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Building Code

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HI
we are about to buy a 3 story house which will need gut renovation.

its currently 1 family and we will turn it into legal 3 for bank purpose. Question is..
Can we do 2 studio rental in garden apartment and keep the duplex for us?
Vs the obvious solution of single apartment on each floor.

thanks
kanu

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We want to add a set back 4th floor addition on top of an existing 3-story house (not landmarked) as we gut reno it. It’s a 2-family, and we’re keeping it that way, so basement level is slightly below grade (that’s where rental would go). We recently learned of new code that requires you put in a sprinkler system throughout house when you add addition, but it seems sometimes you can get out of it. I know this has been discussed a bit before, but it’s confusing since I know of houses with additions finished as recently as last 1-2 years where this requirement was no imposed. Any tips on how to get a waiver? It’s a deal-breaker for us! And if you do get a spinkler system does that mean you’re dealing with lots of headaches (ugly aesthetics, potential leaks, etc.). Would love advice since we have to decide on whether to go for addition or not – thanks!

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The DOB has finally standardized and clarified the rules for a 3-piece bath in a cellar. It’s explicitly permitted under certain limitations:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/downloads/bldgs_bulletins/bb_2011-010.pdf

Jim Hill, RA, LEED AP
Urban Pioneering Architecture

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I am looking at a brownstone which I’d like to convert to a 2 family, double duplex (e.g. st two duplex apartments stacked on top of each other). To maximize space, I prefer to use the existing staircase within the top duplex, but wonder if that creates a Fire Department access since roof access will only be through the top apartment and not a public staircase? Can the egress issue be solved by access to a sprinklered hallway and a staircase to the roof? Thanks, as always, for your words of wisdom.

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We are in the beginning stages of converting a pre-1900 rowhouse from a two fam to a three fam. The house is currently set up as a two family with a basement. The basement ceiling height and relation to curb allows for a legal family conversion.

At this time, we are talking to architects and having some of them drop by the house for an estimate of cost. We are hearing mixed things from different architects – the most concering are the Fire code issues (Sprinkler System and Building Access (Handicap access to garden level unit).

1. Some architects are saying that the whole house will need to be updated to 2008 building codes. Sprinkler systems would need to be installed throughout the whole house. Others say that we can install sprinkler systems according to 1968 buildings code. In this case, sprinklers would need only be installed throughout hallways.

2. Some architects told us that the entrance to the basement level would need to be updated for handicap access. Right now, it’s a couple of steps down from the curb to the entrance. Other architects say it’s not necessary.

Why am I hearing all this discrepency? Has anyone dealth with this, in regards to the sprinkler systems and entrance situation?

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My boyfriend and I are looking to purchase a brownstone in Bed-Stuy. We have owned apartments before, but never a home. We have seen homes which will require sustantial interior renovations and are curious how many permits will be required by the city if we want to move/add bathrooms. One house we have seen is currently a shell and have no idea what was there in the beginning. What quidelines does the city use to determine the number of baths (full and part) allowed in a 3 story brownstone. Thank you!!

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Hey all. I’ve got no particular dog in this hunt, but I’m curious just the same. Just up the street from me in Williamsburg a fairly notorious landlord is doing what looks to be four stories of new construction.

Given that quality is Job #1 for this guy, he’s enraged his neighbors and cut a thousand corners. He’s got many complaints against the site, has been slammed with stop work orders, and has open violations. He also has a number of unresolved fines, most of which he got because they were default judgements imposed when he didn’t show up for the hearing. According to the DOB, he’s got thousands of dollars in unpaid fines.

Question is, how does he get away with this? What’s his endgame? Is the city that powerless in the face of a guy with a “damn the torpedoes” attitude?

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Hi,
I’m house hunting, looking at a 3-family townhouse in which I would rent out the 2nd and 3rd floors. Will I need to put on fire escape? Would doing construction trigger something like that, or is there anything else I should be aware of eg roof access for firemen? (just read another post on this) — for example if I wanted to someday live on the 2nd/3rd floor and rent out the first floor, would I not be ably to fully enclose the stairwell to the top floor in order to leave public access to the roof?

Thanks.

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Gas line comes in from the street. There’s a big cut-off valve & then the pipe continues to the meter. Who is responsible for a leak between the cut-off valve & the meter: the gas company or the customer?

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Does anyone know if I am allowed to reinstall parts of my basement ceiling that have fallen down? I have metal in the boiler room but 30’s or 40’s style small panel sheetrock with some kind of stucco over it every where else. Most in bad shape. Can I use 5/8″ fire code SR now or could I use some kind of cement board? Anyone know the code for this these days?
Thanks!