s planters flying through the air and whacking you in the head at 50 miles an hour is not worth the risk. Risking electrocution (largest cause for death in storms) is also not worth your life for to save a cooler or barbecue grill you forgot.

Words to the wise, Sandsters…

Recommend Reading – “Lights Out”: For those of you who like to read (books, not news), pick up the book “Lights Out” by Ted Koppel. It’s a fascinating look at what would happen in the event all or a good portion of our electrical grid was destroyed or rendered inoperable from an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) caused by a nuclear detonation in our low-earth atmosphere.

Regardless of your belief in whether such an event could occur (it most definitely could), the reality is that flooding and hurricane force winds can do as much damage to our very fragile, interconnected electrical grid. The book is fairly short (I read it in an hour or so), extremely well written and documented and will make you realize just how fragile and dependent upon electricity our society has become. It’s well worth your time to read

Reminder – Visit our New Design Center: Please visit 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. You’re invited to visit us and see what we have – hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 – 2, closed on Tuesday, with other hours by appointment.

Nearly Famous Rebuilding SeminarWednesday October 11th, 2017 – See us in person and or watch us on Facebook Live!

Our next Rebuilding Seminar will be held Wednesday October 11th, 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 one of our architects or engineers. 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 50 people join us on Facebook at the last seminar and could 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, and you haven’t already attended one of our seminars, 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.

We’ll talk about architectural and engineering planning, construction technique, RREM guidance, help with choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions when dealing with him (or her), financing your project, comments and tips about home elevation in general. We also talk about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, and ways to avoid delays and going over budget. So, mark the date and call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Refreshments will be served and space is limited.

Siding, Trim and other Exterior Finishes: See the last blog of 8/26/17 for useful information on choices for siding, trim and other finishes.

Dream Homes – who we are: As you may know, Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company, and we’ve just released our 2nd quarter financials. I’m proud to report that sales, earnings and contracts have all increased significantly. Dream is growing, improving our operations and service and adding new members to our team to better serve you. You can view financials on our web site at Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information.

Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River and a Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and we’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey. You can view all the information about 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 on our website at or 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. Decks fall into 3 main categories – pressure treated, composite and fiberglass. Railings can be pressure treated, vinyl rail or glass.


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.

New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!! See last 2 blogs for more detail. Note: This model is perfect for many small lots in the shore area including Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley and South Seaside Park.

Seaview and Bayview Models: From $149,000 including demolition. These homes are 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths and suitable for 40-60 foot wide lots. Call 609 693 8881 for details.

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 in process or being started.

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, October 11th, 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, in a private wooded setting. 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 article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received 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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