A paved driveway is shared between neighbors, leading a homeowner to struggle with some issues regarding maintenance decisions and ownership. The driveway is in fine shape but the neighbor is insisting on having colored pavers installed and is expecting the homeowner to pay for half the cost. What should the… Read More >The post From the Forum: Dealing With a Neighbor and a Shared Driveway appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner is looking for some inexpensive solutions to spruce up the stucco wall that surrounds their property. One thought was recycling some wooden pallets to cover the wall or using some other inexpensive wood stock to create a horizontal fence. Any suggestions on DIY solutions? Please chime in with your… Read More >The post From the Forum: Backyard DIY Solutions for Disguising a Stucco Wall appeared first on Brownstoner.
With cooler weather approaching, a homeowner is contemplating replacing a dying furnace. Every heating company so far has recommended a different brand, leaving the homeowner confused and looking for advice. Are there brands that other owners swear by? How much does the actual installation impact furnace performance? Please chime in… Read More >The post From the Forum: Choosing a Furnace appeared first on Brownstoner.
Would using two contractors for a project make it more complicated than it’s worth? Homeowners are planning a major apartment renovation which will require structural work. In getting quotes for the full job they are finding they range so wildly that they are considering splitting the job in an… Read More >The post From the Forum: Hiring Two Contractors for a Renovation Project appeared first on Brownstoner.
A tenant is considering building a deck in the backyard of their rental, and is looking for advice. Assuming the landlord is on board with the project, what should the tenant know before proceeding? If the deck is floating just a few inches above the ground, would a permit be… Read More >The post From the Forum: Building a Floating Deck in the Backyard of a Rental appeared first on Brownstoner.
New construction will be happening next door and the owner of a three-family house is wondering if their renters should be given a rent break. The owner has a lawyer working out an agreement with the developers of the new building for use of the water, electric and backyard of… Read More >The post From the Forum: Compensating Tenants For Disruption During a Construction Project appeared first on Brownstoner.
A new homeowner is contemplating opening a bricked-up fireplace and is at a loss as to where to start. Can a fireplace that has been sealed and out of use for years be opened up and restored to wood-burning condition or do regulations require that it be a gas fireplace?… Read More >The post From the Forum: Opening Up a Closed Fireplace appeared first on Brownstoner.
A studio apartment owner is curious about the allocation of shares in their co-op building and the impact on the monthly maintenance. Their ground floor studio, which shares a wall with a commercial space, seems to have the same, or even more, shares than much larger apartments — and subsequently,… Read More >The post From the Forum: Understanding Co-op Share Allocations appeared first on Brownstoner.
A massive tree trunk extends into the backyards of four properties, creating a bit of a conundrum for one property owner. The bulk of the tree sits on their property and an adjoining homeowner has begun tossing all the falling branches and leaves into their yard. While the neighbors can… Read More >The post From the Forum: Dealing With Neighbors and an Overhanging Tree appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner of a two-family property has tenants who waited months to inform them of a bedbug infestation and they now face an expensive treatment process. Are landlords always required to pay for the extermination or is there any recourse since the tenants failed to inform them in a timely… Read More >The post From the Forum: Who is Responsible for Paying for Bedbug Extermination in a Rental Unit? appeared first on Brownstoner.
In the midst of purchasing a brownstone, a buyer is wondering if work that is probably not code compliant will complicate any future renovations that they might want to undertake. There aren’t permits for renovation work and at least one project, the deck, is not to up to code. Are… Read More >The post From the Forum: Should a Buyer Be Concerned About a Deck Not Built to Code? appeared first on Brownstoner.
Brooklyn is lush with trees and one Brooklynite is wondering how to identify the specimen that is growing in front of their building. Forum members have recommended looking to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the New York Parks Department — what resources do you turn to when identifying the leafy… Read More >The post From the Forum: What Kind of Trees Are Growing in Brooklyn? appeared first on Brownstoner.
Contractors working for the city damaged a homeowner’s property and they are wondering how — or if — they can get their property repaired. In the process of sidewalk repair, pavers were damaged as well as concrete in the homeowner’s driveway. How should the damaged be documented and reported? Please chime… Read More >The post From the Forum: What Options Are There When City Contractors Damage Your Property? appeared first on Brownstoner.
Homeowners are looking to replace the existing aluminum windows in their townhouse but aren’t sure what type of windows to consider. While they would prefer wood, price is a concern so they are also considering vinyl and aluminum. What pros and cons of each material should they keep in mind… Read More >The post From the Forum: Choosing a Replacement Window appeared first on Brownstoner.
Surviving built-in bookshelves are a marvelous original feature when you can get them. One homeowner would like to get the best use out of their tall built-ins by adding a library ladder to access the upper shelves. They are thinking of going the DYI route and are finding the… Read More >The post From the Forum: Bringing a Ladder Back to the Library appeared first on Brownstoner.
Potential homeowners have discovered that the brownstone they are in contract on was misrepresented as a two family with a garden rental. Their architect dug up the certificate of occupancy and discovered that it lists the top floor as the rental unit. They are not comfortable that they were lied… Read More >The post From the Forum: When the Certificate of Occupancy Doesn’t Match the Sales Description appeared first on Brownstoner.
With plumbing issues happening every few months, a homeowner is determined to find out why the system continues to clog. The problem seems to originate in the pipes leading to the sewer line and plumbers have suggested the pipes under the basement floor might the problem. Is it time… Read More >The post From the Forum: Tracking the Source of a Chronic Plumbing Problem appeared first on Brownstoner.
Firemen showed up at a three-family property for an unexpected inspection and the homeowner isn’t familiar with the process. The tenants did not allow access to the property, so the firemen will return. What might have triggered the inspection? What egress and safety issues should the homeowner address before the… Read More >The post From the Forum: What Should a Homeowner Expect From a Random Fire Inspection? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A reader is sanding and staining their wood floors but isn’t sure how to deal with large gaps between the old boards. Some boards have a half inch space between them. Should the gaps be filled or left alone to allow for expansion and contraction of the wood? Please chime… Read More >The post From the Forum: Filling the Gaps Between Old Floorboards appeared first on Brownstoner.
A Brownstoner reader submitted a rather succinct question — will a dripping window air conditioning unit damage a brownstone facade? This simple inquiry raises the questions of how to divert the water and how to deal with the annoying sound of a neighbor’s dripping window unit. What methods have worked… Read More >The post From the Forum: Dealing With a Dripping Window Air Conditioning Unit appeared first on Brownstoner.
A new homeowner was surprised to discover that their two family home has three utility meters — one for each unit and a third for the hallway and basement. They were unaware that a third meter might be required under the Shared Meter Law to avoid having tenants pay for… Read More >The post From the Forum: Is an Additional Meter Required for Common Areas in a Two Family House? appeared first on Brownstoner.
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.