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Dream Homes Rebuilding Blog – 10-29-17 – 5 Years since Sandy – NJ Should Get on Board with Builder Testing – Dream Homes Winner of Best Builder in Ocean County – RREM and Billing – Dream FAQs – Hurricane Prep

Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Nearly Famous Rebuilding, Renovation, and Elevation Blog


Hello all –

I hope this blog finds you well on this rainy Sunday.

It’s fitting that it’s raining today, because it’s October 29th, a day that tens of thousands of us will not forget for a long time. As I sit here today on the 5th anniversary of Storm Sandy, I can’t help but think about all we’ve been through and how our lives, and the Jersey Shore have completely changed. We’re tougher now, and smarter, and certainly more aware of how life can change in a minute. Many of us have wound up in a better place after much heartache, and many more of us have never fully recovered from the effects of that storm. It will be another 15 years until we build through this completely and the landscape, our habits and our fears have changed forever. We’re better than any storm though, and we’ll keep trying to improve our lives and communities every day.

On the good news front, Dream Homes was recently awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 200 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help New Jersey rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey!Picture2

Today, I’ve again posted some items from our new FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. The October 8th blog has all of them or you can get them from our website at It’s a useful, concise guide to address common questions and lets you know what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder.

We remind you again about common-sense preparations to make for the next hurricane, with a link to the FEMA guide, “How to Prepare for a Hurricane.” We offer a useful link from Builder Magazine about home solar systems – and how they don’t work when the grid goes down (unbelievably).

Most importantly, we repeat – it’s time to get plans submitted and to get going on your project so you can start before January and be finished before late Spring.

Licensing – New Jersey – Wake up and smell the toast burning and get on board with licensing and testing!! Dream Homes has recently gotten licensed for all residential and commercial construction in Florida, which required a 3-part test, comprising 12 hours of testing on site as well as an online portion. This leads me to talk about how we need to have mandatory licensing with testing in NJ for new home builders and home improvement contractors. Currently, there are about a zillion separate trades that are licensed and regulated in NJ and require proficiency testing. Home building and home improvement contracting does not require testing.

As readers of this blog know, I am not a fan of additional regulation or governmental interference in our lives. However – It is our opinion that New Home Builders and Home Improvement Contractors should not only be licensed, but that proficiency testing as well as the corresponding continuing education credits should be required.

Currently, only 2 states require testing to obtain a new home builder or home improvement contractor license – Florida and Texas. The real question is why? One takes tests to pass the bar and practice law, pass the real estate exam, pass the insurance exam, sell securities or annuities, and numerous other vocations. There is a test for home inspectors and pest control specialists. Plumbers, electricians and HVAC contractors are licensed. All of these trades must be tested.

In NJ, you need to demonstrate that you are breathing, have liability insurance and have not been convicted of a violent crime. That describes a subset of 98% of the population. Insane.

New home construction and certainly advanced home improvement contracting involving elevation and renovation is vastly more complex than most licensed trades in NJ and as complex as the most demanding ones listed above.

How ridiculous is it that we do not test for proficiency in a trade which is complex, ever changing, requires in depth knowledge of numerous categories and cannot simply be done by anyone with a hammer? Completely absurd.

It is my opinion that if we required testing in NJ for building trades, over 90% of the fraud and mismanagement would not have occurred over the last 5 years.

I hate to get on the bandwagon for more regulation, but we’re going to bang this drum for a while. The entire level of the game will change, be elevated and immediately protect homeowners from poor workmanship and fraudulent behavior.

Dream Homes FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) Partial Repeat

We’ve compiled a list of common questions about new home construction, structural moving services, home elevation, home renovation and selling your property to help you to better understand the process. Our FAQ list is organized into categories including General, Home Elevation & House Moving, and New Home Construction. Our clients have found this list to be helpful when planning a construction project or navigating through the construction process and we hope you’ll also find it useful. I reprinted only one question from each section. For the full list, go to the October 8th blog, or our website at

General – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Q: Why should I use Dream Homes for my home elevation or new home construction project? I’ve also heard you were a publicly traded company – what does that mean to me?Dream Homes & Development Corporation is also a publicly traded, audited company, and we trade under the ticker symbol DREM. Being fully audited means you can review our history, financials and performance at any time and be very comfortable that you are dealing with a solid company who will successfully complete your project. In addition, we are the only public company performing elevation and renovation projects in New Jersey.
  2. A: The most important reason to choose Dream Homes is that we’re the region’s most trusted builder and your best choice for a licensed New Home Builder or registered Home Improvement Contractor in NJ. Our team has been building, elevating and renovating homes in New Jersey since 1993, and we’ve successfully completed over 1700 new homes and over 200 elevation projects. Most importantly – we’re never finished with a project until you are satisfied.
  3. Home Elevations, House Lifting & Structural Moving – Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Q: How long should my project take from start to finish?
  5. A: Depending on the level of complexity and size of your project, and whether it is a new home or an elevation/renovation project, the average time to complete a project (counted from the receipt of a building permit) varies from 3-7 months. If you do not have architectural plans, you should also allow 2-3 months at the beginning of the process for soil studies, architectural and engineering design, and township issuance of permits. Please review additional detail regarding project duration under the New Homes FAQ section below.
  1. Q: What do I need to move from my house before a home elevation? How should I prepare?If your house is on a crawl or basement, there is little you will need to do to prepare. We recommend laying any delicate collectibles down flat, and possibly taking heavy mirrors or wall hangings off the walls. Generally, there is little else that must be done to prepare for a house lift or move. On the other hand, if your home is on a slab, all items on the first floor must be removed and stored either on site or off. This is because the slab (which is currently your floor) remains in place when the house is elevated, and a new floor system is constructed which sits on top of the new foundation.
  2. A: It depends on if your home is on a crawl or basement foundation, or it is on a slab foundation.

See October 8th blog for additional FAQ ’s on this subject

            New Home Construction with Dream Homes – Site Built and Custom Modular – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: How do I decide whether to elevate/renovate my home or to demolish and build new? Two very positive aspects of new construction are energy efficiency and construction quality. A new energy efficient home can save you 30% – 50% from your current utility bills. As far as construction quality, building codes have been updated 5 times since 2000. The homes we are building now in NJ are vastly superior in safety and quality than those built just 20 years ago. There are many factors that go into this raise/renovate or build new decision so it is difficult to quantify in a few sentences. Your best option is to contact us for a free consultation so we can meet and review your options. A: The answer to this question is multifaceted and dependent on many factors. If your home was built before 2000, is a single-story and is built on a slab foundation, it is probably more cost-effective and energy efficient to demolish your home and build new. If your home was built after the year 2000, is 2 stories and is built on a crawl foundation, it probably makes the best economic sense to do a perform a home elevation and renovate your home.
  2. Q: How do I decide whether to choose a site built home or custom modular? Is there a price or quality difference? Depending on the type and size of the house you are considering, there may be a cost and time savings to choosing modular construction over site built construction. Another factor is the number of changes that you think you might make during the construction process. It is difficult and costly to make changes in a modular home project, where a site-built home offers more flexibility with making changes. Contrary of what is commonly believed, there is generally no difference in the quality of construction between site built and modular construction.
  3. A: Both site built and custom modular homes can be suitable for different needs and locations. Though Dream Homes has built more than 1700 new homes since 1993 with the majority of them being site built, we recently acquired a modular construction company and design showroom to meet the demand for custom modular homes.

See October 8th blog for FAQ #’s 3 – 10

Nearly Famous Rebuilding SeminarWednesday December 6th, 2017 – See us in person and or watch us on Facebook Live!

Our next Rebuilding Seminar will be held Wednesday December 6th, 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 took questions from people who couldn’t make it to the seminar, which was an excellent addition to our program.

If you’re planning a project, whether a new home, elevation or renovation, and you haven’t already attended one of our seminars, come for helpful information from our excellent speakers that will get you started on the right track. We focus on homeowners early in the rebuilding process, who haven’t completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect.

We 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. Pizza and wine will be served and space is limited.

Hurricane Preparation – FEMA Hurricane Prep, Common Sense Reminders & Sobering Statistics: I’ve included it here because it is so useful. Entitled “FEMA’s guide on How to Prepare for a Hurricane”, it includes tips on what to do before, during and after the storm to protect yourself and your property.

It’s been almost five years since Storm Sandy hit New Jersey and although we hope to never experience another storm like that, with each passing year the storms are becoming more frequent and more intense. Print this guide out for your reference – if the power goes out, you won’t be able to access the internet.

Important Repeat: Getting Started for late Fall/early Winter starts – If you haven’t submitted your plans for a late fall start, well, stop reading this blog (as fascinating as it may be) and call your licensed New Jersey builder or registered home improvement contractor and instruct him to prepare and submit your permit package right now. Though not completely necessary in NJ, it is much better to start your project prior to the first week of January, when difficult weather can become a factor in the schedule. This way you can also expect to be back in by late spring. Remember: Zoning and Building are separate functions and offices. You can (and should) submit your zoning package while you’re assembling your permit package, so you can save time and received your approved permit more quickly.

Repeat – Solar Power at Home – Shouldn’t it work when the grid goes down?? One would certainly think so, but one would generally be wrong. I’ve included a link to a short article in Builder Magazine, but the summary is that the inverter and the entire solar array are run by power from the grid, and when the power stops, your solar array won’t continue to generate energy.

So, for your system to actually work when the power goes out, you will need a battery backup system, which will run the inverter when there’s no power from the grid. Note: The inverter converts the direct current (DC) which comes from the sun into alternating current (which is what everything in the house runs on). No battery – no inverter – no solar power generation. This is not a tidbit of info you want to discover when the power is out and you’re expecting your home solar system to keep right on making electricity only to find out that it won’t. See the article here

Dream Homes & Development Corporation – 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 the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractor and was recently awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2016 by the Asbury Park Press. 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 and 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

Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’re the region’s most trusted builder and we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the elevation, renovation and new home 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.

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 amount (usually much less) 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.

On another note, 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.

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.

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.

New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!! 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 home improvement contractors and new home 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, who has a wealth of experience in modular construction as well as kitchen and bath design. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by.


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.

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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