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DOB September 1, 2015 at 11:54 pm

Converting a 2 family into a three family home

I purchased a two family built in 2002 I finally recieved my COO in 2007. It has three floors and a basement first floor is an open space with garage. Second and third floor are full 2 br apartments. I would like to convert the first floor and garage into an apartment. If anyone can guide me on the right direction and not make any expensive errors on this project.

Energy Efficiency September 1, 2015 at 11:12 pm

Solar Panel type charging

It’s far out there but I’ve always wondered why apple watch do not have a solar panel or other form of charging from a light source.
I’ve heard of displays being able to act as a solar panel at the same time. Complicated yes but the concept and idea is there. Why not incorporate solar charging in the watch. Even if it only helps sustain a charge over time it’s a major benefit.

About Brooklyn September 1, 2015 at 10:44 pm

Brass kickplate

Finishing up a front door project with lots of useful input and leads from the Brownstoner community on hardware and refinishing. My last elements are the two kick plates. I want to get sold brass that will age, and I am having trouble finding unlaquered solid brass kick plates on line. (The door hardware will be unlaquered solid brass.) I need a custom size and am wondering if there is someplace local I can order them. Thanks for any leads!

Brownstone Renovation September 1, 2015 at 9:29 pm

Stone R Us Inquiry

Hi there,
I am wondering if anyone here has worked with Carlos of Stone(s) R Us? I am highly considering having his company do some pointing work on exterior bricks of our brownstone. I came to this site but don’t see them listed as a company. I appreciate honesty. Thanks

About Brooklyn September 1, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Phone Sales Offer

Anyone been getting offers to buy your house on the phone? I’m curious about whether there is any legitimacy there (and no, I don’t believe those Nigerians will cut me in on a million dollars.) But if it is legitimate, wouldn’t the lack of a sales commission compensate for the reduced amount these guys may offer? Does anyone go for it? Who are these people?

Incidentally, to the blog-powers-that-be: a Forum search on the title of this post returns things like:
Facade question — Jahn mortar versus traditional stucco? and
Source for discounted appliances
Time for a fix?

Counters September 1, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Stain on marble counter

We have some moderate staining on a Carrara marble countertop (kitchen and bathroom). Can anyone recommend either a product to remove the stain or someone in the neighborhood who can clean the stain? Many thanks.

Roofers September 1, 2015 at 10:08 am

Roof Drainage ?


I came home from vacation to find the attached gutter system put in my backyard by my developer. Previously, the water from the roof would feed down a pipe and go under the house and into the sewer. In the past, we had quite a few floods in the basement. We also installed a sump pump, but still had some problems. Now, as pictured, the developer moved the roof gutter into the backyard.

1) Is this against code? Massive violation or slap on the wrist?
2) I’m not against having the water go in the backyard to alleviate flooding problems, but this gutter is disgusting to look at. Are there more aesthetically pleasing options? Perhaps a dry-well?
3) Any recommended companies for this type of work?

Thank you

Windows and Doors September 1, 2015 at 9:09 am

How to remove security gates from bed-stuy townhouse ?

Greetings and good vibes! have a question, hoping the community can help. I seek to remove front garden level security gates from my bedstuy townhouse because they obscure the original details. Does anyone have recommendations on the project? Scrappers who would buy the metal? Someone who could come cut them off and haul them away? Anyone want them? see pic.

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Building Code August 31, 2015 at 5:33 pm

Use of flexible armored cable on basement ceiling

Hi…I want to connect a new light in the basement of my 3 family brownstone. Does NYC code allow me to run flexible armored conduit (fastened to the ceiling surface) between the power and the light or am I required to use hard metal tube conduit connecting the two? Thanks as always….

Roofers August 31, 2015 at 4:20 pm

Unico + Heating


I have had a contractor recommend to have unico and Navien 150 On Demand Boiler & Hot Water system installed to service my 3 story townhouse. He advised me to this because the unico could then be used for both and the heat coming out of the vents isn’t a dry heat due to the hydronic heating coil. This would mean no more baseboard or radiators.

I know there are some experts amongst here, wondering your thoughts on this Vs split system + Navien 150 On Demand Boiler & Hot Water.

Do people like the Navien or prefer other manufacturers?

Thanks for your thoughts in advance.


Insurance August 31, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Worker's Comp for 8hr/month cleaner.

Hi folks.

Currently, my 11-unit co-op has a woman come in every week for 2 hours to clean the common areas and stairwells. She works in other buildings, so she is not solely our “employee”.

I’ve inherited the role of Treasurer, and currently we pay NYSIF (worker’s compensation insurance) for her AND the officers of my co-op, even though we are not paid. Premium is calculated on the basis of a minimum salary of the officers…so it’s pretty much a racket. We are self-governed co-op “for profit”.

Do I need this policy? The cleaning woman is essentially a contractor, the officers are in name only (not an actual job, part-time or otherwise). A person in the building also handles the trash/recycling – am I to believe this would also qualify for worker’s comp?

The building has general liability insurance…so right don’t see the point. We have no employees. Any other co-op people deal with this? Thanks.

Zoning August 31, 2015 at 7:56 am

Terrace vs. balcony

Good morning,

I would like to know if, by pushing back a building from the front lot line, we can provide for a terrace that covers the entire street wall of the building. We would call it a terrace, as terraces have no length restrictions in the Zoning Resolutions… like balconies do.

Provided that this would be ok, what would technically qualify it as a terrace as opposed to a balcony?

Thank you all for your help

Legal August 31, 2015 at 7:24 am

Not delivered as promised?

We’re buying a new construction condo and were able to see the space for the first time recently. There are some deviations from both the offering plan and floor plans they provided us. Most egregious is a large industrial air handler on the landing of our upper level, totally exposed. We were told it won’t be enclosed, and it’s inches from the bedroom door. There are other issues as well, measurements that are off, a weird built out section in the bedroom wall that reduces usable space, etc. We believe we can get out of our contract, but I’ve been wondering if we can pressure the developer to make some concessions based on the square footage we’ve lost and potential quality of life issues with noise and heat from this unit as well as some exhaust vents on our terrace which were not supposed to be there. Maybe they’d pay their own closing costs? I know I’m a dreamer in this seller’s market, but I thought I’d throw it out there and see what people think.

Flooring August 30, 2015 at 3:22 pm

5" unfinished select maple flooring for sale–over 300 sf

oops! ordered way too much…very nice wood, but floors are installed and there is a bunch of extra. a couple pics below–note that the pic of it installed is unfinished (they have yet to be sanded/finished).
$2.50/sf or make a reasonable offer, you pick up.

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Masonry August 30, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Free architectural block (CMU aka cinderblock except it's custom, w/ driblock)

70 pieces of CMU free and available for pickup (already out front) in fort greene. from westbrook masonry, finished face is quite nice, cream color with little pebbles, soft to the touch. nice for a garden project, planter etc.

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