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Building Code

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Hi. I live in a small studio on the ground floor. We have a door and two windows looking into the backyard. The windows have security bars so we cannot use them as a fire escape in the event of a fire. Is there a code that states that two exits are required in an apartment. I want to see if my landlord should replace one of the windows with a door (leading directly into the backyard!).

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I am renovating a bathroom which has a smaller room with a condensing boiler. Does anyone know about the requirements for the access door? Do i need to have a fire rated door?

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I recently purchased a two-story rowhouse that was at one time converted to a 2 family (apt upstairs). I want to take it back to the original 1 family, and in doing so, I want to eliminate the little closet with the roof hatch. As far as I can tell, the roof hatch is not required – the Fire Department needs a vent in the case of a fire – which could be the existing skylight. However, I will need access to the roof and I want to locate a steel ladder on the outside in the rear that would take you from the roof of the one story extension to the upper roof. I cannot figure out if this is allowed or not. Any thoughts?

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Hi All. We are one year into purchasing in a new condo at the moment. The current maintenance as per the offering plan has been in effect for a year. We are now transferring the board to owners and the new budget is jumping over 60%. On the budget for next year we are getting over $35k in “contribution” from the sponsor. This cash infusion limits our common charge increase to 15% for the next year. There is no guarantee that he will ever contribute again. This money is not related to any maintenance that is due from the sponsor or anything, it is totally separate.

When I asked the sponsor and their attorney at the first meeting, they said it was out of the goodness of their heart. Am I being cynical or is there a reason (legal or otherwise) that the sponsor is capping the common charge increase to 15%?

Thanks all.

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Is a roof ladder and hatch considered a method of egress in a building? I am looking at a 4 unit building where the top floor renovation incorporated the roof ladder & hatch into the apartment. There is a sprinkler system in place. I can’t find any permits for work done in the building on the DOB website and think it was probably done a while back without permits. To be up to code, would I have to restore the access to the ladder (from the public staircase)? I can’t imagine the (RS) tenant would be too happy about that! Anyone have an experience with this kind of situation Thanks as always….

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I want to know if there are any workarounds the NYC building code for incorporating a cellar currently having only 1 means of egress into the basement apartment above. The intention is to have the cellar act as a recreation room integrated into the basement (garden) floor.

The brownstone is currently a 4 family building (cellar, basement, 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor) with B-3rd fl as one family each. 1st through 3rd floors have the public corridor/stairs and fire escapes for their 2 means of egress. Basement has the public corridor and the backyard door for it’s 2 means of egress. Cellar is the issue as it’s only means of egress is where it comes up to the public corridor currently. There is an existing coal/furnace hatch in the front that comes up into the front yard. Can the hatch be upgraded in any way to be counted as the 2nd means of egress? I’ve heard that a lot of brownstones have done that but does anyone know if this kind of thing has been approved lately by the building department? Any assistance with this matter would be greatly appreciated!

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I am doing a kitchen renovation. I have a long island- 7 feet by 30″. I want to put outlets on the BACK of the island (where I won’t see them.) I keep hearing that for the electrical inspection I need to have them on the ENDS of the island. When I look at the NEC code (210.52) – it reads like I can put them on the back. However, my builder keeps telling me that the inspectors are picky about this and won’t pass it. Anyone had experience with this? Thanks!

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This is a question that somewhat takes the form of a rant. Please forgive me.

So a building inspector is coming to check out our window guards, since a tenant has a child. We now realize that they are not NYC approved and don’t come with the required window stops. Are we likely to get busted for that?

This is really the motivation behind this post however: a violations removal consultant guy came by and told us we also need peep holes in our doors and a sign about CO detectors in the hall. The CO sign manufacturer says that they have recently had a run on 4 other kinds of signs that people have been getting busted for not having.

So I suppose my question is: how am I supposed to know all of these things in advance without dedicating my life to studying the Big Book of Code? Is there some kind of centralized location for things like this, say a cliff notes version? Or can I only wait for violations to be delivered?

Thanks in advance for any solace provided.

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I am in the midst of renovating the bottom duplex of my townhouse and my architect just informed me (unfortunately after the sheet rock is up) that my recessed light fixtures need to be fire rated. I have done quite a bit of research and found that the cheapest way to do this will be quite costly…cutting out the sheet rock and replacing each fixture (which are non-IC rated) with an IC rated fixture covered by a fire rated light cover made by a company called Tenmat.

Has anyone heard of this requirement that recessed lights in NYC be fire rated? I questions this because the existing fixtures in the space were not fire rated and also the contractor and electrician (both local shops with lots of business) say they never do this.

Pertinent information: my house is under a 4-family CO (although it will in fact be 3-family once we finish the renovation though we are not changing the CO as part of the permitting for the renovation). The floors being renovated are the garden and parlor level (being combined as a duplex). Permit is under the 1968 code. Construction is steel joists with concrete subfloor.

Thanks all!

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We’ve installed a mod/con boiler. The specs say it can be vented directly through the back wall, and in fact this is the preferred method over venting through chimney. But neighbor objects to the “smoke” (water vapor) blowing into her yard — it’s at least 15 feet from her windows and door. This seems to be a gray area in the code. Have others run into problem with back-wall venting of mod-con boiler? Must the boiler be vented through the chimney (which would mean lining 4 stories with PVC pipe)?