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Fulfilling promise made on Sandy 6th Anniversary

Monday, April 8, 2019

NEPTUNE, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, chair of the Sandy Task Force, today joined Governor Phil Murphy, and Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J.-06) to announce the federal approval for the state to redirect millions in Sandy aid to help Superstorm Sandy survivors finish rebuilding their homes and get back on their feet.

“The 1,200 or so New Jerseyans who remain in the state rebuilding program have been through hell and back again. Some were defrauded by their building contractor; some had to spend tens of thousands of dollars fighting flood insurance companies in court; and some remain paralyzed by the fear of dreaded claw-back letters,” said Sen. Menendez. “These Sandy survivors have faced many different obstacles. But at the end of the day they all share the same dream of returning home and getting on with their lives. Their marathon is not yet over but today the finish line is on the horizon, and the day they can return home is within reach.” 

Sens. Menendez and Cory Booker, Gov. Murphy and Rep. Pallone marked the six-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy in Union Beach last year where they originally announced these plans to further aid Sandy survivors. The key steps include:

  • The creation of a $50 million Supplemental Fund that will help Sandy survivors rebuild their homes. Funding for the program originates from the 2013 Sandy relief packagethat Sen. Menendez fought tirelessly to pass through Congress. 
  • Extending the Rental Assistance Program (RAP) by an additional 19 months for a total of 40 months for Sandy survivors who are still rebuilding and not yet back in their homes. 
  • Freezing all claw backs of Sandy aid. In 2017, Sen. Menendez and Rep. Pallone introduced legislation to prevent claw backs of federal disaster assistance from victims of Sandy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has clawed back almost $3 million from more than 750 Sandy survivors. 
  • Eliminating the $150,000 cap on grants for homeowners to finish rebuilding, repairing and elevating their homes.

Sen. Menendez has been the leading voice in Congress to ensure Sandy victims have the resources necessary to rebuild and that the federal government is treating them fairly. 

He’s the author of the comprehensive, bipartisan legislation known as the Sustainable, Affordable, Fair, and Efficient National Flood Insurance Program (SAFE NFIP). The bill, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Booker and in the House by Rep. Pallone, would remedy the problems of the current flood insurance program that caused so many Sandy survivors to suffer in the wake of the storm.

The SAFE NFIP Act would extend the federal flood insurance program for six years while instituting a series of sweeping reforms. The bill authorizes significant investment in mitigation and resiliency efforts to reduce flood risk, while addressing critical problems that arose following Superstorm Sandy and other disasters, namely: unsustainability, low participation rates, inaccurate flood maps, an indifference to the benefits of flood control infrastructure, agency mismanagement, unsustainable debt service costs and contractor profiteering. 

The senator successfully pressed FEMA to reopen all Sandy claims, intimating a review process that led to policyholders getting an additional $260 million to rebuild their homes. SAFE NFIP would ensure survivors of devastating flooding never go through what Sandy survivors experienced after the storm.

Sen. Menendez first exposed the problem of widespread lowballing of flood insurance claims during Congressional hearings he chaired in 2014. 

Sen. Menendez authored the Superstorm Sandy Relief and Disaster Loan Program Improvement Act, signed into law in 2017, which extended and expanded access to federal disaster loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). His Homeowner’s Flood Insurance Affordability Act was signed into law in 2014 to address skyrocketing rates many Sandy survivors were encountering.

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Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced a helping hand: New Jersey is officially redirecting up to $100 million in Sandy disaster aid to help the nearly 1,000 individuals and families remaining in the state’s largest disaster rebuilding program.

“We now have hope that all Sandy families will have the financial support they need to finish their rebuilding projects, to return home and to truly make New Jersey whole again after the worst natural disaster in our state’s history,” Murphy said during a news conference at the Shark River Municipal Marina in Neptune

As of the end of March, 957 applicants were in the construction phase of the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation (RREM) program or its sister initiative open only to low- and moderate-income homeowners.

Nancy and Tony Caira are one of those families who have spent the last 78 months in limbo.

As middle-class owners of a modest 800-square-foot bungalow, the Cairas are the type of people who are disappearing from the Shore.

To hear Nancy tell it, they might have been one of those who cut ties, except they had no better option financially than to gut the house and live in it until they could demolish, rebuild and elevate a new home on the same footprint.

The Cairas didn’t think that would be their reality for the next six and half years and counting.

“It just wears on you,” said Nancy Caira, 52, who fought through nerves to introduce Murphy at the beginning of the event.

Short of what they need by $102,000, the Cairas believed that they’d missed out on their opportunity as they watched nonprofits and charities wind down their operations in New Jersey. 

“As delays and the time went on, that money was no longer available,” Caira said. “The supplemental fund is really going to be our lifeline.”

The centerpiece of Murphy’s announcement, the supplemental fund is a newly created $50 million pool available to homeowners who have yet to finish construction — or even start, as in the Cairas’ case — because they don’t have the resources to do so. 

Homeowners who take the money are required to live in the rebuilt homes for at least five years. The administration anticipates these funds could be put to use as soon as this summer.

Murphy also announced the extension of rental assistance for people who have to move out of their home during construction.

That program pays up to $1,300 per month for up to 40 months of housing for displaced families in the RREM program. Previously, assistance was cut off after 21 months.

Murphy, accompanied by some of the same faces, teased these plans during a speech in Union Beach on the sixth anniversary of the storm.

The funds come from a $4.2 billion pot of money committed to New Jersey by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2013. About $1.2 billion of that has yet to be spent.

“We knew that the road to recovery would be long,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey. “We knew that rebuilding our homes and communities would be less of a sprint and more of a marathon. … The marathon is not yet over, but today I see the finish line on the horizon.”

The New Jersey Organizing Project, a grassroots group that has been advocating for Sandy victims, is hosting community meetings during the next several weeks to help connect eligible homeowners with these newly available funds:

  • April 27 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ventnor Public Library, 6500 Atlantic Ave., Ventnor
  • May 2, 2 to 4 p.m. at Seeds of Service, 725 Mantoloking Road, Brick
  • May 19, 1 to 3 p.m. at Elks Club, 251 Church St., Belford


Storm Recovery

Sandy: Phil Murphy promises new loans for Sandy victims, end of clawbacks

Six years ago, superstorm Sandy bruised and battered the Jersey Shore and hundreds of families here are still dealing with the ramifications.

On Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy marked the occasion by announcing a new loan program and a shift in policy for the families still trying to free themselves from bureaucracy’s red tape, to rebound from the shameless contractors who stole their second chance, and to move on from a natural disaster that has occupied years of their lives and plundered their savings.

“There’s 56 in Union Beach alone,” Murphy said inside the garage of the Union Hose Fire Company station in Union beach, one of the hardest hit boroughs on Oct. 29, 2012. “That’s 56 families still waiting to write the end of their Sandy story.”

Statewide, there are 1,200 some individuals or families still engaged in the state’s primary rebuilding initiative, the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program.  Watch Murphy address these families in the video at the bottom.

Some found the $150,000 maximum award insufficient because their flood insurance policies provided little relief. Others were fleeced by builders who either got in over their head or were looking to take advantage of a desperate population.

All of them are stuck and unable to finish their homes, nearly 2,200 days after landfall by a historic hurricane that shattered storm tide records up and down the coast.

The Murphy Administration is offering two solutions:

  • A zero-interest, forgivable loan to meet needs above the $150,000 RREM grant award threshold. There would be no cap on the additional funds and it would be fully forgiven so long as the owner remains in the home for 15 years.
  • Hundreds of homeowners in RREM received letters from the state instructing them to pay back rebuilding grant money that, on review, the homeowner should not have received. In an admission that the process was unwieldy and confusing, Murphy said his administration would not seek to “clawback” those funds and, in fact, had not done so since he took office.

Check out this video on Asbury Park Press: https://www.app.com/…/sandy-phil-murphy-new-loa…/1810202002/

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Impact Windows, Andersen 400 Series Windows, Replacement Windows, Doors, Sliding Glass Doors, French Doors, Entry Doors, Front Doors, Patio Doors, Cabana Doors.

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Commercial Construction Services, Commercial Projects

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Exterior Renovations / New Roof / Unit Renovations / Fitness Center / Leasing Center / Maintenance Room

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

See Our Gallery  http://atrubuilders.com/media-gallery/port-royale-lastest-south-florida-project/

Receive the Very Best in Real Estate Construction When You Choose A TruBuilders, Inc.

Do you have a real estate development in the works? Maybe you want to give your current property an updated look? Whatever your construction needs, A TruBuilders, Inc. will always provide you with the kind of work that surpasses the competition and exceeds your expectations.

Let Our Team Create the Real Estate Property You Have Always Wanted to Own

We’ve been in the NJ construction business for over 37 years and have the experience and the skill set to get your project finished right the first time and by the designated day of completion. Our experience working on large real estate developments includes condominiums, town homes and apartment complexes.

Beautify Your Property

When you want to remodel your real estate property, let A TruBuilders, Inc. provide you with the right work. Our design team can create pretty much anything you want. If you have a special project in mind, let us know. Chances are we can design anything you’re dreaming of. Our knowledge in all areas of construction includes:

  • Renovations
  • Remodeling
  • New additions
  • Project management services
  • Layout
  • Plan approval
  • Permitting
  • Final inspections

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Commercial Construction Services, Commercial Projects

The Very Best in Commercial ConstructionNJ Commercial Construction Company - ATI

When you hire A TruBuilders, Inc., you will receive the very best in commercial construction services. A TruBuilders, Inc. is a licensed commercial contractor in New Jersey and Florida specializing in all different types of commercial projects. This includes retail stores, showrooms, office buildings, tenant build outs, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, warehouse, industrial buildings and more. Our services include interior and exterior tenant office improvements and construction, remodeling and renovations, project management and building additions. From layout to plan approval, to permitting and final inspections, our purpose is to be your one-stop resource for your New Jersey commercial project.

You can feel confident knowing that we never take shortcuts to save time, and we use only the finest materials on the market. By sticking to our ethical standards, we are able to not only provide you with the very best job possible but also exceed your expectations.

Commercial Construction Projects Include

“Gary and his crew did everything they promised and never forgot a suggestion. Came in on time and on budget.”
~ Jay G.

Enjoy Premium Customer Service With Every Job

  • Timeline: We will always work with you to get your project completed within the timeline discussed during our initial consultation.
  • Budget: By working directly with you, we ensure that we always stay within your budget and there are no surprises during the project. You’ll never receive any hidden or unexpected charges.
  • Communication: You will receive regular updates on the progress of your project. By doing so, we are able to not only produce precisely what you want, but we are also able to eliminate any unforeseen problems and meet your expectations.
  • Workmanship: The kind of work you will receive surpasses our competition. We never take shortcuts, and we always use the best and most up-to-date products on the market.

House Raising

House Raising Contractor Ocean County NJ

We understand there is a lot of information regarding house raising in New Jersey, including prices, timelines, how to find reliable New Jersey house raising contractors and what the process is like. We try to remain one of the leading New Jersey house raising contractors by providing homeowners like you with the valuable and relevant information you need to make smart decisions about the future of your home.

While we will attempt to answer most of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on this page, there will invariably be some that we do not cover.  If you do not find an answer to your question here, please call us and we are happy to help you out.

How Do I Find My Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) Zone?  

It is important to understand which zone your home is in because that will help you determine how high you may need to lift you home.  You can find your home’s ABFE Zone on the FEMA website.

What Is A FEMA A Zone?
An A Zone is an area subject to storm surge flooding, but not necessarily high velocity wave action. These are still considered high risk flooding areas in the event of a coastal flood.

What Is A FEMA V Zone?
V Zone is an area that is subject to storm surge flooding and is also subject to high velocity wave action (3 foot or greater breaking waves). V Zones are subject to stricter rebuilding and house raising requirements than other zones.

House Lifting Contractor Toms River NJHow Much Does It Cost To Raise A House At The Jersey Shore?
There are obviously many variables involved, such as the size of your house, location, the current foundation, the foundation you need to be in compliance and several others.  A full service house raising quote will come in somewhere in the $40,000 to $150,000 range, which includes everything from permits, lifting, general contracting, reconnecting all utilities, decks, porches, stairs, internal and external repairs and so on. The actual cost to raise and lower the house from a house raising company will probably be $12,000 to $30,000 of that, but there is much more that goes into the turn-key service than the actual lift, which you can read about here.

What Is The Process For House Lifting At The Jersey Shore?
As noted above, there are many steps to properly raising a house in New Jersey. When you look at the list below, you can begin to see how things add up and why you want to hire an experienced and reputation Jersey Shore house raising contractor, such as A TruBuilders.

The Turn-Key House Lifting Process includes:

  • Removing existing decks, porches, walkways, steps, and staircases
  • Removing pavers and other hardscape and storing them carefully for later reuse
  • Temporarily removing any landscaping
  • Engineering, architectural drawings, soil samples and site surveys
  • Foundational work – either concrete foundations, pilings or helical piles
  • Shutting off your utilities, including sending official shutoff request to your municipality
  • Disconnecting utilities – electricity, plumbing, heating, air conditioning and ventilation
  • Lifting or raising the house
  • Building a new foundation
  • Constructing a new lower level
  • Installing hurricane straps and bracing where necessary
  • Painting, siding and coating
  • Re-installing or rebuilding decks, porches and stairs
  • Re-installing landscaping and hardscape
  • Re-connecting all utilities and raising your HVAC equipment off the ground

Can I Live In My House While It’s Being Raised?
Unfortunately, you will need to find another place to live while the work is being done to your house. There is just too much going on, not to mention no utilities, while we are in the process of lifting, for you to live in your home comfortably and safely.

How Long Does It Take To Raise A House?
The full process takes anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks once we begin. We have developed the systems and processes to make this as smooth as possible and get you back into your home as soon as we can – we know you are anxious!

House Raising Contractor Sea Girt NJWhat Areas Does A TruBuilders Service?
Great question! We are a full service general contractor and house raising company based in Lacey Township in Ocean County, New Jersey.  We operate up and down the Jersey Shore, which for us includes Monmouth and Ocean Counties, including Lacey Township, Lavallette, Toms River, Berkeley Township, Brick, Mantoloking, Little Egg Harbor, Barnegat, Manahawkin, Long Beach Island, Manasquan, Brielle, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Belmar and Avon.

This Information Is Great! How Can We Hire You?
Another great question!  We look forward to helping you get back into your home, whether that means assisting with the NJ RREM Program, helping you with financing options or actually doing the work. Please contact us to set up a free estimate.

Commercial Projects

Commercial Construction Contractor Manasquan NJManasquan, New Jersey locals can look forward to an exciting addition to downtown in June. A brand new building dedicated to retail storefront and apartments is currently being built at 177 Main Street in Manasquan by A TruBuilders, Inc.

The finished structure will consist of four floors. The first floor will be devoted to two retail spaces, the second and third floors will house five residential units and the fourth floor will feature a mezzanine area that includes two decks and resembles the design of a New York City studio apartment.

In addition, the new building features architectural character with spiral staircases, a cathedral ceiling measuring 20 feet high, lofts on each floor that lead to the mezzanine and a big circle barrel window located near the top portion of the spiral staircases.

The project is going as planned and on scheduled to be completed in June. Currently, the roof has already been added, the siding has been attached and most of the interior mechanicals have been finished.

Commercial Construction Manasquan NJThe project began in the fall of 2015 when A TruBuilders, Inc. was hired to renovate a two story building occupying 177 Main Street. A TruBuilders, Inc. attempted to preserve some of the historical value of the building, but the entire building had to be demolished due to the fact that there were no footings present under the structure and the building itself had been labeled as structurally unsound by Frank DiRoma, borough code enforcement officer.

Gray Olsen, president of A TruBuilders, Inc., explained that footings are an essential component of a solid structure due to their ability to keep walls from settling. Before his crew could begin constructing the new four story building, footings had to be properly put into place.

So far, the owners of the property, Andy and Eileen Laszlo, have had two different businesses interested in renting the storefront spaces and tenants are secured for three of the apartments.

For more information on this project constructed by A TruBuilders, Inc., read the full article here.

Manasquan NJ Commercial Contractor     Commercial General Contractor Manasquan NJ     Manasquan NJ Commercial General Contractor 

Storm Recovery

ocean county nj storm recovery general contractorWhen Hurricane Sandy hit, not only were there millions of dollars of damage to homes and businesses in New Jersey, the tragedy also gave crooked contractors the opportunity to take advantage of innocent homeowners in their time of need. Many homeowners were left broke, homeless and in despair.

In 2012, the Division of Consumer Affairs reported that they assisted with 298 home repair complaints here in New Jersey. In 2013, homeowner complains rose to 449 and in 2014, it was at an all-time high of 501 complaints. Out of all the complaints made, 80% were attributed to Hurricane Sandy.

Nancy Wirtz had a home located in the River Beach section of Lacey Township, NJ. Her home was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy when two large trees fell upon her house. As a result, her floor become flooded and had to be demolished. Once Wirtz received her funds from FEMA and a grant from the New Jersey Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation Program (RREM) to build a brand new, elevated home, she hired who she thought was a reputable contractor.

The contractor Wirtz hired demanded she give him and his crew half of her grant money before they would even begin. After being paid, the contractor told Wirtz that she needed to have all her architectural designs certified even though he told her beforehand that his architect would take care of it all. So, she fired him.

house lift builder toms river njOut of the $75,000 Wirtz gave her contractor, she was only able to collect $20,000 back. To add to this downward spiral, her contractor never cleaned up the mess. Today, Wirtz is left with little money and no home. This is just one example of the multiple frauds that have been committed.

When a homeowner has been scammed, they can go to either the police or consumer affairs, but many times as a result they never see the contractor again. Many homeowners are afraid if they file a report, they will never see any sort of compensation, so they neglect to file one.

Steve Burkhardt, resident from Toms River, NJ, chose not to file a report for this specific reason. Burkhardt hired a contractor to build him a brand new $439,000 elevated house. His contractor told him that the process would be very fast and easy. After Burkhardt had already spent a $100,000 over the promised price, the house was far from being complete. What was he to do?

Tips For Protecting Yourself When Hiring a Contractor

Always Hire a Contractor That Is Registered

In the state of New Jersey, all home improvement businesses must be registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs. To register, a business must meet requirements such as having a legitimate street address and at least $500,000 in liability insurance. When you are interested in hiring a contractor, the first step is to contact the Division of Consumer Affairs and see if the contractor is in fact a legitimate business.

Get a Written Contract

For all projects estimated at over $500, the Division of Consumer Affairs requires that a written contract be present. Even if a project falls under the $500 threshold, it is suggested that customers still establish a paper contract. All contracts must contain the following information:

  • Contractor’s legal name and business address
  • Contractor’s registration number
  • Project start and completion dates
  • Details of the work to be performed
  • Total project price

Acquire a Lien Waiver

Before a homeowner signs a contract, it is extremely important that they request for a lien waiver. For those that are unfamiliar with what a lien waiver is, a lien waiver is a paper receipt that explains that the contractor may not request more money after the contract has been signed.

A TruBuilders, Inc. is a licensed New Jersey contractor with extensive experience in building restoration processes and all facets of reconstruction after weather-related incidents. We work with most insurance carriers and are well-versed in the insurance claim process. A TruBuilders, Inc. helped many homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy rebuild and restore their properties. Read our reviews to learn about their experiences with our team.

If you are a property owner that has been affected by a weather emergency or worked with an unscrupulous contractor that did not finish your job, contact us. We are here to help.

 

About A TruBuilders

A TruBuilders, Inc. is happy to announce the launch of a newA TruBuilders Website mobile friendly website. We encourage you to spend a few moments browsing the site and learning more about the services we offer. As you will see, our new website is easier to navigate and the overall design presents a more interactive feel.

Our #1 goal is to provide customers with all our company information in the easiest way possible. That’s why we have carefully designed our website to accommodate to our customer’s needs. Our website does this by incorporating:

      • Easy to use drop-down menus highlighting our different services
      • Mobile friendly design for display on phones and tablets
      • Interactive maps showing the areas we work in
      • Quick access to customer reviews
      • Electronic contact forms conveniently located on each page

In addition to these new features, the contact page has also been redesigned. Our contact page now consists of two integrated links for both Facebook and Google+, an updated electronic email form, a large interactive map and a “quick links” menu at the bottom of the page.

Another feature that has been added to our website is the gallery page. Our gallery page showcases recently completed projects and allows potential customers to get a feel for the kind of work that we do.

We hope that you will enjoy our new website and find the information presented to be readable, easily accessed and overall informative. If you are interested in learning more about our services or hiring our team of professionals to complete a project for you, contact us today for your complimentary consultation.