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Dream Homes Building Blog – 1-12-19 – FREE Building Seminar 1/16/19 – Which is Better – Stick or Modular? – More $$$ for RREM projects? – Add-A-Level-In-A-Day! – Home Show Brookdale 1/25 – 1/27

Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC., Premier Modular Homes

Nearly Famous Building, Home Improvement and Real Estate Blog

1-12-19

Hello everyone –

Hopefully this email finds you well and inside, out of the frigid weather.

Dream Homes FREE Building Seminar – The Original and Still the Best…This Wednesday 1/16/19

Our next Free Building & Real Estate Seminar is this Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 at our main office at 314 S Main Street in Forked River. This Seminar is our first one for 2019, and the first ever in our main office, so we’ll be serving food, drink and dessert. 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.

Why not make it your New Year’s resolution to get started this year on your construction project? Whether it’s to Add A Level to your house for extra space for your growing family, build a new modular or site-built home, or elevate and renovate your existing home, we can help you get started in the right direction for your 2019 project. More information below.

Tempus fugit! Andiamo! Allegro! (that means Time is Fleeting, in Latin, Let’s go in Spanish and Quickly, Quickly in Italian”): Time is definitely running out for certain new home and elevation projects you want to have completed by Spring / Summer 2019 unless you have signed a contract and are actively working on engineering and plans. Ideally, you have your plans submitted already, or are submitting very soon. NEWSFLASH: with our new Add-A-Level in A Day, you could start as late as April and have you back in for May. If you’re still on the fence and haven’t decided which way to go, or how to get started, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

The $1,000,000 Question – Which is Better – Custom Modular or Custom Stick Built?

This is easily the most often asked question regarding new home construction, along with how long will the project take and how much will it cost. Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple or straightforward as one might wish. 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: For homes 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 belief, 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 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 and the elements: Here is where modular has a slight edge, since the home is built in a controlled environment. One is not subject to the delays and effects of weather 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. 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.
  5. 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?

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.

This Wednesday, we’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire, Robert Obsuth from Wells Fargo, and 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’ll have some excellent new Wells Fargo financing solutions for you as well.

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.

We’ll also be exhibiting at the following Home Shows:

Brookdale College – Jersey Shore Home Show – 1/25/19 – 1/27/19

Ocean County Home Show – 3/30/19 & 3/31/19 – RJ Barnabas Center – Toms River

Save the dates and come meet the Dream Team. Join us for giveaways and specific advice on your project. Get a solid start for your 2019 project.

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 going to revolutionize 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 increased, for the third year in a row – Steel has increased 50% year to year – Lumber prices have increased 8% since the new Canada tariffs If you’ve quoted a foundation a year ago and waited until now, the steel in the foundation alone may be $500 – $1500 more. A 1200 square foot house lumber package has increased by $1400. 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%). Another caution: Material costs have increased throughout 2018 and will continue into 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.

How to Save Money on Your Project

Smart consumers are aware 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 any 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 are handy and would like to invest some sweat equity and save money. Someone is going to do the items in your scope of work – consider whether it can be you and save yourself some money.

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 – and honored – to carry on the Premier Modular Homes tradition of modular construction excellence.

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: Are Clawbacks a thing of the past? According to the word on the street, the whisper mill, and Governor Murphy, the Department of Community Affairs and the RREM program have decided to end the dreaded Clawback process. As of this date, this has not been put in writing, though Governor Murphy stated it on 10/30/18.  You can read the full story below.

This means that if this change is approved, RREM grant recipients would not be subject to the risk that a portion of their grant would be “clawed back” and they would be made to repay money that had already been received. Assuming the funds were in fact used for the improvement of the house, and more specifically to address needed additions to the scope of work, this is a very positive development. Many people who are currently subject to this potential risk, or who have already been notified of this possibility, can breathe a sigh of relief. We’ll see, and we’ll keep you posted.

Here’s the link to the Governor’s announcement.  https://www.app.com/story/news/politics/new-jersey/2018/10/29/hurricane-sandy-nj-phil-murphy-cory-booker-menendez-pallone/1808941002/?fbclid=IwAR0npm3H_4vnalVXIOuzgcwciTKsO_MGVqOhJlOJObP0ssUZmdoOnskKtZU

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. Since the APP Best of the Best Awards came out, and we started offering our fixed price, Add-A-Level in A Day, 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.

Print the FEMA guide below so you have it, but here are a few simple items you can do or collect include to be ready for a power outage: a go-bag (with medicine, money, ID and valuables), candles and matches, batteries, water, removing all loose items from outside, getting gas in your car (and for your generator), making sure you have non-perishable food for 1-2 weeks, know your evacuation route, think about your pets, and get out if they tell you to leave.

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.

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. You must make some type of progress – hire a contractor, or if not, at least engage an architect or engineer. This is a really important step to demonstrate that you are proceeding. If you’re in this category, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

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.

Disturbingly and to make things more difficult for RREM folks, recently there’s been a wholesale changeover in RREM project managers across the board. Now the DCA is administering the balance of the RREM program. There is much pressure to close old files, or revoke those that have been awarded but not started.

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

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

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 hate to keep including this in the blog, but it applies to everyone and is incredibly helpful. So, I keep repeating it).

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), unless it includes one of the above categories. 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 cares about your costly upgrades. Sad but true.

Make sure you really love what you’re doing – and that the enjoyment and improvement to your quality of life are worth the cost.

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.

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.

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 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 2019.

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 16, 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 · House raising and Moving · Monmouth & Atlantic County · New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean · New Homes and elevations in Ocean County · Pilings · Pilings - Helical versus timber · Rebuilding · Renovations · RREM Path B · RREM Seminars

Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – 7-5-15 – 7 Reasons Your Project is Delayed, Explaining Design Scope vs Contingency Fees, Reopening your FEMA Grant, Rebuild Seminar review

Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog –

7-4-15

Hello Sandsters and Happy 4th of July!

Hopefully you had a fantastic holiday with your family and got to see some fireworks, other than the ones on your project. The weather cooperated, which is always a great thing.

Today, we’re reminding you again about filing for new FEMA claims if you think you are entitled to more money, because time is running out. We talk about the main reasons for project delays, and try again to explain contingency funds vs. the design scope budget. We mention a few tips about effective email communication. Finally, we review our last Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar which was Thursday night June 25th at Tuscany Bistro Bar in Toms River.

Delays in your project: Why are they happening?

Generally, delays in construction projects are caused by a limited number of categories. They are: changes to the scope of work, cash flow, site conditions, lack of construction knowledge, material or labor shortages, poor planning or fraud. Some of these you can prevent, and some you just have to deal with. It will help your brain to understand them to a greater degree.

Let’s look at the worst cause first, since we’ve discussed it before in detail – fraud.

  1. Fraud – If you’ve been following the blog for a while, I’ve written extensively about how to prevent losing your money due to either incompetence or out and out fraud. If you haven’t, go back and ready the last few blogs where I discuss this in detail. At the seminars we also spend a lot of time on this item. Most events of fraud can be eliminated with some simple planning and common sense precautions.
  1. Changes to the scope of work: The more you add or remove items from your project, the greater the chance for delay. This is not to say changes shouldn’t be made, but that you should be aware that they may (will) add time and chance of error to the project. Note that many changes require permit updates with either building or zoning, or both. Solution: Some modifications are inevitable, but whenever possible, try and keep changes to a minimum so your project can move along as scheduled.
  1. Cash flow: Another key item I’ve written about extensively in the past. Assuming your builder or contractor is honest, often they may be unable to fund your project without regular payments for completed work. This cause for delay is easily avoided by having direct conversation with your builder and explaining your circumstances. This way, they will be aware and can either accept the project on the terms you need, or decline because they will be unable to fund the project while waiting for you to receive funding.
  1. Site conditions / contingencies: There is little you can do about this category. Generally it is difficult or impossible to determine the exact conditions under a house until it has been elevated. Once that occurs, rotten wood, termite damage, twisted or missing girders or foundation deficiencies can be discovered. This cause for delay is generally not significant.
  1. Poor planning: This is an elementary factor and one you can keep tabs on prior and during the project. Ask for a schedule of planned events, with trigger dates (IE: Within 1 week or receiving building permit, we will elevate the house) and follow the progress. Your builder should have a very clear idea what the next items in the schedule are and that is something you should be aware of.

Note: This does not mean that you call 3 times a day asking your builder what is happening and why the electrician is not on your job. Remember: You are not paying to be educated on how to build, but for a finished project. Keeping track of events means following a general time line, not asking why the framers ran out of gas for the generator. Obsessing over the detail will drive you insane.

  1. Lack of specific construction knowledge: This is a tough one, and one you won’t really know if your builder can handle unforeseen events until you are in the project and something unplanned occurs. You should do your own due diligence and visit other projects and speak to references. That will give you a very good idea of the experience level of your contractor. Reminder: You want a builder who has completed at least 25 elevation projects. This does not include demo and rebuild projects which are much easier.
  1. Material & labor shortages: Welcome to the new normal. It has become commonplace for sub-contractors as well as professionals to underestimate the time needed to complete work, as well as when it can be started. It’s unfortunate, but it is something we are all dealing with in the field. Having several qualified people in each category is helpful, but the reality is that the best people are busy and sometimes you are delayed while waiting for them to fit your work in their schedule. Note that when a contractor or professional promises your builder an item will be ready at a certain time and your builder relays that information to you, he is representing what he believes will be occurring, to the best of his knowledge. If the subcontractor or professional does not perform in a timely manner, your builder didn’t “lie” to you. He is more annoyed and inconvenienced than you are.

FEMA Insurance Scandal & Reopening Claims: Time is running out

Letters have gone out to ALL policy holders who made a claim for Sandy damages. If you haven’t filed yet, should you? Here is a good article from NJ Spotlight. It helps clarify some points.

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/06/11/some-sandy-victims-have-second-thoughts-about-reopening-flood-insurance-claims/

Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar – Review from Thursday 6/25/15:

Our last Nearly Famous seminar was held on Thursday, June 25th at the Tuscany House restaurant in Toms River, across from the Ocean County mall on Hooper Avenue. The theme was Getting Started, and we focused on Sandsters that are early in the process, and have not completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect. We concentrated engineering & architectural design advice, RREM guidance at the initial stages, and information about choosing the right builder or contractor. It really helped to focus the topic and clarified a lot for the Sandsters that are just getting started and most need specific advice.

We were in the Fire Room, which is an indoor/ outdoor space. Our speakers were Kathy Dotoli, Esq., George Kasimos from Stop Fema Now and myself. It was a great seminar and being able to have a glass of wine and some hot pizza was a great touch. In July or early August, we’ll be having another and I’m thinking about doing the same thing at the Tuscan Bar & Bistro in Bricktown. Stay tuned and drop me an email or give me a call if you’d like to attend the next seminar.

Contingency funds vs. Design scope funding:

I’ve written and spoken extensively about this item but many Sandsters are confused about it, so here we go again.

There is a tremendous amount of misunderstanding about these 2 categories, and here is the straight scoop.

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.

Notwithstanding anything my friend George Kasimos may think (sorry George!) but 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.  

In the “to make matters more frustrating and confusing category”, 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.

Hope that helps, Sandsters. Any questions, give me a call or an email.

RREM Performance Bond Lunacy – Update

Thankfully the state has given a 1 year reprieve from this requirement, and modified the law so that only house lifters have to bond their portion of the project. This is still an annoyance and increases costs slightly (on the order of $500 – $1500 per project) but it is not the disaster that it could have been if every contractor was required to bond each job. Score 1 (small size) for the good guys.

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.

Design work and timing: Fall 2015. You should be working now on your design scope and scheduling for a September / October start to your project. We currently have a dozen Sandster projects we are starting in the fall – all have either completed or are actively working on their design scope at this time so permits will be ready and plans can be made to secure alternate housing. Besides, there are much cheaper rentals in the fall/winter at the shore.

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.

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.

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 as many Sandsters as possible, 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 an 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