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You might want to try a fresh set of brad point drill bits before spending orders of magnitude more money on a carpenter.
For example: http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2085785/43138/FISCH-7-Piece-Fractional-Inch-Chrome-Vanadium-Steel-Brad-Point-Drill-Bit-Set.aspx
You could even buy a new drill (if your current one isn't up to snuff, but try the new bits first) and still come out way ahead.
You could try Matchless Construction, 917-319-4691, Pete Jukoff. His firm is working on a brownstone in Brooklyn and he started out as a carpenter. I would think he has the tools since he builds custom cabinets and has been in the business for over 35 years. However, since you're requiring insurance, this drives up the cost.
I have rock maple (bowling alley maple) custom cabinets in my kitchen. I tried to drill holes to add knobs and pulls, but the wood is rock maple and my drill and bits, and my arms, can't do it. I know this is a hard person to find, but anybody know an insured carpenter who works brownstone Brooklyn who might be willing to do this for us? Thank you!
When I moved in, I paid over 10K for a licensed contractor with insurance to paint my very large 1 bedroom, not including the kitchen and bathroom. I had to pay the building $250 for permission to paint and put up a $5,000 bond against damages. The contractor was required to carry 1 million insurance.
The place needed extensive wall repairs, including removing wallpaper from one wall. Some of the trivial looking cracks turned out to be masking craters. Everything, including the ceilings, was skim coated also. He had to use 2 coats of primer in some places. He also did 2 coats of paint. Everything was done with Benjamin Moore 's Select paint (more than $50/gallon if you bought it yourself at Janovic's). Most days 4 men were working on this and it took took several weeks since it was not empty.
The only thing the former owners had done to the apartment in 30 years was to replace the appliances - and that was 20 years ago from the receipts I found buried in a kitchen drawer. They did a token paint job to clean the place up for the sale.
Just wanted to share that I got a quote for $10K painting job for one bedroom similar to your size. Here is exactly what these guys said... Can someone PLEASE recommend a quality painter at reasonable cost?
Living Room, Dining Room and Bedroom – preparation and painting of those areas (Ceiling, walls and baseboards/molding)….assuming you want the cabinets in LR as well.
Your xxx room would require 3 coats of paint to cover the dark color (unless you are still doing a dark color).
This price includes Benjamin Moore Paint, but does not include any skim coating to walls. Minor Preparation (sanding, caulking) is included.
Approx. $9,800 plus 8.875% tax ($869.75).
1 guy, 2 days, 1,000 sq ft, materials, prep, travel time (parking?) , brush & roller skills ...for $500?
Your painter is making $22 - $27/hr AND you get 99% quality? I don't know what 100% means to you, but if half of what you're saying is true, put me on the list of people asking for his # (I'm serious).
We would use him/her exclusively for our properties.
"IMO, you get 99% quality with $500 paint job. Spending $2-3000 for the extra 1% quality still puzzles me."
1% buys you bonding and insurance to prevent THIS: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/sandoval-631118-lenney-judge.html
But hey, if it's worth the $1000 savings to gamble with your life ...
hi BA294, I would also like to have this painter's information. thanks!
It sucks if I am stuck with PTACs. I will check with the board and HVAC shops to see what I can do.
To replace with split unit is more complicated, do you have outdoor space for the condenser? If you do, the refrigerant pipes still need to penetrate the exterior wall, many condo boards don't allow that. If you plan to install install a indoor condenser unit, you may lose a window for it and probably replace that window or part of that window with louver, which changes the appearance of the building.
I would like to replace PTACS with mini-split too. Not sure if it would be complicated to minimize affect the building appearance.
PTACS are pretty simple. Any hvac guy can replace them. you should call 2 or 3 and have them give you proposals
I am living in a small condo building. The building is pretty new, so is the condo board. The two PTACs (Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner) in my apt are way too noisy in winter. Does anyone have any experience with replacing PTAC? I am thinking about mini-split. In our offering plan, there are some guideline such as, "should not affect the external appearance of the building". It sounds vague to me. Could you share what you did? BTW, my apt is located at the back of the building.
The contractor should provide the architect and you sufficient detail in their estimates for the both of you to decide how to best fit things into your budget -- different fixtures, cabinets, etc., If two or three contractors are coming in with estimates that are significantly over your budget, you may have underbudgeted for the scope of work you're planning. It's a collaborative effort between you, your architect, and contractors to bring it in at a price you can all work with.
Its all about value engineering. the contractors you have chosen should be able to help you in determining where to save. How much over are they? Maybe different kitchen cabinets would help. Did you get a complete breakdown of each item?
We have recently had our architect create plans for our renovation. In doing so, we were clear about our budget up front. Now, after carefully creating our plans and sending them to contractors, we're hearing back (even before bids are actually sent) that the scope of work and the budget are quite beyond what we had initially suggested to them. How usual is it for contractors to get plans and then to work with people to draw back the scope? At the moment it feels like we're walking into a store and being told to choose a shirt without any idea of the price of that shirt.
Our changes include:
Updating bathrooms (no changes to location of fixtures)
Redoing kitchen, opening a wall, reposition the fridge
Adding w/d in closet next to master
Doing work associated with ducted AC installation (they will not be doing the installation, but will need to do patching, etc.)
Painting (pre-war apartment is already skimcoated. Only 2 new doorway size sections need skimcoating).
>I have a wood burning fireplace venting outdoor via chimney.
Is this in NYC or up in C0lumbia C0unty?
where did you purchase the gas fireplace from? we ran a gas line "to the near location" when we renovated in 2008 but this is one of the last projects to be completed and am considering if we want to do it this side of winter or next summer.
If the chimney is a traditional brick w/ clay liner this is probably the time to put a stainless steel insert in as well.
I would be very surprised if your burner is a hindrance to your plans, that is by far the least of your problems. Call 311 and they will fix you up. BTW I converted a wood burner to gas and we loved it, but you need to make sure the natural gas piping is installed attractively--you're dealing with a plumber, not a decorator....
Just curious - how are you going to get the gas to the fireplace?
Allow 4-6 months.
Thank you SP21 and ProINNYc.
I appreciate your kind words
I got to say Jeff is the best. He renovated my apt a yr ago and I contacted him a week ago to have something fixed. Next thing you know the best crew shows up right on time and took care of everything for free. Jeff is as reliable as it gets.
Jeff is excellent, he renovated my Brooklyn loft and I love it. Also, there is an advantage to using someone who worked in the building because they somehow know the way the building works, how to get parking nearby, the building staff etc.... all of which does make it easier. That's not a reason to hire him, but just one factor to keep in mind. Best of luck.
Jeff (PRimer): thanks for your feedback. I'll email you later and, if it's not too much trouble, ask you to come in for a walk-through and estimate of costs/time line.
Brad: Thanks for your input. Your blog just got a new, faithful reader.
Did a combo about a year ago. Pretty much gutted the place and added a bathroom. The combo was worth WAY more than each apartment separately and sold it pretty much right after completion. Went to contract in a couple of weeks. My biggest mistake was trying initially to save money by keeping things when it eventually it became clear that it was cheaper and easier to just remove pretty much everything and start again.
Good luck and enjoy yourself. I had a blast.
Also!, are younsure you sure that you want to live through it? I downsized to a" temporary" rental where I am still living small with no regrets. I think that trying tonlive there and just going halfway may not get you the best result.
I combined my 2 bed with a 1 bed a few years ago (coop). It wasn't that crazy. What made it easier was having a good expeditor and architect. Since my combo was very simple (took out a wall connecting the 2 apts, closed off one interior door, added another, removed one kitchen), I drew my own plans and paid a flat fee for architect to draw properly and self certify (this is worth the extra money IMHO!)
I also lived in my old 2 bed while they did most if the work. For the floors, we moved all the furniture into the living room and did rest of floors, then moved it out of living room todo those floors. My guess is you won't be able to live there during this but you can prob not move all your furniture if your contractors patient/willing.
Technorat, from experience I think you renovation will cost over 100k
Can't comment further on cost/benefit analysis w/o more data. It's never as easy as it looks on paper and there are always other "costs", not just $$$. But if you've done your homework and are prepared, go for it.
Without seeing your apt its hard to give prices but I think you are too low. A typical bathroom in manhattan costs 25k and up
manhattanrenovations.com / 212 685 6358 /Andrew Harrington
I highly recommend Forbes Ergas as a highly skilled, dependable, and imaginative firm; specializing in lobby and corridor design. Joel Ergas 212.727.1110 www.forbes-ergasdesign.com
Hello! Some wonderful interior designers are:
Morehouse Design Associates- Liz Morehouse 212.223.9549 www.morehouseinc.com
Hubley Design Interiors- Jeanette Hubley 917.596.4433
Sygrove Associates Design Group- Marilyn Sygrove 212.757.0631 www.sygrove.com
I work for a gc and we've had the pleasure of working with all of the above firms.
Our small co-op is starting the same process to renovate our lobby right now and I'm wondering if you would be willing to share which firm you went with and if you would recommend them, or not.
Thanks in advance
Thank you Truthskr10
Primer the new website looks great.
I can personally vouch for primer as he did an impeccable job renovating our apt recently. Gladly show you b4 and after photos. Pm me at email@example.com. His price was far less than 3 others that I interviewed.
Great company for bathroom remodeling RenovationNY.com Call Joseph 917-531-7991
I would suggest you see if there is a contractor already working in your building. It is not easy to find a contractor for that type of work. You really need a good carpenter with plumbing skills unless your building is requiring a plumber
I want to remove a pedestal sink and have a ready made vanity and custom counter installed. Do I need both a carpenter and plumber, or is this something a plumber does on their own? Also, any suggestions for someone who does a small job like this?
Jenny Flores... http://www.jennyflores.com/contact.html
I'm finishing a renovation and combination of 2 apt units -- Architect fee of $8000 included expediting. DOB filing fee ($830) and permit fee ($165) were additional. Asbestos was around $550.
Agree with Flarf that Co-op board review time was an order of magnitude longer than the DOB process.
The fees look about right. You could find an expeditor to do it for a little less, but like what others have said here, its important that the expeditor and the architect have a working relationship. I also agree that the asbestos is high. I just paid $640 for the asbestos inspection/report/and tests for a 600sf co-op reno, but it all depends on the scope of the project.
flarf - who was your expediter?
I paid $1300 for the expeditor on an Alt-2 in 2012. That included filing the plans, attending up to four meetings with DOB examiners, and getting the letter of completion. DOB fees were not included. Architect charged another $100 or so for printing and mailing the plans.
The expeditor has their office in Ozone Park. My architect is in Forest Hills. I would expect to pay more for somebody based in Manhattan.
Permit fees were built into the GC's quote. Once the job was approved, it took a couple of days to pull permits. We managed to get a 2br/2ba gut renovation with new HVAC some minor facade changes through the DOB's same-day review process. Co-op board review time was an order of magnitude longer than the DOB process.
Abestos test and report was $980.
Crowned Woodworks is a millshop who makes custom cabinets, you need a carpenter. It will be very difficult to find a contractor to take care of this. You should ask your super if there is a contractor doing other work in your building and they might be able to finish it for you as it sounds like 2 days of work
I recommend Stephen at Crowned Woodworks. I found him on strreteasy and he did a great job building wall to wall radiator cover/storage/bookcase. You can google him for contact info. Good luck.
Hello, does anyone have any recommendations for a great carpenter who can hang one pair of pocket doors and install one additional sliding doors? The glitch is that I have the doors, but they may not fit in the pockets. Had an incompetent/crooked GC who ran out of (my) money in middle of job and now I'm trying to finish up the reno. Need someone who can properly assess situation and recommend options. Many thanks!
Hello, that's not a problem if he did not reveal the address. If it bothers you, you can always ask him to take it off. If he chose to put the project in his website, means it's beautiful! Moreover, if you have a good relationship with the contractor, it's not a big deal to fight over it since you might need his services in the further future. Simply tell him to take it off if you are a very private person... at the end of the day... who will really know this is your kitchen ? :))
> and if there's nothing pertaining to the use of photos or images, then tell him to take them down if you so desire.
Suggest using a Martin Landau-ish Eastern European or Soviet accent when you ask. It has much more credibility in these situations, even more so than Sean Connery's English accent.
I dont think anyone is saying that the owner doesnt have the right to ask to take it down but I do wonder why if there is no address or name what harm can it do. If you do want him to take it down ask him to take it down
I think people here are missing the point.
The issue here isn't whether he did a good job, who is proud of what work, or how things ended up with your renovation. As Aaron2 said and as Primer alluded to, it's your private space, and he cannot make public that space. Check to see what your agreement states, and if there's nothing pertaining to the use of photos or images, then tell him to take them down if you so desire.
I have never had a prospective client ask specifically to speak to a particular client. I find most of my clients are willing to speak to people about their renovation and in many instances let prospective clients see their renovations. If you used the contractor 3 times and you are happy with them I think you should let them use the picture of the nice work they did. Not sure how it could be a bad thing.
Congratulations. Good luck with everything
Thanks to everyone that responded. We finally got approval this week. They finally escalated things, called an emergency meeting, and after 2 years we now have permits. Thank God! I'm sure I'll have dozens more questions on here as we start to really get into the renovation, which I thought was supposed to be the hard part.
MC - I had a similar (and even more ridiculous) request from the DOB. Get the expediter to go down to the records at the DOB, and make copies of the microfilm records. The borough office would not have asked for this kind of proof. Please document all this, and send to your local city councillor and borough president.
It is unconventional, and probably not done that often but if you go to the Department
of Buildings with a suicide bomb strapped to your chest the employees will probably be
able to issue your permits on the spot
Nothing wrong with painting them. Just find out how the contractor is going to do it. Spraying is probably the best way to go
In our dated oaky(fourth) bathroom upstate I had no interest in gutting it. I asked the contractors to paint everything white and it looks 100% better! although still not ideal. It sounds as though your cabinets are better, go for it.
Primer - Many have recommended IKEA, but that look is too contemporary for me and doesn't feel right for our old little apartment. I kind of like the time warp feel and think we are just going to paint existing.
When we talk about refacing it is not exactly gluing laminate to the existing. When we reface we replace all the doors and sometimes the panels as well. Sometimes we have to glue laminate to a panel but never the doors. It is also possible to spray your cabinets onsite which usually comes out great. There are some inexpensive cabinets such as Ikea which I recommend highly.
There are many Ikea kitchens on my site. www.primerenovationsnyc.com. Look under gallery and then kitchens. Not all are Ikea but there are many.
Your are correct. Refacing is just gluing laminate over the doors. Refinishing involves sanding down the doors and staining them or painting them. If the doors are "dated", you could just replace them.
I had a dated kitchen, but the cabinets were solid. I just replaced the doors. You can cap the ends of the cabinets with high quality wood veneer or another door. You can also get wood veneer trim in strips to go around the cabinet where the door meets it. I had that done and the doors and veneers were purchased through Walzcraft.com. I also added their crown molding. Everything matched perfectly. It was like a brand new kitchen!
We have a lot of experience install the those shades. Clients are very happy with them. They are not cheap
I looked last year and prices were still rich. Ended up doing it myself with parts from rollertrol.com
Cost was right about $1k for three shades. The motors are not silent, but I wouldn't call them loud either... they're on par with a copy machine. The noise level is somewhat proportional to the size of the shade; the motor on the ~5x10ft shade is certainly louder than the one on the ~2x7ft shade, even though they're the same components.
Not an option for most, but if you have good DIY skills and pay attention to detail, they're hardly impossible.
Thinking about these shades for the bedrooms. Anyone have recent experience getting these motorized shades? Any recommendations? Have prices gone down for these?
the 2 biggest in new york are vogue window fashion & the shade company, i think (heard about them the most)
Paul at Lidmar Electrical has been very good. He upgraded our entire apartment, (new outlets, recessed lights, moved the box up to the unit, etc). Very satisfied with him. During the job other things came up, (we wanted an induction stove, needed more juice) he was very accommodating. He is licensed/insured and highly recommended by others. Number is 917 939 4956
I used this guy for many of the same things you are looking to have done and I live in Brooklyn Heights:
Spotlight Electric, LLC | Jaroslaw Choinski, President | 243 McDonald Ave #6T | Brooklyn, NY 11218
t: 718.666.5303 • f: 321.600.5303 • e: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was very happy with his work and his prices were reasonable.
Any recommendations for an electrician in the Carroll Gardens / Boerum Hill area? Any opinions on estimated cost are greatly appreciated as well.
We are looking to do the following small items:
Change light switch to dimmers
Change light fixture to ceiling
Move electrical (cable outlet) in order to mount television
I used this guy to install some track lighting and ceiling. Good work, on time, reasonably priced. Very responsive.
Same as Primer if you want to compare electrical pricing: email@example.com
I like uptown_joe's idea of moving the pump somewhere hidden. The pump will fail at some point and if you can move it somewhere out of the way (i.e. quiet) but still have it accessible for maintenance, that would be a good outcome.
Most split systems use a gravity drain to get rid of the condensate, so a pump isn't necessary.
If pumps are installed improperly (not fastened securely), cheap, or dirty, they'll be loud.
Agreed, the condensate pump can be replaced with a different (quieter) model. Might be helpful to get a larger pump/reservoir too; bigger motors are usually quieter and a larger reservoir would mean it runs less often.
There is also some possibility it could be relocated to an intermediate position between the indoor air handler and the final drain location -- the water would gravity-drain to a reservoir/pump at a more suitable intermediate location, and then be pumped to the final drain. So if there is a closet nearby it could be hidden there and muffled better. But it depends on your particular situation.
y little motors, and only run when there's enough condensate to pump. I'd have the HVAC contractor start with that.
Ah OK. There's no drain close enough for the condensate, so there's a pump to convey it there. Those are usually tin
Thanks NWT. Just closed, so not even sure if there are 2 staircases. As for the managing agent, he said to check with the architect.
I would not care to live in a building in which the help dragged rubbish through the floor's reception area, and tradesmen came and went through there ... the milk man, ice man, drayman, laundress and porter should really use the service elevator and enter through the back door. Firemen, too.
So take half your stuff to Goodwill Industries or the local foundling hospital and you'll do just fine.
There was a period in the 1920s when exit requirements were a lot more rigorous than they are now. E.g., two non-overlapping paths out of an apartment to separate staircases.
If you look at a building of the same vintage, e.g. http://streeteasy.com/building/215-west-75-street-new_york/floorplans, some second exits have been blocked and some haven't.
You should be OK with the city as long as you can still get to two staircases from your front door. If you ask the managing agent, they'll let you know what the building's permitted in other same-line apartments.
We have a 2 bedroom 1150 square foot apartment on the 3rd floor of an elevator building. It's prewar, and has 2 exits, the main door (leading to the elevator and stairs) and one in the kitchen (the stairwell). We could really use the wall in the kitchen that the door is currently occupying. Can we cover it? What is the code on this?
Using Ikea does help on the timing. If I was you I would assume it will take 9 weeks. It will probably be substantially complete in 7
I agree with primer in that you need to be fast to decide. When there is a faucet or door handle to be chosen, it's important to get it ASAP. sounds silly to get stressed over that stuff, that's how renovations get delayed.
@primer05 the others said 8. Originally this one said 8 too, but changed it to 7 (on his own, not from my asking). Kitchen cabinets is Ikea. There is some other custom millwork for other parts of the unit.
You will really need to keep on top of things. Quick decision making is very important. Where are the kitchen cabinets coming from? 7 weeks seems way to short to me. If I was you I would look to see if you can rent an apt for a month longer. I have seen this happen too many times. Did you ask all the contractors that you had bid on it give you a estimated time frame for the work? If they all said 7 weeks than you should be fine
The kitchen (crazy small) is a complete re-do. The bathroom is keeping tub but changing pretty much everything else (inc tiling etc). Now you guys are making me nervous....