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About Brooklyn February 13, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Bluestone slabs

I will have several bluestone/slate slabs available from my renovating my brownstone in Brooklyn.
They were in front sidewalk and rear yard.
Does anyone know how much they are worth if I sell?
Thank you very much.

About Brooklyn February 13, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Various Furniture Items For Sale

Trying to consolidate and downsize! Please take a quick look and reach out if you are interested in any of the furniture:

Crate & Barrel Drop Leaf Table
Craigslist post id: 5446444383

Dark Cherry Corner Curio Cabinet
Craigslist post id: 5446449873

Japanese lacquered rosewood table
Craigslist post id: 5446452381

Crate & Barrel Metal Wine Rack – Two are available!
Craigslist post id: 5446447778

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Heating and Air Conditioning February 12, 2016 at 8:47 pm

Replacing outdated central A/C

I live in a 4 story house with a typical split system Central AC installed around 1991. Our outdoor compressor died and the coolant is no longer on the market. There is a huge air handler on the top floor. We are considering a renovation of the upper level and our architect wants to reclaim the space that the air handler takes up. He recommends using small air handlers, one per floor, at a cost of about $20k per floor.

Does anyone have any experience with a system like this? I’m concerned that it doesn’t make use of the existing ductwork or wiring and it seems really expensive.

What are your thoughts on modernizing old central AC systems? Does anyone have an alternative recommendation for central AC?

General Discussion February 12, 2016 at 7:24 pm

Ever sold your NYC home yourself, without a broker?

Obviously, people do this all the time, but I was wondering how it works, especially with a co-op. Where do you advertise? Is it possible to advertise in some “old-fashioned” way, the way newspaper ads used to be, without over-sharing, or do all sites require everything, starting with name/address? What information of your own do you have to collect to provide people? Although you can’t reject people for protected categories, how does one reject a prospective buyer for other reasons – like he’s just so unpleasant to deal with? At what point does the inevitable lawyer get involved?

Roofers February 12, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Roofing: new layer, or total tear off?

Hi folks – wondering if anyone can give insight into pros and cons of just adding a new layer to our flat roof vs. starting over with a total tear off. Clearly there are major differences in cost, and of course with a tear off we could add insulation and hopefully lower our energy costs a bit. However, we’ve had 5 roofers out so far and each seems to have different opinions on the new layer vs tear off options.

I don’t know how many layers are on the existing roof, but the top layer is definitely kaput — this AM the roofer that was out to give an estimate noticed there was ice UNDER the top layer of roof (it was cracking as he walked). Another guy, though, said that since the top layer is in such bad shape, it’s only the OLD layers that are helping us right now, and if we started from scratch with a tear off, we’d lose that added protection of all the old layers – he says he never advises tear offs.

Obviously I don’t want to spend more than necessary, but I also don’t want to spend ~$10K now for new layer and the another ~$30K 5 or 10 years down the road for a tear off if that becomes necessary…better to just do it all now, maybe? But then what about this “protection” of the old layers that we’d lose, is that even true?

Thanks in advance for any advice here – I’m new to this roofing thing!
Best,
e

Electricians February 12, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Having power outlet and data cables in same metal box?

I know it’s best practice to have a separation of the boxes for electrical and data (cat5, cat6, coaxial, etc), but is it up to code if I run it like the picture? Both electrical and data in same 4-gang metal box?

I want to keep the number of holes in the drywall to a minimum for sound transmission issues. Thx.

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Brownstone Renovation February 12, 2016 at 11:04 am

Another Question on Renovation Costs

Hi Everyone,

Before I begin, thank you for any and all responses I get. I know this is the umpteenth time this question has been asked, but I was hoping to get a little more specifics.

I am planning to do a renovation, and wanted to get an idea on the costs in order to ballpark how much cash I need to have/finance. I am looking at a complete gut. As in take everything down to the studs and joists, and sister the joists, rewire and replumb the entire building. It would be better to think of the starting point as a shell. I already have an architect lined up, but before I start paying any architect fees, I want to know rough costs before I proceed.

Some details. Building is a 20 X 35 building with a 20 by 12 extension. It is 4 floors + cellar. My plan is to keep it as a three family, duplexing the garden and parlor floor (1 kitchen 3 bathrooms, and have two units above (1 kitchen 2 baths). Finishes will be ikea kitchens, and moderate Home depot bathrooms etc. No central air conditioning.

I’ve read on this forum that people suggest $225 per sqft, but elsewhere, I have seen $125,000 given as a ball park for a gut renovation per floor. The two seem to give widely divergent estimates, and I was hoping people could give just a ball park range of what they spent on similar renovations.

Thank you again for all your help.

Roofers February 11, 2016 at 4:34 pm

How to soundproof a row house?

Ever since our neighbors renovated their adjoining frame house, it’s like being in the room with them. We didn’t hear the previous neighbors to nearly the same degree. This is awful and when I’m on the phone with clients, they can hear the kid next door screaming, which she does a lot. There’s only 6 inches of brick between the houses so my husband doesn’t think that blowing in insulation is going to work. Anyone have recommendations for a sound proofing expert before I lose my mind?

About Brooklyn February 11, 2016 at 11:11 am

Rats or squirrels in the ceiling?

Hello,

For the past week I’ve heard rodents in the first floor ceiling (2nd floor floor) and the basement ceiling (first floor floor)- no evidence of entry anywhere (and I’ve checked throughly everywhere)

Is there any way to tell if it’s rats or squirrels without actually seeing them?

Thanks,
Doug

Security February 11, 2016 at 8:44 am

Anyone have a good security camera recommendation?

I was looking into installing a security camera outside the building and in the front hallway. I was hoping to find something that could be accessed via smartphone and have the potential to backup the footage to the computer.

Not sure about wireless or wired, though I would go with wireless if it didn’t sacrifice quality of the footage and reliability of the system.

I know there are lots of new companies doing this sort of system.
Anyone have something they can recommend?

Fire February 10, 2016 at 3:06 pm

VC 12 fire department violation – expose and locate curb side valve

The fire department said I need to have a curb side valve for my sprinkler system. The resolving of this VC 12 violation has become a major problem. My plumber says the piping on which the valve should be placed is not wide enough. My plumber said it needs to be 2 inches in size. The size of piping currently there is one and a half inches in size. Plus I’m told I need an architect regarding the placement of the valve. What kind of architect do I need? What should their speciality be? Does anyone have any idea of what the cost should be for all this work? So far, the plumber wants $8,900.00 to install to piping and the valve. Will the architect be as (or heaven forbid) more expensive?

Any advice anyone can give me about this issue will be appreciated.

Garden February 10, 2016 at 10:26 am

grass in backyard questions

We have a typical-sized backyard for an attached townhouse in Brooklyn. Our house is on the South side of the street. We want grass. A few questions:
1) sod or seed?
2) what type of grass should we get?
3) our yard was previously completely full of weeds that could reach shoulder-high. We pulled them out at the end of last Summer / Fall, and now through the winter it’s been bare soil with a few small patches of weeds. Any magic tricks to keep the weeds at bay?

There’s a very large tree in our rear neighbor’s yard that provides a lot of shade, so the back half of the yard is almost always shaded, and the half closer to the house gets partial light.

Thanks!

About Brooklyn February 9, 2016 at 5:37 pm

Townhouse Security: smart lock and video intercom?

I am thinking of installing a “smart lock” (programmable keypad, such as the Kevo by Kwikset) and video intercom buzzer system. Has anyone used the Kevo? Can you recommend an installer for both things? Would the installer be the same person or are these different trades?

Thanks,
Jen KG

Plumbers and Plumbing February 9, 2016 at 4:38 pm

snake for drain

Any recommendations for a snake for a bathtub drain?

And how often do you recommend cleaning a bathtub drain, bathroom sink drain, etc? Is it just a wait-till-it-drains-slowly, or should we preemptively be snaking it? This is for our drains as well as our tenant’s, who lives upstairs.

About Brooklyn February 9, 2016 at 4:02 pm

Floor sanding and pocket doors headaches –

Floor sanding and pocket doors do not always mix well. I have been seeing this a lot lately. Extra care needs to be done when sanding floors around floor tracks for pocket doors. The antique tracks are made of brass, one swipe and the track is damaged. The wheels will no longer roll on the track correctly. This track would have been fine if the floor sander was paying attention. It should have been hand scraped and sanded around the tracks. With proper care your tracks should last forever.

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