Category: exterior

DOT sidewalk inspection scam?

My doorbell rang this afternoon. It was my cheerful postman, Kevin, and he had a certified letter for me. Certified letters are almost always buzzkillers. I could see from the envelope that this one was from the NYC Dept of Transportation so I knew it wasn’t congratulations from Publishers Clearinghouse. Kevin said that every house on the block, except one, got certified letters from DOT. What the hell, I’ve got nothing to be concerned about My sidewalk and curb are in excellent condition. I signed for the letter and opened it up. Inside was a Notice of Violation that my

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More old pictures of my house!

 NYC is an old city, at least by US standards, and has a lot of old buildings. My previous dwelling was a loft on lower Broadway in Manhattan, in a converted paper goods factory. It was built in the 1870s and the factory allegedly made cardboard boxes for the military during WW1 and WW2 before going out of business in the mid-1970s. Because there are so many old buildings, people want to see what their residences looked like “back then”.  NYC’s Department of Records & Information Services, a/k/a DORIS, has a huge archive of old NYC photos including tax photos

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A Case of the Mightaswells

If you own home in progress, whether you’re a DIYer or someone who calls a contractor to change the lightbulbs, you know the syndrome. “As long as I’m updating the kitchen, I might as well make it larger.” “As long as I’m pouring a new basement floor, I might as well replace all the old plumbing underneath. And then I might as well rough out for another full bath. Then I might as well build it.” “As long as I’m opening up the wall, I might as well add a central vacuum system, split-unit air conditioning and a new 50a

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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.