Ask Brownstoner

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There’s one new post today on the Renovation Blogs:
Now for the Junior One Bedrooms… [South Stuy Reno]

Meanwhile, here are some of the topics posted on the Forum today:
Should We Be Worried About Ceiling Cracks?
Coffin Corners: Are They for Real?
Spray Painting of Sidewalks by Utilities
Advice on Adding a Bathroom from Scratch?
Need Pro to Inspect and Repair Boiler
Cons of Having Wireless Towers on Roof?
What’s Up With the Burning Rubber Smell?

Remember: You can follow all the renovation blog posts in a single feed here.

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Before you know it, the ground will be frozen and you won’t feel like hanging out in your backyard for a while; in the meantime, there are some things you can be doing to help your garden put its best foot forward next spring. We asked Susanne Kongoy, the owner of Boerum Hill’s GRDN, for some tips on tending to gardens and backyards during the fall. Here’s what she told us:

-Fall is still a great time to plant or transplant, perennials, trees,and shrubs. Water until the ground freezes and mulch.

-You’ll find plenty of perennials, trees, and shrubs on sale now at your favorite garden shop or local nursery. It’s a great time to find bargains and fill in those holes in the garden.

-Plant hardy bulbs now! It’s finally cooling off, which means it’s time to think about planting tulips, narcissus, crocus, allium, etc. Bulbs are so easy, and squirrels don’t like narcissus!

-Indoor gardeners should consider planting paperwhites and amaryliss for December blooms.

-It’s time to redo that tired stoop pot! Switch out summer annuals for fall color or dwarf evergreens that’ll get you through the winter.

-Mulch with free compost from the Department of Sanitation. The last compost giveaway is this weekend at Fish Kills on Staten Island, and it’s definitely worth the trip. Check out www.nyccompost.org for more info.

Any other suggestions you can think of?

Photo by xmarcus

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There’s one new post today on the Renovation Blogs:
Obligatory Before Shots of the Bannister [South Stuy Reno]

Meanwhile, here are some of the topics posted on the Forum today:
Expediter Post Approval Amendment Fee
Insulating Weatherproofing Brownstone Doors
Need a New Gas Boiler and Water Heater
Professional Weatherproofer for Windows?
Need Pro to Inspect and Repair Boiler
Legality of Outdoor Propane Heater?
Cost to Replace Plumbing/Electric in B’stone?

Remember: You can follow all the renovation blog posts in a single feed here.

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Question: I have an ancient boiler and heating system in my two-family brownstone. What can I do when I upgrade to create the most energy-efficient system?

Good question given the time of year. First, some tough love: Replacing an old boiler is a 20-year-or-more investment. While today’s boiler technology provides greater efficiency than in the past, the piping from the boiler also plays an important role in how efficiently the boiler and system work together and how long the equipment, new or existing, lasts. The distribution piping immediately exiting the boiler (commonly called the near-boiler piping), if not done correctly, can have the effect of a blocked artery, forcing the heart of your system to overwork in its attempt to get the fluid to where it’s needed, at the radiators. The thermostat in your living space will be telling your boiler, “Come on, more heat”, your boiler will obediently respond, but the main beneficiary of the flaring burner and the accelerating rotations of your meter will be the toasty warm rodent in your utility room.

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There are two new posts today on the Renovation Blogs:
Water Problems with the Extension [Crown Heights Reno]
Picking Colors for the Bathroom [Bed Stuy Reno]

Meanwhile, here are some of the topics posted on the Forum today:
Dumb to Buy Gorgeous Apt with No View?
Seeking Someone for Minor Plumbing Fixes
Need Someone to Install Exterior Doors in Our Basement
Are There Really Bed Bugs at 616 E 18th Street?
Repairing Damage to Original Brownstone Doors?
A Good Rental Broker in Prospect Heights?

Remember: You can follow all the renovation blog posts in a single feed here.

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Here are some of the topics posted on the Forum today:
Dealing with Sidewalks and Bulging Tree Roots
Trying to Find an Old Iron Fence Like This
Will Screwing Stop the Noisy Squeeking?
Are There Hepa Filters for Heat Registers?
Adding Moisture to Forced-Air Furnace?
Tax Deductions When Buying a New Condo?

Meanwhile, there are three new posts today on the Renovation Blogs:
Rental Apartment Done Just in Time! [South Stuy Reno]
…And On To Painting [Bed Stuy Reno]
Tile Shopping and Selection [Gates Reno]

Remember: You can follow all the renovation blog posts in a single feed here.