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The below thread got lost in another thread on an unrelated topic and I thought the discussion might interest enough people to give it its own space:
malraux, I got distracted on another thread (which I can't recall now) where you talked about special properties you focus on, and you specifically mentioned "with terrace (wrap only)". What's so different about a wrap vs a regular terrace, esp if the reg terrace could be larger/more usable? Is it the 360 views?
Okay, here's what I mean. There are three basic different kinds of terraces in my book.
The first really isn't a terrace at all, but just a 'balcony in the sky' (for lack of a better term) that is just large enough to hold two lawn chairs, a table, and maybe a bicycle (okay, maybe a little bigger, but not much). It doesn't really count in my book as a terrace. Same goes for juliette balconies, planting balconies that aren't deep enough to handle seating, etc.
The second type of terrace is the roof terrace, where you can not look out your unit and see the terrace, but have to schlep up (in most, but not all cases) a staircase either located within your unit (better), or a staircase located outside your unit (worse). Sometimes with a small sunroom attached. These suck because if you're entertaining, guests cannot enjoy the view looking out from your inside space, and you have to haul food and drinks up and down the staircase (plus the same goes for bathroom breaks). It's just not the most desirable situation.
The third and best terrace type, is the wrap terrace. Because it is on the same level as your inside space, one can enjoy looking out on it, which brings the outside in, and also makes the interior space feel much, much larger. The ease of entertaining is exponentially increased for obvious reasons (no stairs).
Of course, what also makes terraces great are their specific size and layout, views, light, plantings, hardscaping, etc, which vary from terrace to terrace. So those varibles must be factored in as well. In addition, it matters if you are on the top floor (complete privacy) or if other people on higher floors can look down on you and your terrace - that's a major 'value' issue as well.
Hope that helps.....
And I am SO EMBARRASSED that I didn't prop Fab Five Freddy - please forgive me, bluerain!
Thx Malraux, that does clarify it. You really mean a step out of your apt space that is truly usable, and is set back from the bldg (unlike a balcony that sticks out from a bldg). Because I have seen wrap terraces, where only one side is truly usable, the others being little more than a walkway around the roof perimeter.
And OP, sorry, I didn't mean to hijack the thread.
about 21 hours ago
report abuse I think it's worth mentioning, re: balconies: that at a certain height they become somewhat useless. A 12th story balcony on 2d Avenue in midtown or UES can become a ledge jutting out into a wind tunnel. Plants dry up and die, the wind is strong enough to move wrought iron furniture, traffic is deafening. Similarly, a little thing jutting out three stories over the traffic on 8th Street with a shadow cast over it virtually all the time by the terrace above is similarly fairly useless. The uselessness is made evident in buildings that permit owners to window-in the balcony to make a "bonus" office or something. As soon as it's permitted, the majority of owners immediately wall in that nasty 30 sq/ft to get some use out of the otherwise dead space. These balconies are generally nice in theory only. the reality is that money spent because the unit has one is a bit of a waste. Totally different if there is nothing overhanging the terrace and it has sun and sky views and if it is a true terrace--that is a set back that ideally wraps around as malraux said.
And finally MALRAUX said:
Thank you - I absolutely should have mentioned height as well. There are 'microclimates' (as landscape architects call them) involved as one rises higher and higher. The 'sweet spot' I've found is approximately between 5 and 12 stories. Below that, too close to the street. Above that, wind and pollution conditions become a case of diminishing returns.
I should also add that when I talk about an ideal wrap terrace, I'm ONLY talking about a setback situation - should have been clearer - sorry.
Don't forget that to some people a terrace just isn't worth it ("why do I have to pay for something I only use 3 months a year?").
Of course those who say that don't understand it, so no matter. Personally, I will miss my huge terrace (13th floor, setback, high up on West End Ave) when I have to move because of family size. Maybe I will be able to replace it, maybe not. And even then I wasn't using it every day, but it was a pleasure to have.
one of the main attractive points of the 1BR we are considering is its terrace. it's 250 sq.ft., and by the definition above, it is the good "wrap terrace" with no terraces above us. i plan on bbq'ing every other day in the spring/summer/fall! ... ok maybe not that often, but certainly once a week (i'm a big grilling person). but we understand that the terrace might not mean as much to other buyers. also, a bad thing about our terrace is that it faces the back where we see a lot of dirty buildings in the back. but overall, i think it's a great plus. almost wish i was a smoker so that i'd always want to go out to smoke.
Perhaps I'm mistaken but isn't a 'wrap terrace' a terrace that goes all around your apartment?
yeah that's what i thought, too. but the way he described it, i wasn't sure. mine would not "wrap" around the corner of the unit since we don't really have a corner. but it does stretch across the entire southern exposure of the unit, with access from both living room and bedroom.
QUICK QUESTION: does anyone know if all terraces come with electric outlets and water outlets standard? wouldn't seem that way, right?
Hence my initial confusion. Malraux uses that term to mean a terrace in the dictionary sense of the word, i.e., a rooftop space, setback from the building. A building could have a number of terraces if it has several setbacks as it goes higher. Many people use the term terrace when describing what is actually a balcony -- outdoor space that sticks out from a building.
what is the law on having grills on terraces in nyc? legal or not?
Don't know if there is a city law, but some buildings' rules don't permit it because of the fire hazard (flammable roofing materials?).
A wrap terrace is exactly that — a wrap around the unit, or part of the unit. The real deal is penthouse with the terrace, which is the perfection. Your unit is a house sitting on the roof of a building. I saw one under $2M on the UWS a few months ago and (stupid me) didn't make an offer right away. It was gone within a week. The view of the Hudson and the park. Unbelievable. That's the real terrace.
Also, if it's not the top floor/penthouse unit, forget about grills. People above you will not allow smoke into their place. Good co-ops are really strict about that.
A real wrap terrace is worh one extra room in valuation. That's the sad truth.
Try this one. Sure you can get it for close to $2M. Saw it and good comp to the other one you saw. In case it was West 79th St ;-)
hunter88 - tyhis one is exactly the opposite of what I want: it's all climbing, and it's a roof "garden", and it's not a prewar, and it's not the real Upper West Side but a Lincoln Center tourist ugly part. And the windows!
Hey. Whatever you guys are looking for, guess what? It's totally over priced. Get a $hitty balcony witha shadow over it, or get a terrace that you pay $1.5 million for. Either way, you are a f-in LOSER for paying too much to live in a city where you think you might have a life. Get over it. Your a loser either way. Move on and spend your money in better ways. You'll enjoy it more.
dmag2020- Spoken by the real trashy loser.
westelle, whatever makes you feel better about yourself.
Hey westelle, can't wait to buy your terrace out of foreclosure.
dmag, I was really enjoying this thread, lots of interesting information and intelligent dialog. Your posts highlight ignorance, jealousy, and your total lack of respect for what this board is for. If you want to vent your frustrations, start your own thread.
Hey Juiceman, just so I understand, what was intersting to you on this thread before I ruined it for you?
dmag2020- why are posting? Looking from outside in? Why are you here?
I'm here to show you what a fool you are.
Sorry - idiot- not fool.
hunter - one of the best terraces was at 186 Riverside Drive. Fantastic. The apartment itself was small and funky.
luciato - the answer is no. I built an outdoor shower/steam room on my terrace, and it was a big deal. The waste lines have to be manipulated, and water outlets are not a given.
I think the fire code rule is that any bbq/flame must be 10 feet from the building, so unless your balcony/terrace is over 10 feet wide, there's technically no grilling. Even if it is that wide, you would be hard pressed to find a coop that allows grilling.
What about condos? Do they allow grilling?
Just saw this threads, so I'm behind the commentary....
As for the general comment that "...why do I have to pay for something I only use 3 months a year?...," the truth of the matter is, I get a solid six months of use out of my terrace, pretty much 15 April - 15 October (and if you believe in global warming, it could be year-round rather soon!). Which is about how much use people get out of their country house. In my case, my terrace is bigger than many country houses that people have to schlep every weekend two hours up and two hours back in summer traffic to get to each weekend. I enjoy my terrace every single day, seven days a week, so I actually get far more use out of it than do many people out of their summer houses! In the winter, there's no early morning or late night freezing walks for the dog - we just open the door, the dog runs to its spot, does its business, and that's that.
Also a "Wrap" terrace doesn't neccesarily wrap around the unit (though that's always ideal!), but the definition is that it is on the same level as your interior and you can look directly out on to it. And yes, of course, it is a defacto setback.
The following comment by westelle, however, is not entirely the best method of terrace valuation in my opinion - "...A real wrap terrace is worh one extra room in valuation. That's the sad truth..." A true wrap terrace should be figured at approximately 25%-50% of your interior psf value, based on the quality of the buliding, your unit, and the terrace's size, layout, view, light, and amenities. So in a nice $1,500 psf building, this could be anywhere between $375 - $750 psf for the terrace. If the terrace is relatively largish (1,000 s.f.) and is figured at $600 psf, that's $600,000 in extra value, which may count as an extra room, or not.
As to grilling, the 10 foot rule moentioned above is correct - but many buildings (coop or condo) will not allow open flames or charcoal on terraces at all. The best bet is to run a gas line from the interior to a gas grill on the terrace. By doing this, you can locate the grill anywhere you want on the terrace (no 10 foot rule applies) and it's perfectly legal (with all proper permits in place, of course) so the building will be far more accepting.
malraux - You are right about the terrace definition. And: we're in penthouse with 1150 sf terrace, so the price difference between us and the (similar, a bit smaller) apartment right below us is $750 psq. And yes, we too use the terrace all year around.
Malraux - just want to thank you for your comments re: terraces, you seem to be a real expert on the topic and your comments are very helpful.
After living in a rental apartment with a large terrace and absolutely loving it (I can't stress how much it improved my quality of life, really), it became a must-have when I was looking to buy. I admittedly didn't really know how to value the terrace, just that it had some value and was in limited supply in my area, but your numbers make me feel even better about it after the fact...
What you should not do is get a conventional gas grill. You will not be permitted by the coops/condos or FDNY to have propane tanks.
Personally I use charcoal and think it imparts a much better flavor.
One of the benefits of leaving Manhattan is that in a lot of the outer boroughs grills on the terrace (including on the little 70 square foot jobs that have another above) is tolerated.
AvUSW: Can you recommend a brand, or anything else helpful? I'm totally new to grilling. Thank you.
Weber makes a nice smaller size charcoal grill
And where do you get the charcoal?
not sure about in manhattan but outside almost any supermarket or gas station during the summer sells it outside of the city
This is what threads here should be -- informative, civilized and on-topic.
As far as dedicated gas grills (those run with a proper gas line from the interior, and therefore legal), as well as other fuel options, here's my recommendation - www.kalamazoogourmet.com.
This company makes the Rolls-Royce of grills, handsdown.
I have an large Weber, which is the standard in charcoal (deep and round which is good for being able to play with your heat) and has a lot of attachments for it at any Home Depot or even at Gracious Home. It probably would not do the trick for a real Texan though. There are cheaper products out there but they often have cut corners to get to that, like a much shallower tray below the grill-top which limits how much you can adjust the heat levels. If you do get a Weber, get the separate grill top that has removable portions that allow you to add or adjust the coals as you work without lifting the grill. It is more complicated to work this way than a gas grill, but your results should be much better!
Charcoal: Don't get the pressed charcoal like the Match Light stuff. Go for REAL wood charcoal, it can be found in the same size bags in some grocery stores and some hardware stores or online. Some go for exoticish woods but even oak will impart a nice smokey flavor and you can always buy real mequite wood chips to add to the fire (soak the chips in water for a few hours first to get it nice and smokey).
Also, buy a "chimney" to heat up your coals more quickly. The bummer about real charcoal is you can't just turn it on and grill, takes 10-20 minutes to get your coals nice and hot.
And remember, unless it is taking hours to smoke something at a low temperature, it is not BBQ, it is merely grilling! (And this is coming from a native NY'er, sheesh, have I changed.)
AvUWS: will exchange recipies with you at some point. Thank you.
AvUWS: we're probably neighbors.
Maybe. high up on West End Ave. My terrace is off limits due to a lot of Local Law work but I hope they get it done by end of May (done by april is out of the question now).
you should look up "beer can chicken" (there are many varieties). Cool recipe I have not yet tried but would love to. You have to love a recipe that starts with "Take the can of beer, drink half the beer...".
I'm a girl. No beer. Give the beer to neighbor...
girls shouldn't play with fire. Women on the other hand...
No relationship between gender and liking beer, especially if the beer is a particularly good craft brew.
Where I'm from we drink wine. And some vodka.
question -- what do you do with the coals when you are done -- not exactly garbage shute material
wow very informative discussion here! yes i can confirm the 10 foot rule on the grilling. and it's also true that you cannot get propane tanks in manhattan -- i confirmed: i called home depot on 23rd street and asked them; the woman told me that they don't carry them. where should i go if i needed one? just go to any of our locations in queens, bronx, brooklyn...
with that said, FYI, it is also illegal to bring a propane tank on any bridge or tunnel. so i was thinking maybe of having my boyfriend stand on the edge of queens and i could stand at the edge of manhattan, and maybe he could THROW it across the east river?
in all seriousness though, the grilling may be "illegal", but i really consider it a jaywalking-type illegal, not an assault-and-battery-type illegal. so i plan on grilling. and if i get a warning, then i'll politely apologize... and then keep on grilling!!!
If you keep them piled together at the end (and thus hot) they will burn themselves into almost nothing. Then wait a day or so to make sure they are completely "out" (or use water). You will go from a buckets' worth to less than a cup. Then you can either use those coals the next time or throw them out. They are just burnt wood. Definitely do not toss them down the chute if there is even a small chance there is still an ember. Real wood charcoal is light, really light, a bag the size of those huge pet-food bags weighs only about 8lb's.
luciato - after you apologize, you'll pay a fine... and if there's propane on your terrace, your building has the right to sic the cops on you... and if your propane blows up, you...
Luciato - Those kinds of rules are no joke when someone has to deal with a landlord or coop board. Me, I am rent-stabilized, so why would I want to risk it. Besides, charcoal really does taste a whole lot better than gas. (by the way, the FDNY has all sorts of rights to inspect and fine if they see your propane tank if they are on another terrace or roof, for example. And they can fine the building itself for your violation.)
Just drag the gas line from your stove out to the terrace.
I had a propane grill at my old (rental) place. The building owner didn't care at all about it - everyone with a terrace used to grill with gas, and the doormen gave us the number of a delivery service for exchanging the propane tank (from Brooklyn, I no longer have the number). We would even just leave the empty tank and a check with the doormen when they needed to be exchanged, and they'd take care of it for us. Ah, those were the days...
Why would anybody opt for propane when there are safe (and legal) alternatives? Why antagonize neighbors for a stinky piece of charred cow?
Charred cow.... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!
I mean, I wouldn't want to live next to a propane tank.
Westelle, a recipe that would work for your double X chromosome sensibilities - BBQ grilled pizza. Check for a recipe that was on Bobby Flay's Boy-meets-grill.
BTW, the people at Gracious Home will give you the name of a service that delivers propane and charcoal, it is expensive but a nice service...I my building we all grill on our back terraces, it is against the rules but nobody complains...
You do realize that you (likely) have poisonous and explosive natural gas piped into your apartment? Can't forget that electric service either which is great for starting fires as well as electrocution!
I'm not trying to be a douche (any more than usual) and laws are laws, but I can't stop and chuckle at the complete disconnect in logic in your post(s).
TheFed - Those gas lines into your apartment are (hopefully) installed by a licensed professional and to a code. Propane tanks are attached by "civilians" to a grill they may have assembled themselves. They also are there in case of a fire where the gas line would be shut off by FDNY in the case of a fire. That means that they can blemy (cook off and explode). There is a reason the FDNY can get hung up about them.
Thank you AvUWS. Also please tell them that there's a reason propane tanks are banned from tunnels and such.
so as long as the source is at least 10 ft from the building, which of the following approaches are most co-op board friendly? gas line or charcoal? propane, i assume, is most illegal...
If you have a dedicated gas line, there is NO 10 foot requirement. My BBQ is right next the building wall, but that's no problem because of the dedicated line. There's is absolutely no doubt that this approach is not only the most board friendly, but if you're cooking with anything else (like charcoal - even if it is 10 feet away from the building), you're better off keeping your mouth shut, and if the board calls you out, just say that you weren't aware of the situation and bat your eyes.
I saw a fire pit in someone's place, and I think it's a pretty good idea. It's practically smokeless, has a bunch of sand to absorb whatever has to be absorbed, and it looks good. Not like the Humvee-like trendy but good.
my bf was talking about installing a dedicated gas line, but i'm wondering (a) if this is feasible and (b) if it's affordable. ours is a condo, so no coop board. but even without that issue, is it just a matter of bringing in a licensed gas guy to do the work? and how would it be done? would he have to open up the floor or something to extend the gas that's in our kitchen to somehow reach through our living room to get to the terrace? any idea on prices?
luciato- it's still the building engineer. And a ton of permits. You really cannot do it on the sly.
I believe that if you touch the gas lines you are going to need Department Of Buildings to sign off. The level of difficulty on the job is a function of where the existing natural gas line is and how far (and through what) the line has to be run to the outside.
In addition to that, even though you are a condo, the board, or its designate, needs to approve your alteration. As soon as they hear you are running a gas line outside I bet they freak out and say no.
Just do charcoal, I think most barbecue enthusiasts will tell you it is the best medium in terms of both heat and flavor.
I still don't get why someone wants to cook with gas. The only thing that has in common with a real BBQ is that you are cooking outside. :p
this is the way Manhanttan residents fool themselves to think they live in a big house with a real backyard. Go get a real house luciato:)
Just received this listing today via broker's postcard. Great outdoor space although no great view.
forced to register: by the look of the windows in the terrace shot, you'll have to climb some to get to the terrace. And is it a barbed wire there? Still, a private terrace is a private terrace
talked to a plumber a he said no on the gas line. does anybody know if there is a plumber out there willing to do it?
manhattanguy, i can't live far from work. i'm from texas and i can't walk more than 10 blocks!