Forum: General Contractors
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.
Hey there, I’m new to Brownstoner and looking for help/recommendations for General Contractors with some creative design ideas for gut renovation in Carroll Gardens. We are closing on the property mid-month. The project will entail full kitchen renovation. We will need to re-route plumbing/electrical. Also need help in creating a functional bathroom that is approx. 6 x 5.9. Issues include steam pipes that prevent a tub from fitting in the current space and desire to create an entrance to the bathroom other than from the bedroom (apartment is a railroad). We also plan to redo all hardwood floors and update all electrical throughout.
We ‘d appreciate any views on hiring an architect vs. contractor with vision. We did a previous remodel where we sourced all of our own materials but this is more extensive. Any thoughts?
We are looking for a GC, already have a couple we will send bids to but I would like to add at least another two to the list. A friend gave us this list, just wondering if anyone knows any of these GC and has any experience working with them:
Antarctic Construction Inc.
609 DeGraw Street
Brooklyn, New York 11217
J Simon Associates
MG & Co.
I’ve been working with O’Neil for about two years now, since purchasing a brownstone, and cannot recommend him highly enough for home improvements and general contracting: 917.330.3431 or email@example.com
In about 8 years of being a homeowner in Brooklyn, he is far and away the best person I’ve found, so much so that I won’t hire anyone else at this point. O’Neil has completed a range of small and big projects for me. Here are just a few:
Renovating the parlor floor, which encompassed tearing down a bathroom, putting up a new bathroom in a different location, shoring up beams (previous workers had really messed them up by cutting for pipes), and remodeling the bedroom. All of this required extensive plumbing and electrical work (he previously worked as an electrician), and in the year since it’s been completed there have been zero problems. As well, the work is beautiful. O’Neil worked closely with me on design issues, and always went the extra step to make sure the project had what it needed
Installing a bluestone patio and cedar fence in the back, which had been a raw mound of garbage-filled dirt. This included installing a new drainage system and salvaging a lot of the old stone.
Installing a light out front
Putting up an iron gate out front
Small jobs like putting up bookshelves, repairing original detail-work on the banister, various paint jobs, installing various fans, etc.
I could go on! I’ve dealt with so many difficult workers – people who can’t do what they say they can do, or lie about prices, or never show up, or behave inappropriately, and on and on … I had sort of given up on finding someone who was the complete package: highly professional and competent (and if he can’t do a job he finds the person who can), always straightforward and honest (he will walk me through repairs that I can do myself so I don’t incur unnecessary charges), will work within my budget, whenever possible salvages original details of the house or finds modern solutions that are in keeping with the design, shows up in emergency situations, always rectifies mistakes (there haven’t been many), etc … he has been a lifesaver for me.
We have been working with a new contractor, who we found on this site, and are not happy so we want to cut ties but we have open permits for work that has not yet been started.
How do we handle? When we can the current guy, does he close the permits and the new contractor pull new ones, do they transfer over?
Any input would be appreciated.
I’m writing to give a very positive recommendation for Aaron Gruenberg of Green Mountain Construction and Design. Aaron is a regular poster here and I became aware of him through this forum. Aaron recently completed an extensive bathroom renovation that I am very happy with. Aaron worked from ground up replacing the sub floor and basically everything else. Space was very tight and Aaron’s planning, and well thought out design considerations really made the difference. I’m pleased that my shower now uses a membrane system and that I no longer have a pan and a curb on the floor. I chose Aaron for two primary reasons – the first was his craftsmanship, in this area he was exemplary and not a shortcut was taken. The second was communication. The nature of the project combined with my own quirkiness required that I work with someone that I could communicate with in a fluid way, an individual who could respond to my design requests and ideas and reflect back with thoughtful input, Aaron was top notch in this area. I’m posting a few detail shots here and if anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me. In short if you are seeking a high degree of craftsmanship, communication and solid design experience you should definitely consider Aaron Gruenberg and Green Mountain Construction and Design.
postscript – I’m having trouble adding multiple pics here, if you want to see more just contact me
Business must be booming for general contractors again. Looking to do renovation on four apartments in brownstone due to a small fire. Although the fire was contained to a small area of one apartment, the others sustained water damage along with the common areas. I’ve had three contractors come out for estimates only to never hear from them again. Does anyone know of a reliable contractor that does good work.
I have an accepted offer on apartment in Sunset Park, but before closing I would like to get some estimates on the ability/cost of replacing a drop ceiling with a standard dry wall (or plaster) one as well installing some pocket doors, in addition to possibly re-doing a kitchen and perhaps some electrical upgrades. Any suggestions?
We undertook a renovation 18 months ago, and moved in (and had mostly finished) in September 2012. Our HVAC sub has since disappeared – initialy due to Sandy, but we have had almost no communication with him since November and he has not been in touch with our contractor either, although he sent a few nasty emails to the contractor. There were three areas of work that he did not complete, and one area which was done sloppily and which the contractor had to complete for him. We’ve hired other people to finish two of the other items, but there is still one outstanding piece of work, as well as warranty and maintenance issues on equpiment that need to be addressed and as-built drawings which he promised us. He is owed $4000 by the contractor, although once the additional work that the contractor did and the payments we made to other people to finish his work have been deducted, the balance owed to him is actually negative. We have not made a final payment to the contractor, because we feel that we need resolution of this issue and final sign off from the sub before we can do that, but the sub has been nasty and threatened to put a lien on our property (this was before all communication ceased). We would like to conclude our contractual obligation with the GC and get these issues resolved with the sub once and for all, but are really not sure what options we have to do so, aside from just gambling that he won’t come back to haunt us in the future. Has anyone had experience with a situation like this or have any advice about to resolve things under these circumstances? Thanks for any and all thoughts/help/advice!
Trying to find the legality for cellar level terraces, i.e. digging out the backyard to the cellar floor level which would then have a 4′ retaining wall around it.
is there a code for this?
We have a three story frame house. Presently used as a two family (duplex on top two + apartment on bottom floor). We are looking to turn the building back into a one-family. Looking for someone who can cut an internal staricase between the first and second floors. Any recommendations appreciated.
DO any of you guys have experience w Nick Politis for home inspection?
Found them in the directory, was wondering if anyone has any experience with them. We are bidding out our brownstone new parlor floor kitchen / deck job now.
What are some options for properly venting a cellar?
Chris Dinapoli and his team were responsible for the renovation of our Sunset Park Brownstone in 2011. They did a decent enough job with heavy lifting tasks such as framing walls, drywall, plumbing and electrical. But the team cannot be trusted with anything beyond that. Having lived with their work for over a year now, I feel compelled to urge home-owners to think twice before working with Chris.
Below are some key issues we faced with their work. Our biggest complaint however is that, on the whole, when confronted with our issues, Chris either lied to us, evaded our questions, or tried to change the subject and remind us how he had in some other way “hooked us up.”
Here is a snapshot of issues:
- Street-facing walls and window-boxes were built and installed without insulation, so those rooms in winter are ice cold and in all seasons are noisier than they should be. We were not even consulted about this choice, it was just done. After a cold winter, we are looking at thousands of dollars and a messy construction job to pump insulation into the walls of three street-facing rooms. At the end of the day, we believe that we should have been consulted on this point before the walls were closed up.
- Major issues with floor installation. Pretty much everywhere his team installed wood flooring in our home has failed the test of time. Boards come loose, nails come up constantly. Our kids cut open their feet on the protruding nails. The nails they used had no teeth. In areas of the house where nails probably should have been driven into underlying joists, it didn’t happen.
- After floors were installed, Chris’s team took a saw to the floor in front of our kitchen sink and cut the boards open to get into the plumbing. This area of flooring was left with gashes from saws, and the boards in this area were left uneven, loose, and will eventually need to be replaced wholesale. Unfortunately, we did not notice this had been done until we moved in. When we asked Chris about it, he denied that his team had hacked the floor open, even though the evidence was undeniable.
- Baseboard molding was installed across the front of a fireplace. Despite numerous requests to remedy this, Chris and his team refused to change it, repeatedly insisting that we had asked them to install baseboard molding across the front of a fireplace.
- A toilet was installed a full 4″ away from the wall behind it, so it kind of floats in the middle of the room. Not a huge deal, but very weird-looking. When asked to move it, we got lame excuses about the location of beams underneath. The correct thing to do was available to anyone with access to google: just find a toilet with a different rough-in.
- Doors were poorly hung and do not open and close easily, no matter what season. Despite his team coming back to try and correct this issue, the doors still do not operate quietly as expected. Door stopper trim was installed incorrectly so that the door closed too close to the stoppers, meaning the paint on the door ended up sticking to the stoppers and peeling off at the contact point. My belief is that his team actually does not know how to install doors properly.
- Grout in bathroom floor and kitchen backsplash are not standing the test of time. Cracks started to develop within the first six months and at this point we will need to re-do much of the tile work.
- Wood trim work is sloppy and mis-aligned. Even simple things like the trim around an interior door look like they were done by someone who simply doesn’t care about quality.
- Paint jobs are awful. The lines where different colors of paint meet are uniformly crooked, looking like they were painted by a child. It’s obvious that masking tape was not used and that his team rushed through this part of the work. When asked about this, Chris essentially said, “looks good to me.”
- Kitchen counter was so poorly installed that we actually had to cut the tops off of some of the cabinet doors in order to be able to open them. When asked about this, Chris blamed the counter-top subcontractor.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Please think twice before working with Chris and his team.