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This forum contains 74 topics and 363 replies, and was last updated by nalusurf nalusurf 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

Brownstoner July 31, 2013 at 10:53 am

We've Updated Our Spam Protection

Our tech team has made some pretty big updates to combat spam in the Forum.

*One is a plugin that should filter out most of the attempts by spammers to register in the first place.

*Two, Forum users now have the ability to mark spam when they see it. If enough users mark a post as spam, it will automatically disappear.

Very sorry for all the spam lately. We hope this puts a lid on it.

Brownstoner September 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Forum Archive Comments Have Been Restored

I am pleased to announce the comments in the archive have been restored — a total of about 160,000 comments on 25,000 posts. Our tech team did a bunch of work over the past few days. If you guys could check it out and let us know if there are any issues or problems, would be greatly appreciated.

For those interested in the technical details, we always had the comments but they weren’t associated with the questions, so didn’t display on the front end. Manually associating all of this would have been impossible, but our tech folks were able to write a custom script that got the job done.

Let us know how it looks. Thanks!

Brownstoner July 1, 2014 at 11:09 pm

French drain needed

We need to install a french drain/soak-away in our small BK backyard. We’ve been experiencing a pooling of water when we’ve had heavy rains. Our drain can’t handle heavy water flow from the roof and general rain. Multiple plumbers have checked our drain noting there aren’t any clogs. I have also called the city because we believe the backup may caused by the city drain our pipe runs into.

Any reccos for expereinced contractors who could doing this kind of work?

Brownstoner March 29, 2014 at 12:37 am

new water heater


My current hot water heater has been diagnosed on life support. It looks like I need a new one. The current one is roughly 75 gallon natual gas vented through the chimney.

I’m just curious if anyone has any suggestions regarding brands or stores to make the switch as soon as possible. My instinct is just a very reliable, efficient but traditional water heater.

Brownstoner February 1, 2014 at 12:17 am

Seeking wallpaper installation references

I am looking to put up wallpaper on few focal points in my house. I need an affordable but very reputable proffesional.

Brownstoner December 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Energy Provider help: Heat Bill Insanity!

Dear Brownstoners,

I just realized that our 5 family co-op building in Park Slope has been getting ripped off for years by Gateway Energy Services!

Our heat bill for last month is $838.16 (with over $600 going to GEE). I did a quick google search on GES and found a post that said GES often times charges customers 80% more then the market place rate. And then if you dig deeper into the post you see more posts from people all over the tri-state area complaining about this company.

Check out the posts via the below link:

Can you all kindly please recommend Energy providers for a 5 family co-op brownstone in Park Slope?

I went to the national grid website to look over the ESCO provider options, but there were hundreds and no online tools for comparison (not even a criteria filter)..

I haven’t looked at our gas bill yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if its also connected to GEE.

Our criteria:
Fixed rate option (although we might start as variable depending on the current prices)
Flexible contract
Monetary incentives for new customers

many thanks in advance!

Brownstoner September 18, 2013 at 10:52 am

No comments in archived posts??

When did Brownstoner remove or de-link comments from archived Forum posts? DID Brownstoner remove or de-link comments from archived Forum posts? Or am I having some kind of hyper-local tech crisis?

Brownstoner September 10, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Using a cellar as 2 bedrooms and living space

Hi, we are new to the USA and have been renting a duplex in Prospect Heights whilst the paperwork went through to purchase the apartment. When we found the listing, it was advertised as 3 BR, although the sponsor told us the cellar is classified as “recreation space”. The offering plan and certificate of occupancy states that it is 1 BR. Our concerns/ questions are as follows-

1. As renters, are we legally allowed to use the cellar as bedrooms?
2. When the time comes for us to sell the apartment, can it be advertised as 3 BR?
3. Once we own the apartment and were to rent it out, would our tenants be allowed to use the basement as bedrooms?
4. How much would it cost to get the Certificate of Occupancy amended to 3 BR? Can this be done?

This is causing my husband and I a great deal of stress- especially as we are expecting our 2nd baby next week!
Thanks in advance for any replies.

Brownstoner June 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Vibrations on Hicks between Orange and Pineapple

I just moved to Hicks between Orange and Pineapple and am noticing very frequent and intrusive rumbling/vibrations. Given both the timbre (very low rumbling) and frequency (every two minutes or so during the day, less frequent late at night) I’m assuming this is from the subway, specifically the 2/3 at Clark Street and/or the AC at High Street. But I’m puzzled for a few reasons. My understanding is that the 2/3 runs directly under Clark and the A/C under Cranberry, and I’m around 350 feet from either of those streets. In Manhattan I lived in closer proximity to subway lines and never noticed any vibrations (and I’m on a higher floor here – the top floor of a brownstone). Further, I know both lines are much deeper underground here due to the river crossing, which I assume would further mitigate any vibrations. 
On the other hand, I really can’t think what else this would be causing this other than the subway. I’m curious if anyone has any other ideas or similar experiences, and I’m espcially interested to hear from anyone who lives on/near my block. I’m hoping I may acclimate to this, but I’m not optimistic given how frequent and noticable it is. Thanks. 

Brownstoner June 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Bathroom Layout

I am in the midst of a renovation of my brownstone and it is roughly 19 x 42. I am a new owner in teh Bed Stuy area after two years of searching! The current plan is for the ground floor to have master bedroom, guest bedroom and a master bathroom. The parlor floor will house another full bathroom. An alternative plan that has come up that I am considering is to place two full bathrooms on the ground floor so each bedroom can have its own bathroom. By doing this I will be able to open up the parlor floor completely and then add a small powder room to the parlor floor. The issue is that the two bathrooms on the ground floor will eat away at the size of both bedrooms and will hinder closet space. I would appreciate thoughts on what is the best way to go.

Brownstoner March 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm

burnham oil boiler for sale

I have a burnham V8 series boiler with a beckett burner and a john wood hot water storage tank that I’m taking out of my 4 family townhouse. it was only used for 2 heating seasons as we converted to electric. it’s all in great shape.
I’m asking 1000. please email me if you’re interested

Brownstoner March 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Is There Anyone Out There Who Can Recommend A Good Veterinarian?

Hi. I know this question is unrelated to home improvement, but I was just figuring that a lot of people here on this forum have animals who they love dearly and can recommend me a veterinarian that they have had good success with. If you have any recommendations it would be highly appreciated! Thanks.

Brownstoner February 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Bed-Stuy Heights 3-Family to purchase

My family is hunting for a 3-Family Brownstone (preferably) in Bed-Stuy Heights in which to live. If no renovation is needed, our budget can’t exceed $900,000. If the property needs renovation, the cost should be below that number so we can factor in the dollars needed to correct eveything that needs fixing. We are very motivated and would like to settle in as soon as possible. We are pre-approved for financing and would like to be in contract before long. The property would need to be delivered empty. Hope someone can steer us in the right direction…hoping for the best.

Brownstoner December 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Condo Building Insulation

We live in a newly renovated pre-war condo building. We just discovered that our outer walls within our apartment were not insulated properly and some walls have no insulation plus our pipes going from floor to floor do not have insulation at the base. We went to the Attorney General who told the sponsor that the work needs to be done but he refuses to comply. What can we do?

Brownstoner December 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

16-unit building with new owner; tenants organization

I am a tenant in a 16-unit building in Bed Stuy, which was sold to a new owner in November.  The building is mixed with some newer tenants and some long-term tenants (30 years or so).  All of the apartments are around 400 sq ft, and rent stabilized, around $1000-1500 (only one apartment approaches $2500, we’re not sure why that one is so high).  The new owner has issued new leases to about half of tenants, all of which appear to be wrong, with incorrect dates (issued early, including some retroactive), incorrect amounts, and discontinuation of preferential rent riders.  The owner is gut renovating 3 vacant apartments, which were renovated prior by the previous owner.  The renovation contractor has not protected their work, and has trashed the public areas of the building.  One neighboring apartment was robbed during the renovation work (while the tenant was asleep in bed!).  Work from the renovation crew caused a full ceiling collapse in another apartment below the work site, which has not been addressed.  Tenants with existing leaks/mold have not been addressed.  Many tenants have called individually to complain to city agencies and management.  Several of the oldest tenants have been offered buy-outs, but most tenants wish to stay here.  We have formed a tenants organization to try to address the many individual issues.  Curious if others have been in this position, either as tenants, or if landlords have tips for our response.

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