After receiving a sidewalk violation when street tree roots damaged the bluestone sidewalk in front of their home, homeowners enrolled in the city’s repair program and have been waiting for the issue to be resolved ever since. They’ve been alerted that the repair through the Parks Department’s Trees and Sidewalks… Read More >The post From the Forum: Waiting for Repairs When a Street Tree Damages the Sidewalk appeared first on Brownstoner.
Electrical work required the temporary removal of a parlor ceiling medallion and now that it is time to put it back the homeowners are stumped. The medallion was safely removed but their contractor has now told them that it can’t be put back up — an opinion unlikely to be… Read More >The post From the Forum: Getting a Plaster Medallion Back on the Ceiling appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner who admittedly doesn’t love kitchen islands is wondering how useful they really are. Does anyone who has a kitchen island or a pass-through eating area actually use them for eating or other activities? Do they sit side by side facing the kitchen cabinets and stove? Would renters find… Read More >The post From the Forum: How Useful Is a Kitchen Island? appeared first on Brownstoner.
The electrical upgrade is complete and homeowners now anxiously await a final inspection from the Department of Buildings. To calm their nerves they are seeking advice on what to expect — the good and the bad. Should they be prepared for an inspector to only look at the work that… Read More >The post From the Forum: What to Expect During an Electrical Inspection appeared first on Brownstoner.
Homeowners are renovating and thinking of leaving the ceiling joists exposed on the garden level of their house but have been told by a architect that it would not be to code. They will be living in the space and the floor above and are hoping that would make a… Read More >The post From the Forum: Exposing Floor Joists on the Garden Level appeared first on Brownstoner.
Brownstone owners are shivering and suspect that an addition built by previous residents may not be properly insulated. There’s a noticeable draft and the owners are wondering what their options are to stop the chill. Should they add insulation, look into weatherstripping doors and windows or get an additional… Read More >The post From the Forum: Stopping Brisk Winds From Blowing Through a Brownstone appeared first on Brownstoner.
A developer is doing an overhaul of a Bed Stuy house and a neighbor has noticed that there aren’t any permits posted. The reno includes a cellar excavation and major addition but a hunt through the Department of Buildings hasn’t turned up any applications or permits either. Is this a… Read More >The post From the Forum: Renovating Without a Permit appeared first on Brownstoner.
Homeowners have successfully evicted rats that had taken up residence in the basement, but the smell from the departed rodents is still lingering. It just isn’t in the current budget to solve the problem by replacing the rough cement floor. What cleaners or home remedies might eliminate the smell? Please chime… Read More >The post From the Forum: Getting Rid of the Smell After the Rodents Move Out appeared first on Brownstoner.
A utility pole is in rough shape and a homeowner is trying to find out who is responsible for repairing or replacing the pole located in their backyard. There aren’t any identifying marks on the pole — should the homeowner look through their title documents for an easement to a… Read More >The post From the Forum: Who Should Maintain the Utility Pole? appeared first on Brownstoner.
Just starting the planning for a gut renovation, a homeowner was puzzled when an architect asked for 90 percent of the fee upfront. The homeowner is new to the process and looking for advice on typical payment schedules. How much of the fee should be paid as a deposit and… Read More >The post From the Forum: Scheduling Payments to an Architect During a Renovation appeared first on Brownstoner.
Homeowners are hoping to add a deck off the rear of their brownstone and are looking for advice. Since the house is within a historic district they are working with the Landmarks Preservation Commission for approval on their entire renovation project. They would like to add a second floor deck… Read More >The post From the Forum: Adding a Deck in a Historic District appeared first on Brownstoner.
Some stoop work led to a noise violation and a homeowner is trying to figure out who is responsible for resolving the issue. The contractor was issued a ticket for not having a noise mitigation plan, but the ticket has the homeowner’s address. Should the homeowner hold onto the… Read More >The post From the Forum: Who Is Responsible for Clearing a Noise Violation? appeared first on Brownstoner.
Homeowners are undecided about removing the second set of doors to their vestibule to create a more open space. Will the extra space be worth putting up with the increased draftiness? What else should they consider? Please chime in with your advice. forumTopic id=”windows-and-doors:vestibule-removal” Related Stories Get Advice on Home Renovation and… Read More >The post From the Forum: The Pros and Cons of Removing a Vestibule appeared first on Brownstoner.
On the hunt for a ceiling fixture that would work for the living room of their circa 1920s to 1930s home, a reader is asking for some ideas. Where can they find information on what type of lighting would have been used for their home? Should they go vintage or… Read More >The post From the Forum: Finding a Period-Appropriate Ceiling Fixture appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner is puzzled by the change in color to their newly refinished floor and is looking for some answers. The maple floor was sanded and stained and then covered for the duration of the rest of the reno project. It has now been uncovered and a large portion of… Read More >The post From the Forum: When the Floor Changes Color appeared first on Brownstoner.
Is turning a four-family row house into a four-unit condo building something a brownstoner should consider? A reader is wondering what the financial pros and cons might be versus selling the building outright. Where can they find some info about the process to help guide their decision making? Please chime… Read More >The post From the Forum: What is the Process for Converting a Four-Family Brownstone to Condos? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner wants to mount a wooden picture rail to a brick wall but is a bit puzzled about what tool would work best. Should they use a powerful nail gun, drill into the wall and use anchors or just get some strong adhesive? Please chime in with your advice. … Read More >The post From the Forum: What’s the Best Way to Mount Something Onto a Brick Wall? appeared first on Brownstoner.
Living near a firehouse has turned into a noisy experience for some homeowners and they are hoping to soften the harsh sound of the sirens. They are contemplating installing new windows that would provide some soundproofing but are looking for cost advice from other homeowners. They would need to replace… Read More >The post From the Forum: Softening the Noise from a Neighboring Firehouse appeared first on Brownstoner.
After a restoration of their fireplace and chimney, homeowners are getting complaints from a neighbor that the cozy fires are creating a scorching hot party wall. The homeowners want to be accommodating and are thinking of installing a wood-burning stove that would vent up the chimney. Could this solve the… Read More >The post From the Forum: Installing a Wood-Burning Stove appeared first on Brownstoner.
Homeowners are contemplating transforming the lower level of their brownstone with the installation of a sauna and are looking for ideas. They have existing plumbing for a bathroom and are hoping to expand the space to include a steam room. Have any other homeowners installed a sauna? Is it worth… Read More >The post From the Forum: Installing a Sauna in a Brownstone appeared first on Brownstoner.
A reader is steaming up and trying to figure out how to cool down a toasty room by turning off a radiator completely. What should they know about taking care of radiators and adjusting heat? If the valve is missing what is the best option? Please chime in with your advice.… Read More >The post From the Forum: It’s Hot, How Do I Turn Off a Radiator? appeared first on Brownstoner.
What’s the best way to cut some discrete holes in an original plaster and lathe ceiling without damaging the surrounding plaster? A homeowner is installing air conditioning registers and is hoping to minimize the damage. They’ve read suggestions about pouring an adhesive around the area to be cut as a… Read More >The post From the Forum: Cutting Through Plaster and Lathe Without Damaging the Rest of the Ceiling appeared first on Brownstoner.
Homeowners have to replace a breaker panel and were surprised to learn from an electrician that the meter will need to be moved outside. With Con Edison’s move to smart meters they thought they would be able to keep their meters inside. Moving the meters outside would increase the expense… Read More >The post From the Forum: Does the Electric Meter Have to Be Located Outside? appeared first on Brownstoner.
The owners in a co-op are thinking of taking over the management of the day-to-day operations for their building to become self-managed, rather than outsourcing the job to a management company. They’ve found it difficult and expensive working with a management company but are wondering about the pros and cons… Read More >The post From the Forum: Living in a Self-Managed Co-op appeared first on Brownstoner.