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.
Heavy rains are bringing water into a finished basement and the homeowner is looking for a solution. The water only appears with a heavy rain in two locations, by the exterior door and a bit further into the space, near a sidewall. The water has a bit of sand in… Read More >The post From the Forum: How Is Water Getting Into the Basement? appeared first on Brownstoner.
The Department of Sanitation has just delivered brown bins to a readers’s neighborhood as part of the organics collection program and they are wondering about the experiences of other homeowners. With a multi-family building they find they already have to move recycling to the proper bins for their tenants. Does… Read More >The post From the Forum: How Do You Handle Organic Waste Collection in a Multi-Family Building? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner is looking to downsize and wondering if switching the layout of their two-family brownstone will require a new certificate of occupancy. The house currently has a duplex on the garden and parlor floors and a rental above. Without making any structural changes to the building they would like… Read More >The post From the Forum: Is DOB Approval Required When Moving the Location of a Duplex in a Brownstone? appeared first on
A reader is considering installing recessed lighting and is looking for some advice. They have a two-bedroom, two-bath condo in a prewar apartment building. The unit has 8 foot ceilings with wood joists spaced at intervals of 12 and 16 inches on center. They want to install recessed lights throughout… Read More >The post From the Forum: Is It Feasible to Install Recessed Lighting in a Prewar Apartment? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner is facing a DOB fine and is wondering what options they have to resolve the issue. They received a notice from the DOB that there was no boiler inspection on file and they must provide documentation to prove it was submitted. The report and the required filing fee… Read More >The post From the Forum: Who is Responsible for DOB Fines When a Boiler Inspection Filing Fee Isn’t Paid? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A reader is wondering whether a gruesome history could impact the resale value of a house. They recently placed a bid on a Brooklyn house only to discover that it was the site of a murder over 100 years ago. If the story is known would the resale value of… Read More >The post From the Forum: Will the Resale Value of a Home Be Impacted by Its History? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner is considering a new insurance policy and wondering how much coverage is enough. They own a four-story home in Bed Stuy and companies are suggesting a range of coverage from $950,000 to $1.7 million to cover the worst case scenario of having to rebuild the house. Would this… Read More >The post From the Forum: How Much Insurance Coverage Should a Homeowner Have? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A reader just finished a gut renovation of their home and is dismayed by the noisy heating system. The baseboard heating system has been bled twice but is still making alarming banging noises. The plumber insists that every heating system is noisy but the homeowner thinks the level of… Read More >The post From the Forum: Are Banging Sounds Normal With A Brand New Heating System? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A potential homeowner is bidding on a property that hasn’t been lived in for several years and is wondering if that might impact the ability to get a mortgage. Mortgage bankers have advised them that if a property is considered uninhabitable it might be difficult to get financing. Because of… Read More >The post From the Forum: Should a Bidder on a Vacant House Waive the Mortgage Contingency? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner is considering putting in a new wood and glass front door but is concerned about security. Neighbors have been replacing steel security doors with doors that are partially or fully glass. Is a wood and glass door safe? Are there other options? Please chime in with your advice.… Read More >The post From the Forum: Are Front Doors With Transparent Glass a Security Concern? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A reader is hoping to replace a rooftop umbrella with a pergola and is wondering what approvals might be required. The brownstone is in a historic district but the rear deck on the roof is not visible from the street. The co-op has not objected to the pergola but will… Read More >The post From the Forum: Is a Permit Needed to Construct a Rooftop Pergola? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A homeowner is going through a refinancing and the appraiser flagged the window bars as an issue. The garden level window bars are historic and the homeowner would prefer to keep them in place rather than have them removed and bars with security latches installed. Are historic features like this… Read More >The post From the Forum: Do Historic Window Bars Need to Be Removed to Refinance? appeared first on Brownstoner.
A reader has a somewhat curious question — is the Fire Department using Google Earth images to check homes for possible violations? The homeowner was talking with an HVAC tech about whether a permit would be required to install a rooftop air conditioning condenser and the tech said that un-permitted… Read More >The post From the Forum: Is the FDNY Using Online Image Searching to Detect Violations? appeared first on Brownstoner.