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Dream Homes and Development Corp. Dream Building LLC., Premier Modular Homes Nearly Famous Building, Home Improvement and Real Estate Blog 6-12-19

Hello everyone –

Hopefully this email finds you well and enjoying the beautiful spring weather.

It’s been too, too long since I’ve written, and I’ve no excuse except work. I like writing but need the solitary hour or two, and I can’t write well when I’m feeling like I should be doing something else. Life is fraught with conflict.

I’ve so many things to share with you and so we’ll begin…

Dream Homes FREE Building Seminar – The Original and Still the Best

Next Wednesday 6/19/19

Our next Free Building & Real Estate Seminar is next Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 at our main office at 314 S Main Street in Forked River. This Seminar is our third one for 2019, and we’ll be serving food, drink and dessert, along with good advice.

Please note that we’ve been holding this seminar for 6 years and it’s still your best choice for useful information and advice on your construction project. If you haven’t ever been to one and are planning a construction project of any type, call 609 693 8881 now to reserve your space.

We’re Building All Over Ocean and Monmouth County Now:

Dream is now active from northern Middletown to Little Egg, throughout Long Beach Island, Beach Haven and Manahawkin, from Island Beach State Park to Manasquan. We’re completing new site built and modular homes, demolitions, renovations, additions and elevations up and down the Jersey shore.

Thank you to all our new clients…and thanks to our existing clients for all the referrals. Your kind words mean everything to us and are why we keep doing what we do.

Time to Get Moving for Fall 2019 Starts – Zoning comment: The clock is definitely ticking for certain new home and elevation projects you want to start in the fall of 2019 and complete by Spring / Summer 2020. You should have signed a contract or be signing one imminently, and start actively working on engineering and plans. You should submit your plans to zoning as soon as you can, even while you’re waiting to finalize architectural and engineering, so that clock starts ticking. Zoning can be (is most definitely) a complete, utter pain in the ass in most townships. Berkeley and Lacey aren’t bad and have helpful people, but many, many other towns are dysfunctional and have inexperienced zoning officers. Give them lots of time to approve your zoning permit, because usually Building won’t accept a submission until Zoning signs off.

Unless you’re doing a simple addition or Add-A-Level in A Day project, which can take as little as 1-2 months and doesn’t involve ground up new home construction or elevations, it’s best to start in September / October (ideally no later than year’s end), to ensure that you’re back in for May/June.

If you’re still on the fence and haven’t decided which way to go, how to get started, or want some general advice, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

3 offices to serve you –

Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River, a Dream Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and our newest showroom location at Premier Modular Homes in Little Egg Harbor. We’ll meet you wherever it’s most convenient for you. Note that Dream is the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey, and one of the few to offer complete residential services, whether custom or modular, elevation or renovation. Give us a call at 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to schedule an appointment.

Change Orders mean Delays:  No matter what you think, or what you are told, when you change the scope of work in the middle of a project, it causes delay. Construction is a complex system, which means every item affects at least 2 and usually more other items. Make sure the change you are making is worth it, or that a delay is ok with you. Ask how much additional time this change order will add to your project.

Our Old Frenemy – Cost / Benefit:  I hate to be repetitive, and I know it’s boring to some people…and I’ve written about this 2000 times, but many people consistently ignore the cost / benefit equation.

It’s vitally important to recognize and quantify the potential value you are gaining from improvements, versus the cost you are incurring. (I keep including this in the blog, since it applies to everyone and is incredibly helpful.)

My favorites are always decks, kitchens, baths and cosmetic improvements. I don’t like extensive remodeling for the sake of activity (unless it is a hobby for you and you have plenty of money), and unless it includes one of the above categories. Full height elevations, refinishing basements and attics is also useful and cost effective – if you’re creating additional living or recreational space. However, these items must be budgeted so the cost doesn’t exceed the value you create.   

Added caution: Sometimes an improvement makes sense if done moderately but makes no sense if overdone or done to excess. An excellent example is installing a $30,000 kitchen, which adds $30,000 in value (plus or minus) or installing an $80,000 kitchen, which adds….$30,460 in value, plus or minus.

Remember – no one but you (probably) cares that much about your costly upgrades. They might not hate them, but it’s probable that they won’t pay you what it cost you for them. Sad but true.

So make sure you really love what you’re doing – and that the enjoyment and improvement to your quality of life are worth the cost. Don’t get obsessed with expensive upgrades.

There is a Zen koan that reads, “It is not our preferences that hurt us, but rather our attachment to them.” Sometimes you just have to let things go that make little sense.

The $1,000,000 Question – Part II –

Which is Better – Custom Modular or Custom Stick Built?

The 3 most commonly asked questions regarding new home construction are: how long will it take, how much will it cost and which is better – stick or modular?

The answer is not as simple or straightforward as you might think. Luckily for you, we offer full service in both methods of construction, so whatever your decision, Dream Homes can help you. Here are a few good rules of thumb for guidance, as well as a few myths that you should be aware of.

  1. Size of the home: Over 3000 square feet, modular can truly be a cost and time saving method. The larger the house or building, the more economies of scale there are, and the greater the potential time and cost savings. A 3000 – 4000 custom stick-built home is generally a 9 – 12 month build, and with a custom modular home of that size you can cut the time by 3 months or so. However, most of our clients are building in the 1800 – 2500 square foot range, and the time comparison is essentially the same. Though you may save a month or so on the construction facet of the project, the planning portion can easily take 1-2 months longer.
  2. Cost: Though it’s a common misconception, modular is not necessarily less expensive with home sizes under 2500 – 3000 square feet. Though the actual modular home may be slightly less expensive, you still need to have it transported, set on a foundation (that you still need to build), install some type of heating and air conditioning system, connect your utilities, build stairs and entries and do sheetrock and final mechanical punch list repair inside. For a 2200 square foot house the cost is almost identical, regardless of whether it is site-built or custom modular.
  3. Time: Total project time is very similar for custom modular and site-built construction, once again for homes under 2500 – 3000 square feet. The difference is that with the modular, there is a greater amount of time spent in the beginning, attempting to get everything correct prior to the house being ordered and built. With a stick-built home, the construction can begin more quickly, but make take a month or two longer. Total project time is very similar.
  4. Quality and exposure to weather, elements and inspections: These 2 items are where modular has a slight edge, since the home is built in a controlled environment and inspected by an inhouse engineer. The construction schedule is not subject to the delays and effects of weather, inspection delays, since the construction is completed inside a building. That being said, the modular “boxes” still have to be stored on site at the factory, transported by truck, stored near the job site and then assembled and made watertight.

Remember: A good builder can make up for any shortcomings in site-built homes and a lousy builder can easily negate any advantages of modular construction. Pay more attention to the builder you choose, than the type of construction. The former is vastly more superior to the latter.

  1. Changes: Here is where site-built construction can be vastly superior. If you are the type of person who wants to make numerous changes as the project progresses, modular is not for you. If you need to see the house being created from the ground up, and have trouble visualizing how things will look, and wish to tweak the house and make changes while construction progresses, modular is most definitely not for you. In this case, you should have a site-built house built.

Hope that helps somewhat. For a more detailed analysis of your specific project, give us a call at 609 693 8881.

NEED MORE MONEY TO FINISH YOUR SANDY RREM PROJECT? RREM SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING STARTED JUNE 1 –

Call you Project Manager –

You may qualify for a new $50 million program Sandy survivors can tap to finish rebuilding their homes. Funding for the program originates from the 2013 Sandy relief package. Through Gov. Murphy’s program, eligible homeowners can receive funds in the form of a zero-interest, no payment loan that is completely forgiven if the homeowner stays in their home for 15 years.  If you move out in 5 years you will only have to pay back the pro-rated portion.  This is

a ZERO interest, ZERO payment loan as long as you live in the home.  This hasn’t been finalized and passed yet, but it is before Congress. Read about it

https://www.menendez.senate.gov/news-and-events/press/6-years-after-sandy-booker-murphy-pallone-praise-menendez-celebrate-success-and-urge-congress-to-pass-menendezs-flood-insurance-reform-bill

 

Can’t figure out the most efficient, cost-effective method for your project? Let us compare costs and time for custom modular, custom stick frame construction, elevation & renovation, and Add-A-Level. We’ll do that service FREE for you, on a lot that you own, or on a lot of your choice that we’ll buy for you.

Most companies don’t offer a complete selection of residential construction solutions, but we do.  Whether that means a new custom modular or stick built home, an elevation, renovation and addition, or Add-A-Level, let us find the right solution for you. At Dream Homes, we don’t sell you what we want to build, we offer to find the right solution for your specific situation.

Seminars and Events:  Can’t be there in person? Watch us STREAM SEMINARS LIVE on Facebook.

Next Wednesday, we’ll be joined by Scott Lepley from Adamson, Riva and Lepley Architects. We also stream on Facebook Live. If you can’t be there, watch us online and email questions or comments during the seminar.  If you’re planning a new home, elevation or renovation, you should attend. We’ve been offering this free seminar for 6 years, offer tons of helpful information and will help you get started on your project. For this seminar, we’ll also discuss modular homes and our newest offering – Modular Add-A-Level in A Day.

We discuss architectural and engineering design, construction technique, RREM guidance, choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions, financing your project, and tips about construction, renovation and 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. Food, beer, wine and soft drinks and dessert will be served. Space is limited so reserve early.

Add A Level in A Day? Is that possible? With 100% financing?

Dream Homes Makes it Possible

Are you out of space? Your family may be growing, but your house isn’t! (unless you’re already one of our clients!). So Don’t Move – Improve!!

If you thought you there was no way you could afford months out of your house to add to your living space, think again. We’ll Add-A-Level in A Day and often you’ll be back in your house in less than 2 weeks. Dream Homes’ newest service is revolutionizing 2nd floor additions.

Thought it was too expensive? It’s not.

We’ll add a second floor to your home, and include up to 3 bedrooms and a full bath, for as low as $99,880! (<500 square feet).

For a 960 square foot ranch, the complete package, including up to 3 bedrooms, a full bath, stairs from below, all carpentry, plumbing & electric, and all engineering and architecture, will cost you $165,300.

With monthly payments as low as $428 a month, you can add up to 3 bedrooms and a full bath, BE SAFE FROM WEATHER IN 1 DAY and COMPLETE in 2 weeks! We stand behind that crazy offer and we don’t know anyone else who can make that claim.

How can we do that? We’re just better than everyone else. We’ve come up with some very innovative techniques and solutions that are effective, inexpensive and very time sensitive.

Call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 today. Let us show you how we can help you Add A Level in A Day, Get Space and Grow Your House…😊😊

Building costs have increased, for the fourth year in a row – Steel has increased 42% year to year – and lumber prices have increased almost 11% in the last year (the new Canada tariffs were a big part of that)

So, if you’ve quoted a foundation a year ago and waited until now, the steel in the foundation alone may cost $500 – $1500 more. A 1200 square foot house lumber package has increased by $1600. Skilled labor has become more difficult to find and keep, although that’s getting slightly better. Keep these items in mind when you are finalizing your project costs and estimates.

If you have an estimate that is a year old, expect that the project estimate may increase slightly (3%-4%).

Moral of the Story: Material costs have increased throughout 2019. If you’re planning a project, try and secure fixed pricing now, or as soon as you can.

Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: The design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost (which means you don’t pay an extra margin which was added to the fee). 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 best practices can be designed in from the start. Author’s note from 2018: We successfully completed 46 projects in 2018, and 6 of them were with plans that the homeowner produced prior to retaining us. In all 6 projects, the plans and the scope of work had to be modified, the architecture and engineering cost was higher than we charge for the same work, and there were significant delays in each project.

Moral of the Story and a Word to the Wise – for a new home, elevation or significant renovation, unless you really know what you’re doing and are going to oversee and build the project yourself, let your builder/general contractor provide you with a design/build package. It will save you time, money, grief and probably your marriage.

Can You Save Money on Your Project??

Note that your general contractor does not have to do all the work on your project  – you can do as much or as little as you wish (with certain exceptions). Painting, spackle and interior trim are items we regularly encourage homeowners to do themselves if funds are tight. Even insulation and sheetrock and light demolition of existing decks can be done as well. Regardless of what a builder or contractor may tell you, you can do items yourself if you’re handy and are willing to invest sweat equity to save money.

The reality is that someone has to do the items in your scope of work – so why not have that person be you? Can it save you real money? Are you doing anything more valuable with your time??

Thinking of going Modular? Dream Homes can help

Dream Homes just added even more depth to our modular home capabilities with the addition of Premier Modular Homes in Little Egg Harbor. Premier Modular just joined the Dream Homes family in October and this is a really exciting development. With a full design center, office and construction space, we’ll be able to better serve our clients in Long Beach Island, Little Egg Harbor, Manahawkin and the entire Southern Ocean County area.

We’re proud to carry on the Premier Modular Homes tradition of modular construction excellence. Thank you to over 300 satisfied clients – we’re honored to  continue the 20 year tradition!

 

Dream Homes – Awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 & 2018 in the Asbury Park Press Reader’s Choice Contest. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 300 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help our friends throughout New Jersey build & rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey – last year and this year!

 

RREM News: Supplemental Funding:

 

Welcome to our New Clients and Thanks to everyone for the referrals!

Thank you to all of our clients and friends for trusting us with your homes. We’ve received numerous referrals from our clients and trade partners in the last few weeks. In any business, sincere referrals are the life blood. In building and construction, personal referrals are even more crucial, since they involve one’s most valuable possession. At Dream Homes, we value that trust, and take our responsibilities very seriously.

Why bother lifting your house? Simple. Flood risk, flood insurance rates and protecting the value of your largest investment.

As a reminder, being affected by another storm or hurricane is why people all over the world are elevating their homes. It’s not a question of if another storm will happen, but when it will occur. More people at the shore are just now realizing the need to retain a home improvement contractor or a new home builder registered or licensed in NJ to elevate or rebuild their homes. One of the most sobering recent statistics is that for the first time in history 2 separate Category 5 hurricanes hit the US mainland within one year (2017). 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 or to address the need to elevate your house at least 3’ above the base flood level in your area. 3’ above base flood also offers you the lowest available flood insurance rates.

Finally, by being proactive and elevating before an event, you insure that your home is always ready to either sell or mortgage, if you need to do either. Without being at the correct elevation, you’re going to take a $100,000 discount when you sell, and high flood insurance rates make it harder to finance or refinance your house.

 

RREM Grant – Use it or Lose it – Revocation due to Inaction & ICC Deadline – October 29, 2019

If you have a RREM grant and haven’t chosen a builder and signed a contract or otherwise signed a contract, you should do so – or risk losing your grant. That’s a reality.

RREM News – We know homeowners are having RREM grants revoked due to inaction. If you’ve been awarded a grant and haven’t done anything for a long time (1-2 years), eventually you’re going to lose your grant.

One very smart choice you can make if you haven’t started your RREM project yet or chosen a builder, is to make sure you choose someone who is very familiar with RREM and RREM paperwork.

We are experts at RREM paperwork and can save you countless hours during your project and afterward until you are completely closed out. We’ve completed over 300 elevation and new home projects since Sandy, and 65% of them were RREM.

Are you on Facebook? Visit, like and review us at:

https://www.facebook.com/Dream-Homes-Ltd-395944987168142/

Zoning issues – Building anywhere in NJ? Beware!! In general, zoning officers can be difficult to deal with, and the experience is complicated by interpretation of codes and subtle nuances between townships. Many zoning officers we’ve dealt with in NJ don’t have a clue what they’re doing since Storm Sandy changed the playing field. Sad but true.

“Pre-existing, non-conforming condition” is exactly like it sounds – a condition that was approved years (or decades) ago which doesn’t meet current zoning requirements. A general rule of thumb is that if you don’t remove the item (house, deck, etc.) and you are doing an elevation project to meet new flood codes, you are ok.

For a good discussion and the remainder of this article on “pre-existing, non-conforming” conditions, see the 2/3/18 blog. Or come to our next FREE Building Seminar.

Please Note: This subject is complex, often much more than it appears. For assistance and consultation, call us at 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619.

Dream Homes Products & Services – Did You Know We Offer all these services?

New Custom Site built and Modular Homes – Elevations and House Moves – Modular Add-A-Level in A Day – Interior and Exterior Renovations & Additions –  Kitchens & Baths – Roofing, Siding and Windows – Decks and railings – Masonry and Pavers – Engineering, Variance applications and Land Use – Permitting, Surveying and Project Management – Land Development and Approvals.

Call us for more detail on any of the above topics.

 

Dream Homes – Kitchen & Bath Design Studio & Custom Modular Division –

Though we’re known more for new homes and elevation projects than kitchens and baths, we also do quite a bit of remodeling. An excellent place for you to start is at our Custom Modular, Kitchen & Bath design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, with complete kitchen layouts, flooring selections and our own in-house modular home design studio. Since we’ve designed and built over 1800 new homes since 1993, we are well equipped to accommodate your remodeling needs, from the simple to the most complex. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by. 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.

 

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

We have a great FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section on our web site. Click on www.dreamhomesltd.com and FAQs on the Home Page. Read what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder – and what we feel you deserve.

Solar Power at Home –More Info and link:  For the full story check the 10/29/17 blog, and here is the link.

http://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/can-homeowners-use-rooftop-solar-power-during-an-emergency

Dream Homes & Development Corporation – About us: Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company and is one of the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractors. Dream Homes was awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 and 2018 by the Asbury Park Press. Dream Homes 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 www.dreamhomesltd.com. Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information. Our ticker symbol is DREM.

Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River a Jersey Dream Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and now our newest showroom location at Premier Modular Homes in Little Egg. We’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey, and one of the few to offer complete residential services, whether custom or modular, elevation or renovation.

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 matt@GreenChipIR.com. You can view our operational results and financials at any time on our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com or at www.sec.gov.

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 people in need.

Insulation & Wall Thickness – How Much Is Needed and What’s Involved? See the blog of 11/18/17 for useful information on Insulation technique, wall thicknesses & energy efficiency

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

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.

Is your home improvement contractor or new home builders willing to provide a turn-key project? This business is 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. This matters to you because 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. We’re committed to the residential construction business in all forms, whether it be new homes, elevation /renovations, or Add-A-Level, we improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.

Moral of the story: Avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current active projects or those being started.

Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? Scheduling for 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.

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, November 14th, 2018). Email Kathy at kmdotoli611@aol.com or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation or see her at our seminar.

Print the FEMA guide below so you have it: You probably won’t, but that’s ok. I’ll feel better just having warned you.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf

 

Also, go to www.ready.gov/prepare for more info. You can download a FEMA app to your phone and tablet at www.fema.gov/mobile-app.

Video & Past Seminars

Photos & Videos – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/video-photo/

Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale:  We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.

Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages, in a private wooded setting. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2019.

Dream on the Forked River: 42 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes with garages and private boat slips. Anticipated opening in winter 2018/spring 2019.

If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.

Yeah, We Do That for You…  This was an excellent article, which received positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at

 

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/08/dream-homes-nearly-famous-rebuilding-blog-1-8-17-why-use-dream-homes-yeah-we-do-that-for-you-hometown-hero-award-in-brick-rebuilding-seminar-1-18-16/

 

Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/definitions/

References & Testimonials – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/references/

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 All: Though I write this blog and host the Building seminars to help guide homeowners through the maze that is any construction project, Dream Homes does all the work that 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 25 years, we’ve completed over 1650 new homes, 300 + elevation & renovation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. Over 40 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 friends. I hope my words help you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

Vince Simonelli

Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)

Dream Building LLC

Licensed NJ New Home Builder #049531

Home Improvement Contractor # 13VH09325600

Main 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

Design Center: 732-903-7780

2109 Bridge Ave., Point Pleasant

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Websites: www.dreamhomesltd.com

www.premiermodularhomesllc.com

www.jerseydreamdesigncenter.com

Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: foxbuilder

 

Events & Seminars

Call us to attend our next Building & Real Estate Seminar, which is scheduled for Wednesday January 19, 2019 at our main office at 314 S. Main Street (Route 9) in Forked River. We’ll talk about design, architectural, and construction advice for your new home project or renovation. Call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 for reservations. Food and refreshments will be served.

Please refer us to anyone you think we might be able to help. We hold a Building Seminar every other month and write a helpful Rebuilding Blog. Ask about our referral program.

Please like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

 

Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog · Foundation systems · House raising and Moving · Monmouth & Atlantic County · Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar · New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean · New homes and elevations in Monmouth County · New Homes and elevations in Ocean County · Pilings · Pilings · Pilings - Helical versus timber · Rebuilding · Renovations · RREM Path B · RREM Seminars

Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – 11-8-15 – Rebuilding Seminar Tuscan House 11-11-15 – Action Alert – Code Change Coastal A – Good Guys & Bad Guys – Paralysis through Analysis

Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog –

11-8-15

Hello Sandsters –

I hope this blog finds you doing well and enjoying your Sunday.

Today we’ll stress about the latest FEMA insanity about changing the Coastal A zone to require V zone compliance and how it’s a pretty effective way to de-people NJ, at least in the short term. From there, we’ll talk about relative differences between builders and what constitutes the Good Guys and the Bad Guys. We’ll touch on Paralysis through Analysis and how to avoid it. Finally we’ll talk about reserving space for our next Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar which is Wednesday night November 11th at the Tuscany Bistro Bar in Toms River and we’ll tell you about our new satellite office in Point Pleasant on Bridge Avenue.

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar – Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 – 6 pm:

Our next Nearly Famous seminar will be held on Wednesday, November 11th at the Tuscany Bar & Grill restaurant in Toms River, across from the Ocean County mall on Hooper Avenue. This may be the last one this year, so if you are just getting started or need some pointed advice prior to January, make your reservation now. As was the case with the last seminar, our theme will be Getting Started. We’ll focus on Sandsters that are early in the process, and have not completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect. We will continue to concentrate on engineering & architectural design advice, RREM guidance at the initial stages, and information about choosing the right builder or contractor.

We will be in the Fire Room, which is an indoor/ outdoor space. We will have Kathy Dotoli, Esq., Scott Lepley, architect, and myself. It was really great to be able to have a glass of wine and some food while we talked. The room only holds 25 people so if you are interested, please call or email me to reserve your space as soon as possible.

Call to Action  – If You Are A Sandster on the Fence – Get Started Now to Save Money!!

If you are in a Coastal A zone, get your permits before 3/15/16 or else you will be forced to raise on pilings, as opposed to concrete block.

Evidently, I wasn’t clear enough about urgency, since a number of people commented. Here’s a reprint from last week, with a focus on what will happen if you don’t get your permits before March.

Part of me does not believe we will be stupid enough as a state not to override this change in the building code, and the other part of me always hopes for the best and prepares for the worst. Read below.

Potentially Scary Upcoming Events: New UCC updates will be a Disaster if implemented: They are in effect now, but we are within the 6 month grace period. They are scheduled to go into effect 3/15/16.

Here is the link to a good, short article:

http://www.natlawreview.com/article/new-jersey-state-s-new-construction-code-provides-stricter-building-requirements

Essentially, the update to the UCC (uniform construction code) says that all homes in the Coastal A zone will now have to adhere to V zone construction standards. Until now, this has been a voluntary choice, as opposed to a requirement.

What that means to all of us at the shore, is that if you are in a Coastal A zone, you will not be allowed to build or elevate on concrete block, but will have to use a deep foundation system such as pilings. There are other minor items (breakaway walls are required and concrete slabs can’t be tied into the piles or foundation structure), but the piling issue is the most important.

If you can move your house and demolish your foundation, you can drive timber piles for your foundation structure. If you don’t have room to move your house, either on or off your property, you will now be forced to use helical piles as a foundation structure.

The primary issue with helical piles is the cost. Generally, helicals themselves are 3 times as expensive as timber, but that is not the only factor. With helicals, in addition you need either foundation underpinning brackets (not widely used though they should be due to cost savings of not having to demolish the foundation and footings) or a monolithic grade beam over the helicals, which is quite costly.

The summary is that helical installations add about $40,000 – $50,000 to the cost of an average elevation, for a home with a 1500 square foot footprint (a building “footprint” is defined as the disturbed area of the lowest level including the garage.)

The problem is that this additional cost will drive some people right off the edge and literally right out of town.

Unless RREM refines its budgeting for homes in applicable zones to allow for increased grant awards, many Sandsters may choose to vote with their feet. Sandsters of a certain age may choose to not deal with the additional height and additional cost of elevation. Add in the fact that it’s quite costly to live here in the Garden (of Eden) State and if the new codes stay in effect, I predict you’ll see a mass exodus of Sandsters to more friendly places.

Not a happy thought. If you are in an affected zone, weigh in with your opinion at your township as well as the local office of your state legislator. If implemented, this change will be very bad for New Jersey.

Builders, Saints and Sinners: Good Guys & Bad Guys – Part 2:

A few of the key people on our team have spoken to me about this recently, and I have heard it from some of our trade partners as well. It’s an observation about honesty, perspective and value and I wanted to share it, since it will help your sanity when you are rebuilding. I won’t write a book about this topic since it’s pretty simple.

Essentially, we start with the theory that 95% of the folks practicing any vocation, are reasonably honest and do not attempt to steal from or defraud their fellow man. That means that at the core, unless your builder or contractor has left and closed up shop, taking your hard earned dough with him without performing any service, he or she falls into the 95% group. Those are the Good Guys and they range in quality from Grade A to Grade D, like any other trade or profession. Grade F is reserved for thieves and criminals.

What does this mean? Differences of opinion between people are normal and not necessarily indicative of dishonesty.

So if you are in the middle of your project, there is progress and your builder is proceeding, your project does not have mechanic’s liens and employees and subcontractors are not showing up at your home demanding payment, then the worst thing that will happen at the end is that things might not be perfectly as you would like them to be.

That is infinitely better than being robbed or defrauded, or having your builder go bankrupt or be unable to complete your project due to lack of resources and knowledge.

It’s a matter of perspective. If the deck boards are not exactly as you would have liked them placed (or any other minor item), you can either pay to have it repaired or live with it. If the paint touch ups are not done correctly, it’s not the end of the world.

If you call your builder and there is a disconnected announcement and the furniture is gone from their office, you have serious issues.

The Moral of the Story?: 95% of the time, it can always be worse and usually much worse than you think.

Keeping things in perspective will help you stay sane. Again, I will paraphrase: “It is not our preferences that make us crazy, but our attachment to them…”

Dream Homes – New satellite office – 2818 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant:

Dream Homes has been so busy in the Point, Brick, Manasquan area in the last year that we recently opened a branch office for client service, sales and construction at 2818 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant. We’re still in the process of fitting out the front reception area, but you are welcome to bring your surveys, plans and paperwork to that location if it’s easier than scanning, faxing or bringing documents to our main office on Rt. 9 in Forked River. Please call us for hours if you want to visit this location.

Paralysis through Analysis – Don’t Miss the Forest for the Trees!: I’ve written about this many times in the past, but it is so important that I am once again mentioning it for your consideration.

Simply put, don’t worry so much about getting it perfect, because you might not ever get it done. 99.44% of the time, “good enough” is more than good enough and not proceeding with a “good enough” solution will eventually yield you less of a result than just getting started with a good enough solution and adjusting as you go along.

As a society, the preponderance of information has caused us to fear that a “better, stronger, faster, cheaper, smarter” solution is another click, conversation or estimate away. That mind set can cause one to spend 2.5 years evaluating a 100 day project and that is the issue that Sandsters who are stuck need to focus upon to move forward on their project.

Example: Sally Sandster is obsessing over detail for her project and has spent 15 months in search of the elusive Holy Grail of Perfection. She is desperately trying to save that last 5% and is sure you can. She’s able to get estimates (finally!!) which show the cost structure she was looking for. However, in the meantime material and labor costs have risen 8%, the contractor she preferred is 5 months out and the codes have changed so she has to redo the engineering. Net savings (cost) on a $125,000 project: Negative $6500.

So you can be a wizard at costing and checking and making sure of everything you can think of, and still lose money on your project. Put another way, you can be absolutely right when you walk across the road, and still get run over by a truck. Sometimes it is the “unknown, unknowns” that cause us to fail.

“Ready, Fire, Aim” is another way of looking at it. Shoot, adjust your aim, shoot again, adjust for conditions, shoot again. The first shot isn’t perfect, but you are moving forward and adapting as you go.

A good point to remember is that there are a number of correct solutions or courses of action in any multi-variable chaos equation. The chances are that your choice is just fine, although inevitably in life, the grass is greener somewhere.

The salient point is not just to behave foolishly and not think at all about what you are doing, but rather to achieve a balance somewhere between thoughtful consideration and the analysis required for astrophysical theory. That will enable you to pull the trigger and get started, with the understanding and knowledge that you will constantly adjust to changing conditions as you move through your project.

If you wait to achieve theoretical “perfection”, you will never begin.

RREM Update – Detailed ECR (estimated cost of repair) with pricing: From the 10-23-15 Blog…If you haven’t received this from your PM, ask for it. Go back and check the last blog for detail.

Design work and timing: Fall / Winter 2015, Pouring concrete in the winter & BEATING THE CHANGE IN BUILDING REQUIREMENTS (SEE THE POTENTIALLY SCARY PARAGRAPH ABOVE):

If possible, you should be submitting plans to your local building department so you can lift in November or December and (ideally) have a foundation complete by the end of the year.  Now is the time to make plans to secure alternate housing because there are cheap rentals in the winter at the shore.

For a preliminary note on building in the winter, from a few blogs last year, we spoke about pouring concrete in the colder weather. With the addition of calcium hydroxide (anti-freeze), you can pour concrete as long as the temperature is 25 degrees and rising. Here in NJ that generally takes us into January, at which time the weather can be hit or miss until mid-March.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: If you get your permit prior to 3/15/16, you can still build under the current regulations, which means you can add concrete block to an existing foundation, as opposed to driving pilings.

See the paragraph above for details, and search the blog for many writings about foundation systems and their various attributes and costs.

Contingency funds vs. Design scope funding:

I’ve written and spoken extensively about this item but Sandsters are continually confused about it, so I’ve started to include it below in the glossary of definitions which is a part of each blog. See below for more information.

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 www.stopfemanow.com

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

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

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.

Footprint: A building “footprint” is defined as the disturbed area of the lowest level including the garage.

Ex: a 1200 square foot ranch with a 240 square foot deck has a footprint of 1440 square feet.

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.

Design scope: These costs are defined as architectural and engineering fees, all survey costs (survey, plot plan, foundation as built, flood elevation certificate and final survey), soil boring & geotechnical costs, cribbing diagrams, permit fees, soil conservation design, and wind load calculations.

Please note – you do not get $15,000 in cash to spend on your design scope. You get up to $15,000, depending on what your actual costs are. So if your design costs are $9,200 you get $9,200. If they are $14,000, you get $14,000. If they are $16,600, you get $15,000. The balance of any remaining money in the $15,000 design scope budget does not go back into your grant and you don’t get to keep the extra cash.

If you signed your grant prior to October 1, 2014, you are not eligible for the extra $15,000 in design scope funding. Note: I have seen a number of clients kick, scream & please enough to have the $15,000 added to their grant, even though they had signed before 10/1/14, but that is not the policy.

Contingency costs: This item is part of your grant package and is designed to provide for unforeseen events or conditions that must be corrected in order to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) and finish your project.

These are not mistakes, omissions or errors on your part, your builder’s part or the design professional that did the plans. Rather they are items that are not knowable or evident in the actual structure until it is elevated, or the result of one of the shore townships deciding arbitrarily to change, invent or augment the existing building code. These items include (but are definitely not limited to) rotten or termite infested sheathing, wall studs or sill plates, twisted, broken or rotten girders, site conditions or changes needed to comply with current codes which were not in place when the house is built, upgrades to water pits or valves required by the MUA, installation of hard wired smoke & CO2 detectors, installation of condensate lines to the exterior from the dryer, and about 50 other items that we’ve encountered. These items should be itemized by your builder in a separate sheet and submitted to RREM. 95% of the time you will be reimbursed.

There is not a monetary limit to this contingency, although it is generally 5% – 10% of the grant amount.

The contingency does not come out of your grant award.

You Tube Link to a Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar: If you’ve missed our seminars and can’t easily attend, here is a link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVI69KoM8DRXqoEblHd94xg

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 Sandsters, 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 a free 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.

Regards,

Vince

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

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: foxbuilder