Here we go again. The eternal debate. Time Warner Cable or Verizon FiOS?

Start your engines. Go!

In the Brownstoner Forum, rd684 writes, “Verizon is getting ready to install FIOS on our block in Greenwood Heights. They’re currently contacting homeowners about running cable hookups to every bldg. I’m wondering what people’s experiences of FIOS quality for internet and TV are, especially in comparison to TWC, my current provider. I’m not ready to cut the cord.”

Just for the record, the Brownstoner office recently switched to FiOS.

Photo: Verizon FiOS spaghetti 

Have answers? Need help with something? Visit the Brownstoner Forum.


Benjamin Moore paint color recommendations?

Anyone have paint colors they love in their homes? What are the names of them? Suffering from major decision fatigue…

Poster theoperadiva said: “We are also VERY happy that we went with White Dove for all the trim and cabinetry. It is the absolutely perfect white for our space.”

Commenter anotherposter said: “Paint colors are very personal and your space can help you decide — bright condo or dark rowhouse? Stained or painted woodwork?”

Colonel said: “November Rain has been our go-to since we first used it for any room that needs just a bit of color that will stand out from white trim.”

Click through to the post to see more answers and help out.

Have answers? Need help with something? Visit the Brownstoner Forum.


A reader sent in an interesting dilemma for us to post to the forum: What do you do when your neighbor gets a new girlfriend, and the two of them start making so much, um, exuberant noise that your eight-year-old son starts asking you questions about it?

Brownstoner readers offer remedies that range from explaining the birds and bees to your kid, to an oblique hint to the neighbor that the walls are not as soundproof as he might have assumed. And then, somehow, the discussion evolves into a spirited round of literary puns.

What to do about noisy neighbor with new girlfriend

Whichever approach the reader decides to go with, we assume it will eventually end up as a New York Post story. But this is New York, where we expect loud noise. In the UK, a Birmingham woman was recently jailed for ignoring a court order to pipe down in the bedroom.

To see the replies or weigh in, click here.

Have answers? Need help with something? Visit the Brownstoner Forum.


Amendment to DOB approved plans necessary?

We are gut renovating a two-family townhouse. Renovation work is currently in progress and is being carried out in accordance with the DOB approved plans.

At the time our architect filed the plans, we were set on going with a split system A/C heating unit and keeping our current steam heat. Subsequent to the filing and approval by the DOB of the plans, we decided to go 1) with a central air system and 2) add a second hot water heater to supply hot water to the tenant’s unit with us using the coil in the existing boiler. (more…)


Homeowner’s rights with DOB?

I’m in pretty serious trouble and at risk of losing my life savings in a home I’m invested in. There are issues with the DOB and we’re unable to secure permits, despite having already received “approval” for our job.

I do not believe the professionals I’ve hired are working in my best interests, but the opacity of this process is insane. Does a homeowner have any rights at all? Can I attend a meeting with the borough manager or plan examiner? If not, could I attend along with a licensed professional? (more…)


Brownstone Renovations… just getting started

We are in contract on a 2000 sf townhouse (*FAR allows 1300 more sf) and looking for ideas/inspiration. The house in great shape, but we’d want to “spruce up” a bit.

Things we may/may not do based on time and price:

Expand the kitchen
Raise basement ceiling
Knock out a couple walls to open up space
Demo 2nd kitchen and convert to family room
Modern fence in back yard
Carpentry work on bannisters/railings
Add 2nd bathroom on 2nd floor

These are TBD based on cost and recommendations
*Central air install (no existing ductwork)
*Add 3rd floor as MBR suite
*Roof deck

With these type of general changes, should we start with architect, or can a good GC handle this. Knowing that there is a wide range, any general time/price guidelines for this level of work? (more…)


Need Some Advice: My Stoop Is “Spalling” to Pieces

We have a three-stair brownstone stoop that was redone along with the building facade within the last 10 years (prior to our purchasing the building). The brownstone work is of pretty high quality and was complimented on by our inspector when we did our original walkthrough.

There were a couple of spots over the last year or two where the metal banister met the brownstone that the stone looked a little rough but nothing too concerning. All of a sudden after this winter the entire stoop is spalling and splitting apart in various places on various stairs — it’s literally getting markedly worse by the day.

Is there any way to alleviate this degradation short of redoing the whole stoop (this was not in our short term plans). We’re not looking for the perfect solution right now, just a way to ease the pain. (more…)