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General Contractors January 31, 2015 at 8:50 pm


Been a very long time since I posted on here (if at all with this log in) but have been meaning to praise some of the people who helped us rebuild after Sandy, and others, having used this forum to find decent contractors since we bought our house in 2006.
Paul Engelbrecht was the handyman who virtually rebuilt our house; he is trustworthy, affordable, and was there when we needed him. Is he the finest craftsman in the world? Probably not. But drywall, flooring, problem solving, painting, etc., and reliability, are his strong points. 718 852 6942.
Mentor Frangu is an amazing tiler (he had just done our kitchen floor when Sandy struck, and it did not need to be redone!), bathroom designer, and all round delightful human being. I cannot praise him highly enough. 917 692 6234.
Bart Batista/B & B plumbing has now had the honor of replacing our boiler TWICE, and I would hire him to do so again. A real hero after Sandy.
More recently, we had the good luck to work with EcoBrooklyn. They installed a beautiful green roof on our house, which has made a huge difference in the need for air conditioning and heat throughout the year. Gennaro spent a ton of time coming up with creative solutions for our insane old skylights, and other weird problems; his curiosity and passion for what he does are really laudable. 347 244 3016.
Stinkbomb award goes to Andrew Ferris. We hired him a long time ago to install Marvin windows. Windows are beautiful, his work was sloppy and nowhere near worth what we paid for it. Avoid like the plague.
Hope this helps someone. Good luck, all!

Roofers January 31, 2015 at 4:33 pm

vinyl window recomendation

I am replacing vinyl windows in a two family home. Does anyone have any suggestions or recomendations regarding the replacement or brand of window?

Lighting January 30, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Recessed LED lights

We have to put in new recessed lights after a fire in our kitchen. We have to replace the whole thing — housing and fixture. We’d like to go with LED lights and although a number of people on the forum have suggested using LED bulbs in existing fixtures, we are starting from scratch so I’m assuming we should get the whole LED kit.

We want to install 4 inch lights. Can anyone recommend particular makes and models as well as suppliers? One store I went to recommended MaxLite’s LED Recessed Retrofit downlights RR41127W. Lighting By Gregory only seems to carry WAC Lighting (at least that’s all that’s on their website under LED).

Thanks in advance. The forum and all you fab posters have helped us as we rebuild and we really appreciate everyone’s advice.

History January 30, 2015 at 2:43 pm

cistern / outhouse

We found what I believe to be an old cistern in our backyard. It’s a beast – around 8′ deep by 8′ wide. The bottom half is stone, and the top, which is dome-like, is made of brick. It’s empty (not filled) and actually looks to be in great condition. There’s a 3-4″ pipe coming into it from the direction of the house.

Does anyone know:
- Is it likely we also have an old privy/outhouse? We’re in Bay Ridge.
- Where in a backyard were outhouses usually located? The cistern is closer to the house, like around 10′ or so from the rear of the house, and not near the edge of the yard, but more in the center (width-wise)

Also, does anyone know how to get in touch with Jack Fortmeyer by email? He’s the retired fireman who has done a lot of digs in Brooklyn. I’ve googled but can’t find an email for him.


Plumbers and Plumbing January 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm

Trenchless Burst-and-Replace Sewer Main Replacement in Brooklyn?

I need to replace our sewer main from the front of the house to the city main in the street, and I want to use the trenchless “burst-and-replace” methods that I have read about on the Web.

My three questions: Does anybody know if this process is legal in NYC? Does anybody know of a contractor who will do it? And has anybody had this process done, and with what results and costs?

Thanks, all!

Architectural Salvage January 30, 2015 at 12:20 pm

For sale 2 beautiful guilded pier mirrors

Hi there

I am selling this set of 2 mirrors for 1,000 each.


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Roofers January 30, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Roofer–Leakmaster out of business?

Does anyone know if Leakmaster, and Nick Kontzamanis, is still in business as a roofer? The previous office phone doesn’t work, he hasn’t returned an email message, and no other numbers come up.

I’d appreciate any help, this is for a followup to prior work.

For Sale January 30, 2015 at 6:34 am

FS: Edwardian Dining Set (Table, Chairs, Sideboard, Etc.)

Edwardian Dining Set – table 62×38.5×30.5 with 2×17 extensions; sideboard 66x21x37; corner cabinet 62hx38wx18d; 6 chairs. Early 20th century, made by Andrew Malcolm.(Canada’s best). Excellent Condition. Photos Attached. – $ 1100. Call: 203-552-0180.

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Real Estate – General January 29, 2015 at 4:52 pm

New Building on 81st b/w Roosevelt and 37th Ave in Jackson Heights

Anyone know what is going in here? Last I heard it was a hotel and some condo’s and on the bottom level some commercial space- I’d love to know what kind of commercial space?? In my dreams it’s a cute little bar that has burgers on the menu and an excellent wine list. But I’d settle for “not a deli”.

Taxes January 29, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Property tax challenge/tax certiorari law firm

Does anyone have a recommendation of a law firm that specializes in challenging property tax assessments (tax certiorari) for a single family home?

Permits January 29, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Permits after the work is done?

hi all,

we did some waterproofing work in the rear of our house. it involved excavation, a retaining wall, etc. the contractor did not say we needed permits, but apparently someone made a complaint, and we are looking at possible violations. we found a slip at our doorstep from a dob inspector who wants us to call and schedule an inspection. what are our rights? what are the likely outcomes? the work is done, presumably to code.


About Brooklyn January 29, 2015 at 12:22 pm


Looking for someone who has interior scaffold and is insured to change light bulbs in fixture 25’30′ high in insitution. Several sockets will need repair.

About Brooklyn January 29, 2015 at 11:31 am

Eddie "Salvage" Hibbert

Hi, does anyone know how to get in touch with Eddie, or where his current store is located?

Thanks in advance!

Landlord January 29, 2015 at 10:22 am

Landlords – thoughts on non-US/foreign tenant-candidates?

Dear fellow landlords,

I’d like your opinion/suggestions on this. How do you feel about non-US tenants and have you had experience with them ? People who have arrived too recently to have a credit history, but are gainfully employed (more than 50x monthly rent in my particular case), often here on a work visa? What kind of documents do you suggest I request for the application, aside from letter of employment, paystubs, bank statements, proof of funds? If you were to ask for up front rent, how many months is reasonable?
Thank you for your input in advance

Renovation January 29, 2015 at 9:10 am



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