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Marble November 23, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Advice on cleaning an antique marble fireplace

Hello all – We are looking for help/advice cleaning our old fireplace. We’re trying to replace the top and think we’d get a better match if we got the fireplace closer to its original color. Any thoughts? We were quoted a pretty high number (1800?) for a professional cleaning. Not sure we want to do the whole thing by ourselves (although I did try a little DIY baking soda poultice), but looking for a middle ground. Thanks in advance…

Flooring November 21, 2014 at 3:10 pm


Anyone’s input would be appreciated.
We installed new floors in May; using hardwood 4″ wide planks.
Now the floors are separating in many areas and the gaps are quite large. Supposedly the flooring guy used glue and also nailed down the planks.
Any idea what we could do to fix this or avoid any more separations.
Thank you in advance.

Real Estate November 21, 2014 at 1:22 pm

SRO status

Hey Forum -
We are looking at a brownstone for sale. The broker says it has SRO status, with no CNOH, but when I check on the Buildings Department website, it says it is NOT SRO restricted. Does that mean it’s free and clear? Advice greatly appreciated.

Plumbing November 21, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Suggestions for troubleshooting a schizophrenic boiler

Hello all,

Wednesday and Thursday this week, our boiler (oil-Peerless TW-4) completely emptied its water twice each day. When I went to check on it this morning, it was completely full, right where we filled it last night. We’re at a loss in trying to determine the cause of this great discrepancy. We had a tech from our oil company check it out yesterday, and he checked for any signs of leaks and could find none. The leading theory is that our return line (which is unfortunately embedded in the slab) is leaky. But we have not seen any physical evidence of this. Is the return line a worthwhile angle to explore? Any other suggestions?

Many thanks,

About Brooklyn November 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Wilson brand natural gas steam boiler?

Anyone know anything about these? Are they actually made by Weil McLain?

Thanks in advance

For Sale November 20, 2014 at 10:18 am

Vintage Claw-foot 5' bathtub – $100

Vintage Cast-iron Claw-foot bathtub – 5′ long, good condition, minor staining and small amount of rust at drain. Should probably be reglazed. Comes with four matched claw feet.

Must be picked up in Bushwick – 3rd Floor Walk-up

Please email me at jec344 at gmail dot com.

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For Sale November 20, 2014 at 10:02 am

Vintage Welbilt Gas Range For Sale – $200

Vintage 1940′s? Welbilt Gas Range.
36″ wide, 24″ deep, 36″ high. Clean, good condition, working order.

Must be picked up in Bushwick – 3rd Floor walk-up

$200 or best offer

Email me at jec344 at gmail dot com.

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Construction November 19, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Anyone have any advice on how to get a mitsubishi wireless thermostat

They are supposed to “talk” to air handler? Several of them now say wait and don’t work. New HVAC guys think wireless was the wrong way to go or that there may be interference from other wireless systems in the house. That said it worked for the first month or two and nothing else in the house changed.

Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling November 19, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Fabricator and installer to recover existing kitchen countertop with zinc?

I’m seeking someone to recover our existing countertops (one butcher block, one fake stone?) with zinc. I’ve sources for the zinc sheets and info on DIY-ing this, but can’t do it myself. Any recommendations? I’m assuming it’s cheaper to recover the existing countertop than to have a new one installed.

Windows and Doors November 19, 2014 at 12:23 pm

storm windows

Our downstairs windows in a landmarked Victorian are incredibly drafty. We are thinking to put in storm windows just for the cold season. Can you recommend a reputable installer?

Architecture November 19, 2014 at 9:46 am

Landmarks question

If we are contemplating doing a brownstone renovation and it requires LPC approval, does the LPC notify our neighbors about an upcoming presentation by the contractor (or architect) before the LPC? For example, at those Prospect Heights “green donut” additions, which were denied approval by LPC, how would the neighbors all know about the hearings? If the project does get approved, does the LPC perform oversight of construction progress (in historic neighborhoods), after they have already approved the project? Who is supposed to monitor the work, since supposedly monitoring is required in historic districts? The owner (or professionals like engineers and architects with whom the owner contracts), or neighbors? and then is someone supposed to report back to the LPC with the results of all the monitoring? Is this something handled by “Community Boards” separately from LPC? I guess I am looking for advice before hiring an architect. If any lay people who have experience in this area (owners or even neighbors) could weigh in, that would be great. An architect or engineer who knows the actual rules would be great too! Thanks.

Real Estate November 18, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Advise on buying row house next door

Hi Browners,

I am considering buying the row brownstone house next to mine. The two houses are essentially narrow (13 feet wide each) sister houses in a good Brooklyn brownstone neighborhood. Post purchase, the idea would be to then look to sell both houses to a developer who could then “condo” the property as there would be two front doors. This would allow the layout of the combined house to re-stacked: there would be 1 residence on the bottom two floors (entry via front door #1) and there would be 1 residence on the top 2 to 3 floors (entry via front door #2). Alternatively, I guess the two properties could be converted into one larger unit.

Is this reasonable or am I thinking too much like D. Trump

Many thanks

Roofers November 18, 2014 at 11:33 am

Over the Range Microwave Hood or real Range Hood and separate Countertop Microwave

Renovating a kitchen in a rental that I own and was wondering, what do people prefer, an over the range microwave/hood combination or a nice pro-style range hood with separate countertop microwave?

About Brooklyn November 17, 2014 at 6:39 pm

are prices rising too fast?

I have a vague feeling that the so called ‘change’ to the hot neighborhoods has slowed down because the entry level rose too fast.
Sure, on one hand there is no reason why a SRO wreck in Bed Stuy shouldn´t fetch 1.5 million (as bktothefullest frantically preaches on a daily basis). But on the other hand potential sellers are holding on to their properties because they feel like they’re on an endless winning streak. And you get investment groups pushing the price instead of owner occupied homes.
Just a random thought on a Monday evening.

Wood Restoration November 17, 2014 at 5:37 pm

wood trim/reading a blueprint question

Here’s a blueprint for my 1909 row house.
I’m slowly deciphering each and every detail here and matching them up to what remains in the house.
The entry hall, kitchen, 2nd bedroom, and dining room are plainly labelled “oak”. No mystery there.
But then what does “W Wood” or “W W” mean, in the case of the Parlor, Bathroom, and 1st Bedroom? Walnut?

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