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This forum contains 224 topics and 919 replies, and was last updated by  mopeslope 17 hours, 47 minutes 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.

Construction April 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Waterproofing Exposed Exterior Side Party Wall?

We have a large exposed side wall that is leaking. The leak is not bad in the sense of visible water actually coming through, but every solution we have tried on the interior side from styrofoam boards to plastic sheeting and styrofoam boards has ended up failing as the sheetrock inside begins to deteriorate.

About ten years ago the old owner had the wall thoro-coated (I think it had been stuccoed prior to that). Whether this helped or not I have no idea, but in any case, the thoro-coat is coming off in dozens of spots and it’s time to do something.

Am hoping to get some recommendations here of contractors or masons to do the job. I don’t need an “artist” as the look is not important. I need someone with lots of experience who can make the correct diagnosis and execute well at a reasonable price. Any suggestions? Please include contact info if you have it. Many thanks.

Construction April 9, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Getting permits when you have un-permitted work.

I very much want to invest in solar hot water and electrical. I know the financial pay off is not large, but we get good sun, and I am committed to reducing my building’s carbon footprint.

This solar work will need to be permitted. I’ve heard stories about the fire department investigating new roof structures with help of google earth images.

The problem is that we’ve renovated our basement into a duplex with a downstairs shower, bathroom, TV room, and laundry room. We also added radiant floor heating and a new circuit breaker for the basement electricity. None of this was done with a permit. The basement is not a new unit. It’s just an addition, but I am sure there are probably code issues – for example the basement fire exit works for us, but it is not perfectly to code. I don’t know if the boiler room is the right size either.

Can we pretend to be grandfathered in when we request the solar permits? What aspects of the building will be inspected for the hot water solar plumbing upgrade? For the solar electrical addition. Should I just give up on this dream?

We’re in Brooklyn. I’d love to hear other people’s experiences and advice.

Thanks all.

Construction March 24, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Steel Deck

We are completing a renovation in the next few weeks and wanted to ask about other folks’ experience with steel decks. Having previously lived in apartments and suburbia, we never came across a steel deck. Does the metal get dangerously hot in the summer time? I assume we can’t walk in them barefoot but has anyone ran into issues with the hot steel? Any work arounds (coatings, etc) that may be helpful in dealing with this in the summer time?

Thanks in advance for any insights!

Construction March 10, 2014 at 11:08 am

Roofer Recommendations

Hey all.

We have a small leak in our roof and was wondering if anyone can recommend a quality contractor / roofer for this job… or if anyone’s worked with these references that were given to us.

Pete Nicchitta at Bensonhurst Construction

Fix-a-Roof

Greene roofing

Any feedback would be appreciated.
thanks!
— Josh

Construction March 3, 2014 at 1:02 am

Removing very old dry grout chunks

My GC finish tiling the bathroom in Sept. I just moved in and used the shower for the first time tonight and noticed a lot of old dry grout chunks. What is the best way to remove it without demaging the tile?

Construction February 21, 2014 at 9:05 am

Basement Storage Units

We have storage units in our basement for each unit in our small building. We need to find a contractor who will reconfigure the space. Right now, they are divided using chain link fence. Anyone have any leads as to type of contractor I should contact? Or know of anyone who has done this type of work before?

Construction February 21, 2014 at 3:11 am

Frame house renovation in Canarsie

I’m thinking of purchasing a small 1224sqft single family home in good condition. Is there a ball park per square foot construction estimate for the renovation? I plan on upgrading the kitchen, 2 bathrooms, sanding and polishing the floors.

Thank you!

Construction February 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm

new flat roof advice

after years of procrastination this crazy winter is forcing us to deal with our old roof. its a flat roof on a 2 family brick building. 25X50 foot and attached on both sides. there are 2 old skylights that need to be replaced and one brand new hatch that is already installed.
I have one quote for the job 15k from a contractor that ive worked with before and whose work is ok but in no way great.

does anyone have any affordable and trustworthy roofers to recommend?
I have never done this before so if anyone has any tips/cautionary tales or advice on this type of project i would greatly appreciate it.
many thanks,
EB

Construction February 18, 2014 at 3:40 pm

wine cellar

anyone have a rec for a contractor with experience building wine cellars in brooklyn?

Construction February 10, 2014 at 9:47 am

Sound Isolation – Wall Contractor

Hi Everyone -

I am looking to beef up my wall between my neighbor that is approximately 20′Wx10′H.

I’m planning on doing a double layer of gyp on his side, insulation, and resilient channels with gyp. Also – I would like to cut our subfloor so that I don’t feel the vibrations from his side.

Does anyone have a general contractor that does really clean wall construction? Or is knowledgeable on acoustics that they can recommend?

Thanks!
Max

Construction February 1, 2014 at 9:22 am

Green demolition services needed.

Can anyone reccomend a dumping location or a pickup service for an ecologically friendly demolition? Our home is in Greenpoint Brooklyn.

My architect redid his home in Boston. He paid a premium to have his waste recycled. I am willing to do the same, but I don’t know how or where.

I am already committed to my contractor and architect. They are family and they are a dream team. I’m just looking to recycle as much waste as possible.

thanks,

mc

Construction January 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Putting in a loft, approx cost question

Does anyone have an approximate figure how much it would cost to build a loft like this one (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/before-after-from-ceiling-space-to-playing-space-183004) over a staircase? I think it’s a genius idea.

Construction January 9, 2014 at 11:15 pm

ConEd Requesting Differentiation b/w New & Existing Loads

I’m in the process of converting my home into a legal two family and I contacted ConEd to come in and upgrade my gas service from a 1 1/2″ line to a 2″ line. They’re now requesting information from me within the next 5 days such as differentiating between existing and new loads, detailed breakdown of loads (hp/kW conversion, phases, quantities and load information. I don’t have an architect yet nor do I have a contractor b/c they all told me ConEd needs to upgrade the service first. How/Where do I begin calculating this stuff?

Thanks

Construction January 8, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Insulating/draft questions

Hi,
We are in a South Slope frame house that badly needs windows and doors replaced. But before I put a new door on our back, or anything else, I wanted to understand if there is any other work that ought to be done before that – e.g. if I need insulation in my walls (is there such a thing?!) would I need to do that before the door? I also need to redo the facade, front and back. I’m not ready to all that work yet, but in the meantime we’re freezing and the back door in particular must be replaced as soon as possible.
Lastly, what is the proper expert to tap for evaluating our needs – would it be an architect? A contractor? An insulating specialist? Our contractor advised us that once we replaced the door we would stop worrying that our walls are made of tissue paper, but when we open the oven and get blasted with the polar vortex, it makes us wonder if there isn’t a bigger problem here . .
Many thanks for your suggestions!

Construction January 5, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Do I need a contractor or a handyman?

We’re close to closing on a place which needs some work but nothing major. The biggest thing it needs is floor work (sanding and refinishing) and the rest is painting, putting in light fixtures, changing out the door handles, that type of thing. Do I hire a flooring person, painter and handyman or should I be looking for a contractor who can do it all? Thanks for all advice.

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