Homeowners are putting in a mini split (or ductless) air conditioning system but are torn about the placement of the indoor units. They are not gutting the spaces completely and have original details that they would like to preserve. What solutions have other historic homeowners found? Are there other air… Read More >The post From the Forum: Installing a Mini Split Air Conditioning System in a Historic Interior appeared first on Brownstoner.
The marble mantle and cast iron insert of a reader’s 1870s brownstone are coated with layers of paint and they are looking for paint removal suggestions. They have tried two different cleaning agents and got most of the paint off the marble, but the cast iron is proving a bit… Read More >The post From the Forum: Removing Paint From a Marble Mantel and Cast Iron Summer Cover appeared first on Brownstoner.
A home buyer has just discovered that their new home, renovated by a developer, has multiple violations issued by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Before they closed on the property a search for violations was done and nothing turned up — it now appears the violations were issued just weeks… Read More >The post From the Forum: Clearing Landmarks Violations Accrued by a Previous Owner appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner has a renovation job almost complete but the architect has vanished from the project, leaving the final sign-off in jeopardy. All that remains is to amend one incorrectly filed Schedule B — until it is fixed the plumbing job remains open. The architect’s fee has been paid in… Read More >The post From the Forum: What Should You Do When Your Architect Disappears Before DOB Sign-Off? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner has an automated water meter and is finding large spikes in their water use that don’t seem to make sense. A recent increase more than tripled the amount of their monthly bill — and they don’t have any plumbing issues that could be causing a problem. They have… Read More >The post From the Forum: Tracking Water Usage With DEP’s Automated Meter Reading appeared first on Brownstoner.
Buyers are just about to close on their new brownstone and the sellers are asking to remain for three months after closing. Timing wise this works out for the buyers, but they are wondering what rent and other requirements they should work into a post possession agreement. What combination of… Read More >The post From the Forum: Working Out a Post Possession Agreement With Sellers appeared first on Brownstoner.
Homeowners are thinking of sprucing up their unfinished basement and are looking for ideas. The space has a rough concrete floor that they would like to transform to make the space a bit more appealing and usable for storage or a play room. Before they start planning, what options should… Read More >The post From the Forum: Renovating an Unfinished Basement Into a Usable Space appeared first on Brownstoner.
A reader is planning a renovation project and is wondering when to start reaching out to contractors. They hope to begin the work in the next six months but are still figuring out what they want to accomplish. When is the right time to bring in a contractor to… Read More >The post From the Forum: When Should You Bring in a Contractor? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner would like to build a small guest house at the rear of their backyard but isn’t sure what the rules are regarding new construction on the same lot. They believe that they have enough available FAR (floor area ratio) to technically accommodate the building and would ideally… Read More >The post From the Forum: Are Backyard Guest Houses Legal? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A bathroom renovation is leading to a disagreement and a homeowner is looking for advice. The homeowner would like to install the toilet directly on the hardwood floor, but the plumber disagrees and is suggesting installing it on top of a marble slab or a plastic base plate. After seeing… Read More >The post From the Forum: Should a Toilet Be Installed Directly on a Wood Floor? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A neighbor’s downspout directs water right into a homeowner’s property and they are wondering about the legality of the situation. The water comes through pipes set into the neighboring wall, sending water cascading into their yard and causing problems with their own drainage. What options does the homeowner have?… Read More >The post From the Forum: Is it Legal for a Downspout to Direct Water into a Neighboring Property? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner has received a violation from the DOT for the damaged bluestone sidewalk in front of their home and is wondering how to proceed with repairs. The violation says that they have to replace the sidewalk within 45 days at their expense — but, if the damage was caused… Read More >The post From the Forum: Repairing a Sidewalk After a Violation Notice appeared first on Brownstoner.
Construction is starting next door and a homeowner is wondering whether to allow the developer to use a portion of their property during construction. What issues should the homeowner be prepared for and how much should they charge the developer? Since the construction next door will make their garden… Read More >The post From the Forum: Should You Give the Developer Next Door Access to Your Property? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A Brownstoner reader is on the house hunt and is hesitating over a house that’s just over 16 feet wide, wondering if it might be too small to fit the modern lives of a large family. What have other narrow house owners done to create a practical, comfortable living space… Read More >The post From the Forum: Can a Narrow House Be Designed to Fit a Large Family? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner is considering a renovation, but before starting work wants to understand how the improvements might impact their property taxes. How much could the assessed value of their property increase after a renovation? Please chime in with any advice. forumTopic id=”general-discussion:renovation-impact-on-proper” Related Stories Get Advice on Home Renovation and All… Read More >The post From the Forum: What Impact Will Renovations Have on a Homeowner’s Property Taxes? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A home buyer is contemplating a garden level apartment renovation and is looking for advice. The apartment is currently duplexed with the floor above but they are planning to make it a one-floor rental unit. Should they leave the internal stairs in place and create a smaller apartment or should… Read More >The post From the Forum: Should the Internal Staircase to a Garden Apartment Be Removed or Left in Place? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner has been noticing that the warmer temperatures and rain have led to some green growth on their brownstone and is wondering about the best method for removal. They are concerned about finding the right cleaner to remove the biological growth without harming the stone. What cleaning methods have… Read More >The post From the Forum: What is the Safest Method for Cleaning Moss and Algae From Brownstone? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner is contemplating installing solar panels on their brownstone and is looking for advice. How long will it take to recoup the expenses of installation? What impact does having a gas, rather than electric, heating system have on the projected savings? Please chime in with your advice. forumTopic id=”general-discussion:solar-panels-” Related Stories Get Advice… Read More >The post From the Forum: Would Solar Panels Be Cost-Effective on a Brownstone? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner has a no-pets policy for their rental unit but is being asked to consider allowing a dog to move in. The homeowner is a dog owner and is happy with the tenants, but is still concerned about the potential damage a new dog could cause to the property.… Read More >The post From the Forum: Should a Landlord With a No Pet Policy Make an Exception for a Good Tenant? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A neighbor is going to be constructing a large addition and a homeowner wants to be prepared for the possible impacts to their property. The project has been approved by the Landmarks Commission but does not yet have all of its permits. Should they hire a lawyer to ensure their… Read More >The post From the Forum: Protecting Your Property When a Neighbor is Planning an Addition appeared first on Brownstoner.
Home buyers are considering the purchase of a two-family home and have discovered that there is no certificate of occupancy on file. If they purchase the house they may want to change it from two duplexes to a triplex over a garden apartment. Since there is nothing on file, how… Read More >The post From the Forum: What if the House Doesn’t Have a Certificate of Occupancy? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner suspects that a garage next door might actually have been built on their property and is wondering how ownership could be proven. They found a 1920s Certificate of Occupancy for the garage that was issued with their home address, implying it is, or at least once was, part… Read More >The post From the Forum: How Can You Prove Ownership of a Neighboring Garage? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A renter is looking for advice on dealing with severe floor issues in their apartment. The floor in one of the bedrooms is buckling so badly that the door will not close and the floor is unsafe to walk on. The landlord didn’t address the issue and the damage has… Read More >The post From the Forum: Who Should Pay for Floor Repairs in a Rental Apartment? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homebuyer is curious about what approvals might be needed to alter an addition to the townhouse they are purchasing. The one-story, cinder block extension is on the back of the house and no permits for its construction pop-up in a DOB search. They are thinking of retaining it with… Read More >The post From the Forum: Altering a Townhouse Extension That May Not Be Legal appeared first on Brownstoner.