June 2008

The Secret to Home Renovation: Telecommuting

I was chatting with a neighbor yesterday, consoling him for the lack of progress he complains he’s made with his house. He discovered my blog last month and couldn’t understand how I got so much done with my house, especially insofar as he’s lived here almost as long as me. He assumed it had to be my prior construction experience, my shop and the fact that I didn’t have kids. All are true, especially the kids part. I’ve only got two dogs and I know how much free time they consume every day: an hour at the dog run in […]


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Odds and Ends, Excuses and Alibis

By now, I was supposed to have posted about the successful completion of my stained glass construction projects. Maybe because I was coming off that year-long second floor renovation I needed time to recharge before throwing myself into another marathon. Instead, I got obssessed with maintenance, humdrum projects and pontificating on the Old House Web forums. First up: the garden, or more specifically my nine hybrid tomato plants. I’ve had diminishing returns from my ‘maters the past couple of years. Last year, half the plants died shortly after flowering. So I decided to consult with the masters: the greybeard Italian


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The correct answer is: a boombox

I’m not saying anything that battle-experienced home renovators don’t know. Sometimes, the simplest little task can consume gobs of time and a bucket of money before you realize you made a tragic mistake. Not always, of course. That’s how you get suckered into doing it over and over again. It started as a simple idea: I wanted to have music in my back yard. I could have bought a portable boombox for a hundred bucks and kept it under the deck. Problem solved and, when all is said and done, that actually would have been a more flexible solution than


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Up The Wankers, Amanda.

Amanda Green passed away at 2am this morning from pancreatic cancer. She was only 49. I moved to Brooklyn from Manhattan in 1999. In large part, Amanda is the reason I’m here. What more or less brought me to Brooklyn, and what taught me that Brooklyn isn’t “Injun territory”, as so many Manhattanites believe the boros to be, is a Brooklyn Heights restaurant I became a part of in 1993 called La Bouillabaisse. I met Amanda in 1990 at a small birthday party for me at the Oyster Bar. She was a friend of my sister’s and was living in


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Welcome to Brooklyn Row House

This blog is about the challenges of renovating an old (1903) Brooklyn, New York row house.

My last major renovation project was the master bedroom, most of which is about finish carpentry. You’ll find other completed home improvement projects in the Projects submenu at the top of this page.

I’m not a professional builder and don’t pretend to be. I’m just an experienced amateur raised in a family of committed DIYers. I try to closely follow local and national building codes but don’t mistake anything on this site to be professional or even accurate advice! Your mileage may and definitely will vary.

This is the third iteration of BrooklynRowHouse.com, from scratch-built to Drupal and now Wordpress. I hope you enjoy your time here.